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Markup Technologies ’99



Tuesday, December 7th


9:00 am - 9:10 am (Plenary)
Norman Scharpf, Graphic Communications Association (GCA)

9:10 - 9:30 (Plenary)
Conference at a glance
Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre, Mulberry Technologies

9:30 am - 10:30 am (Plenary Keynote)
Document design and common sense
Jan V. White

Document design is not an esoteric or solely aesthetic artform, but a rational and pragmatic skill. To inform clearly and succinctly, documents don’t need to amuse, entertain, or even look good. They must be — and look — clear. Common sense makes them that way.

10:30 am - 11:15 am (Plenary)
On the horns of a dilemma: Optimize for project use or for interoperability
B. Tommie Usdin, Mulberry Technologies

Designers are often faced with a dilemma when selecting, creating, or amalgamating tag sets and data models; do they optimize for the current data set and retrieval within that data set, or do they optimize for interoperability and possible re-use outside their domain of influence? We want our electronic products to be as appropriate to our users as possible, supporting precision search, custom interfaces, and support for our full document life cycle. We also believe in the dream of full interoperability: we want to be able to pour all of our various documents into one mega-search application and have high quality retrieval across all of them. Further, we want to interchange documents with outsiders, and have use of each others' documents. To do the former we need highly customized markup languages; to do the latter we must use one (or all?) of the many conflicting ‘universal’ tag sets being proposed as Markup Esperantos.

11:45 am - 12:30 pm (Plenary)
A formal semantics of patterns in XSLT
Philip Wadler, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

Presents a formal semantics of the pattern language from the 16 December 1998 draft of XSLT. The semantics is clear and concise, summarizing in one page of formulas what required about ten pages of prose to describe. With the aid of the semantics, one can rigorously state and prove properties of the language; these properties have helped to guide the development of the XSLT design. The semantics was developed using standard techniques from the programming language community, and this presentation provides a tutorial introduction to these techniques. The results show that techniques that are well established in language theory may be of immediate, practical use to the markup technologist.

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm (Blue Track)
Open Source: The future of software
Eric S. Raymond

Eric S. Raymond is a wandering anthropologist and troublemaking philosopher who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and has been wondering whether he should regret it ever since. Eric S. Raymond is an observer-participant anthropologist in the Internet hacker culture. His research has helped explain the decentralized open-source model of software development that has proven so effective in the evolution of the Internet. His own software projects include one of the Internet's most widely-used email transport programs.

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm (Green Track)
How to turn readers off
Jan V. White

Many methods can be used to make documents inaccessible, unpleasant to read, and generally hostile to readers. Uncomfortable line length, type size, or spacing; harsh color; inadequate or excessive contrast; irregular spacing; disregard for type texture; typographic pictures which involve laying out the type into weird shapes; ignoring the structure of the writing; and never bothering to read what the words say, are all important tools in the toolbox of any designer determined to put readers off. Unfortunately, the state of the art in this field is very high.

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm (Blue Track)
OpenJade: What, Why, and How
Didier PH Martin, Talva (Canada)

OpenJade has recently become Open Source. The maintainer describes the reasons for making Jade Open Source, the reasons for his involvement in the project, and the challenges, frustrations, and rewards of the project to date.

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm (Green Track)
XML and information visualization: Application to network management
Bénédicte Desclefs, Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris 6 (France)

In complex information systems, users often have problems finding relevant information; there is too much information, and users feel ‘lost’. Data in such systems can often be organized hierarchically and represented as a tree, but most visualizations are cluttered because there is so much information to display. Virtual Reality (VR) techniques, specifically cone trees, can help solve these problems. When hierarchies are very large, trees must also be pruned or filtered to make them easier to navigate. In this paper, we show how we implemented these principles in the field of network management. The application we developed eases navigation in data extracted from the Management Information Base (MIB) and accelerates access to useful information.

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm (Blue Track)
Is Open-Source dead or just in a higher plane of existence?
Michael Leventhal, Text Science

This talk will examine the evolution of the Open Source movement from the perspective of one who has been developing XML and SGML applications using one of the newest major open source projects, Mozilla. What are the characteristics of today's open-source movement as exemplified by Mozilla? All the following: corporate-friendly, profit-driven, grounded in experience, able to produce results, real and realistic, stable, capable of wooing Wall Street, a little boring. A revolution that won't get in the way of a comfortable lifestyle? Has Open Source been coopted or have we simply found a new way of working, the fruit of the dialectical process between profit- seeking and altruistic cooperation? Should Bill Gates be shaking in his boots?

