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Last modified: July 15, 1998
SGML/XML News. What Was New, Relatively New, or New in the 'SGML/XML Web Page' in 1997?

Related News:   [SGML News for 1995] -   [SGML News for 1996] -   [SGML/XML News for 1998]

  • December 31, 1997. What was the big news in 1997?   XML (Extensible Markup Language). Launched by the W3C under the expert care of dedicated committee members and editors on the XML Working Group (chaired by Jon Bosak), endorsed by Charles F. Goldfarb (inventor of SGML) and other SGML experts serving as members of ISO's WG4, supported by industry consortia and leading publishers (e.g., SGML Open, GCA, Seybold Publications), supported in principle and concrete proposals by Netscape Corporation, supported tangibly in working software by Microsoft and publicly by Bill Gates, acclaimed by established companies and startups worldwide . . . XML has now been launched. During the SGML/XML '97 Conference and Fall Internet World '97, at least twenty press releases heralded the intention of software developers, publishers, and industry consortia to support XML as the language of the Web in 1998. To name but a representative few: Adobe Systems Corp., AIS/Berger-Levrault, Allaire Corp., ArborText Inc., Chrystal Software Inc., DataChannel, ExperTelligence Inc., Graphic Communications Association, Inso Corporation, InterMax Solutions Inc., Microsoft Corp., OmniMark Corp., Perspecta Inc., Pictorius Inc., Poet Software, Sybase Inc., Seybold Seminars, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), SoftQuad Inc, Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF),

    Readers of this "What's New" column in the SGML/XML Web Page can expect to hear more about these and other XML developments in 1998, but we don't expect SGML (as revised) to go away. Within our global context of relentless and irradicable computing pluralism, the limitations of markup via 'SGML' and 'XML' notwithstanding: SGML/XML is still "the right thing to do." Profoundly and eminently sane. Even if the formalisms are (judged) imperfect, the underlying philosophical commitments and axiological principles -- we claim -- are fundamentally sensible and sound. The common agreement to now focus attention upon strategies for formal declaration and validation of "semantics" should give us new energy for the work. Here's urging us all to be thoughtful and patient, respectful of the past and embracing of the partially clear future, ever taking the high road which rewards its travellers with grand vision. Thank you for your readership and constant encouragement, for graciously pardoning mistakes and editorial oversights. Please stay tuned.

  • December 30, 1997. Publication of a valuable and monumental resource for SGML and XML users, authored by Charles F. Goldfarb, Steve Pepper, and Chet Ensign: SGML Buyer's Guide. A Unique Guide to Determining Your Requirements and Choosing the Right SGML and XML Products and Services. With contributions from consulting writers W. Eliot Kimber, John Chelsom, and Bob DuCharme. Charles F. Goldfarb Series On Open Information Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: PTR Prentice Hall, 1998. Extent: xxxvi + 1148 pages, CDROM disc. ISBN: 0-13-681511-1.

    The volume subtitle "A Unique Guide to Determining Your Requirements and Choosing the Right SGML and XML Products and Services" accurately describes the principal focus and utility of the book. Its content is divided into 39 chapters in 5 parts: Part 1: Determining Your Requirements; Part 2: HARP Analysis in Depth; Part 3: SGML and XML Tools and Services; Part 4: The SGML Community; Part 5: The SGML and XML Directory. The book substantially incorporates the content of Steve Pepper's "Whirlwind Guide to SGML Tools and Vendors." A sixth section (pages 939-1135) contains a "Sponsor Showcase" with informative 'white paper' advertising from 30 organizations that helped fund the publication. A unique feature of the book is a presentation and elaboration of the "HARP" technique of analysis which helps users understand what happens to information as it passes through publishing systems from creation to final delivery; this analysis tool allows users to match candidate resources against their specific requirements. The name "HARP" (tm) signifies: Human Thought, Computer Abstraction, Computer Rendition, Physical Presentation. HARP analysis helps users to 1) assess their publishing requirements in a visual manner, 2) evaluate publishing systems based upon their methods of storing and representing information in the computer, 3) discover new ways to utilize current publishing systems better 4) discover how workflow analysis and reengineering can yield great payoffs, and 5) determine more precisely what SGML and XML tools and services are applicable to the enterprise problem domain. See the main bibliographic entry for additional information, including a survey of the contents on the CDROM supplement.

  • December 30, 1997. New compilation relating to the 1997 annual SGML conference SGML/XML '97, held at the Sheraton Washington Hotel, Washington, D.C., on December 8-11, 1997. This compilation will be of interest to readers who were unable to attend the conference, but may be of use to attendees as well. The document provides a bibliographic survey of major presentations at the SGML/XML '97 conference, based upon the published proceedings. For each of the 90 presentations, I have supplied the [augmented] abstract, annotations, links, and other useful data; corrections and further linking will follow. Draft versions of some papers are now online. Authors who have corresponding slides or full-text online are invited to send the relevant URL via email. These bibliography entries are now being incorporated into the main bibliographic database of the SGML/XML Web Page, but will also be retained permanently in this document.

    The SGML/XML '97 conference proceedings volume (print version and CDROM) containing indexes and full text for each presentation is now available from the GCA, as is the online presentation of the entire conference program. The proceedings volume provides a unique record of "the affairs of SGML and XML technologies" as of mid-1997; at six hundred ninety one (691) pages, the volume also represents a valuable reference tool for developers and suppliers. This fine print publication provides an extended abstract or the full paper for each of the ninety (90) conference papers, which were delivered in several tracks: Introductory (4), Newcomer (10), User (27), How To (2), Expert (23) IETM (3), Business Management (7), and Case Studies (14). The volume contents are conveniently indexed by author, title, keyword, and acronym. The published CDROM provides access to the presentations via Jouve's GTI PubUser.

  • December 27, 1997. Availability of an online version of "What You Need to Know About the New HyTime,", by Steven R. Newcomb, of TechnoTeacher Inc.. Now accessible via a link from HyTime User's Group Web server, this article was previously published as "Document Architectures. What You Need to Know About the New HyTime" in The International SGML Users' Group Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 4 (October 1997) 6-8. Read the article to discover the importance of the SGML Extended Facilities (Annex A), and why "the New HyTime" is therefore as much about SGML as about HyTime proper. Newcomb predicts that users will want to read section A.3 "for information about inheriting the semantic and syntactic characteristics of other DTDs in your own DTD. Personally, [Newcomb thinks] A.3 is the single most revolutionary and far-reaching aspect of the new HyTime standard, and would urge most SGML veterans to start there. The HyTime standard is now primarily two things: the HyTime architecture itself (which is essentially a very abstract DTD for hyperdocument structuring described in clauses 1-11), and the SGML Extended Facilities (Annex A)."

  • December 27, 1997. Release of a W3C document providing a detailed "Comparison of SGML and XML." Authored as a W3C 'NOTE' by James Clark, this document was referenced in the December 8th release of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) specification as a W3C 'Proposed Recommendation,' but was made public only recently. The reference identifiers are: World Wide Web Consortium Note 15-December-1997, NOTE-sgml-xml-971215. The document provides a detailed comparison of SGML (ISO 8879) and XML under three section headings: 1) Differences Between XML and SGML; 2) Transforming SGML to XML; 3) SGML Declaration for XML. [local archive copy]

  • December 27, 1997. Publication of an introductory article on XML, by Martin Bryan of The SGML Centre." See: "An Introduction to the Extensible Markup Language (XML)". Approximately 7 pages in length, the document " a very brief overview of the most commonly used components of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Extensible Markup Language (XML), as specified in the Proposed Recommendation dated 8th December 1997."

  • December 27, 1997. Publication of an article on XML by Stuart Culshaw (Grif S.A.): "Solving the Problem of Publishing Online Documents." Republished in SunServer [An independent newsmonthly dedicated to the evolving Sun/Internet community] Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1997) 17, 22. "This article attempts to clarify the relationships among SGML, HTML and XML, and focuses on the advantages of XML as the future of online document publishing."

  • December 19, 1997. Publication of Jon Bosak's important article "XML, Java, and the Future of the Web" in Web Review (December 19, 1997). This constitutes a third article reprinted from The World Wide Web Journal (W3J), together with "XML: Can the Desperate Perl Hacker Do It?" (by Michael Leventhal) and "XML and CSS" (by Stuart Culshaw, Michael Leventhal, and Murray Maloney). See the dedicated XML section for other recent articles on XML.

  • December 13, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for the update of his XML tokenizer/well-formedness checker and the test suite of XML non-well-formed documents. Both have been brought into alignment with the recent Proposed Recommendation version of the XML specification, 1997-12-08. The test suite of 164 XML 'non-examples' includes test cases which all fail to be well formed according to the XML Proposed Recommendation. A conforming XML parser should produce a fatal error on all these files. URL: (local archive copy). The XML tokenizer/well-formedness checker is available at: (local archive copy).

  • December 13, 1997 [January 08, 1998]. XML FAQ document from Microsoft. See also the larger collection of XML FAQ Documents: Answers to "Frequently-Asked-Questions".

  • December 13 [20], 1997. Preliminary entry for XML: The Conference (1998). "Enabling Intelligent Content on the Web." March 23 - 26, 1998. Seattle, Washington. This GCA conference "will be co-sponsored by Adobe, ArborText, DataChannel, Microsoft, SGML Open, Sun Microsystems, Texcel, and W3C. It will have tracks on vertical business to business communication, print media, and e-commerce along with technical sessions on XML, XSL and other specifications." Proposals for papers (deadline January 1, 1998) should be sent to Marion Elledge ( The 'XML Developers Day' in this conference is March 26, 1997. Proposals for XML DevDay should be sent to Jon Bosak, W3C XML WG Chair. [Updated December 20, 1997: see the conference information page on the GCA Web site, today referenced as ''.]

  • December 12, 1997. New database entry for Translation Memory Exchange (TMX). Developed under the Localisation Standards Industry Association, TMX is designed "to allow easier exchange of translation memory data between tools and/or translation vendors with little or no loss of critical data during the process. TMX is defined in two parts: 1) A specification of the format of the container (the higher-level elements that provide information about the file as a whole and about entries). In TMX, an entry consisting of aligned segments of text in two or more languages is called a Translation Unit (the <TU> element); 2) A low-level meta-markup format for the content of a segment of translation-memory text. In TMX, an individual segment of translation-memory text in a particular language is called a <SEG> element. [. . .] MX is XML-compliant (and therefore SGML-compliant as well). It also uses various ISO standards for date/time, language codes, and country codes. TMX files are intended to be created automatically by export routines and processed automatically by import routines."

  • December 12, 1997. At the SGML/XML '97 Conference in Washington DC, DataChannel announced the public availability of its XML toolkit, named DXDE (DataChannel XML Development Environment). According to the press release ("DataChannel Accelerates the Pace of Building Real World XML Applications: DataChannel provides free online toolkit for XML developers"), developers may use the tools to "save development time in real world applications of XML." "DXDE, with its first complete roll-out in 1998, will be a collection of XML tools including parsers, viewers, and APIs. We will also supply documentation and tutorials. Primary contributors to DXDE include Norbert Mikula and John Tigue, both XML pioneers and DataChannel's XML experts, as well as other leading XML researchers and developers." As of December 10, 1997, the available toolkit components included: NXP - Norbert's XML Parser, a demo of the XML viewer, deployment kit for the XML viewer, and source code to an XML parser (Pax Syntactica). An addition in 1998 will be an XML Server - "a platform-independent server that supports a database schema for managing and distributing meta-data." See the main database section on DXDE for other information, and the database section "XML/XSL Software" for a list of other 'free' XML software (development) tools.

