[Mirrored from: http://governmentsource.com/rubsoftquad.html]

the executive management magazine for Canada's public service


The Blueprint for Future Design

The World Wide Web has received much attention for its ability to link computer networks, but its larger benefit is its equal facility in linking networks within government departments, organizations, and corporations. SoftQuad Inc., based in Toronto and Vancouver, is the recognized world leader in the rapidly growing area of publishing tools for the World Wide Web, and provides software and services to government agencies, academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies in a diverse range of industries worldwide. In the Canadian government alone, SoftQuad is involved with SGML projects in DND, Transport Canada, Treasury Board, Statistics Canada, Health and Welfare Canada, and Industry Canada.

What is the World Wide Web?
The World Wide Web is the area of the Internet -- the global network of interconnected computer networks -- that is experiencing the most rapid growth. Its intuitive user environment allows users to easily browse or navigate through vast collections of documents anywhere in the world. It is safe to say that a user browsing the Web today can find discussions and information on any topic.

The backbone of this remarkable growth in Internet publishing is the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). This structured markup language allows users to create pages of information, complete with pictures and sound, and video clips, that can be viewed with popular browsing software such as Netscape Navigator or Spyglass Mosaic. Since files will look slightly different in every Web browser (indeed, their appearance can be modified by individual users) the HTML structure is critical in maintaining a consistent standard that allows users of different browsers the ability to read the same file with their favourite browsing tool.

What are HTML and SGML?
HTML is an instance (or subset) of a much broader ISO standard called the Standard Generalized Markup Language. SGML has been adopted as a standard by government, aerospace, automotive, magazine and book publishing, railroad, and semi-conductor manufacturing industries for the re-use of information in a variety of ways across computer platforms.

How Does SGML Do It?
Publishers of information in SGML specify the document structure (for example headings, paragraphs, titles) rather than the display. Structuring a document in this way is called adding markup or simply, marking up. The publishers do this by inserting tags around the pieces of information they want to mark up. Consequently, a Regulations Document marked up once in SGML can be passed to Quark Xpress to be paper-published; to Panorama PRO for viewing on the World Wide Web; to SoftQuad Explorer for CD-ROM publishing; or even to Braille.

Because documents can be anything -- manuals, movie scripts, dictionaries -- SGML allows for an unlimited number of document type definitions, or DTDs. A DTD specifies the markup and the ways it is used to structure the information. For example, a DTD for a maintenance manual would require markup to specify instructions, tables and graphics.

HTML, then, is basically a fairly simple DTD with a limited tag set that includes a special tag which allows for embedding of hypertext links. Those links take World Wide Web users from one document to the next, and from one part of the world to another, with the click of a mouse.

How Can SoftQuad Help?
SoftQuad can help government organizations in myriad ways. Incorporated in 1984 and listed on the TSE (symbol SKI) in January 1994, SoftQuad assists customers with every aspect of SGML and HTML planning and implementation. Within the Canadian government SoftQuad is pursuing the idea of internal World Wide Web sites built on the more flexible SGML. SoftQuad s HoTMetaL Pro 2.0 (the company's Web publishing software) was recently awarded the PC Magazine's Editor's Choice Award, recognizing HoTMetaL as the leader among Internet publishing tools. SoftQuad RulesBuilder allows people to create and compile DTDs for use with Author/Editor. SoftQuad Explorer provides content archiving and delivery with hypertext tools. Co-operation with Quark Inc. has resulted in SoftQuad Enabler, a print solution that uses Quark Xpress templates and styles for design, layout and printing of SGML documents.

SoftQuad Professional Services division works with clients to finetune SGML implementations, offering document analysis, DTD development, conversion of legacy data, custom programming, system integration, training and prototyping workshops.

Yuri Rubynski
is president and co-founder of SoftQuad Inc.
A leader in the creation of software for the
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).

For more information contact SoftQuad Inc. at
Tel. 1.800.387.2777 Fax 416.239.7105
E-mail mail@sq.com

In Ottawa contact
John Brown
SoftQuad Inc.
Tel. 613.829.5009 Fax 613.829.4570
E-mail johnb@sq.com

Web Site: www.sq.com