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm (Green Track)
Towards an "Interaction Sheet" mechanism in XML technology
Frederic Bapst, Christine Vanoirbeek, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)

Style sheets are an interface between the end user and the encoded information, and the stylesheet mechanism can be adapted to address not only the display but also the input of XML documents. We propose an extension to the Cascading Style Sheet language to express the necessary interactive properties. This extension focuses on a set of document-centric interactive manipulations which could help editing or browsing. Such interaction sheets are especially useful when you want to specify a restricted set of authorized modifications at a certain step of the document life cycle. When browsers also have editing capabilities, an interaction sheet would be an alternative approach to general XML editors (which are sometimes too permissive) and to Web forms (which are sometimes too restrictive).


Wednesday, December 8th

9:00 am - 9:45 am (Blue Track)
IETM object referencing
John Cumming, iWare Technology

The MIL-PRF-87269b Specification and associated DTDs provide a markup scheme used to create Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) that are portable between platforms. A proposed extension to MIL-PRF-87269B adds support for referencing objects such as Java Applets, Java Beans, Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) objects, Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) objects, and a wide range of other media plug-ins from within an IETM document. This presentation shows how to address these objects through the state table and how event handlers may be used to override the default behavior of an object.

9:00 am - 9:45 am (Green Track)
XHTML: The Future of HTML
Murray Altheim, Sun Microsystems

This paper will provide a brief introduction to The Extensible HyperText Markup Language and the changes necessary in the transition from SGML to XML, focusing on XHTML's second phase of development, XHTML 1.1. Whereas XHTML 1.0 is a fixed version of HTML 4.0 recast in XML, XHTML 1.1 is an XML markup language described by a modular XML DTD designed as an extensible foundation for new markup languages based on or incorporating the well-known syntax and semantics of HTML, but modifiable to suit the needs of a specific application or industry. We'll also discuss the relation of XHTML 1.1 to other specifications, the changes that have been made from XHTML 1.0 to XHTML 1.1, design issues, an in-depth discussion of the structure of the DTD, its parameterization model, the various modules that constitute it, details and extended, normalized and delivered.

9:45 am - 10:30 am (Blue Track)
IETM Operational Data Model
Mark A. MacKinnon and Robert F. Fye, Aquidneck Management Associates

The IETM (Interactive Electronic Technical Manual) standard specifies the data storage and processing model, but not the user’s operational model. The user’s operational model consists of those actions or behaviors which the IETM author would like to provide to the user but that cannot be specified in the document or the DTD. The Operational Data Model (ODM) uses SGML to specify the operational model with architectural forms and templates.

9:45 am - 10:30 am (Green Track)
Issues in mapping GenCAM
sm to XML
Michael McLay, NIST, Andrew Scholand, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Robert Fulton, Georgia Institute of Technology

This presentation outlines design issues uncovered in creating an XML mapping of the Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits GenCAMsm 1.1 Standard. GenCAMsm is an ANSI-approved PCB/A (Printed Circuit Board/Assembly) data standard sufficiently detailed for tooling, manufacturing, assembly, inspection, and testing requirements. The shift from the current ASCII format of GenCAMsm to a specific XML markup language will not change the higher level, semantic objects represented by GenCAMsm. Only the instance file syntax will change to a newer and more widely used format.

11:00 am - 11:45 am (Blue Track)
Approaches for structured document management
Timothy Arnold-Moore, Michael Fuller, and Ron Sacks-Davis, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia)

Document Management Systems (DMS) are tools to manage centralized repositories of documents, providing controlled access to documents and tracking the changes made to the documents. This presentation compares traditional DMS functionality with more recent DMS functional extensions and the even greater functionality available with structured document support through SGML or XML, and then summarizes the architectural differences among the three approaches. Discusses relevant standards and initiatives, including ODMA, WEBDAV, and WAPI.

11:00 am - 11:45 am (Green Track)
The death of XML editors: and the birth of useful editors
Jan Christian Herlitz, Excosoft AB (Sweden)

What is an XML editor? When Excel saves its data in XML format, will it be an XML editor? When Adept, XMetaL, and Documentor can read Excel files, will they have become spreadsheet tools? My point here is that we don’t really have a good name for the XML editors of today, and it will become more and more confusing as XML becomes the standard storage format. An editor should be described in other terms! Will editors be free? Is there a way for (not huge) product development companies to earn their living? Is standardization limiting development or is it a driving force? If all XML editors must handle paragraphs, tables and equations (and only that) and the styling is limited to CSS and XSL, how can they compete, and what will be the place for creative ideas? Are there things that should be standardized and things that shouldn’t?