  • December 09, 1997. Announcement from David Megginson of Microstar Software Ltd. for the availability of a free Java-based XML parser, the AElfred XML Parser. According to the announcement, Microstar has released "Ælfred (AElfred), a small, fast, DTD-aware Java-based XML parser, especially suitable for use in Java applets. Ælfred has been designed for Java programmers who want to add XML support to their applets and applications without doubling their size: Ælfred consists of only two class files, with a total size of approximately 24K, and requires very little memory to run. Ælfred also implements Java's java.lang.Runnable interface and a zero-argument constructor, so it's easy to start Ælfred as a separate thread or to adapt it for use as a JavaBean. Ælfred is free for both commercial and non-commercial use..." See provisionally the full text of the announcement (which provides fuller description), and documentation on the Microstar Web site, For a listing of other publicly available XML parsers, see the database section XML/XSL Software.

  • December 09, 1997. Release of Version 1.8 of the Microsoft XML Parser in Java. Version 1.8 of the parser implements the entire W3C working draft of the XML specification dated November 17, 1997, including support for the standalone attribute, new End-of-Line Handling, support for the xml:lang attribute on any tag regardless of ATTLIST declaration, [now] lower-casing of some generated GIs and attribute names, etc. Also: the "factoring out of XMLInputStream optimization so that the same code compiles on Windows and on other platforms." The parser "will be revised to reflect future W3C changes to the specifications. The Microsoft XML Parser is a validating XML parser written in Java(tm). The parser checks for well-formed documents and optionally permits checking of the documents' validity. Once parsed, the XML document is exposed as a tree through a simple set of Java methods, which [Microsoft is] working with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to standardize." See the current release notes for details.

  • December 09, 1997. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) for a new public version of the XML patches for Lennart Staflin's PSGML (an SGML mode for Emacs). "These patches allow you to use PSGML in Emacs as a non-validating XML editor: all names will be case-sensitive, many (but not all) forbidden constructions will generate errors, all attribute values will be quoted, and PSGML will use the variant XML delimiters. There are also two changes that are useful for full SGML as well as XML: 1) these patches add support for multiple ATTLIST declarations for the same associated element type; 2) the variable sgml-namecase-general allows you to make element type names, attribute names, and keywords case-sensitive in full SGML as well." See the main database entry for XML Editing Mode in PSGML, or the download site: Other (free) XML software tools are listed in the dedicated section for XML/XSL Software.

  • December 09, 1997 Notice for the availability of TEItools from Boris Tobotras, as described in a posting to TEI-L. Using CoST (SGML-tools) as its engine, "TEItools [is a ] collection of scripts for transforming documents written in SGML to various output format [...] currently it is able to produce HTML, LaTeX2e, RTF, PS and PDF." See the database entry for other references.

  • December 08, 1997. Extensible Markup Language (XML) Version 1.0 reached a significant milestone today, being promoted by The World Wide Web Consortium from a "Working Draft" to the status of a "W3C Proposed Recommendation." XML "specifies a language created by subsetting an existing, widely used international text processing standard (Standard Generalized Markup Language, ISO 8879:1986 as amended and corrected) for use on the World Wide Web; [it is] already supported by some commercial products, and there are a growing number of free implementations."

    The announcement for the Proposed Recommendation was made at the SGML/XML '97 Conference in Washington, D.C. The W3C XML Working Group has determined that this XML version "is a stable document derived from a series of working drafts produced over the last year as deliverables of the XML activity, [that it] contributes to Web interoperability, is supported for industry-wide adoption, and is ready to enter the review and voting process by all 229 W3C Member organizations." According to the text of the specification, "the review period for this Proposed Recommendation will end on January 5, 1998. Within 14 days from that time, the document's disposition will be announced: it may become a W3C Recommendation (possibly with minor changes), or it may revert to Working Draft status, or it may be dropped as a W3C work item." The document editors: Tim Bray (Textuality and Netscape), Jean Paoli (Microsoft), and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois at Chicago). References: PR-xml-971208, found at The press release from the W3C provides other details. See the main XML Page for additional information on the developing standard and its applications, including links to the current PR in several formats (HTML, XML, Postscript, RTF).

  • December 07 [13], 1997. Publication of the "Recommendations of the Alexandria, Virginia Meeting (December 1-5, 1997)" of WG4 (formerly WG8) as ISO/IEC JTC 1/WG4 N1951 . References to relevant documents are found in N1951 and in the WG4 document registers 1950 and 2000, maintained by the JTC1/WG4 Convenor, Dr. James Mason.

    Overview of some of the more interesting documents:

    • A WG4 New Project Proposal for Interchange Standard for Modifiable Interactive Documents (ISMID) was accepted (N1947), as documented in the "Agreed User Requirements for ISMID" (N1948) and in the proposed text of the standard, presented in WG4 N1949, edited by David Cooper and Norm Chenard. This proposed standard is based upon SGML, HyTime, and DSSSL. ISMID "provides a model for defining how the interface objects communicate with the structured content covered by existing standards."
    • The editors of CD13250 Topic Navigation Maps were authorized to prepare a new text and send it to the JTC1 Secretariat for processing as a Final CD.
    • The Font Services project was reinstated under a New Project Proposal N1952, and the proposed text is given in "Font Services -- Part 1, Abstract Service Definition" (Toru Takasawa and Yushi Komachi, editors).
    • WG4 N1957 was accepted as the proposed text of an amendment to ISO/IEC 10744:1997 (HyTime). As a subclause to Annex A.3 ("A.3.4.4 Architecture Use Declaration Processing Instruction"), the proposed architecture use declaration (arch) processing instruction would provide "an alternative form of architecture use declaration for use in environments where notations or data attributes are not supported." The amendment was sponsored by Charles F. Goldfarb, Steven R. Newcomb, W. Eliot Kimber, and Peter Newcomb. See the related posting by Eliot Kimber "Architectures, Schemas, and XML: Proposed Amendment to ISO/IEC 10744:1997," with followup by David Megginson.
    • N1944 was accepted as editing instructions for ISO-HTML, ISO Hypertext Markup Language, and the editors were instructed to prepare a new text for Final CD ballot.
    • WG4 requested the approval of a workshop "on guidelines for accessing data and metadata represented in SGML from databases, knowledge bases, and search tools, [to be] organized by WG4 in conjunction with their meeting in Paris in May 1998. The framework for the workshop is explained in the document N1946: "Information Processing -- Guidelines for accessing data and metadata represented in SGML from databases, knowledge bases and search tools."
    • WG4 accepted N1954 "as the Disposition of Comments for the SGML TC ballot and N1955 as the final text of the Technical Corrigendum to ISO 8879," sending these documents to the JTC1 Secretariat for publication. The TC contains a normative Annex K ("Web SGML Adaptations") and an informative Annex L ("Additional Requirements for XML").
    • Publication of the text of PDTR 9573-9 Information Processing -- Text and office systems -- Using SGML Public Identifiers for Specifying Data Notations (ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 N1958, December 5, 1997), by Martin Bryan and Ken Holman. The technical report "provides a starter set of both notation names and public identifiers which can be used to indicate the coding used for data that conforms to internationally agreed standards published by bodies such as ISO, IEC, ITU and SMPTE. While the notations names are purely advisory, the public identifiers are defined according to the rules for naming ISO standards defined in ISO 8879 and ISO 9070. These forms should be common to all applications that use formal public identifiers."

  • December 07, 1997. At the Alexandria, Virginia meeting of ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 (December 5, 1997), WG4 accepted document N1947 as a New Project Proposal for [the] Interchange Standard for Modifiable Interactive Documents (ISMID), along with the "Agreed User Requirements for ISMID" (N1948), and the proposed text of the standard (N1949). ISMID "facilitates the interchange of Modifiable Interactive Documents (MID's) among heterogeneous interactive document development and delivery systems by providing the architecture from which common interchange languages can be created. ISMID is a client architecture of International Standard ISO/IEC10744:1997, Information technology -- Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language (HyTime) and is an SGML application conforming to International Standard ISO 8879 -- Standard Generalized Markup Language. ISMID also specifies use of the DSSSL expression language described in clause 8 of ISO/IEC 10179:1992 Information technology -- Processing languages -- Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL)."

    The proposed "field of application of ISMID is Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS), computer-based interactive document systems that provide users access to just-in-time information and on-the-job training. Two common types of EPSS are Interactive ElectronicTechnical Manuals (IETMs) and Interactive Courseware (ICW)."

  • December 05, 1997. Publication of the International SGML Users' Group Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 4 (October 1997). The Newsletter editor Eamonn Neylon writes: "This issue is to devoted to 'architectural forms' - a component of the HyTime standard. Steven Newcomb asks whether you should be interested in this revolutionary application of SGML in an overview of the new features in the standard. Martin Bryan illustrates the application of architectural forms in the form of Topic Navigation Maps; and Hasse Haitto writes on the implications of the emerging standards for product developers."

  • December 05, 1997. Numeric milestone for the main bibliographic database of the SGML/XML Web Page: sometime this week it reached over 1800 entries. This count does not include the (mostly) popular articles on XML (Extensible Markup Language) registered in the main XML page. During the coming year, I hope to provide enhanced access methods for the main bibliography in order to facilitate its wider use.

  • December 01 [02], 1997. Announcement from James Clark for the alpha release of an XML well-formedness checker. "I've enhanced my XML tokenizer to support multiple encodings and to provide enough functionality that it can be used as the basis of high performance full XML processors. As a proof of this, I've written a well-formedness checker (xmlwf) on top of the tokenizer.[...] To use the well-formedness checker, just give xmlwf one or more filenames, and it will check that each one is a well-formed XML document entity. There's a -g option which tells it to check instead that each file is a well-formed XML external general text entity." URL: [Note that the WebTechs' Validation Service now supports 'XML' - probably using this code(?).]

  • December 01, 1997. Work in progress for an XML version of TEI Lite, by Patrice Bonhomme. Personal work, "not an official release of the TEI Lite."

  • December 01 [02], 1997. Publication of "XML and CSS," by Stuart Culshaw, Michael Leventhal, and Murray Maloney. Originally published in XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques, now in Web Review. Watch for other articles from Web Review: "In an effort to help bring XML to the forefront, Web Review begins a series of excerpts from the W3J to show developers how they can apply XML to their sites."

  • December 01, 1997. Publication of a special issue of The Journal of Computer Documentation featuring discussion of 'the OHCO model of text' as presented in a 1990 article by Steven J. DeRose, David G. Durand, Elli Mylonas, and Allen H. Renear -- all affiliated with Brown University at some point. The Editor-in-Chief for the journal (JCD) is Tony R. Girill, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and University of California. The Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD) is a quarterly publication of the Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Systems Documentation [SIGDOC], published by the Association for Computing Machinery.

