[Document mirrored from SQ (www.sq.com) on April 7, 1995]
Chicago, Oct. 19, 1994-In a development that could dramatically alter the use of the Internet, SoftQuad Inc. and Synex Information AB today announced SoftQuad Panorama and SoftQuad Panorama PRO. These document viewers for the World Wide Web conform to the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), the International Standard Organization's (ISO) standard for information interchange. SoftQuad Panorama complement Mosaic, the immensely popular browsing product from the US National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
NCSA Mosaic will continue to provide browsing of documents created according to the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) standard for Web content, and will launch SoftQuad Panorama when it encounters any other SGML file. The NCSA has agreed to include a free version of SoftQuad Panorama as part of its Mosaic distribution, downloadable over the Internet.
NCSA and SoftQuad anticipate that a large number of industry organizations and corporations will develop add-on tools to exploit the richer markup of SGML that will now become widespread. To facilitate this, the newest releases of Mosaic offers a Common Client Interface (CCI) that enhances third party access to the Web. These users will also have access to the CCI through SoftQuad Panorama.
"SGML on the Web offers an opportunity for each industry or area of specialization to optimize viewing capabilities for its constituency," says Joseph Hardin, Associate Director of NCSA. "Mosaic's job now is to provide an open, standardized foundation of functionality that software suppliers such as SoftQuad and Synex can build upon."
"We are thrilled to help bring SGML support to the Web," says Hasse Haitto, President of Synex Information AB. "We trust that the unprecedented success of Mosaic will further spread the use of this important standard."
"With SGML on the Internet, there is greater potential for automated processing of text marked up in ways that meet particular requirements." said Yuri Rubinsky, President of SoftQuad. "For example, HTML has no way of encoding 'Part Numbers', or 'Copyright Information' or 'Maintenance Tasks'. SGML applications can do so, and can act on that information."
SoftQuad Panorama allows publishers to make available longer and more complex documents than are currently available on the Web and to have finer control of their display. Panorama performs searches that take advantage of whatever information structures exist in the source data and displays the results of those searches. The product will also be the first software to take advantage of mathematical fonts developed and contributed by the Online Computer Library Centre's (OCLC) Electronic Journals Online scholarly publishing initiative.
SoftQuad Panorama includes support for hypertext links beyond the Web's current capabilities-links to multiple points in other documents rather than simply one-to-one; links to locations and phrases in documents to which one has no write permission-all created in accordance with HyTime, the ISO standard for hypertext and multi-media encoding. SoftQuad Panorama also offers rich presentation capabilities including multiple user-selectable stylesheets for any group of documents, styles based on each element (such as a title, or a paragraph or list item) and its context, invisibility of specific information structures in specific views, display of simple and complex tables, and basic support for display of mathematics. SoftQuad Panorama will remove the pressure on publishers to maintain one set of source documents for their print, Braille, large type and CD-ROM versions and separate HTML source for distribution over the World Wide Web.
SoftQuad and Spyglass of Champaign, Illinois have agreed to offer SoftQuad Panorama PRO to the licensees of Enhanced NCSA Mosaic from Spyglass. SoftQuad Panorama PRO will be interfaced to Spyglass Mosaic via the CCI and will be compatible with the copyright version from NCSA. SoftQuad also intends to offer the supported, commercial version, SoftQuad Panorama PRO, to Mosaic end-users.
SoftQuad Panorama and SoftQuad Panorama PRO will be available in March 1995 for Windows and UNIX operating environments. A Macintosh version will follow in mid-1995.
SoftQuad Panorama is an unsupported edition and is available at no charge from Internet sites and electronic bulletin boards that include Mosaic.
SoftQuad Panorama PRO is a fully supported commercial version which offers additional features that support user-control over display and navigation and the ability to create and save sets of links, annotations and customized bookmarks. Users of SoftQuad Panorama who seek this additional functionality can upgrade to SoftQuad Panorama PRO for US $139. Aggressive volume pricing is also available.
SoftQuad Inc., headquartered in Toronto, Canada, supplies SGML and HTML software and services. It created the easy-to-use World Wide Web HTML editor, SoftQuad HoTMetaL PRO, a free version of which has been downloaded by over 50,000 sites around the world.
Synex Information AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is the technology supplier for SoftQuad Panorama and for SoftQuad Explorer, an electronic publishing and delivery tool.
NCSA, a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, is dedicated to advancing high-performance computing and communications for computational science and engineering in academia and industry.
OCLC, in Dublin, Ohio, is a non-profit computer library service and research organization whose computer and network services link more that 18,000 libraries in 61 countries and territories.
Spyglass, of Champaign, Illinois, the NCSA's partner for Mosaic commercial availability, has licensed over 10 million copies of Commercially Enhanced NCSA Mosaic to many large partners including IBM, DEC, FTP Software, and NEC.
Mosaic is a trademark of the University of Illinois.
SoftQuad Panorama, SoftQuad Panorama PRO, SoftQuad Explorer and SoftQuad HoTMetaL PRO are trademarks of SoftQuad Inc.
Other trademarked names are the property of their respective owners.