11:45 am - 12:30 pm (Blue Track)
Developing a cross-referencing/linking model for Class IV IETMs
Neil Montgomery, Aquidneck Management Associates, Ltd.

The original MIL-PRF-87269 specification for class IV IETMs defined linking/cross-referencing elements based on the HyTime standard. The specification distinguished different types of references but did not define the runtime properties of the referencing elements. Without specific guidance from the specification, implementors have created different referencing semantics that can make it difficult to exchange IETM data among implementations without re-authoring the SGML and/or making software modifications. In 1997-98, a Navy interoperability working group worked to clarify and enhance the original specification to make possible the exchange of SGML-based IETM data. This paper focuses on the working group’s final clarifications and enhancements involving linking/cross-referencing that may have application beyond the world of IETMs.

11:45 am - 12:30 am (Green Track)
Authoring tool for Web content transcoding
Masahiro Hori, Kohichi Ono, Goh Kondoh, and Sandeep Singhal, Tokyo Research Laboratory, IBM (Japan)

More and more, users are accessing the Internet from information appliances such as PDAs, cell phones, and set-top boxes. These devices do not have the same rendering capabilities (display size, color depth, screen resolution, etc.) as traditional desktop clients. For proper display on such devices, Web content must be modified, or transcoded. This paper presents an external annotation framework in which existing Web documents are associated with content adaptation hints in separate annotation files. We then introduce an annotation vocabulary, which can be employed for rendering HTML documents for pervasive computing devices. Finally, a prototype annotation tool is explained; it was developed by extending an existing HTML authoring tool, and allows WYSIWYG authoring for external annotation.

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm (Plenary Keynote)
Keynote: Intellectual property and markup technology
Pamela Samuelson, University of California at Berkeley

Pamela Samuelson is a Professor at the University of California at Berkeley with a joint appointment in the School of Information Management and Systems and the School of Law. She is also Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Her principal area of expertise is intellectual property law. She has written and spoken extensively about the challenges that new information technologies are posing for public policy and traditional legal regimes.

3:15 pm - 5:15 pm (Blue Track)
Topic map secrets
Hans Holger Rath, STEP Electronic Publishing Solutions GmbH (Germany) and Steve Pepper, STEP InfoTeck AS (Norway)

The new ISO standard ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps defines concepts and architectural forms for the semantic structuring of link networks. Acting as a "GPS (Global Positioning System) for the information universe", topic maps will become the solution for organizing and navigating large and continuously growing information pools. But the concepts provided by the standard are complete only to a certain degree, and the first prototypes of practical applications are uncovering the missing pieces. This paper presents some missing pieces, explains why they are important, and discusses elegant ways to express and use them. Finally the paper introduces topic map templates — a semi-official term for the "declarative part" of a topic map.

3:15 pm- 4:00 pm (Green Track)
Stupid XSL tricks
Charlie Halpern-Hamu, Incremental Development, Inc. (Canada)

A Stupid XSL Trick is a use of XSL for something unusual or amusing for which it wasn’t necessarily designed. This paper presents several stupid XSL tricks, all of which use the transformation half of XSL rather than the formatting-object half. This paper is intended for an audience that, like the author, is learning XSLT and wishes do so by poking around in various less-explored corners.

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm (Green Track)
Automatic generation of DSSSL specifications for transforming SGML documents into card-based presentations
Peiya Liu, Young Francis Day, and Liang H. Hsu, Siemens Corporate Research, Inc.

Presentation documents can be viewed as card-based multimedia documents with hyperlinked and hierarchical structures such as card manuals, card sequences, cards, etc. Existing tools for multimedia authoring and presentation require direct interactive authoring for card-based presentations; this limits their utility for creating large-scale card-based documents and for adapting presentations to different application platforms. This paper presents a new method of transforming scroll-based SGML product documents into a family of large-scale training presentation documents for complex products such as gas turbines. In this approach, DSSSL style specifications are generated automatically from higher-level layout specifications for presentation documents. This method uses multiple transformation steps to transform SGML documents into an in-memory Flow Object Tree (by using generated DSSSL specifications) and to format the Flow Object Tree into a large number of multimedia Toolbook presentation documents.


Thursday, December 9th

9:00 am - 9:45 am (Blue Track)
On indices for XML documents with namespaces
Yohei Yamamoto, Masatoshi Yoshikawa, and Shunsuke Uemura, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (Japan)

As interoperability among XML schemas becomes a reality, more XML documents will appear that use different top-level structures but the same bottom-level structure. This causes difficulties for conventional indexing structures. This paper proposes an efficient indexing approach for searching XML documents that use the same namespaces or schemas. Differences between this approach and conventional indices are: (1) our indices have complete information about the paths toward every node in the tree structure of the XML document (a "down path") and (2) our indices also keep the path from every node to the root node (an "up path").