    OHCO stands for "ordered hierarchy of content objects." This special issue includes two articles by the Brown team (one reprinted) and three commentary articles. Articles included are: "What is Text, Really?" by DeRose, et al.; "Further Context for 'What is text, really?'", by DeRose et al.; "First Commentary. The OHCO Model of Text: Merits and Concerns", by Stuart A Selber; "Second Commentary. Markup Meets the Mainstream: The Future of Content-Based Processing", by Charles A Hill; "Third Commentary on 'What is Text Really?'", by R. Stanley Dicks. Note that the formulations about text as 'OHCO' have been revised in at least two publications by the authors since the 1990 paper: "Refining our Notion of What Text Really Is: The Problem of Overlapping Hierarchies," presented at ACH-ALLC 1992 (Renear, Mylonas, Durand), and "What Should Markup Really Be? Applying Theories of Text to the Design of Markup Systems," presented at ALLC-ACH '96 (Durand, Mylonas, DeRose).

  • December 01, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a test suite of files for XML processors. The collection of XML test cases in the ZIP archive "contains 141 small files that (in my view) fail to be well-formed XML documents, and should therefore cause any conforming XML processor to report a fatal error." See:

  • November 25, 1997. Announcement from Sean Russell (Department of Physics, University of Oregon) for the beta release of docproc, an XML + XSL document processor based upon Java. "docproc is a software package that provides processing and layout of XML documents based on XSL scripts. docproc is written in pure java, and can be used as a server-side preparser for serving XML documents on the web. . .docproc can be used in two different ways. The first, and ideal, method is to use docproc as a servlet; the other way to use docproc is to call it by hand on documents that you want to reformat." See the database entry for docproc - an XML + XSL document processor, or the documentation on the Javalab site, or the Java server.

  • November 25, 1997. New draft specification for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), published by the W3C. References: W3C Working Draft 17-November-1997, WD-xml-971117, Version 1.0. The version URL: Edited by Tim Bray (Textuality and Netscape), Jean Paoli (Microsoft), and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois at Chicago). "Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an extremely simple dialect of SGML which is completely described in this document. The goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML." See the main XML Page for complete information on the Extensible Markup Language and related specifications.

  • November 25, 1997. Announcement by Henry S. Thompson (Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh) for an updated version of the XSL-to-DSSSL translator xslj. 'xslj is a virtually complete implementation of XSL by way of translation into extended DSSSL, as supported by the latest test release of James Clark's DSSSL engine Jade. xslj translates valid XSL style sheets into valid extended DSSSL style sheets, which can then be used to render XML documents using Jade.' Version 0.3 "includes a number of bug fixes (thanks for reports) and much improved HTML output when the CSS/HTML flow objects are used." See the main database entry for XSLJ - Jade-compatible XSL-to-DSSSL translator or the information on the LTG server.

  • November 25, 1997. Announcement from Yves Savourel for Version 1.0 of OpenTag. The OpenTag 'standard markup format,' based upon XML, is part of a software localization endeavor: "OpenTag is a standard markup format for extracted text. This open standard provides a method to generically encode text that has been extracted from an original file or document. Original documents, which can be in any format (RTF, SGML, MIF, HTML, software resources, Interleaf, etc.), are parsed to generate files whose contents are marked up identically regardless of the source format. These data files then can serve as a common-format I/O for all your text processing operations." See the database entry for OpenTag Markup, or the company web site.

  • November 20 [21], 1997. The November issue of the Seybold Report on Internet Publishing features a Special Report entitled "XML, Collaborative Tools Shine at Seybold San Francisco '97" (alternately: "'XML, Content Management Take Center Stage at SSF '97'"), and a subsumed article "XML Comes into the Limelight". See also "Seybold San Francisco '97: PDF and XML Emerge" [Alternate title: "Shaping the Future: PDF, XML and the Men of the Hour, Gates and Jobs"] in Seybold Report on Publishing Systems 27/5 (November 17, 1997) 1, 3-38. The report says: "By most calculations, the two areas of sharpest focus at Seybold San Francisco 97 were PDF, which increasingly is moving into a role as the format for production workflow, and XML, which is picking up support as a standard for tagging documents intended for use in multiple-media environments. Sections in this issue of Seybold Report on Publishing Systems covering SGML/XML include: "Asset Management, SGML and Database Publishing" (pages 29-38), which opens with: "The boundaries between asset management and document management are starting to blur. So are the boundaries between SGML publishing tools and database-publishing tools."

  • November 20, 1997. XML and the world of object-oriented systems: "XML Documents Can Fit Object Oriented Applications." By David Carlson. In Object Magazine 7/9 (November 1997) 24-26.

  • November 18, 1997. New database entry for SPIDER - Structured Platform-Independent Data Entry and Reporting and its associated SGML markup language, DRML (Data-entry and Report Markup Language). SPIDER is a research project sponsored by MIDAS (The Medical Informatics and Decision Science Consortium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) which "uses platform-independent, public-domain technologies such as SGML and HTML (with the World Wide Web) to achieve structured entry of medical data. Its applications include radiological reports and medical questionnaires."

    SPIDER works with the "Data-entry and Report Markup Language (DRML), a platform-independent markup language for specifying the content and format of structured reporting applications. DRML is based on the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), an international standard for document exchange. [. . .] DRML was created to provide a simple standardized, universal method for specifying reporting applications. DRML documents are used to create structured data-entry forms, outline-format textual reports, and datasets for analysis of aggregate results. SPIDER transforms its reporting knowledge base, written in DRML, into the appropriate hypertext markup language (HTML) codes for display by Web client programs."

  • November 18, 1997. New database entry for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which uses SGML in the encoding and interchange of bibliographic information and associated metadata for its PubMed database. PubMed is a search service providing free online access to the 9 million citations in MEDLINE and Pre-MEDLINE (the world's largest combined medical database). SGML is the "standard data format for publishers to use in submitting citation data to NCBI for processing into the MEDLINE or PubMed databases."

  • November 17, 1997. Availability of ISO/IEC CD CD 13250 Information Processing -- SGML Applications -- Topic Navigation Maps, from the WG4 WWW server. (WG4 N1937, by Martin Bryan and Michel Biezunski.) See the main database entry for Topic Navigation Maps, or the dedicated web site at High Text.

  • November 17, 1997. Announcement from Richard Tobin (Language Technology Group, HCRC) for an alpha-test release of RXP, an XML parser in C which "will be the parser in the next release of the LT XML system." According to the documentation, the parser application "reads and parses XML from the URL (or standard input if none is provided) and writes it to standard output, optionally expanding entities, defaulting attributes, and translating to a different output encoding." [...] "RXP is based on the W3C WG draft of 7th August 1997, with some more recent changes; it is free for individual, research and educational use and for evaluation. It can be compiled in 8- or 16-bit character mode. In 8-bit mode, the internal encoding is ISO-8859-1 (Latin-1), and that is the only supported input encoding. In 16-bit mode, the internal encoding is UTF-16 and the supported input encodings are ISO-8859-1, UTF-16 and UTF-8."

  • November 14, 1997. Announcement from Norman Walsh for the "reorganization of the Modular DocBook DSSSL Stylesheets (both print and HTML). . . also some productive things. Please try them and report back. The changes between 0.93 and 0.94 are so extensive that it would be difficult to document them in detail. All of the files in this distribution have been updated to have a version number of 0.94. My primary goal in making these changes was to build a common library of code for both the print and HTML stylesheets. To achieve this goal, a great deal of code was moved around and reorganized." See:, and .

  • November 13, 1997. "What is XML and Why Should Humanists Care?" By C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois at Chicago). Paper presented at DRH '97: Digital Resources for the Humanities. A Conference held at St Annes College, Oxford, 14 - 17 September 1997. "The paper will outline briefly the structure and current status of the XML specifications, before illustrating XML usage with a series of concrete examples showing various aspects of XML markup and how it will work in practice. The examples should make clear what XML can do that existing HTML and SGML systems cannot do." This is one of several conference presentations which dealt with SGML/XML. Conference preprint volumes are available from Oxford University. [local archive copy]

  • November 12, 1997. A newly prepared bibliographic collection based upon the published proceedings volume from the SGML Europe '97 Conference -- for which the main conference entry now references several published conference reports and summaries. The new document provides a detailed 'bibliographic survey' of presentations at SGML Europe '97: for each presentation, abstracts, annotations, links, and other useful data are supplied. These entries will be incorporated into the main bibliographic database of the SGML/XML Web Page. The proceedings volume (print version and CDROM) containing the full text for each presentation is available from the GCA, as is the full conference program listing. The published CDROM provides access to the presentations via Inso's DynaText SGML browser, as well as via a Web agent (in HTML format). The print copy of the proceedings volume is spiral bound, containing the fifty-five (55) papers, "ranging from case studies on a variety to topics to XML, HTML and the Web to Intranets to Topic Map Navigation and much more." See related links for the GCA conferences: SGML/XML Europe '98, SGML/XML '97, and SGML Europe '97.

  • November 12, 1997. Report from John Price-Wilkin on a major milestone reached by The University of Michigan Digital Library Initiative. The library has completed "the first phase of its Making of America project, now including approximately 650,000 pages of books and journals from the latter part of the 19th century. This resource now contains 1,601 books and ten journals with more than 49,069 articles documenting America's social history. [...] Users may search the full text of the 685,885 pages, retrieving results almost instantly; the system now includes browsable bibliographies for the journal articles and the monographs. The UM MoA resources have been encoded in a simple SGML form (a 40 element DTD conforming to the TEI Guidelines)." See the main database entry for The Making of America (MOA) Project - University of Michigan and Cornell University, or the direct link:

  • November 12, 1997. The W3C DOM explained to the masses by Lauren Wood (SoftQuad, and Chair, W3C DOM Working Group).

  • November 12, 1997. Available: a set of 23 slides from a presentation on XML, by Ingo Macherius (, Technical University of Clausthal). The slides were used in a presentation to the DFN (German Research) Information Forum, October 29, 1997. Available in Postscript or PowerPoint formats, in both German and English, the slides have been authorized for re-use under the GNU general public license. See:

  • November 10, 1997. Announcement from Peter Murray-Rust (Virtual School of Molecular Sciences) for updates to JUMBO and CML1.2 (Chemical Markup Language). JUMBO is a publicly available XML browser and is written completely in JAVA.

  • November 06, 1997. Announcement by W3C for the first public draft specification for the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, produced by the W3C Working Group on Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM). Its references: WD-smil-971106, W3C Working Draft 06-November-97. The draft document "specifies the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL, pronounced 'smile'). SMIL allows integrating a set of independent multimedia objects into a synchronized multimedia presentation. Using SMIL, presentations such as a slide show synchronized with audio comments or a video synchronized with a text stream can be described..[. . .] .SMIL documents are well-formed XML documents in the sense of the XML 1.0 draft. For describing the syntax of SMILE documents, this specification uses two notations: (1) an augmented Backus-Naur form (BNF) similar to the one defined for HTTP 1.1, and (2) an XML Document Type Definition (DTD)." For other information, see the database entry for the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, or the press release and testimonials.

