[Archive copy mirrored from: http://www.gca.org/conf/sgml97/tutorial.htm]

SGML/XML'97 Tutorial Descriptions


Tutorial Descriptions
(Concurrent on Sunday, December 7th)

Introductory Tutorials
(No Experience Required)


The SGML Business Case
Carla Corkern and Kent Taylor, ISOGEN

A clear business case is essential to success in many SGML environments. The Business Case document is the key to obtaining management support, staff resources, and funding. More importantly, it provides the requirements that guide purchasing and design decisions; the justification to exclude attractive but peripheral tasks; and a basis against which progress and success can be evaluated. Material to be covered in an SGML Business Case includes costs, money savings, quality improvements, impact on current systems and staff, and a high-level implementation plan.

Synopsis

The tutorial will walk students through a series of worksheets and goals assessments what goes into each area of the business case. A sample business case will be distributed along with spreadsheets for calculating some of the required financials. At ISOGEN we use these questionaires and spreadsheets to determine ROM for customers who think they want to do SGML. This gives them an idea of the costs and then an idea of the potential savings. Various industry reference books will be used to discuss other representative business cases from several industries.

Reasons for developing a business case

Developing a business case motivates those involved in its development. Implementing SGML is hard. It is different. There is a good chance you'll meet resistance from others inside and outside of your organization. If there is any doubt in your mind that you should do SGML, you should face that now. Once you have been through the business case development process, you will know for certain if you want to actually go through with building an SGML System. Do your homework now and you will be ready for whatever challenges come up later.

A business case also acts as a vehicle for communicating to others (both within the company and outside of it) the company's objectives for the new system. As you begin implementation, it is easy to get blinded by technology and options and begin the allow your scope to creep out into many different areas. You should have a written document that states your system objectives for all team members to return to as the "promised functionality" of the system. Other add on requirements should be carefully evaluated for the compromises they impose on your system. Another good reason for documenting objectives is that you can readily measure performance. Many good SGML implementations are not accepted by companies because they did not understand exactly what they could expect to get from the new system.

Once you are underway with your implementation, a business case helps coordinate the activities of all players. If all members of the team are constantly reminded of the goals and objectives of the system, the problems they are trying to solve and the benefits they are expected to obtain, they will be much more likely to achieve these common goals. It is especially important to share your business case with outside consultants and inside support organizations so that even without your oversight, these groups can be informed of the expected benefits and required outputs as a way to plan their own support and development activities.

Developing a business case also provides a basis for measuring actual performance against expected performance. This will let you know what success looks like. If you do not know what you are trying to achieve, you will never achieve it.

Definition of the Business Problem

For a new system to be considered, budgeted for and embraced, there must be a problem that your system is designed to solve. One of the first questions we ask our customers is "Why do you want to do SGML?" At least half of them, do not have a good answer. Answers we consider to be good ones include:

Once you have a good reason to do SGML, or better yet, several good reasons to do SGML, state the reason in terms that are relevant to your business.

A Business Case Outline should include the following components:

A. Listing of Affected Organizations, Team Members, etc. Students will be guided through a listing of organizations currently involved in documentation production/creating/reviewing/and delivery. An impact matrix will be created for each organization and possible objections/solutions to these changes will be discussed.

B. Business Problem Analysis Students will be guided through writing a problem definition. What is the problem they are trying to solve with SGML? Students will be encouraged to come up with other possible solutions to their problems and anticipate alternate strategies for presenting their case as the stronger case for adoption. The problem statement will describe all problems, opportunities and interrelationships The Problem/Solution will be an overview of the system to be implemented and will include specifically how the previously defined problem is going to be addressed by the student's solution. The problem/solution definition should also be based in the context of the larger organization/industry picture. Students will learn how to get in touch with various industry organizations and how to call to arms corporate quality initiatives, etc to support their solutions.

Students will be guided into assessing impact on corporate Long Term Planning and Strategies - worksheets will be provided to show how students can identify how their system proposal supports existing corporate initiatives.

Benefits Statements will be constructed by looking at SGML's traditional model of cost saving. The sample distributed business case will be assessed along with an Ericsson Case Study from Liora Aschulyer's book. Assessments of pre-and post implementation productivity will be also be estimated using a model of multiple outputs from same source and reduction of format fiddling.

C. System Description

A System Scope statement will be constructed using an ISOGEN system component model. A System Objective statement will be constructed using an ISOGEN system objective worksheet. A System Design will be created using a series of worksheets which cover
- Requirements (User, Performance, Interface, Processing, Maintenance)
Hardware and Software Requirements
- In-house or out-house
- Capacity and volume
- New purchases Communications Requirements
- Describe Configuration, communications arrangement, networks used and how interconnected

D. System Implementation Plan System Implementation is best begun by implementing the prototype plan which we will go through with the students-

We will discuss how to

Presenter Info

Carla Corkern
ISOGEN

carla@isogen.com

Kent Taylor

kmtaylor@worldnet.att.net

Early SGML Zealot; chaired TCIF-IPI Working Group 1988-89; directed the development of multimedia/multiple-media publishing systems and processes for AT&T Network Systems (now Lucent Technologies) technical documentation. Directed the introduction of mac machine translation and multi-language publishing systems and processes in support of Network Systems' globalization strategy.

Full Description


Introduction to SGML and Document Analysis
Jeff Bradburn, ISOGEN

Introduces SGML with an emphasis on Document Analysis. The class takes students through the basics of SGML implementation including: What SGML is and how it is used; Potential Applications of SGML; Where SGML is, and is not, applicable in an organization; Impact of SGML; Managing SGML-related change; and Document Analysis and Information Modeling. Syntax is not covered explicitly in this course.

Audience

Beginner/Intermediate

Outline

Topic 1: Getting Started with SGML

Topic 2: SGML Glossary

Topic 3: Document Analysis and Info Modeling

dictionary)

Topic 4: SGML Tools

Presenter Info

Jeff Bradburn
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 North Lamar St. Suite 230
Dallas, Texas 75240
USA

jeff@isogen.com

Jeff Bradburn is the Director of SGML Word and a Consulting Engineer for Highland Consulting Division of ISOGEN International Corp. Mr. Bradburn has a wide range of experience, ranging from UNIX system administration to business process analysis and design. Jeff has designed and implemented SGML systems in a wide range of industries including: Telecommunications, Process Automation, Aircraft Transport, Legal Publishing, Automotive Industry and a number of others.

Full Description


Non-Technical Introduction to SGML
Marco Capirchio, ISOGEN

Are you new to SGML? Or a little "rusty"? Considering an SGML implementation?

Attendees learn what SGML is, what SGML can do, and what SGML can't do. Emphasis is on understanding the commitments placed on an organization implementing SGML. An SGML implementation system is demonstrated with data created in multiple environments, imported into SGML and exported to multiple environments. SGML syntax is avoided.

Audience

People who have become "rusty" in their SGML knowledge or people who will be attending the conference for the first time and have no prior knowledge of SGML.

Synopsis

The annual SGML conference has grown in size each year. I believe the main reason for this increase is due to the fact that there are plenty of 'newcomers' to the SGML industry. As more organizations begin implementing SGML, more people seek ISO 8879 information. A very common start is the annual SGML conference.

The conference provides information on how to use, apply and implement SGML. However, I have noticed there are people who roam from conference room to conference room with a glazed look on their face. Speaking with them, it seems people understand the material presented but the big picture is missing. Why SGML? What are the major benefits? The Introduction to SGML Tutorial will help remove that glazed look.

