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ISO 12083


EPSIG Meeting:
Barcelona, May 12, 1997
by Dianne Kennedy, Deputy Convener

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Dianne Kennedy, Stephen Buswell, Norman Scharpf, Petter Thorsrud, Marion Kampenaum, Michael Wilson, Rune Johansen, Astrid Jenssen, Murray Maloney, Lauren Wood, Roy Pike, Erlend Drerby, Tommie Usdin, Bente Wunsnes, Linda Burman


Norman Scharpf, President of the GCA, called the meeting to order. He began by reviewing the role of EPSIG (Electronic Publishing Special Interest Group) in the development and maintenance of ISO 12083. He also informed the group that Eric Van Herjinvenen, current convener of ISO 12083 was no longer able to fill this role and that he had asked Dianne Kennedy to serve as deputy convener. Dianne then introduced herself and followed with introductions of all attendees

The first order of business was a review of the EPSIG meeting which was held April l-2 in New York City. Ms. Kennedy provided the group with minutes and discussed the following highlights:

In addition Ms. Kennedy brought the work of W3C for Web math to the attention of the group. Two members of W3C Maths were in attendance: Lauren Wood (SoftQuad) and Steven Buswell (Stilo). They recounted the activities in the W3C arena:

There are 5 Maths subcommittees:

First Report will be on the web W3C/markup/math will be presented May 15th. Draft will be May 15th 1997. Second draft will be in September with final scheduled for May 15 1998.

Math Discussion:

Roy Pike began the discussion by pointing out that the Web community is vast and gives feedback and 12083 semantic math fragment can fully compatible.

Lauren Wood stated that one goal of the W3C presentational model is that authoring be easy. Simple presentational math could be authored by hand. But more complex must be authored using a tool. It is based on the way presentation works inside Mathematica. Both Lauren and Steve believe that tools are likely to come from computer algebra people or computer algebra people in conjunction with SGML vendors.

Majority attending the meeting agreed that it is absolutely necessary that a coordinated effort between 12083 and W3C math is supported. Publishers believe that by conforming to the same math definition as Web Math, they have the best opportunity to see new tools. In addition, publishers made it clear that they do not want to use one tool set for the Web and another for other media.

Math Proposals:

Several proposals were put forth during the meeting:

ISO 12083 Update:

A general discussion about the usability of ISO 12083 was then conducted.

Tommy Usdin stated that she believes that only real value ISO 12083 is as a source of definitions and tags. Today, there may not be a role for a DTD. In fact, the variation in the publishing industry is and must be so great. Building blocks will be tremendously useful but a rigid DTD (such as the one that exists in the current standard) is not.

Michael Wilson put forward an opinion stating that there should be a DTD. But that the current model is flawed. It is important to have a DTD with flaws corrected.

Other opinions were that what we need is a palette of elements and several possible DTD models as examples. Also simplified methods for changing models in the standard should be developed and naming conventions should be simplified as well. Other recommendations included gathering DTDs that are flavors of ISO 12083 to see how people are changing them, simplifying the current parameter entity structure, and updating the tag descriptions and attribute documentation to clarify the intended use of elements. Finally it was suggested that we need to review the requirements for ISO 12083 and then evaluate the DTD based upon those requirements.

Action Items

Agenda Items for ISO 12083 Meeting:

EPSIG Sunset

Norman Schrapf announced the intent of GCA to sunset the EPSIG group. EPSIG was formed when only select publishers were interested in electronic publishing. Today, this fits within the mainstream and the usefulness of a special group is questionable. GCA will accept responsibility for ongoing support for ISO 12083 through their Information Technologies Organization. Any comments or questions can be forwarded to Mr. Scharpf at nschrapf@gca.org or to Dianne Kennedy at dken@mcs.com.

Respectfully submitted,
Dianne Kennedy

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