  • November 04, 1997. XML introduction and tutorial for the millions. "XML: Data the Way You Want It." By Michael Edwards (Developer Technology Engineer, Microsoft Corporation). Microsoft Site Builder Network Workshop, October 31, 1997. See the XML article collection for other recent publications.

  • November 04, 1997. Publication of a new volume on XML (Extensible Markup Language): Connolly, Dan (guest editor). XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques. World Wide Web Journal [edited by Rohit Khare] Volume 2, Issue 4. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., Fall 1997. Extent: xii + 248 pages. ISBN: 1-56592-349-9. ISSN: 1085-2301. The volume contains a collection of twenty-one articles in six major sections, covering many aspects of the early development and use of the Extensible Markup Language. For further information, see the dedicated document containing abstracts and annotations for the articles, or the main bibliographic entry. Entries from the dedicated document will be incorporated into the bibliographic database.

  • November 03, 1997. Announcement from Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN) for a new tool named "GroveView SGML Document Grove Viewer." Eliot says it "provides an easy-to-use view of SGML document groves [and] might be useful to people creating advanced DSSSL specs or for people trying to better understand groves and the SGML property set." The viewer generates "an interactive tree view of an SGML document grove as created by the SP parser and SGML document grove constructor. The application is an experiment in the use of the groveoa.dll (part of the Jade package from James Clark. It provides an easy-to-use view of SGML document groves...the binaries run under Windows95 or Windows NT 4.0." See the dedicated database section on Groves and Grove Plans in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime, and Larry Robertson's document "How to use the Grove OLE Automation Class in Visual Basic 5.0" for information on the SP Grove OLE Automation.

  • November 01, 1997. New features in version 1.6 of the Microsoft XML Parser in Java. Released October 31, 1997, the package containing the source code for the latest version of the XML Parser supersedes the XML Parser that shipped with Internet Explorer 4.0..."it implements the entire W3C working draft of the XML Specification dated August 7th, 1997, and will be revised to reflect future W3C changes to the specifications. . . The Microsoft XML Parser is a validating XML parser written in Java(tm). The parser checks for well-formed documents and optionally permits checking of the documents' validity. Once parsed, the XML document is exposed as a tree through a simple set of Java methods, which [Microsoft is] working with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to standardize." As elaborated in the release notes, changes in the latest version include: (1) Case sensitivity; (2) Conditional sections in the DTD (INCLUDE and IGNORE keywords); (3) Support for namespaces (see XML Namespaces document); (4) Support for the ENCODING attribute on the XML tag; (4) Support for the XML-SPACE attribute in regular XML and in the DTD; (5) Support for the RMD attribute on the XML tag; (6) New Document save options for COMPACT and PRETTY save formats; (7) Support for floating ampersands, e.g., 'This & that'; (8) Support for empty end tags, e.g., <Foo>bar</>." The main XML page from Microsoft now references several online demos for XML, and sample XML files.

  • November 01, 1997. Announcement from John D. Rice (ISOGEN International Corp) for a new release of a MIF Backend for Jade. ISOGEN has been sponsoring the development of this new MIF backend for Jade, and is currently in need of beta testers. The current version (1.0 Beta 2b) is freely available for download from See also the database section on DSSSL stylesheets, where this MIF backend and Chris Maden's package for Converting SGML to Tagged MIF with JadeMIF are referenced.

  • November 01, 1997. A new submission to the W3C from Electricité de France, Research and Development Division. The "STTS2" submission for "Simple Tree Transformation Sheets 2" would in principle govern the transformation of well-formed XML documents in order to render them in a HTML browser. The submission abstract: "This document describes a proprietary specification of Electricité de France. It specifies the format of STTS2 transformation rules that can be applied to a HTML document (without CSS styles) in order to take advantage of the Cascading Style Sheets and remove deprecated HTML elements or attributes in favor of CSS. Even if the specification deals only with HTML, this kind of transformation, or an extension of this specification, can be easily applied on the fly to well-formed XML documents in order to render them in a HTML browser without any XML plug-in or internal knowledge. The grammar of this specification is mainly based on the CSS2 grammar and extends it in some ways."

  • October 31, 1997. Release of a new W3C technical 'NOTE': W3C Data Formats. NOTE-rdfarch [W3C NOTE 29-October-1997]. Author: Tim Berners-Lee and the W3C team. The document says: "W3C's new Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides the same function as SGML in a simpler and more powerful way. Future text markup from W3C will be built on XML rather than SGML. This may even apply to future versions of HTML, depending on technical work on back-compatiability and transition strategy." The abstract reads: "XML is becoming increasingly adopted as a common syntax for expressing structure in data. Now the resource Description Framework (RDF), a layer on top of XML, provides a common basis for expressing semantics. Applications which allow programs to combine data logically will be built using RDF (and therefore XML) and this will enhance the modularity and extensibility of the Web. This is essential to its rapid future growth, multiplying together the strengths of new, independently developed, applications."

  • October 30, 1997. An update on the progress of ISO-HTML (ISO Hypertext Markup Language), as documented on the WG8 (now WG4) Web site. Following the successful balloting of a CD 15445 in August 1997, the editors (Roger Price and David Abrahamson) issued a report on their consultations with the W3C HTML working group. This collaborative effort was designed to bring ISO-HTML into alignment with HTML 4.0, so that any ISO-HTML document will automatically be HTML 4.0 conformant. The editors have also published a proposed disposition of the CD 15445 ballot comments, documenting changes in ISO/IEC CD 15445 ISO-HTML to support the harmonization. A Proposed text of Final CD for ISO-HTML (Final CD 15445 - Work in Progress) has been released, and is available in SGML, PDF, and Postscript formats. Further information on this standard, including an explanation of goals and rationale from the "Introduction" of the proposed CD, is provided in the dedicated database entry for ISO-HTML.

  • October 29, 1997. Announcement from Tim Bray of Textuality for the release of Lark version 0.97, available on the Internet for general public use. "Lark is a non-validating XML processor implemented in the Java language; it attempts to achieve good trade-offs among compactness, completeness, and performance. . . Lark is a processor only; it does not attempt to validate. It does read the DTD, with parameter entity processing; it processes attribute list declarations (to find default values) and entity declarations. Lark's internationalization is incomplete; it reads UCS-2, UTF-16, and ASCII (making use of the Byte Order Marks and Encoding Declarations in the appropriate fashion), but not UTF-8. Aside from that, Lark is relatively full-featured; it implements (I think) everything in the XML spec, except conditional DTD sections, and reports violations of well-formedness." See the description from Textuality or the entry for Lark in the 'XML Software' section of the database.

  • October 29, 1997. Announcement from Michel Biezunski of High Text, SARL for a new Web site dedicated to Topic Maps. The developing standard for Topic Navigation Maps (ISO/IEC CD 13250) "provides facilities for creating, maintaining and interchanging topic-based navigational aids to large corpora of documents containing interrelated information. It can be applied to any form of electronic information archive, irrespective of the way in which the data is encoded." Topic Maps make extensive use of architectural forms; according to normative references to ISO 8879:1986 and ISO/IEC 10744:1997 (2nd Edition), it is an application of both SGML and HyTime [2nd edition]. "Compatibility with XML is being considered, and adaptations are made to maintain compatibililty with the XML-Link specifications." The new Web site contains (1) the new version of the CD being discussed, (2) topic map examples, (3) the topic map mailing archive, and (4) a presentation on topic maps. For other information, see the main database entry for Topic Navigation Maps.

  • October 28, 1997. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson for the release of an alpha version of xslj, a Jade-compatible XSL-to-DSSSL translator. "XSLJ is a virtually complete implementation of XSL by way of translation into extended DSSSL, as supported by the latest test release of James Clark's DSSSL engine Jade. XSLJ translates valid XSL style sheets into valid extended DSSSL style sheets, which can then be used to render XML documents using Jade. Virtually all of XSL as described in the W3C document 'A Proposal for XSL' is supported, although some minor modifications have been necessitated by the exigencies of implementation, all of which are described in detail in material contained in the release." XSLJ development was supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council via their support for HCRC and by a grant from Microsoft. See the University of Edinburgh Web site for details:

  • October 28 [29], 1997. "XML: A Second Chance for Web Markup. HTML gave up a lot of SGML's power. XML brings back the power but keeps it simple." By Neil Randall. In PC Magazine Volume 16, Number 19 (November 4, 1997) 319-322, also PC Magazine Online November 4, 1997. "Excerpt: One of XML's greatest strengths is that it lets entire industries, academic disciplines, and professional organizations develop sets of DTDs that will standardize the presentation of information within those disciplines. To an extent this works against the much-ballyhooed universality of the Web and HTML, but if you work in a specialized area, you're probably aware of the need for systems that let you produce documents enabling you to communicate efficiently with your colleagues. Specialists often need to display formulas, hierarchies, mathematical and scientific notations, and other elements, all within well-defined parameters." See the listing of XML articles for other recent publications.

  • October 28, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a "very preliminary release of SX, an application built with the SP library for converting SGML to XML." This tool will eventually be included in the standard SP distribution. SX (the provisional name) "parses and validates the SGML document contained in sysid... and writes an equivalent XML document to the standard output. SX will warn about SGML constructs which have no XML equivalent." The distribution includes both source and Win 32 binaries (the sp120u.dll file included in the SP 1.2.1 Win32 Unicode binary distribution is required). Note that the program "does not yet provide enough to handle the situation where you want to migrate your document source from SGML to XML. In particular it doesn't try to preserve entity references; all entities are expanded."

  • October 25, 1997. Peter Goldie strikes a glancing but illuminating blow on the topic one thinks should be capturing the imagination of an increasing number of SGML developers: SGML/XML authoring systems that encode structure, and gently insist that authors become more conscious about structure when writing. The central conundrum of the paradigm shift, probably. Meantime, converting the effects of WYSIWYG tools, with only partial success, is what costs big money. Documenting the large-scale commercial use of DynaWeb and DynaText, Peter says: "Simply put, SGML is the 'acid-free paper' of the electronic world. Despite its clear benefits, the limited acceptance of SGML in electronic publications is no mystery. The high cost of post-compositional translation of text into SGML and the resistance of typesetters and printers to retool their considerable infrastructure are real disincentives to change. Adobe Acrobat has provided an alternative that is cheap and 'good enough' for the moment, but the fundamental problems of being based on a page descriptive language prevent it from becoming a comprehensive long-term electronic publishing solution."

    See Goldie's article "Using SGML to Create Complex Interactive Documents for Electronic Publishing" in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 40/2 (June 1997) 130-138. Note especially the final paragraphs -- but don't miss the screen shots, which reveal the differences between PDF and SGML. Before chalking up the article to classical polemic, associate it with the IEEE Computer Society Digital Library project, which in part inspires and informs Goldie's article. The SGML/XML delivery tools are here now; the authoring tools are not (quite yet). Goldie's article is part of a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication (with an introduction by Jonathan Price): "Structuring Complex Information for Electronic Publication." Other issue articles on SGML include Mark Harmison, "Creating Electronic Documents that Interact with Diagnostic Software for On-Site Service" and Chris Madigan, Michael Silber, and Suzanne Wilson, "Lessons Learned Prototyping an SGML-based Computerized Document Management System." See the online Table of Contents.