The tutorial will begin with a brief history for why there is a need for standards. I will discuss how working in a standards environment is better than being tied down to a particular vendor. I will explain that SGML protects your data, prevents your data from becoming obsolete.

The next topic in the tutorial will be who is using SGML and why they are using SGML. I will introduce many case study scenarios of where SGML is applicable and where SGML would not be applicable. The case studies will cover the following topics:

The tutorial will then focus on SGML terminology. I will introduce SGML "buzz" words and what they mean. I will explain the following terms:

I will not go into the syntax. I will introduce the term and explain what the term means. I believe many presentations throughout the conference use many of the terms above and it is important for people who are new to SGML to have a solid understanding of SGML terminology.

Once the terminology is explained, I will demonstrate how SGML documents are independent of hardware/software environments and how simple it is to interchange SGML documents. I will have a document created in a regular text editor(probably DOS-edit) and then import this file into INCONTEXT. I will modify the data in INCONTEXT and then export the file. The data will then be opened up in DynaText and viewed(ie. a subject matter expert would read the data and ensure the validity). After the data is verified, the information will be ready for printing using Frame+SGML or Word or viewed as an HTML document. The main purpose of the demo is not to convince people that SGML files are 100% interchangeable. Since SGML will be eleven years old at the time of the conference, I believe people accept the benefits of SGML. The demo will show people what may be involved in a typical SGML implementation system.

This tutorial will proceed to how non-sgml information is handled. I will discuss how graphics, tables, figures and special characters are to be handled in SGML.

How graphics are created, stored and accessed will be explained. For tables, I will discuss three main options for tables in a document. The three options will be scanning in your table as a graphic. Scanning in tables does not allow your data to be searchable within each cell. I will then explain the second approach which is creating a DTD to handle table markup. I will explain the benefits of this approach and the pitfalls such as creating a style sheet to view your tables. Finally, I will introduce CALS Table Markup and explain the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. I will then show the proper approach of putting foreign characters in a document. I will explain why ISO Character entity sets should be used and what characters are pre-defined by ISO.

The tutorial will continue with related international standards. I will introduce the concept behind HyTime. I will explain how HyTime adds more functionality to data. The tutorial will also mention DSSSL and explain why DSSSL is a valuable standard. I will also explain what HTML is and what an HTML document allows. The last related topic to SGML will be XML. I will explain the benefits of XML and why XML is needed. People are very easily confused about the relationship between SGML and HTML or XML. I will attempt to clear the confusion. I do not plan on showing the HTML DTD and go into the syntax. The main purpose of discussing related international standards is to tie in with the main goal of the tutorial, helping people understand all of the processes required to implement SGML.

The final topic in the tutorial will be data analysis. I will explain who should be involved in performing data analysis. Through the use of sample documents, I will lead the class through a sample data analysis and emphasize the difficulty in performing a proper data analysis. I will explain all of the planning stages required before an organization begins a data analysis. I will also explain all of the various testing phases that must occur to ensure the data analysis is correct.

Outline

Topic 1: Getting Started with SGML 9am-10:30

break 10:30-10:45

Topic 2: SGML Glossary 10:45-12:00

Lunch 12:00-1:00

Topic 3: SGML Processing System Demo 1:00-2:00

Topic 4: Handling Non-SGML data 2:00-2:45

break 2:45-3:00

Topic 5: Related International Standards 3:00-3:45

Topic 6: Data Analysis 3:45-4:45

Presenter Info

Marco Capirchio
Isogen International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar, Suite 230
Dallas, Texas 75202

marco@isogen.com

Marco Capirchio is an SGML Training Specialist and Consultant with Isogen International Corp. Marco has instructed various courses ranging from introductory seminars to advanced implementation issues and strategies. Marco graduated in Honors standing in International Business Administration attending university at The Richard Ivey Business School in London and Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Full Description


Introduction to SGML Nitty-Gritty
Tim Douglass, Ron Turner, Soph-Ware Associates

Provides the SGML novice with an understanding of the basic terminology and concepts of SGML. Students learn what SGML is, how it is used and how it fits into the world of documents and writing. A brief introduction to SGML markup teaches about using pointy brackets, and a short study of SGML syntax teaches where they come from and what they really represent. Students learn how document types are defined using SGML and see the power and flexibility of using SGML. Finally, a survey of more advanced SGML topics and terms shows what else is out there to discover! SGML syntax is introduced.

Audience

We intend this tutorial for anyone who needs a basic understanding of what SGML is and what it does. It is well suited to managers and technical people alike who need to be able to work around SGML.

Synopsis

This one day course covers all of the basic SGML background that is needed to understand SGML applications and the creation and maintenance of SGML documents. We begin with a close look at an SGML document instance, the view of SGML that most users see. We examine the way markup is done and the characteristics of a marked-up document. This segment includes a brief discussion of the parts of an SGML document.

After studying the example document we take some time to examine the overall role of SGML in the world of documents and document management. We focus on the importance of standards based documents in the world of electronic document production and delivery and especially on the idea of an abstract representation of the structure of the document. This leads to an exploration of how SGML differs from traditional markup and the impact that paradigm shift has on the document creation and production process. We conclude this section with a brief study of document structure and structural analysis.

Next we look at the pieces that make up an SGML document, i.e. the document instance, prolog and SGML declaration. At this time we are only doing a survey of what the pieces are and how they relate to one another. We cover all of the pieces in greater depth later on. We do a brief introduction to the SGML declaration at this time and show a few examples of parts of it that might be of interest to the beginner.

Following the look at the SGML declaration we move into a detailed discussion of the place and function of the DTD. This leads naturally into the formal work of defining document types. In this section we examine the formal declarations of elements and attributes along with discussion of how they relate to each other. We then move on to discuss entities, dealing with both parameter entities and general entities as well as the issues regarding their use and declaration.

The last part of the day is devoted to advanced SGML topics. These topics include hypertext, HTML and the World Wide Web, entity management and formal public identifiers, marked section, hytime and a very brief glance at DSSSL. We conclude the course with some discussion of where to go next and what SGML resources are available for more study.

The following list summarizes the topics covered, although they are not necessarily presented here in the order used in class. This list does not imply equal time or weighting for the topics on it.

Outline

Schedule: This tutorial is intended to run from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with a lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00. We normally try to take 10 minute breaks approximately every hour. The morning is devoted to the study of the document, structure, components of an SGML document and starting to look at the DTD. In the early afternoon we cover the DTD, element type declarations and attribute declarations. The late afternoon is spent on entities and the advanced topics.

Presenter Info

Tim Douglass
Soph-Ware Associates
624 West Hastings Rd.
Suite G
Spokane, WA 99218

timd@Soph-Ware.com

Tim Douglass is the Vice President for Research and Development with Soph-Ware Associates. He graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane Washington with a degree in computer science and technical writing. Since then he has worked as a programmer, technical writer, software engineer and trainer. He has taught introductory SGML courses for the last 3 years and has been involved in adult education for over 6 years. He co-authored the book "ReadMe.1st: SGML for Writers and Editors" and has developed much of the training material used by Soph-Ware Associates in their training classes.

Ron Turner
Soph-Ware Associates
624 West Hastings Rd.
Suite G
Spokane, WA 99218

Dr. Ronald C. Turner (Romance Linguistics, Harvard) is co-owner of Soph-Ware Associates, a fifteen-year-old software company specializing in electronic publishing services, SGML training, and SGML-related software and systems development. He has several years' experience as a classroom instructor in various universities. He is co-author of README.1ST: SGML FOR WRITERS AND EDITORS (Charles F. Goldfarb Series on Information Management), REAL-TIME PROGRAMMING WITH MICROPROCESSORS, and numerous articles and reviews.