9:00 am - 9:45 am (Green Track)
An SGML CASE toolbox
Stéphan Bidoul and Alfred Attipoe, SGML Technologies Group (Belgium)

A wide range of methodologies and tools exists for specifying and developing systems, with uses ranging from system design, business process reengineering, data and process modeling, and simulation, to project management. This paper presents a framework, based on SGML/XML as a software engineering methodology, that unifies the engineering of the components of three-tier document management applications. As an illustration of the productivity gains of this approach, an example application is presented that shows how the system functionality is captured as seen by the users and how the entire software development lifecycle is supported.

9:45 am - 10:30 am (Blue Track)
PATRICIA parsing: Implementing run-time-extensible grammars
Dave Peterson, SGML Works!

An extremely simple model of parsing is that of a single "pure BNF" top-down parser. After describing this basic model, this paper discusses several extensions to the model, including both those common in parser design and some less-common ones that are particularly useful when describing SGML parsing. In a "run-time-extensible" parser, it is relatively easy to modify the underlying productions while parsing, and then continue parsing with respect to the new productions. Also discusses the use of the well-known indexing algorithm Patricia as the basis of a run-time-extensible parser for SGML.

9:45 am - 10:30 am (Green Track)
Process representation using architectural forms: Accentuating the positive
Joshua Lubell, Craig Schlenoff, National Institute of Standards and Technology

The PSL (Process Specification Language) is a standard language for process specification that is intended to serve as an interlingua among process-related applications throughout the manufacturing life cycle. This interchange language is unique due to the formal semantic definitions (the ontology) that underlie the language. The PSL ontology is organized in modules, with a small set of core concepts and multiple extensions which add to the core. We are developing a mapping from the PSL semantic concepts to XML (Extensible Markup Language), using architectural forms to specify the relationship between the concepts in a process specification and the PSL core and extensions. An example demonstrates the usefulness of architectural forms for managing modular specifications, mapping non-PSL syntax to PSL terminology, and generating extension-specific data views. [Note: On PSL, see "Process Specification Language (PSL) and XML."]

11:00 am - 11:45 am (Blue Track)
Markup systems and text ontology
Allen Renear, Brown University Scholarly Technology Group

Different markup systems seem to imply different theories of what text "really is" — that is, different markup systems seem to imply different ontologies of text. This establishes a promising connection between work in markup systems and the recent use of ontologies as an analytic device in artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering. This talk discusses the ontological issues implicit (and explicit) in the history of markup systems, noting the arguments and counterexamples that seem to have driven the development of both the systems themselves, and theories about them, over the last thirty years.

11:00 am - 11:45 am (Green Track)
Literate programming in XML
Peter Pierrou, Excosoft AB (Sweden)

This paper introduces a programming environment which is based on hierarchical structure, links, and literate programming. This programming environment aims to increase productivity in large software construction projects. Literate programming in XML is good for productivity as it makes source code readable, provides an overview, and helps keep documentation consistent with the source code.

11:45 am - 12:30 pm (Blue Track)
Information Retrieval for XML: Requirements and technologies
Liam Quin, Barefoot Computing (Canada)

This paper discusses general issues in applying full text and other information retrieval strategies and technologies to documents marked up in XML or SGML, describing many of the particular problems and complications involved.

11:45 am - 12:30 pm (Green Track)
Version management as hypertext application
W. Eliot Kimber, ISOGEN-DataChannel, Steve Newcomb, TechnoTeacher, Inc., and Peter Newcomb, TechnoTeacher, Inc.

Presents a method for managing and tracking change of information objects over time that enables efficient and accurate maintenance and management of links among information objects. This methodology moves most of the burden of version management from the storage layer (e.g., RCS) to the semantic layer (link management). The paper outlines a system design that will guarantee that all references and their valid referents will remain validly connected together, both mechanically and semantically, across all versions of all resources in a revision-control-managed technical information set, at any scale, and at the lowest possible cost over the long term.

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm (Plenary)
Extensible stability, open standards, and other cameleopards
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, World Wide Web Consortium/MIT Laboratory for Computer Science

One of the principal attractions of SGML and XML is that they are open standards, not owned by any one commercial entity. If open standards are better than proprietary ones, why is this so? What makes a standard open, and how do we make it so? How do we make standards stable enough to ensure interoperability, yet flexible enough not to suppress innovation? How do we manage to generate consensus on contentious technical issues without taking so much time that we miss the market window and produce standards only after they have become irrelevant? Do not come to this talk expecting answers.