  • October 24, 1997. Announcement for a DSSSL stylesheet for HTML 4.0 (97-09-17 draft) tables. The "quasi-final version." Created for the W3C XML WG by Christopher R. Maden of O'Reilly and Associates ( The .ZIP archive contains the stylesheet and two HTML test files. One should read the announcement and associated documentation before using the stylesheet.

  • October 23, 1997. New database entry for the IEEE Computer Society Digital Library. The Computer Society Digital Library (CSDL) is an SGML-based document repository that uses Inso's DynaWeb server to deliver the documents as HTML to Web browsers. Documents (including TeX/DVI-to-GIF images for mathematics) are converted from SGML source to HTML format on the fly. The CSDL digital library "contains all issues of seventeen (17) of the society's magazines and transactions from 1995 to the present. The material is viewable and full-text searchable via standard WWW browsers." The CDROM version of the library also stores IEEE articles in SGML format, delivered by the DynaText SGML browser. With this SGML-based software, users can search by any arbitrary string to find references for their current projects, attach their own electronic notes, place electronic bookmarks, and print full articles. The 1996 edition contains over 12,000 pages of text from the 114 IEEE journals issues.

  • October 23, 1997. Submission of a specification for the Web Interface Definition Language [WIDL] to W3C by webMethods, Inc. According to the abstract, the document "provides the specification for the Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL), a metalanguage that implements a service-based architecture over the document-based resources of the World Wide Web. WIDL is an application of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML); it allows interactions with Web servers to be defined as functional interfaces that can be accessed by remote systems over standard Web protocols, and provides the structure necessary for generating client code in languages such as Java, C/C++, COBOL, and Visual Basic. WIDL enables a practical and cost-effective means for diverse systems to be rapidly integrated across corporate intranets, extranets, and the Internet." For more information, see the database entry for the Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL).

  • October 23, 1997. XML promo article: "XML Offers Standard Way Of Extending HTML -- Extensible Markup Language defines a class of data object for Web documents." By Don Kiely. InformationWeek [Online] October 13, 1997, Issue: 652. Excerpt: "Microsoft so far has been the most aggressive adopter of the technology, but Sun and Netscape are firmly behind XML as well. With the kind of support it's getting, the first unified, nonproprietary attempt to overcome HTML's limitations without simply adding more tags to the HTML spec will soon be widely adopted on the Web." See the XML articles collection for other recent news/announcements on XML.

  • October 22, 1997. Announcement from Jean-Daniel Fekete (Ecole des Mines de Nantes) for the availability of TEI2LATEX and TEI2HTML version 0.2. - 'Two Perl5 Programs to Translate TEI Lite Documents into LaTeX2e and HTML documents .' TEI2HTML can now split a TEI Lite document into several linked html subdocuments. See the main entry for tei2latex: TEILITE to LaTeX2e, or FTP:

  • October 22, 1997. Announcement for a formal "consolidation of the relationship between the W3C and the DC community" based upon the Fifth Dublin Core [Metadata] Workshop, which endorsed Resource Description Framework. Excerpts: "The fifth Dublin Core Metadata Workshop was held October 6 to 8 in Helsinki, Finland. Seventy-five experts from libraries, the networking and digital library research communities, and a variety of content specialties gathered to continue the international consensus-building around the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. Representatives from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Resource Description Framework (RDF) working group presented interim results of the RDF specification effort at this meeting. . .Eric Miller of OCLC, Renato Iannella of the Distributed Systems Technology Centre, and Ralph Swick of the W3C showed how RDF addresses the architectural requirements for resource description that were identified at the Fourth Dublin Core Workshop in March of this year... Participants in the 5th Dublin Core workshop were unanimous and enthusiastic in their endorsement of the RDF as a critical component of the evolution of a metadata architecture for the Web... The RDF effort promises to provide the technical base for interoperable distribution of Dubin Core metadata and a wide variety of other types of metadata on the Web." See the main RDF database entry for more information on the Resource Description Framework.

  • October 18, 1997. Added database entry for the Bilingual Canadian Dictionary Project (BCD), sponsored by University of Ottawa, the University of Montreal and Laval University. Like many other dictionary projects, it uses SGML encoding for lexical database management.

  • October 17, 1997. "XML Ushers in Structured Web Searches." By Lisa Rein. Wired News October 17, 1997, 8:18am PDT. Lisa Rein talks to software engineers in the 'Internet search' business about using the structure of documents as providing a mechanism for more intelligent indexing and retrieval. Andy Breen (EarthWeb) and Sangam Pant (Lycos) say they are watching the developments closely; Andrew Layman (Microsoft) and Tim Bray (Textuality), both involved in the development of XML, are cautiously optimistic about the new possibilities for use of structured searches based upon markup in (Internet) XML documents.

  • October 17, 1997. Announcement posted to CTS for a 'New SGML Open Web Site.' ", the Consortium's dedicated XML web site, is also under development."

  • October 17, 1997. Call for participation for the SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference, May 17 - 21, 1998. "From Theory to New Practices." Hotel Sofitel - Forum Rive Gauche, Paris, France. "SGML/XML Europe is the GCA's annual comprehensive event on applications, trends, and the technologies that support the Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879) and the Extensible Markup Language." For details on SGML/XML Europe '98, see the GCA site or the main conference entry. Note also that some of the papers presented at SGML Europe '97 have now appeared online.

  • October 16, 1997. New database entry for the National Institute of Japanese Literature. According to information provided by Shoichiro Hara and Hisashi Yasunaga in an ALLC-ACH '97 presentation and in a D-Lib Magazine article, SGML-based encoding schemes and databases are being used in the institute's digital library project, focused upon analyzing Japanese classical materials. They say: "Recently, as SGML has become a popular markup language, we have conducted a study of conversion to SGML compliant text. A full-text database system has been produced based on the string search system conforming to SGML." Readers are reminded in this connection that the July/August double issue of D-Lib Magazine contained several excellent articles describing the use of SGML in digital library research.

  • October 16 [17], 1997. Lynda Radosevich interviews Murray Maloney of Grif on XML issues. The 'Hotseat' inteview is published in InfoWorld Electric and in InfoWorld 19/41 (October 13, 1997) 73, 77. See the summary and reference in the XML page. A related "News Briefs" article in InfoWorld 19/41 is captioned "Office to Add HTML, XML Formats" and mentions "XML as the information data format" to be used in Microsoft Office. (I suspect this reflects Gates' comments on XML in the Gartner Symposium presentation.)

  • October 14, 1997. New entry for the Java Speech Markup Language. "The Java Speech Markup Language (JSML) allows applications to annotate text with additional information that can improve the quality and naturalness of synthesized speech. JSML documents can include structural information about paragraphs and sentences; [it] allows control of the production of synthesized speech, including the pronunciation of words and phrases, the emphasis of words (stressing or accenting), the placements of boundaries and pauses, and the control of pitch and speaking rate. . . JSML is a subset of XML (Extensible Markup Language), which is a simple dialect of SGML."

  • October 13 [17], 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a test release of SP with improved support for XML (Extensible Markup Language). The test/experimental version is available via FTP as part of a Jade test release: source, or Win 32 binaries. In this distribution, SP supports "a number of key features from the WebSGML SGML TC," including: unbundling of SHORTTAG, feature to allow elements declared EMPTY to have end-tags, duplicate enumerated attribute tokens are allowed, support for multiple ATTLIST declarations for a single element type, relaxation of rules on use of parameter entity references inside groups, feature that turns off SGML's traditional record end rules, NESTC (net-enabling start tag close) delimiter, support for predefined single character entities in the SGML declaration (lt, amp etc), etc. See the text of the announcement for full details about this SP test release.

  • October 13 [17], 1997. James Clark's Jade 1.0.1 is available on the Clark FTP server: as source, or Win 32 binaries. Version 1.0.1 is the newly released production version of Jade, containing bug fixes only. Thanks to Professor David J. Birnbaum, Jade 1.0.1 and SP 1.2.1 (nsgmls, spent, spam, sgmlnorm) are available for OS/2.

    James Clark has also made a new Jade test release available. Among the new Jade features are some experimental DSSSL extensions, designed and implemented in Jade "so that, with these extensions, DSSSL provides a superset of the semantics [needed by] XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) for flow object tree construction. Jade has a -2 option that enables these extensions." The extensions relate to (1) imperative programming features from R4RS (e.g., assignment (set!) expressions (with restrictions), vectors (with restrictions), call-with-current-continuation (with restrictions), begin expressions, multiple expressions in procedure bodies and cond clauses, alternate in if expression optional, etc.); (2) style rules; (3) extended patterns [provide provide a superset of the semantics of XSL patterns]; (4) multiple patterns per rule; (5) flow object macros; (6) characteristic value conversion; (7) characteristic names. FTP: source, or the Win 32 binaries.

  • October 12 [18], 1997. At least eighteen papers delivered at the 1997 Joint International Conference of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and the Association for Literary & Linguistic Computing (ALLC) focused or touched upon SGML/XML. I have prepared a document containing bibliographic references for these papers, each with a link to the extended abstract, and sometimes with links to the associated project Web site. The entries are also included in the database main bibliography. Readers may wish to note that the 1998 ALLC-ACH conference will be held at Lajos Kossuth University, Debrecen, Hungary.

  • October 11, 1997. Added entry for WEBDAV, an IETF Internet Working Group that is seeking to extend HTTP 1.1 for distributed authoring and versioning. According to an IETF Internet Draft of September 29, 1997, the proposed DAV model in the "Extensions for Distributed Authoring and Versioning on the World Wide Web" uses XML.

  • October 10, 1997. Availability of the online Conference Record/Proceedings from IHC '97 - 1997 International Conference on the Application of HyTime. Our sincere thanks to the Conference Chair Steve Newcomb, (President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.) for making the proceedings publicly accessible. See the main conference entry for more information on this Fourth International HyTime Conference.

  • October 10, 1997. Communique from Don Thieme of GCA for the complete Preliminary Program for the SGML/XML '97 Conference, December 8 - 11, 1997. See the links on the GCA conference page, or the database entry in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • October 10, 1997. New entry for the Second ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing, "Towards the Information-Rich Society." April 20 - 22, 1998. Conference Centre of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. It is expected that this second conference will evidence a strong interest in SGML, as was very apparent in the First ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing, held at University of Kent, Canterbury.

  • October 10, 1997. Yet another indication of the rise of XML as an Internet language: "XML Wins." By Lisa Rein, with quotes from Steven J. DeRose (Inso) and Mike McEvoy (ArborText). In: Wired News October 9, 1997 3:03pm. The news article claims: "Despite the allure of the whiz-bang, high-tech publishing systems at last week's Seybold conference, developments in XML and Web fonts took center stage."

  • October 09, 1997. Added entry for Catalogs, Formal Public Identifiers, Formal System Identifiers.