Full Description


SGML Tool Survey
Dianne Kennedy, SGML Resource Center, and Linda Burman, L. A. Burman Associates

Gives newcomers and implementors a model for the SGML publishing system and an understanding of key system components. First a model for the SGML publishing system is presented. Then an overview of the major classes of SGML tools and a brief review of the products commercially available today are presented using the publishing system model as a point of reference.

Audience

Newcomers to SGML, Those in the process of selecting tools

Schedule

9:15-10:00 AM

The Publishing System: In order to understand tools and their function, it is important to have a good understanding of the components of a publishing system. This lecture introduces a model for a publishing system. This model will serve as a point of reference throughout the remainder of the course. Steve Pepper's Whirlwind Guide Web site will be used as a basis for classifying tools into categories.

10:00-10:30 AM

Publications to Guide You: Publications are a valuable tool for any SGML implementor. This lecture will focus on SGML titles which are available today. Each publication will be discussed in terms of its author, its intended audience, and a brief summary of the publication will be provided.

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:30 AM

SGML Design and Validation Tools: SGML Design tools include tools which assist with data analysis, DTD authoring, and DTD validation, analysis, documentation, and management. A brief discussion of major tools in each category will be provided.

11:30-12:00PM

Converting/Transforming Data: Converting non-SGML data into SGML, and transforming SGML data into other formats is usually a critical component of any SGML system. This lecture will focus upon the activities which are classified as conversion/transformation. Tools which an assist implementors perform these functions will be highlighted. A discussion of conversion services vendors will be presented.

12:00-1:00PM LUNCH

1:00-2:00PM

Authoring Tools: One of the major sources of SGML data comes from the authoring activity. This presentation will highlight the broad range of authoring/editing tools. Features to consider will be presented. Then authoring tools will be divided into several major categories, based upon functionality. Tools in each major category will be discussed.

2:00-3:00PM

Data Management and Workflow: Most SGML publishing systems require some sort of data manager to track SGML files and/or content objects. In addition, some require tools to control work tasks through the authoring, approval, and publication cycle. This presentation will focus on data management and workflow tools. Tools will be categorized based upon functionality. The tools currently available on the market will be discussed.

3:00-3:30PM

Composition and Page Makeup: Even though there has been a trend toward producing electronic products, most SGML implementors want to produce print products as well. This lecture focuses upon those tools which will enable publishers to produce their traditional print products from an SGML source. Again, tools will be divided into general categories based upon functionality and tools in each category will be briefly discussed.

3:30-3:45 BREAK

3:45-4:15 PM

Browsing and Electronic Delivery: Today, many new implementors of SGML publishing systems are motivated by the desire to provide electronic publications in addition to traditional paper products. This lecture will focus upon electronic delivery options. Delivery tools will be categorized and representative tools in each category discussed.

4:15-4:30 PM

SGML Middleware: In most SGML publishing systems there must be bridge or middleware products which connect other components in a seamless fashion. This lecture focuses upon those tools.

4:30-5:00 PM

XML/HTML Tools from SGML Vendors: With the wild popularity of the Web, many SGML vendors are now offering HTML/XML products. This lecture provides an introduction to those tools for Web/IntraNet publishing.

Presenter Info

Dianne Kennedy
146 Northend Ave
Elmhurst, IL 60126

dken@mcs.com

Dianne Kennedy is an independent SGML consultant She is CEO and founder of SGML Resource Center. Ms. Kennedy has worked as a designer and implementor of SGML systems since 1986. She is a member of SGML Open, Chairperson SAE J2008 DTD, columnist <TAG> Magazine and the Chicago Director for the Midwest SGML Forum. Ms. Kennedy was a member of GCA's tutorial team from 1986 till 1991. She currently delivers SGML/XML tutorials for journal publishers as part of GCA's EPSIG activity.

Linda Burman
23 Hambly Ave
Toronto ON M4E 2R5
Canada

linda@interlog.com

Linda Burman is an independent SGML Marketing Consultant. She is president and founder of L. A. Burman Associates. She is a member of SGML Open and former chair of SGML Open's Research Committee. Ms. Burman is former Director of world-wide marketing for SoftQuad and former publishing specialist for Apple Canada. She has a Masters of Education and has 9 years experience as an educator.

Full Description


Delivering Documentation to Customers in SGML: How It Works in the Telecommunications Industry
Renee Swank, ISOGEN, Don Pratt, Bellcore

Many companies are required to deliver documentation to customers electronically. As a significant step in solving Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) issues, the telecommunications industry has developed an interchange DTD and a packaging guideline that provide a common "language" for expressing document content and logical structure. Documents created on any system may be translated to this "language" by document producers, and from this "language" to any display or production system by document recipients. Although the interchange DTD and packaging guideline were designed by telecommunications industry, they are general enough to be directly used or slightly modified to meet EDD requirements in other industries as well.

Audience

Synopsis

Introduction

Why are Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) standards needed? Many companies are required to deliver their documentation to customers electronically. Traditionally this is done by prepackaging the documents with a browser on a CD-ROM or delivering a bunch of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) files. But what if the customer wanted the "source" documentation instead so that they could re-use the information, incorporate it into their document management system, or choose their own browser(s) or other method of output? If a document producer and a document recipient both use the same applications and file formats for documents, such as a particular version of MS Word, FrameMaker, or HTML, they should feel free to exchange documents in those shared formats, but such a match will occur only occasionally -- in fact, it is rare that everyone in the same company uses the same applications.

Document producers also have many customers with different electronic documentation requirements. As a result, they must produce and manage different production processes for different outputs to different customers. Document recipients, on the other hand, receive different pre-packaged browsers and formats from their suppliers, requiring end-users to learn multiple interfaces to documentation and making management of all these formats cumbersome.

As the first step in solving these document interchange issues, in 1990 the Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF) adopted SGML as the standard for exchanging technical documentation because:

In 1996, after six years of document and requirements analysis, DTD development, and testing, TCIF released two important EDD guidlelines:

TIM is an SGML interchange application that provides a common "language" for expressing document content and logical structure. Documents created on any system may be translated to this "language" by document producers, and from this "language" to any display or production system by document recipients. TEDD is a guideline for packaging document files in a standard way for delivery.

Although TIM and TEDD were designed by TCIF to capture the structure found in the kinds of technical documents that are interchanged among telecom companies, we feel that TIM and TEDD are general enough to be directly used or slightly modified to meet EDD requirements in other industries, as well.

Procedural vs. Structural Markup for Interchange

When documents are created with a word-processing or desktop-publishing program, such as Word or FrameMaker, special codes are inserted into the document that provide information about how the text is to be formatted (font, type size, line justification, etc.). This markup describes the way the document should look when printed or displayed on a screen, but does not provide any explicit information about the document itself (What type of document is it? What kinds of information does it contain?).

Procedural (appearance-oriented) markup is fine when the only product is paper. Readers can usually infer most of what they need to know about a document by the way it looks. We know, for example, that a line of bold text that begins with the word "Chapter" is a chapter title, and we can infer that a new chapter has begun. We also know that a distinct block of text is generally a paragraph; and that italicized text represents some form of emphasis. We recognize these structures easily without being told what they are because we've learned the conventions that relate a document's appearance to its structure.

