PHyLIS, Personal HyTime Link Information System

From Mon Jun 22 18:26:26 1998
Date:     Mon, 22 Jun 1998 18:12:45 -0500
From:     "W. Eliot Kimber" <>
Subject:  Announce: PHyLIS, Personal HyTime Link Information System

I am pleased to announce the initial availability of the beta version of PHyLIS: Personal HyTime Link Information System from

PHyLIS is a Visual Basic application that demonstrates the implementation of a highly generalized HyTime engine. It supports both full SGML (to the limits of the SP parser) and XML. XLink is not yet supported, but will be very soon. It is Web aware to the degree that SP is, which means that it will try to process entities whose system IDs are URLs and, if you're connected and the entities are there, it will in fact process them.

NOTE: I realize that many of the readers of this group cannot or will not use anything other than Java. I sympathize. I would very much like to create a Java version of PHyLIS, but that is beyond the limit of my abilities and resources as the moment. I chose VB largely because it was the easiest way for me to get the thing written, given my limited programming abilities and lack of time to absorb the Java learning curve. I also chose it because it is very accessible to a large number of people who may be fairly characterized as "casual programmers". And of course, there's always the hope that maybe I might get Microsoft's attention....

Among the many things it demonstrates are:

You can think of PHyLIS as the "visible HyTime engine". It provides a graphical, navigable view of the inner workings of a grove-based HyTime system while providing useful functions at the same time. As a Visual Basic, ActiveX-based program, it is easy to modify and explore as a program, as well as easy to integrate with other ActiveX-based tools.

PHyLIS is provided in the same spirit as tools like SP and Jade, that is, as free software, source code included, to serve as an example (if not reference) implementations of the HyTime standard. You are free to use it for whatever you want, without restriction.

PHyLIS is sponsored by ISOGEN International Corp.


The version currently available (0.2) is still a very early barely-beta. It works well enough for people to start playing with the code and maybe using it for simple demos, but it is far from complete, much less tested or documented as much as it should be. It is not ready for casual non-developer use. This is the code essentially as I demonstrated it a XML/SGML Europe '98 in May.

Note that I am by no stretch a VB expert, so there are probably many places in the code where I've done things in a less than optimal (if not downright stupid) way. If you think you have a better idea for how to do something, I very much want to know. Some of my design decisions were carefully considered, many were what seemed the best thing to do at the moment.

Limitations of 0.2 include:



<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 95202.  214.953.0004

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