  • October 09 [22], 1997. Press release from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announcing the First Public Draft of DOM Core Level 1. "The Document Object Model provides a standard model of how the objects in an XML or HTML document are put together and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating these objects and their inter-relationships." This first Working Draft of the Document Object Model (DOM) specification, Core Level 1, addresses core functionality for document navigation and content manipulation: "'The W3C DOM Working Group is developing a platform- and language-neutral program interface that will allow programs and scripts to access every element in a document and update the content and structure of documents in a standard way.' Key industry players are participating in the DOM Working Group, including ArborText, Grif, IBM, Inso, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, the Object Management Group, SoftQuad and Sun Microsystems. . . Tim Bray, invited expert on the DOM Interest Group and co-editor of the W3C XML specification, said 'This DOM draft is a great beginning. It includes everything you need for serious client-side XML processing, starting now. With the DOM, Java, ECMAscript, and XML, the pieces are finally falling into place so we can bring the Web alive'." See the Document Object Model Specification online, or the main database entry for the DOM Level 1.

  • October 08 [14], 1997. An article of genuine interest, given the special challenge of representing and rendering math: "Inso Adds Math to DynaWeb. IEEE Uses it to Go Live with Online Digital Library." In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing 2/2 (October 1997) 28. DynaBase 3.1 features rendering math equations from (TEX) DVI directly to HTML browsers, via on-the-fly DVI to GIF conversion -- from SGML source documents. See a fuller explanation in the Inso press release, [local archive copy]. The DVI-to-GIF technology is illustrated in the IEEE Computer Society Digital Library (CSDL) project, as discussed in the Seybold article. The IEEE database is freely accessible through the end of October 1997. On the problem of maths and SGML: see the section SGML and Math.

  • October 08, 1997. "Building XML Parsers for Microsoft's IE4." By Jean Paoli, David Schach, Chris Lovett, Andrew Layman, and Istvan Cseri. Prepublication (excerpted) article from XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques, edited by Dan Connolly. The abstract: "Microsoft cofounded the XML working group at the W3C in July 96 and actively participated in the definition of the standard. This article describes why Microsoft implemented its first XML application and how it led to the development of two XML parsers shipping in Internet Explorer 4.0, one written in C++ and the other in Java. We describe the importance of designing an object model API and our vision of XML as a universal, open data format for the Internet." See the online version of the article from O'Reilly, and the main bibliography entry for the volume (published as Volume 2, Issue 4 of The World Wide Web Journal). An the online table of contents is also avaliable.

  • October 08, 1997. New database entry for the Durham University Library - EAD Finding Aids project. Richard Higgins (Durham University Library, Durham, UK) recently announced the availability of 100 (+) finding aids in this collection. The EAD (SGML) encoded finding aids for Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections are available via Dynaweb as HTML for ordinary WWW browsers. The Durham University Library's DynaWeb Server "is designed to serve HTML created on the fly from SGML documents, which at present are handlists for the holdings of Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections, which have been created in SGML using the EAD (Encoded Archival Description) DTD. Durham University is one of many universities now using SGML encoding for finding aids collections; see the entry for the Library of Congress - Encoded Archival Description (EAD) - Finding Aids Project, for example.

  • October 08, 1997. Update to the database section on the "History of Generalized Markup and SGML": a collection entitled "The SGML History Niche", prepared by Charles F. Goldfarb. Goldfarb says: "For history buffs, [here are] some reliable papers on the early history of SGML and its precursor, GML. I invented SGML in 1974, and led the technical efforts of several hundred people for a dozen years that developed it into its present form as an International Standard."

  • October 07, 1997. New database entry for the SILFIDE Project (Serveur Interactif pour la Langue Française, son Identité, sa Diffusion et son Étude). The main objective of this project is to provide easy and open access to textual and linguistic data of relevance to the French speaking research community. All proposed resources are to be encoded in SGML (TEI) format. A related subsidiary project at CRIN (Centre de Recherche en Informatique de Nancy) is "XCorpus : An Environnement for Dealing with Text Corpora and Automatically Generating HTML pages."

  • October 07, 1997. New entry for the British Women Romantic Poets Project, based upon texts in the Kohler Collection of English Poetry, Shields Library, University of California, Davis. The volumes are being encoded with SGML tagging, following the Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative. The project director is Nancy Kushigian.

  • October 07, 1997. Feature article on ChannelManager, the XML-based multichannel "push" technlogy from DataChannel. "The Data-Driven Desktop: DataChannel Pushes XML." By Liora Alschuler. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing 2/2 (October 1997) 1, 9-14. The author provides a detailed description and analysis of DataChannel's ChannelManager application. The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing calls DataChannel "the first commercial end-user product to do something interesting with the Web's new standard [XML] for open information." Excerpt: "The data is the desktop. ChannelManager not only 'pushes' the content, it shapes the user interface, and behind the scenes, it is XML metdaata that is pulling the strings. . . DataChannel is interesting as an early implementor of XML, a standard that should substantively change the art of publishing on the Internet. Document markup may be used for more than just formatting, and right now Web developers are just starting to latch onto structured markup as a handle for controlling the flow of information. . . To see adoption of XML this early for this purpose confirms that the rewrite of SGML is meeting one of the objectives of the XML project, namely, to put the rules of SGML structured markup into a form that speaks to mainstream programmers." See also the full text in the online version of the article; or the DataChannel Web server for other information.

  • October 07 [08], 1997. A collection of postings and links to help clarify the nature of "XML support" in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. Press releases from the week of September 28 - October 4, 1997 (Seybold San Francisco) mentioned a demonstration based upon this XML support in MSIE 4.0. In particular, see "About" for documentation on the validating XML parser written in Java. See also the article on the Microsoft XML parsers, by Jean Paoli, et al.

  • October 07, 1997. A WiredNews article takes notice of XML's high visibility at Seybold San Francisco, claiming: "Developers can start getting excited, now that Extensible Markup Language tools are finally beginning to emerge..." Summary: "Last week at Seybold, XML finally got some long-deserved respect. The big boys were talking about it, and there are now products that will allow developers to really sink their teeth into it. In his keynote, Sun's John Gage predicted that the Extensible Markup Language will be the glue that will integrate electronic data interchange, databases, and even operating systems, making the computer itself 'an extensible linked document and database'." See "XML Rules. Any Questions?" by Lisa Rein. WiredNews 6.Oct.97.PDT 5:02am.

  • October 06, 1997. Announcement from Peter Flynn (University College, Cork) for a new version of the XML FAQ document: "Frequently Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language: The XML FAQ." Version 1.1. Date: October 1, 1997. The revised version contains a list of major/recent changes, and revision marks in the document to assist the reader in identifying new sections, sections marked for future deletion, etc. See the online document, or the reference section in the XML page.

  • October 06, 1997. New company white paper from ArborText: "XML for Managers. Evaluating SGML vs. XML from a Manager's Perspective." See the summary and reference within the collection of other (news) articles on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • October 06, 1997. Announcement from Ken MacLeod for version 0.01 of "SGML::SPGrove. A Perl 5 module for loading SGML, XML, and HTML document instances using James Clark's SP." Lead sentence of description: "SGML::SPGrove takes a system identifier and passes it to SP to parse, as each element is parsed from the document SPGrove builds Perl objects to match. When done parsing, SPGrove returns an SGML::SPGrove object that contains the root element of the parsed document and an array (hopefully empty :-) of parser errors." See the database entry, or fetch the software from the FTP server.

  • October 06, 1997. Announcement for a new XML mailing list (XML-L), administered via an L-Soft list server at HEAnet (LISTSERV@LISTSERV.HEA.IE). See the database entry for details.

  • October 02 [06], 1997. Announcement from Eric Miller (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Office of Research) for the public availability of the Resource Description Framework RDF Model and Syntax draft specification (WD-rdf-syntax-971002.html). Developed under the auspices of the W3C, RDF "is designed to provide an infrastructure to support metadata across many web-based activities. RDF is the result of a number of metadata communities (including the Dublin Core and Warwick Framework) bringing together their needs to provide a robust and flexible architecture for supporting metadata on the WWW." RDF uses XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the encoding syntax.

    According to the W3C press release describing the RDF draft, the collaborative RDF effort is based upon several other metadata initiatives; the working group responsible for the draft is composed of "key industry players including DVL, Grif, IBM, KnowledgeCite, LANL, Microsoft, Netscape, Nokia, OCLC, Reuters, SoftQuad and University of Michigan." The editors of the draft are Ora Lassila (Nokia Research Center, currently visiting W3C) and Ralph R. Swick (World Wide Web Consro based upon the Fifth Dublin Core [Metadata] Workshop, which endorsed Resource Description Framework. Excerpts: tium). The online draft specification is available on the W3C server as: See the main RDF database entry for additional information on the draft specification and on RDF's relationship to XML.

  • October 02, 1997. Publication of the conference program for the Text Encoding Initiative 10th Anniversary Conference, November 14-16, 1997, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. The Opening Keynote Address is to be delivered by Andy van Dam (Brown University); the Closing Keynote Address is by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems, Inc.; Chair, W3C XML Work Group) -- who, I suspect, will find difficulty making the presentation without reference to XML, XSL, and DSSSL. Anyone who thinks SGML is entirely boring should have a look at this conference agenda. General conference and registration information is available on the Brown Univ STG server.

  • October 02, 1997. Announcement from David M. Seaman (Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia) for the first release of a [UVa] searchable and browseable version of the EAD tag library. This documentation "employs the same HTML 'on-the-fly' conversion and OpenText searching that ETC uses for all its TEI and EAD items." The Library of Congress and many universities are now using the Encoded Archival Description DTD for SGML encoding of archival finding aids; these resources are frequently delivered over the Internet in SGML encoded format, and are viewed with the SoftQuad Panorama browser. See the EAD Tag Library, the UVa Processing Tools and Documentation, and the main database entry for the Library of Congress EAD initiative. Together with the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and Duke University, the University of Virginia is collaborating on The American Heritage Virtual Archive Project to create EAD/SGML finding aids documenting American history and culture.

  • October 02, 1997. "[XML:] Sweet Revenge for the 40-Somethings" is the humorous title for a Seybold SF '97 news story on the high visibility of XML at the Seybold San Francisco convention. The caption runs: "Meta-data is the key to good content management and XML or simplified SGML is the hot new technology of the day." This Seybold news article reveals what should be evident from the numerous press releases highlighting XML, a few of which are summarized in the October 1 "What's New" entries: XML appears to be capturing the genuine interest of publishers. Summaries are provided for several presentations touching on XML: John Warnock (Adobe), Mike Homer (Netscape - Aurora and RDF), Jean Paoli (Microsoft - XML support in Internet Explorer 4.0), and John Gage (Sun Microsystems - 'sweeping endorsement of XML' and XSL, 'DSSSL in new clothes'). Watch for the full stories on XML from Seybold Publications. [local archive copy for posterity]

  • October 01 [02], 1997. Announcement from Christina Powell (Humanities Text Intiative, University of Michigan) for an improved searching and browsing interface to the Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI P3). "The revised implementation provides slightly more elegent browsing capabilities and filtering of the text from SGML to HTML. A major feature has been added -- the ability to quickly lookup in Part 7 the description of an element, a parameter entity, or a element class. Links to the elements a particular tag may occur within or contain are provided as links at the bottom of the description. Other searches, including boolean and proximity, are also available." See the URL for the HTI server, or the main entry for the Text Encoding Initiative. HTI, "centered primarily around the development and maintenance of text resources in SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), provides access to a variety of reference and humanities resources"; see the SGML and TEI resources, or the local database entry.