Procedural markup does not work well, however, in electronic publishing, because documents generally have to be reformatted to be read on-screen, and computers are exceptionally poor at discerning the structure they must preserve from the procedural markup they must discard. A computer must be told explicitly what each structure element is.

Suppose the computer did simply reproduce a document's appearance without understanding its structure, leaving the interpretation to the reader as is done in paper or What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) publishing. Besides reducing readability, that removes many of the offsetting advantages electronic publishing has over traditional paper publishing. Why, for instance, should the reader settle for "see page 5-17 for more"? A computer that could recognize a cross-reference in the text could turn it into a hyperlink: "click here for more."

Electronic documents in any form have advantages over paper in speed and ease of delivery. Going beyond those, one of the best reasons for electronic publishing is that it lets the producer reuse and repackage information with little or no added cost. A single electronic document can be used to print a paper copy, create a colorful hypertext CD-ROM product, and load information into a database for on-line search and retrieval using low-cost terminals. And it can be rendered in large type or through text-to-speech devices for the sight-impaired. This is possible because the computer can apply different formatting rules to the same document depending on the output medium, as long as it understands what kinds of information it is dealing with. For these things to happen, the structure of the document must be explicitly defined and understood by the computer.

A further advantage to structural markup is its vendor- and platform-independence. It is easy to write formatting rules like "make all chapter titles 18-point Helvetica bold, and have them start a new page." And it is easy to translate such rules into the procedural markup of any word processor, desktop-publishing system, or web browser.

SGML is used to define the structural elements that make up a document (such as chapters and paragraphs); the relationships that exist between those structural elements (e.g., a chapter contains one or more paragraphs); and the attributes that each structural element can possess (for instance, chapters and paragraphs can be numbered or unnumbered). All value-added information contained within an SGML file relates to the structure of the document. An SGML file does not specify anything about the appearance (or output medium) of the document. Therefore, a single SGML file can be rendered in a variety of ways according to formatting rules appropriate for a given output system and application.

The structure of any particular SGML document is defined explicitly in a Document Type Definition (DTD). A DTD is a series of declarations that define the structural elements of the document, their content models (what elements they can contain, in what order), and the attributes that can be assigned to the element. In practice, the DTD is a set of rules for describing a structured document.

Authoring DTDs vs. Interchange DTDs

Many DTDs that exist today can be classified as "authoring DTDs." They were specifically developed for authoring environments and provide writers with a clearly defined structure and a set of meaningful semantic elements for creating a particular document type in an SGML editor, such as ADEPT*Publisher or FrameMaker+SGML.

A rigid structure in an authoring DTD ensures consistency and enforces common standards for all documents written under it. For example, a DTD can require that documents have a title, document number, revision, copyright, disclaimer, and table of contents in the front matter. As a quality check, the writer can, at any time, use an SGML parser to validate their document against the DTD to ensure that it conforms to the correct structure and includes all the required elements.

An authoring DTD can also enforce good writing practices, such as the requirement that at least two items exist in a list, as well as enforce industry standards, such as the requirement that danger, caution, or warning admonishments precede the action statement in a step.

Meaningful semantic elements in an authoring DTD help writers identify and relate the type of information that should be included in a particular element. For example, the writer can clearly understand that a part number is typed within <partnum> tags. Elements that contain other elements help writers see how information objects relate to each other. For example, an action statement, command to be entered, and resulting printout are contained within a step element.

Semantic elements also allow writing groups to easily find and identify reusable information objects that can used across multiple documents. For example, document management systems or other tools that manage file entities can be setup so that writers can re-use common information elements, such as procedures or steps, across multiple documents. This improves the quality and consistency of documents and saves writers time by reducing the need to type redundant information. In general, semantic elements improve the quality of information that is written within them.

An interchange DTD, on the other hand, is simply used to pass information to a document recipient so that they can process it for output or store it in a document management system without human intervention. An interchange DTD does not impose "writing rules." This is assumed in the document producer's authoring environment and can be validated with quality checks and automated tools. Since documents marked up in an interchange DTD should be considered released, the focus of the DTD should be to handle any type of information that can exist in a production environment, regardless of the application used to author the document.

TCIF developed the TIM DTD specifically to meet the common needs of companies who deliver documentation for their products and the companies who receive that documentation. TIM is a pure interchange DTD and is not intended to be used for authoring: Most originators will prefer more highly structured DTDs or semantic DTDs that constrain and therefore simplify creation of documents fitting their particular document designs and business processes. The TIM DTD identifies only the generalized structural components that occur in technical documents, yet it allows originators of the documents to pass on all useful meta-information about their specialized use of those components (structural and semantic labels, languages used, revision status, cross-references, keywords, etc.).

Implementing TIM and TEDD

TIM and TEDD are blueprints for electronically interchanging documentation. They enable companies who produce and deliver documentation to build a single set of production processes and tools that convert information from their internal formats, such as FrameMaker, MS Word, or internal authoring DTDs, to an industry-wide accepted interchange format for all customers. Document recipients receive consistent predictable information products from all of their suppliers. Whether a document recipient uses TIM files directly or converts them to something else, TIM will guarantee that technical documents from each supplier will always be readily understood and processed by electronic publishing systems.

For document producers, the ease of document conversion from their internal format to TIM depends on the consistency of their internal data. Ideally, document producers will author documents in SGML in a rigidly structured authoring DTD, making the conversion to TIM much easier.

Some of the benefits of using TIM as an industry-wide interchange format are:

1. Lower publishing costs. A document producer who is distributing electronic documents to several customers will have to distribute only one file format, thereby eliminating the need for extra conversion and cleanup steps.

2. Multiple output formats. A single TIM file can be output in a variety of formats (paper, hypertext CD-ROM, etc.) without additional coding and with minimal conversion costs, making it easy for companies to produce low-cost custom products.

3. Reuse of information. Because the value-added information within a TIM document relates to its content and not its appearance, TIM documents can be stored as a flexible database of information that can be repackaged and reused in a variety of ways. For example: TIM documents (or portions of them) can be embedded into other corporate documentation; portions of several TIM documents can be combined to create new documents; and TIM documents can be linked so that the information in several related documents is updated or revised simultaneously.

Outline

Presenter Info

Renee Swank
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230
Dallas, Texas 75202
renee@isogen.com

Renee Swank is an Applications Engineer for Isogen International Corp. Before joining Isogen in 1996, Renee spent six and a half years as an SGML Specialist at Ericsson where she was involved in a corporate-wide effort to migrate all documentation to SGML. She has also been an active participant on the TCIF/IPI Committee for 5 years and has served as Vice Chair and Secretary.

Don Pratt
8 Corporate Place, PYA-3J128
Piscataway, NJ 08854
dfp@ims.bellcore.com

Don Pratt is an internal consultant at Bellcore in electronic documentation and the leader of the technical team of the the Information Products Interchange Committee of the Telecommunications Industry Forum. He has a Ph.D. in human- factors psychology, 8 years' experience as a technical writer and technical-writing teacher, and 13 years' experience with desktop, corporate, and electronic publishing. He is the principal author of TCIF's guidelines on electronic document interchange: the TIM, TEDD, and graphics guidelines and the TCIF writers' guide.

Full Description


Introduction to Document Management
Elaine Brennan, SGML University

Every documentation system needs document management. Whether it takes the form of a full-featured system that runs under an object-oriented database management engine, or is as fundamental as a network file system. SGML has grown to a point where document management systems are finally available for implementation. The question is, "Which one?" This tutorial will give you an overview of the issues surrounding document management systems in an SGML environment, and a basic understanding of the various options available for purchase. Based on that information, you will be better suited to ask the right questions of your document management system vendor.

Audience

The audience for this course will be individuals who have been tasked with learning about or implementing an intelligent document management environment for an SGML system. Experienced implementors of SGML systemswould also find helpful the market survey of SGML-based document management systems.

Synopsis

Every documentation system needs document management. Whether it takes the form of a full-featured system that runs under an object-oriented database management engine, or is as fundamental as a network file system. SGML has grown to a point where document management systems are finally available for implementation. The question is, "Which one?"

This tutorial starts out with a description of the nature of information, and what the value of the information has for an organization. It is important to understand the nature of information before deciding on an approach to manage the information. The course then covers the process of finding information that is hidden inside of documents and other databases with the goal of understanding what your information management requirements are.

A description of information management follows. This covers document-based information specifically, but in a context of a larger information management environment. This section, coupled with the understanding of how to find information hiding in documents, allows you to critically view information structures in many different places, so you can start to build a requirements list for your document management system.

The tutorial then goes deeper into the requirements posed by an SGML environment, and shows what kind of things to look for in your current documentation. This is important in selecting an intelligent document management system because such a system must be able to deal with all of your information structures.

A demonstration follows. This demonstration will show how an SGML-enabled document management system can be used to create documents, check them out for viewing or editing, modify them, check them in, and view the changes.

This demonstration will use commercially available tools. The value of this demonstration is that you can see that there are real tools available now that can solve real document management problems.

Finally, a market survey is presented of intelligent document management tools that are available from companies around the world.

This course will give you an overview of the issues surrounding document management systems in an SGML environment, and a basic understanding of the various options available for purchase. Based on that information, you will be better suited to ask the right questions of your document management system vendor.

Outline

Presenter Info

Elaine Brennan
Sr. SGML Analyst
SGML University
114 Fleetwood Terrace
Silver Spring, MD 20910

ebrennan@sgml.com

Elaine has been involved with the SGML Community since 1988. She is currently a Sr. SGML Analyst with Information Architects, working on DTD development, implementation planning, and training. Prior to this she was with ATLIS Consulting working with clients on their SGML implementation process including training.

Full Description

Intermediate Level Tutorials
(Some Prior Knowledge Necessary)


XML, SGML, HTML, and the Relationship Among Them
Eve Mahler, ArborText

An overview of XML (Extensible Markup Language) is followed by detailed descriptions of the SGML features that are included and excluded, the XML Link facility, and XML stylesheets. A technical comparison of XML to both SGML and HTML emphasizes the strengths of each and the situations in which each is most appropriate. Automation of conversion among HTML, XML, and SGML is discussed. Technical knowledge of SGML is recommended.

Audience

SGML users, DTD developers, and application developers who want to know about XML and who haven't read the specs (or net traffic) in depth yet.

Schedule

9:00-9:45:

9:45-10:30, 10:45-12:00:

1:00-3:00:

3:15-5:00:

Presenter Info

Eve Maler
105 Lexington Street
Burlington, MA 01803
elm@arbortext.com

Ms Maler is a principal applications specialist at ArborText, where she specializes in document type design and DTD development. She is on the World Wide Web Consortium's Generic SGML Editorial Review Board, the committee that created XML. She is also a technical contributor to the Davenport Group and is currently one of the maintainers of the popular DocBook DTD for software documentation.

Full Description


The Eliot Kimber HyTime Quickstart
Eliot Kimber, ISOGEN

Introduces the key concepts in HyTime, including hyperlinking, addressing, architectures, groves, and property sets. Students learn what HyTime is, what added value it provides as a standard, where it fits in relation to other standards such as XML, and how it might apply to the challenges they face in their own use of SGML. The lecture includes many examples of HyTime documents and demonstrations of HyTime-based tools. Discussion of syntax details is avoided: the focus is on concepts. Students should have a basic understanding of SGML concepts but need not be versed in SGML syntax.

Audience

This course is intended for anyone who wants a better conceptual understanding of the HyTime standard. It is ideal for both managers and technologists. General SGML knowledge required.

Outline

Module 1: What HyTime's About

Avoiding syntax as much as possible, introduces the base concepts of HyTime: At end of this module, students will understand the purpose of HyTime as a standard, its scope of application, and the aspects of complete hypermedia applications to which HyTime applies.

Module 2: How HyTime Represents Hyperlinks

Introduces the formalisms that HyTime defines forhyperlinks, including these topics:

Module 3: Location Addressing

Introduces HyTime location addressing, focusing on the following topics:

Module 4: Finite Coordinate Spaces

Introduces finite coordinate spaces, event schedules, andevents, including the following topics:

Presenter Info

Eliot Kimber
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230
Dallas, Texas 75202
eliot@isogen.com

Ten-plus (10+) years' experience with generalized descriptive markup (GML + SGML). SGML (ISO8879) and HyTime (ISO/IEC 10744) expert, a member of the core SGML revision team, co-editor of the HyTime standard. Experience in implementing DTDs in all industries.

Experienced in developing and documenting original and derivative DTDs. Familiar with data modeling techniques and formalisms used in most SGML and HyTime specifications.

Developer of several DTDs and the corresponding production environments whose purpose was to reflect database storage models and database object-class hierarchies.

Full Description


Practical DSSSL Formatting Using JADE
G. Ken Holman, Crane Softwrights

Introduces the concepts and formatting basics of the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL) using the James' Awesome DSSSL Engine (JADE) program. Primarily using the RTF back-end implemented in JADE, this course covers the fundamental mechanisms utilized throughout the formatting component of DSSSL. Practical exercises reinforce the lecture, so attendees must bring a computer running Windows 95 or Windows NT for use in class. Light programming skills and knowledge of SGML concepts and syntax recommended.

Audience

This course is aimed at people needing to understand the conceptual and practical aspects of DSSSL formatting and the JADE tool.

Synopsis

The formatting component of the Document Style and Semantics Specification Language (DSSSL) Standard, let alone the entire standard, is too immense to teach in any short course that is only days in length. For many people, all that is needed to "get over the hump" of understanding both the complex documentation and the complex standard is instruction in the basics upon which the standard is built.

"Practical DSSSL Formatting Using JADE" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the major components of this ISO standard, and practice in the skills required to use DSSSL with the James' Awesome DSSSL Engine (JADE) tool. These skills can then be used after the course for self-study of the many formatting facets of the standard that cannot be covered in such a short time.

Many people find that the standard itself is difficult to read and understand, while others find the document outright scary. Part of the curriculum covers which parts of the documentation are important to understand to be productive using JADE in a production environment. A number of resources that are publicly available over the Internet are briefly overviewed so that the attendee can determine which materials are important to obtain and use.

The course does not cover the detail of the Transformation component of DSSSL; however, the SGML formatting back-end of JADE that can be used to accomplish transformation is part of the curriculum. This part of the course also covers the use of DSSSL where the final output format is not printed.

The hands-on exercises help cement DSSSL concepts by leading the attendee to resolve basic, often initially frustrating, obstacles under the supervision of the instructor and fellow students. Primarily using the RTF back-end implemented in JADE, this course covers the fundamental mechanisms utilized throughout the formatting component of DSSSL. Attendees learn from practical experience how to navigate the documentation and extrapolate the course-taught concepts to components of the standard that are not explicitly covered in the curriculum.

Answers to all exercises are available to attendees (although the key to unlock the answers is not released until the end of the course).

The language concepts, course topics and practical exercises during the second day are more detailed than those of the first day, and cannot be successfully comprehended without having studied the first day's material.