  • October 01, 1997. Announcement for XML support in Inso's DynaBase 3.0. See the press release of September 29, 1997: "Inso Announces DynaBase 3.0, a New Version of the Leading Web Publishing System for Teams Developing and Managing Dynamic Web Sites. 3.0 to Include Java-based Client, Full XML Support, Enhanced Security, New Workgroup and Personal Pack Offerings, and Support for Microsoft's IIS 4.0." DynaBase offers "an integrated solution for developing and managing high-impact, dynamic Web content that can be personalized for individual end-users. . . In Version 3.0, Inso has added full support for native XML components. XML content management capabilities in DynaBase include the ability to import, validate, and store XML components, as well as support for indexing, version control, and edition management of XML content. DynaBase's XML dynamic publishing capabilities include XML component serving through the DynaBase Server Plug-in, XML tag-level scripting, and XML tag-level search and retrieval."

  • October 01, 1997. Announcement from ArborText for the availability of ADEPT 7, a new release of the company's SGML-based editing and publishing software which now features Java and XML support. According to the press release, "ADEPT 7 also supports the emerging Extensible Markup Language (XML), a simplified version of SGML that addresses the shortcomings of both SGML and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for delivering highly intelligent and interactive information over intranets and extranets. . . ADEPT 7 reads and writes native, non-proprietary XML and can automatically convert documents between XML and SGML. `As the various XML-related standards mature, such as XSL (Extensive Stylesheet Language) and XLL (Extensible Linking Language), ArborText will rapidly incorporate those standards in subsequent releases'..."

  • October 01, 1997. Announcement from DataChannel for the integration of XML-based "push channel" authoring capability into Microsoft Word. ChannelManager's authoring capability was demonstrated at Seybold San Francisco. "While most push-related vendor tools require knowledge of proprietary authoring tools, languages and or programming skills, ChannelManager [2.0] allows any Word user to easily publish a channel. DataChannel's XML engine generates an XML file automatically when the user clicks the 'Publish to Channel' 'Save As' menu item within Word." [press release, archive copy].

  • October 01, 1997. Announcement for XML support in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, motivated by the desire to "deliver rich, structured data to the client." According to a press release, Microsoft, ArborText and The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition teamed up [today at Seybold SF '97] to show the XML support available in Internet Explorer 4.0. In a keynote demonstration, actual data from The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, delivered using ArborText's ADEPT Editor software, was shown on Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. [ . . .] The combination of XML for structured data, along with Dynamic HTML and scripting for interactive presentation, makes Internet Explorer 4.0 an ideal platform to deliver rich information'." [local archive copy] See also some postings which answer questions about the nature of the XML support in MSIE 4.X.

  • October 01, 1997. Texcel has announced upcoming support for XML in its Texcel Information Manager product, a leading SGML-based system for managing intelligent documents. "Texcel Information Manager is a comprehensive document management system featuring an ability to track and manage the various components -- or document information objects -- that make up a structured text file, such as an SGML- or XML-encoded document. The system can track and manage these objects, as well as word processing and graphics files, in a secure database." See "Texcel Announces Upcoming Support for XML in its Texcel Information Manager Document Management System"

  • September 30 [October 02], 1997. Publication of Presenting XML, written by Richard Light, Simon North, Charles Allen, el al., with a Foreword by Tim Bray. Published by SAMS.NET [Macmillan]. ISBN: 1-57521-334-6. Further information about the book is available in the SGML/XML book list entry. The electronic malls provide basic description, for example,, or see the announcement from Simon North. Alternately, check the companion web site for the volume.

  • September 26, 1997. A new name for this online database: The SGML/XML Web Page. The name change reflects the fact that a significant proportion of energy is now being spent documenting the development of XML (Extensible Markup Language), as published in the dedicated section for XML. As part of this name change, I have edited the description of the SGML/XML Web Page, bringing it up-to-date with my conscious intentions for the collection's raison d'être. Comments are welcome in the midst of this time of personal introspection about the database. [NB: Were the name 'SGML Web Page' fully normalized as it should be, we'd now observe 'SGML/XML Web Page' in every instance, at the cost of creating some curious anachronisms. . . expect rather to observe the updates gradually. :-) ]

  • September 24, 1997. From Chris Maden: a utility for generating tagged MIF from SGML source, using Jade 1.0. See "Converting SGML to Tagged MIF with Jade," referenced in the DSSSL stylesheet section.

  • September 23, 1997. Press Release: "SGML Open Launches Initiative in Support of XML." Monday September 22 3:14 PM EDT. Lead paragraph: "SGML Open, the international consortium dedicated to promoting structured document and data interchange based on the SGML family of standards, today announced the adoption of a new initiative, Serving as a forum and resource center for developers and users of XML tools, will work to bridge the gap between the XML specification and tool interoperability. '' represents the concepts of interchange, interactivity, interoperability, internet and international -- together with XML." See the entry in the XML Page for more information.

  • September 23, 1997. Availability of (draft/pre-copyedited) online versions of three articles on XML which will be published in XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques, = World Wide Web Journal: Volume 2, Issue 4 (Autumn 1997), edited by Dan Connolly. See the collection of XML articles in the XML Page for details. Note, in this connection, that the The World Wide Web Journal (W3J) 'now has a new Web presence: This site includes the archives and a search engine.'

  • September 23, 1997. XML Files: The XML Magazine. Edited by Dianne Kennedy and sponsored by GCA. Introduction: "More than ten years ago, GCA sponsored the first SGML newsletter, <TAG> Magazine. For ten years, GCA, along with SGML Associates, brought you the latest in news, events, and SGML related information in the newsletter. Recently GCA, terminated its sponsorship of <TAG> and decided to provide their own publication, updated for the Web environment. XML Files will clearly have a focus on XML and related standards. SGML will still receive its share of attention and coverage, but our scope has broadened and our focus is now primarily on SGML for the Web. Independent consultant, Dianne Kennedy, former columnist for <TAG> and part-time staff consultant for GCA, will serve as editor for the XML Files. She, along with industry leaders and members of GCA's new Industry Consultants Cooperative (IT/ICC) will bring you the latest in industry news and events as well as implementation strategies. Naturally, XML Files will have links to other new sources of XML information which might be of interest." [from "What is the XML Files?" - Marion Elledge, VP Information Technologies, GCA]

  • September 23 [26], 1997. Announcement for the OmniMark LE, available "at no charge for a limited time." OmniMark is a flagship industry software product -- a leading SGML based "hypertext programming language for development of on-line, Web, CD-ROM and print-on-demand publishing applications, being used for SGML conversion by a wide range of industry-leaders, including over 700 companies in 34 countries." OmniMark LE is a free product which runs utility-sized OmniMark programs. It is described as useful for: "(a) small-sized utility programs; (b) program development on the road away from your commercial licenses (since OmniMark LE will compile a large program -- it won't just run it); (c) evaluating OmniMark V3's capabilities before licensing V3." OmniMark LE is available on many platforms, including Windows NT/95 and several varieties of UNIX. See the program description for other information, or the main database entry.

  • September 19, 1997. Brief documentation from W3C on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) effort. The official description from W3C confirms that "RDF will use XML as the transfer syntax in order to leverage other tools and code bases being built around XML. . . Draft specifications for public review are targetted for release in the fourth quarter of 1997."

  • September 18, 1997. Announcement from Bruce Krulwich for AgentSoft's new demonstration of XML technology, now available on the Web. AgentSoft has announced that it is integrating XML support into LiveAgent Pro, its Internet automation software. "The technology demonstration, built using LiveAgent Pro technology, will allow you to query an XML file based on its document type definition (DTD). While the system can operate on any valid XML and DTD files, Java applet security limits our demo to accessing files on our server. The demo lets you choose a media channel from The New York Times, Fox News, or MSNBC (using Microsoft's Channel Definition Format) or an act from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar." See the demonstration documentation for more information.

  • September 18, 1997. Addition of a new entry for the Ontology and Conceptual Knowledge Markup Languages, based upon XML. "Ontology Markup Language (OML) owes much to pioneering efforts of the SHOE initiative at the University of Maryland at College Park. In one sense, OML is the encoding of (a suitably modified) SHOE in Extensible Markup Language (XML)... The Conceptual Knowledge Markup Language (CKML) is an application of XML, [and is] an extension of OML."

  • September 18, 1997. Addition of a new entry for the Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML), developed by Allaire Corporation. "Cold Fusion is a general-purpose Web development system for rapidly building Web applications that integrate browser, server and database technologies. It consists of the Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML). . . Syntactically, Custom Tags are XML compliant custom markup language elements that allow developers to build reusable components that can be easily dropped into a dynamic Web application. These tags are processed by the Cold Fusion server. . ."

  • September 18 [October 29], 1997. Publication of an excellent feature article on Unicode in the latest issue of the The Gilbane Report on Open Information & Document Systems. The author is François Chahuneau, general manager of AIS/Berger-Levrault, who brings a wealth of experience to the topic of multilingual software development. AIS was one of the first developers to announce XML support in a major product (Balise). As expected, the article by Chahuneau includes a section "SGML and XML Specific Issues," but the entire article is relevant to developers who are planning to support XML. Bibliographic details: "Unicode and Internationalization Issues in Document Management: A Global Solution to Local Problems." The Gilbane Report Volume 5, Number 4 (July/August 1997) 1-25. Note that The Gilbane Report, under the editorial directorship of CAP Ventures' Frank Gilbane, is now edited by Tim Bray. See other details in the bibliographic entry.

  • September 18, 1997. Announcement from Earl Hood (University of California, Irvine) for a new release of the perlSGML toolkit. perlSGML is a collection of Perl programs and libraries for processing SGML DTDs and documents. "This release mainly includes a new set of Perl 5 modules. A new stripsgml is available and some corrections to are included in the release." For other details, see the announcement or the main database entry for perlSGML - Perl programs and libraries.

  • September 16, 1997. A published report on the "XML Developers' Day" by Tim Bray: "XML Leaders Push Forward at Montreal Meeting. No Earth-shattering Surprises, but Solid Progress." In: The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing 2/1 (September 1997) 3-4. The XML Developers' Day was a meeting of approximately seventy-five (75) developers who came together after the 1997 International Conference on the Application of HyTime. The article discusses in particular: (1) Bitstream's NuDoc formatting facility, which now handles XML; (2) XML support by CommerceNet (electronic commerce consortium); and (3) progress in the development of authoring tools for XML (ArborText, Grif). The "XML Developers' Day" conference entry contains other information on the meeting. See also the section "XML Surveys and Overview Articles" for other recent publications on XML and XSL.