Outline

Syllabus:

Day 1

Presenter Info

G. Ken Holman
Crane Softwrights Ltd.
Box 266
Kars, Ontario
CANADA K0A-2E0

gkholman@CanadaMail.com

Mr. G. Ken Holman is the Chief Technology Officer for Crane Softwrights Ltd., a Canadian corporation offering OmniMark programming, DSSSL language training, and general SGML-related computer systems analysis services to international customers. Mr. Holman is the current Canadian chair of the ISO subcommittee responsible for the SGML family of standards, and has often been a speaker at related conferences. Formerly, Mr. Holman spent over 13 years at Microstar Software Ltd.

Full Description


SGML, XML, and Your Intranet
Matthew Fuchs, Walt Disney Imagineering, Michael Leventhal, Grif S.A., David Lewis, Pacific Bell

SGML and XML are the strategic technology to build an Intranet. SGML can not only help you in dealing with the new buzzword technologies of the moment -'groupware and intranets-'but will also help insulate you from the booms and busts of the hot new products ready to drop in your lap in the future. SGML can better organize your information and resources through SGML applications which maximize payback from investment in a Intranet.

Audience

Schedule

Part I: Theory

Module 1: 9-9:45 Matthew Fuchs, David Lewis
The Theory of Intranets in the Enterprise Environment

This module presents the argument for the SGML approach from first principles, introduces the critical SGML "behaviors", and shows the insurmountable weakness of a pure HTML-based approach to documents.

XML is introduced as a "return" to the idea of a pure information markup which significantly simplifies the standard and throws out all the legacy and "human readability" cruft. All examples will all be valid XML.

Module 2: 9:45-10:30 Michael Leventhal
SGML/XML strategies and tools for Intranets.

We'll describe categories of SGML/XML applications which are relevant to Intranet implementations and discusses strategies for getting the most out of the tools.

Module 3: 10:30-11:15 David Lewis
Intranet SGML: Data Models, Description and Representation

Review of SGML (XML) related to its application as an aid to enterprise information management.

Module 4: 11:15-12:00 Michael Leventhal
Architecture of Implementing an Intranet Empowered by SGML

Comparison of process-oriented vs data-centric architecture. We'll describe intranet architectural problems and solutions based on our Theory of Intranet Behaviors and data-based design. High level design of each behavioral data architecture and component software. Mapping to relevant object design patterns.

Lunch: 12-1

Part II: Implementations

Module 5: 1:00-1:30 Michael Leventhal
Define/ View (Integration, Navigation, Algebraic operations: append/merge/replace)

XML-based DTD design and table-driven data attribute browsing/data management.

Module 6: 1:30-2:00 David Lewis
Create/Active Interpretation (forms)

Examples of programming sgml/xml document creation

Module 7: 2:00-2:30 Michael Leventhal
Search/ Retrieve

Search and retrieve operations implemented with region-based search tools. Client-side query generation tools.

Module 8: 2:30-3:00 David Lewis
Store/Recall

Example applications of storage and recall mechanisms

Break 3:00-3:15

Module 9: 3:15-3:45 Michael Leventhal
Transduce/Transform (Change DTD)

Examples of transforms between XML and HTML, RTF, etc. integrated into server-side architecture.

Module 10: 3:45-4:15 Matthew Fuchs
Import/Export

We will look at importing information, such as email messages, database records, html pages, etc. Importing HTML pages to SGML might seem a bit strange, but it gives a nice way to reformat the information so it is actually useful. We will show how this can be used to create powerful web-bots.

XML simplifies the export task considerably, as tools such as perl are better able to be applied, without requiring the overhead of a full parser. This also reduces the amount of work needed to process someone else's documents.

Module 11: 4:15-4:45 Matthew Fuchs
Send/Receive

Send, in the Intranet scenario, is basically email, although there are new push APIs that are starting to be used. We will discuss the existing IETF proposed standard for an SGML MIME type and show how that can be implemented. This also gets into the issue of catalogs, a new area developed to standardize entity management.

Module 12: 4:45-5:15 Matthew Fuchs
Annotations and Linking

Annotations assocated with structure defined in XML encoded addressable data on the client-side, applications in review/doc management/and education. XML link scheme and topic mapping applications.

Presenter Info

Matthew Fuchs
Senior Software Designer
Virtual Reality Studio
Walt Disney Imagineering
1020 Foothill St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
fuchs@aye.cs.nyu.edu

Dr. Fuchs is a Senior Software Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering in corporate R&D. He received his PhD from NYU's Courant Institute in 1995, where he won the Janet Fabri Award for the dissertation of highest scholarly merit. His dissertation covered mobile distributed objects, distributed garbage collection, and the application of SGML to platform independent user interfaces. Much of his recent work is on applications of SGML to information exchange and electronic commerce on the Internet and the use of SGML as an agent communication language

Michael Leventhal
VP Technology
Grif S.A.
1800 Lake Shore Ave., Suite 14
Oakland, CA 94606
michael@grif.fr

Michael Leventhal holds a B.S.E.E.C.S. from U.C. Berkeley.

David Lewis
Principal Webmaster Pacific Bell
1170 Channing Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
drlewi1@pacbell.com

Dave Lewis is a Senior Systems Analyst in the Electronic Document Delivery and Management team within Pacific Bell where he specializes in document and intranet technologies and serves as company Principal Webmaster. He holds a B.S.E.E. from C.S.U., Sacramento, and is pursuing his M.S.C.S. from Stanford University.

Full Description


SGML Implementation Overview
Brian Travis, SGML University

All aspects of an SGML implementation will be covered. Topics include: a description of the SGML environment, the SGML application, implementation planning, system selection, information conversion, SGML data management, the SGML environment, information re-use, document analysis, data migration and SGML Application Development. Emphasis will be placed on describing all pieces of an SGML implementation and showing how they can fit together to form a complete solution.

Audience

The expected audience is professionals in a documentation management environment, from analysts and programmers to managers and clerks. The fast-paced nature of this overview course will appeal to anyone who is interested in learning about what is required to achieve a successful implementation effort.

Synopsis

This course is a fast-paced description of what it takes to have a successful SGML system implementation.

All aspects of an SGML implementation are covered. First, a description of the SGML environment is provided, along with a reason why you would want to use SGML as a part of an intelligent document management solution. From this introduction, the rest of the course will take on a theme of solving document management problems with an SGML-based approach. The SGML environment consists of four major groups, each of which will be discussed. Products and services that are available in each of these four groups is covered, along with contact information and capabilities of each product.

In module 2, an SGML system will be demonstrated using an SGML-smart database management system with an SGML editor.

Module 3 covers a very important part of an SGML implementation: Document Analysis. The theme that will be covered here is the concept of "information management", looking for information hidden in your documents. A document analysis exercise will follow in module 4.

Module 5 gets into the important topic of managing SGML data along with other strategic information assets. Several different techniques for managing SGML information are covered, along with how these techniques might interface with current MIS systems.

Module 6 covers the seven basic implementation phases, from design to conversion to final implementation and training. These steps can be found in almost every SGML implementation.

Nearly every SGML project includes legacy data conversion. Module 7 covers the issues that you will encounter when you start to convert your legacy data, and areas where you can avoid problems.

In module 8, a brief case study is presented. This example shows how a company was able to follow the steps outlined in this course to execute a successful SGML system implementation. This is followed by ten steps for a successful system implementation.

Emphasis will be placed on describing all pieces of an SGML implementation and showing how they can fit together to form a complete solution.

Outline

Module 1: The SGML Environment

Module 2: System Demonstration

Module 3: Document Analysis and DTD Development

Module 4: Document Analysis Exercise

Module 5: SGML Data Management

Module 6: Implementation Phases

Implementation Phases

0. Planning and Management

1. Selection

2. Pilot Testing

3. Design

4. Conversion

5. Development

6. Training

Module 7: Conversion

Module 8: Putting it all together

Presenter Info

Brian Travis
Chancellor
SGML University
6989 S. Jordan Rd.
Englewood, CO 80112

btravis@sgml.com

Brian Travis is the Chancellor of SGML University and the President and founder of Information Architects. He is the co-author of the SGML Implementation Guide and the author of OmniMark At Work, Volume 1: Getting Started. He has had extensive experience with SGML and related standards in both standards committee work and application development.

Full Description


SGML Conversion Overview
Gene Yong, Todd Thalimer, Dana Britzman, SGML University

Conversion is a very important part of most SGML implementations. Virtually every company implementing SGML has legacy data, or some kind of input from a non-SGML source. This course covers the issues surrounding the conversion of legacy data into SGML. Offshore keying, scanning, auto-tagging, programming for electronic conversion, conversion management, batching, and conversion estimating. This course is done using a "Tag Team" approach with three conversion specialists talking about their methods of converting from word processing to SGML, from SGML to other deliverables like XML, HTML, or CD-ROM products, and conversion from industry-standard DTDs to proprietary structures and back. Plenty of real-world material will be presented.

Audience

The anticipated audience is documentation analysts, programmers, and managers. Analysts will learn about various conversion techniques, and which is the most appropriate for a given set of documentation. Programmers will pick up helpful hints for converting legacy documents to SGML, and managers will get an appreciation for just how complex conversion is.

Synopsis

Conversion is a very important part of most SGML implementations. Virtually every company implementing SGML has legacy data, or some kind of input from a non-SGML source.

This course covers the issues surrounding the conversion of legacy data into SGML. Offshore keying, scanning, auto-tagging, programming for electronic conversion, conversion management, batching, and conversion estimating are all methods that you can use to convert information from its source into something that is more manageable.

This course is done using a "Tag Team" approach with three conversion specialists talking about their methods of converting from word processing to SGML, from SGML to other deliverables like XML, HTML, or CD-ROM products, and conversion from industry-standard DTDs to proprietary structures and back. Plenty of real-world material will be presented.

First, the types of translation are discussed, along with a glossary of conversion terms. Then, some common "conversion goblins" are discussed, along with ways to keep them from adversely affecting your conversion efforts.

After that, several common data formats are covered by people who know them inside out. They will point out areas where common problems occur, and give you some idea of the level of effort required to convert each of them. This is an interactive session, and is flexible enough to be able to answer specific questions concerning specific data formats.

Programming languages and other tools that can be used by the conversion programmers, analysts, and users are discussed, and demonstrated during the class.

Finally, conversion management tips and techniques are covered, including batch management, offshore keying management, and quality control measuring and monitoring.

This tutorial is not to be missed by anyone who has legacy data to convert into an SGML system.

Outline

Presenter Info

Gene Yong
SGML Programmer/Analyst, Information Architects
6989 S. Jordan Rd
Englewood, CO 80112

email: gyong@sgml.com

Gene Yong is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a degree in Graphic Communication, specializing in Computers and Printing Technologies. He also has a separate degree from Cal Poly in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing. At Cal Poly, Gene focused on the specification, testing, implementation and management of electronic publishing and printing systems. He has extensive knowledge of computer-based color prepress, electronic file formats and on-demand printing, along with Internet and World Wide Web experience. Gene is currently an SGML Analyst with Information Architects, involved in helping clients achieve their electronic publishing objectives. He is also a trainer with SGML University, specializing in Adobe Framemaker+SGML. Prior to his work with Information Architects, Gene coordinated print marketing for Century 21 Real Estate and implemented training in software and hardware for corporations in the area of electronic desktop publishing.

Todd Thalimer
SGML Analyst, Information Architects
6989 S. Jordan Rd
Englewood, CO 80112

tthalimer@sgml.com

Todd Thalimer is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a degree in Graphic Communication, specializing in Computers and Printing Technologies. Mr. Thalimer has been developing conversion applications for clients in the defense, aerospace, legal publishing, and other industries. He has extensive experience with OmniMark as a conversion tool, and has managed large conversion projects. Mr. Thalimer has taught OmniMark to new and experienced programmers, and has passed-on some of his practical experience in conversions to other programmers and clients.

Dana Britzman
SGML Programmer/Analyst, Information Architects
6989 S. Jordan Rd
Englewood, CO 80112

dbritzman@sgml.com

Dana Britzman is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a degree in Graphic Communication, specializing in Computers and Printing Technologies. Mr. Britzman has also been developing conversion tools for clients in the legal publishing and medical information industries. He has applied his experience in OmniMark and other conversion tools to convert legacy data to SGML, and to convert SGML to other deliverables, such as RTF and HTML.

Full Description

Advanced Tutorials


Evaluation of SGML Tools: an Analytical Approach
Peter Flynn, University College, Cork, Ireland

A systematic method of comparing and judging SGML software is presented and applied to a sample range of programs (commercial and free) which handle different aspects of SGML processing. The systems covered are in the areas of document type design, text entry and editing, formatting, conversion, storage, retrieval, distribution, and publishing. Upon completion of this course attendees will be able to define criteria for tool evaluation and evaluate tools objectively using measurable criteria.

Audience

Beginners in SGML and existing users moving into a different part of the SGML field. Vendors too.

Synopsis

Objective: To equip the attendees with information about SGML tools sufficient to enable them to decide on a framework for evaluating them for their own use, and especially for productive time in the Exhibition attached to the SGML'97 Conference.

Measurement: Attendee feels capable of evaluating tools on an objective basis and can define criteria for such evaluation.

Method:The course follows a life-cycle approach to the use of SGML tools and concentrates on real-life application and use of the tools in commercial production and research. The points at which each tool can be measured (platform, cost, speed, scope, features, conformance, usability) are explained, and then applied to the selection of tools used as examples.

Scope: The tools presented are drawn from the following fields:

(At the time of writing the final selection of tools is not complete, but it will represent the popular commercial and free software as well as the less widely-publicised programs).

Argument.

The typical usage pattern of these tools in a production environment is currently held to be suboptimal, in that many of them are put to uses for which they were not designed, while other tools exist for the purpose which may not have been apparent to the user. There are many widepsread misconceptions about which tools are capable of being used for certain tasks, and one of the targets of the course is to enable attendees to distinguish this.

Analysis: The objective evaluation of software has been the topic of much writing in the management field, but little has been done to improve the methods used by the technical or user-oriented worker in the field, whose views are sought and valued by management, and which contribute substantially to purchasing decisions. The proposed methodology attaches values to the measurements for:

(in any order) and then assigns priorities to them to generate a decision template.

Argument. The bases on which purchasing or acquisition decisions are usually made rest with management (who sign the bill). Their decisions are only part of the chain, however, and there are essential functional judgments which need to be applied with the same rigor if a tool is to be obtained *regardless of the direction of the business criteria*. The key is often not *whether* to buy but *which* tool to get: so a methodology of comparison is essential.

Immediate benefits to attendees: Ability to make well- directed evaluations of SGML tools leading to improved performance and greater profitability.

Immediate benefits to SGML'97: More productive use of the Exhibition attached to the Conference.

Secondary benefit to attendees: copy of book and CD-ROM containing analyses of all the available tools, with working copies of all public-domain ones, and time-limited fully-functional copies of some major commercial products, plus DTDs, hints, tips etc on how to maximise usability.

Outline

Syllabus:

  1. Methodology of evaluation
  2. Sample application to tools
  3. Framing a decision template

Schedule: (suggested, open to discussion)

Presenter Info

Peter Flynn
6 Halldene Lawn
Bishopstown
Cork, Ireland

pflynn@curia.ucc.ie

Brief biography

I was a member of the IETF WG on HTML and am currently on the W3C SGML WG on XML. I am a member of the Irish SGML Users Group (in formation) and run a text management consultancy, SILMARIL (http://www.arbornet.org/~silmaril).

Extensive bibliography at http://curia.ucc.ie/~pflynn/cv.html

Full Description


Under the Hood of the SGML Declaration
Tony Graham, Mulberry Technologies

The components of the SGML Declaration are introduced and examples demonstrate the use and effect of each. In numerous exercises, attendees modify, examine, and parse sample Declarations, DTDs, and Instances so they can see the effect of each component of the Declaration. Attendees should bring a computer running Windows 3.x, Windows 95, or Windows NT. This course provides a solid technical grounding in the makeup and use of the SGML declaration, and the comprehensive notes and examples provided as the course material constitute a valuable reference.

Audience

This course is for people interested in learning about how the SGML Declaration both describes and controls their SGML processing.

Synopsis

This tutorial will introduce the components of the SGML Declaration and, through examples, will demonstrate the use and effect of each of the components. This is very much a "hands-on" tutorial, and the attendees will be able to parse and examine the output from sample SGML documents during the tutorial so they can see for themselves the effect of each component of the Declaration (with the exception of CONCUR). Attendees should, therefore, come equipped with a portable computer running Windows 3.x, Windows 95, or Windows NT, and, in addition to the sample files, attendees will be provided with the latest version of nsgmls for their operating system. Rather than passively parsing files, many of the examples will require that the attendee modify the file based upon what has just been learned in order for the file to parse without error.

A byproduct of covering all of the SGML Declaration is that the tutorial will cover some concepts such as tag ommission and subdocuments that may be covered in an entry-level course. This, however, is not an entry-level course; this course is for people interested in learning about how the SGML Declaration both describes and controls their SGML processing, and participants should be familiar with reading DTDs and SGML markup before taking the tutorial.

For those attending, this course will provide a solid grounding in understanding the makeup and use of the SGML declaration, and the comprehensive notes and examples provided as the course material will make a valuable resource when it comes time to modify SGML Declarations as part of their work.

Outline

The tutorial will cover:

1. Introduction

The role of the SGML Declaration in "Declaration + DTD + Instance = Document" is introduced, the effect of not including an SGML Declaration and the effect of the System Declaration are described, and the major sections of the SGML Declaration are introduced.

2. Character Sets and Concrete Syntaxes

2.1 Introduction

The Document Character Set and the Syntax Reference Character Set and the concepts of "Concrete Syntaxes" and the "Reference Concrete Syntax" are introduced.

2.2 Document Character Set

The components of the first CHARSET portion of the Declaration are described, and attendees will parse and examine the output of some sample documents using different document character sets. As an exercise, attendees will fill in the remainder of a partially-complete DESCSET description of EBCDIC using ISO 646 as the base character set.

2.3 Syntax Reference Character Set

The relationship between the Syntax Reference Character Set and the Document Character Set are examined in detail as is the effect changes in one has upon the other. As an exercise, attendees will modify the syntax reference character set in an SGML Declaration using ISO 646 as the document character set and make the same change in their Declaration that uses EBCDIC then parse and examine both files to illustrate how the syntax reference character set affects interpretation of the characters with SGML roles.

2.4 Shunned Characters

The concept of shunned characters is introduced. Attendees will modify a sample declaration to add another shunned character then parse a file containing that character and a file not containing that character to illustrate an SGML system's response to the presence of shunned characters.

2.5 FUNCTION Characters

The effect of each of the function types that can be declared in the FUNCTION portion is examined. Attendees will modify an SGML declaration so markup recognition is suspended between delimiting characters and following a special "escape" character.

2.6 Naming Rules

The use and effect of the NAMING portion of the Declaration is examined, and attendees will modify an SGML declaration to support a pathological DTD where element name case is significant and several unusual characters are used in SGML names.

2.7 General Delimiters

The general delimiters are introduced and changes delimiter characters and the constraints on assigning delimiter characters are examined. Attendees will modify an SGML Declaration to support the delimiters used in a sample DTD and instance.

2.8 Short Reference Delimiters

The use and effect of short reference delimiters is introduced, as are the delimiters defined by the Reference Concrete Syntax, and how to add short reference delimiters to the Declaration. Attendees will parse and examine several examples showing the effect of the SHORTREF portion and the use of short references then modify a sample Declaration and DTD to support the short reference delimiters used in a sample instance.

2.9 Reserved Names

The NAMES portion of the Declaration is introduced, and attendees will parse an example using redefined names. Attendees will then be given some time to modify a sample Declaration and DTD then appraised on the originality of their changed names.

2.10 Quantity Set

The QUANTITY portion of the Declaration is introduced, and attendees will parse an example using extremely low quantities and then be required to modify the quantities so the document parses successfully.

2.11 Scope

Having seen the changes that can be made to a concrete syntax, the SCOPE parameter that determines whether the concrete syntax applies to the DTD as well as the instance or just to the instance is introduced. Attendees will parse and examine sample files illustrating the effect of SCOPE.

2.12 Summary

A recapitulation of concrete syntaxes and the effect of each portion defining the concrete syntax.

3. Features

Each of the features controlled by the FEATURES portion of the SGML Declaration are introduced and illustrated. Attendees will parse, modify, and examine sample files for DATATAG, OMITTAG, RANK (if a valid example can be found), and SHORTTAG, and will work through several simple examples of the different types of LINK. The Implicit Link example will have attendees adding some ICADD SDA attributes to a document. It may not be possible to provide a parser capable of CONCUR, but attendees will parse samples illustrating both SUBDOC and FORMAL.

4. Application-Specific Information

The APPINFO portion of the Declaration is introduced, and the example of HyTime's use of application-specific information will be presented.

Presenter Info

Tony Graham Consultant
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.
6010 Executive Boulevard
Suite 608
Rockville, MD 20852

tgraham@mulberrytech.com

Tony Graham has been working with SGML for over six years. He has worked as an Editor and a Document Analyst with Uniscope, Inc. in Tokyo, Japan for four years, and as an SGML Consultant with ATLIS Consulting Group, and he is currently a Consultant with Mulberry Technologies, Inc., an SGML Consultancy specializing in training and design. Tony has designed, built, and tested DTDs and SGML applications for clients in the academic publishing, aerospace, automotive, database publishing, electronic component, photocopier, and software industries, and the languages used in these systems have been English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. In addition, his contributions have been incorporated into the DocBook, J2008, and Pinnacles SGML application standards.

Full Description


Advanced DSSSL Topics: Transformations with and without the Transformation Language
Henry S. Thompson

The full power of DSSSL's Query Language allows for sophisticated preprocessing of SGML structures during Style Language processing, as well as being central to the Transformation Language. In this advanced tutorial, which assumes a basic understanding of DSSSL, students will learn how to exploit the power of the Query Language, and are introduced to the Transformation Language and how it works.

 

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