  • September 13, 1997. An announcement from Frans Wiering for the availability of a CDROM containing music treatises of Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590), ". . .one of the most influential music theorists of the Renaissance." The publication is a facsimile and transcription, published as Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum, Volume 1. The CDROM "contains the first edition of the Istitutioni (1558), and all three treatises as they appear in the Tutte le Opere of 1588-89. Each document is available in two forms: a facsimile and a transcription. The texts are transcribed using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), following the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). All illustrations are included, and the music examples from both editions of the Istitutioni have been transcribed into modern notation. Longer examples from the 1558 edition can also be played from MIDI. The CD-ROM also contains an SGML viewer for Windows 95, a viewer for the facsimiles, and two fonts." See further information in the database entry for the Thesaurus Musicarum Italicarum (TMI) project at Utrecht University. TMI is "an initiative of the Department of Computer and Humanities at Utrecht University, the aim of which is to publish a cohesive electronic corpus of Italian music treatises from the second half of the sixteenth to the early seventeenth century."

  • September 13, 1997. Announcement from Peter Murray-Rust (Virtual School of Molecular Sciences) for a collection of postings from the XML-DEV list during mid-1997. The collection (a page of links to the archived postings) is titled "XML-DEV Jewels" and is now listed among the XML Technical Documents and Development Resources section in the XML Page.

  • September 13, 1997. Announcement from Larry Robertson for "a web page with a sample program and some notes on the Grove OLE Automation class. . . The Grove OLE Automation Class is basically intended for parsing and fully supports the 9401 catalog; it is extremely fast and easy to use." Title: How to use the Grove OLE Automation Class in Visual Basic 5.0. "The sample program will batch parse sgml and html files. It will print reports has a very simple editor." See also the entry for SPWizard in the software tools page.

  • September 11 [16], 1997. A new submission has been made to the W3C by Microsoft, Inso, and Arbortext for an Extensible Stylesheet language (XSL) based on DSSSL. The authors of the submission are named as: Sharon Adler, Inso Corporation; Anders Berglund, Inso Corporation; James Clark; Istvan Cseri, Microsoft Corporation; Paul Grosso, ArborText; Jonathan Marsh, Microsoft Corporation; Gavin Nicol, Inso Corporation; Jean Paoli, Microsoft Corporation; David Schach, Microsoft Corporation; Henry S. Thompson, University of Edinburgh; Chris Wilson, Microsoft Corporation. See the text of the submission for XSL, the press release, or the overview. Further information on the Extensible Markup Language is available in the dedicated section of the database.

    From the Abstract of the proposal: "This document [A Proposal for Extensible Style Language (XSL), NOTE-XSL.html] provides a proposed specification for an eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) for formatting XML data and documents on the Web. XSL is expressed in the XML syntax and is designed to appeal to a wide user base in the Web community by leveraging the combination of declarative constructs (tags) and scripting (JavaScript) familiar to Web authors. XSL is based on the DSSSL standard (as defined in the deliverable for Phase III of the XML Activity) and also uses key concepts from CSS. XSL includes the subset of DSSSL flow objects (formatting operations) described in DSSSL-O. It also includes a set of flow objects corresponding to HTML elements with CSS properties to ensure full HTML/CSS compatibility. XSL provides functionality beyond CSS (e.g., element reordering). We expect that CSS will be used to display simply-structured XML documents and XSL will be used where more powerful formatting capabilities are required or for formatting highly structured information such as XML structured data or XML documents that contain structured data."

  • September 09, 1997. Announcement from Tim Bray (Textuality) for release 0.92 of Lark, "a non-validating XML processor implemented in the Java language." Beginning with version 0.91, Lark processes Unicode: "It reads the BOM and thus UCS-2/UTF-16 (even byte-swaps); if there's no BOM, reads and tries to use the encoding declaration, boots it if it says anything but 'UTF-8' or 'UTF8'." Lark 0.92 is faster - 11.9 times faster than version 0.91. See the entry for Lark in the Public Software Page, or the description on the Textuality server.

  • September 09, 1997. Publication of a non-technical introduction to SGML: Bill von Hagen, SGML for Dummies. For Dummies, Computer Book Series from IDG. Foster City, CA / Chicago, IL / Southlake, TX: IDG Books Worldwide, 1997. Extent: xxiv +386 pages, CDROM. ISBN: 0-7645-0175-5. The book offers an introduction to SGML in non-technical language, in a humorous style. Terminology is sometimes imprecise, but the text is often more readable for non-specialists than other introductory books on SGML. The CDROM disc contains: (1) A 90-day demo version of Corel WordPerfect; (2) demo version of Digitome's IDM Personal Edition; (3) sample SGML applications from SGML Systems Engineering - SGMLC; (4) James Clark's SP parser for Win 95/NT; (5) a 45-day demo version of the HyBrowse Browser; (6) sample DTDs. See the bibliographic entry for other details.

  • September 08, 1997. Announcement from Alain Michard (Inria) for an XML workshop, "The Potential of XML for Web-based Applications." The workshop is being organised by INRIA in France, and will be held on October 23-24, 1997. "The objective of this workshop is to raise awareness of the Telematics-Applications community on the potential of the XML standards for the development of innovative Web-based applications, and to offer to participants update information on the elaboration of the standards." See the main conference entry for other details on the workshop, or the the main XML entry.

  • September 05, 1997. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson for a 'DSSSL Digest' programmer's resource. The DSSSL Digest "contains all the procedures and top-level expressions from the electronic version of the DSSSL standard document, in alphabetical order, with thumb-tabs. Each prototype is followed by the first paragraph of its definition in the standard. Multiple prototypes which share a definition are cross-referenced to the first prototype in the group, which is followed by the summary. Section numbers are given for all prototypes." See also the larger listing of DSSSL Development and Reference Resources in the dedicated section.

  • September 05, 1997. Addition of a link for Chris Maden's hyperlinked "Productions from ISO 8879:1986 - SGML," within the collection of similar materials in the 'Grammar' section of the SGML/XML Web Page. Chris says: "[The list] includes Figures 1-3 and productions [1]-[204] as amended by the Extended Naming Rules Technical Corrigendum (WG8 document 1896). I made this list for my own reference, but I find it extremely useful when I need to look up the syntax of something complex, like data attributes or formal public identifiers." Definitely easier than using paper copy! Chris promises a similarly linked "HyTime formal syntax" sometime soon; watch his home page.

  • September 03, 1997. A Bitstream technology brief on NuDoc -- "a next generation document composition engine" in which a document is treated "as an object (in the object-oriented sense of the word)..." And: "In NuDoc, a document object is made of style, content, and page layout sub-objects. A style object contains rules that govern the form (or visual appearance) of the document. Content elements such as words, images, movies, etc. are organized into a tagged tree structure that represents the logical organization of the information (sections, sub-sections, etc.). The W3C's extensible markup language (XML) is the default content format. The result of composing the structured content against these models is called a page layout." Apropos of which, note the article by Lynda Radosevich in InfoWorld which talks about Microsoft's imminent release of a proposed XML (-related) stylesheet language specification as a W3C submission: "Microsoft to Push XML as Alternative to Java." [thanks to Chet Ensign for the Bitstream URL]

  • September 03, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for the release of SP version 1.2 -- the version of SP included with Jade version 1.0. New features in SP version 1.2 (other than bug fixes) are as follows: (1) "The Extended Naming Rules TC is supported. The extensions supported in external concrete syntaxes have been changed for compatibility with this [Extended Naming Rules were specified in Annex J of ISO 8879:1986, added by the 1996 TC = TC for Extended Naming Rules for SGML: N1896Rev]; (2) The handling of character sets in the multi-byte version is more sophisticated. The character sets HTML page gives more information.; (3) SP has built-in knowledge of many more base character sets; (4) nsgmls will report empty elements if the -oempty option is used." See the main SP page on James Clark's WWW server for the full documentation. SP 1.2 is available in several packages, including source code and binaries with Unicode support for Windows 95 and Windows NT .

  • September 03, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for the public availability of Jade (James' DSSSL Engine) Version 1.0. The standard distribution of Jade 1.0 is accessible via FTP:;   the Win32 binaries are also available. For more information see the Jade Page on James Clark's WWW server. Changes from Jade version 0.9 are bug fixes, with the intent that version 1.0 is "a reliable release suitable for production use." See the Jade entry in the software section for other information about Jade's functionality.

  • September 03, 1997. Revised database entry for The Brown University Women Writers Project. "The WWP adheres to TEI encoding guidelines not only because they ensure a very high level of encoding sophistication and sensitivity to scholarly needs, but also because the TEI Guidelines conform to international standards (namely ISO 8879, SGML). The resulting WWP textbase is entirely free of hardware and software dependencies."

  • September 01, 1997. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson of The HCRC Language Technology Group for a new release of LT XML, ... a " high-performance publicly available XML toolset written in C. The LT XML tool-kit includes stand-alone tools for a wide range of processing of well-formed XML documents, including searching and extracting, down-translation (e.g., report generation, formatting), tokenising and sorting... [the release] includes executable images for a range of platforms, including Windows 95 and Windows NT, FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris. A preliminary partial Macintosh version is also available. This release is restricted to 8-bit character input/output, and does NOT do validation, although it does process and make use of DTDs in documents which include them... [Tools in the new 0.9.5 release]: (1) sggrep -- extract sub-parts of XML documents, using patterns over element structure and text content; (2) textonly -- extract text content only; (3) sgsort -- reorder sub-elements within specified elements; (4) sgmltrans -- pattern+action downtranslation tool; (5) sgrpg -- Structure-based transformation tool; (6) simple, simpleq -- event- and fragment-based examples of API use." For more information, see the main entry in the SGML software page, or the link to the University of Edinburgh.

  • August 29 [September 05], 1997. Public availability of HyTime Second Edition : Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language (HyTime) - 2d Edition. ISO/IEC 10744:1997, from the WG8 WWW server, as ISO/IE JTC1/SC18/WG8 N1920 (1997-08-01). The index of materials for 'ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 18 WG8 N1920rev' and the Table of Contents provide convienent entry points for the online ISO standard.

    This electronic 'review' version of the new ISO/IEC 10744:1997 is available online in HTML, PDF, and SGML format -- complete with SoftQuad Panorama [ViewPort] stylesheet. Our congratulations and deepest gratitude to Eliot Kimber and many others for their hard-earned accomplishments in reaching this important milestone. Note [September 05, 1997] the fuller statement of credits to the editors of the standard elaborated in the announcement from Jim Mason, Convenor of WG8.

    Of special importance is the standard's Annex A, SGML Extended Facilities -- a normative annex which defines the SGML Extended Facilities, many of which are prerequisites for the other clauses. Annex A includes a specification for the "Architectural Form Definition Requirements (AFDR)" which provide a "general mechanism for declaring and using SGML architectures," already implemented in part by James Clark in the SP parser materials. The updated SGML property set defined in Annex A is of broad relevance to SGML implementors, since "HyTime shares with the DSSSL standard (ISO/IEC 10179:1996, Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) the fundamental SGML property set and grove abstraction for representing and operating on parsed SGML documents (and other data objects for which groves can be constructed)."

    Access to the new HyTime standard will be facilitated by the collection of tutorial materials on the HyTime User's Group Home Page. See especially "A Reader's Guide to the HyTime Standard" and "What's New and Cool in HyTime Second Edition." More to come. . .

  • August 29, 1997. Announcement from webMethods Inc. that "the core of its Web Automation technology has been built around the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). webMethods' Web Automation product suite now uses XML to define automated access to Web data and services, and can be used against existing HTML or new XML-based Web resources. . . Web Automation technology is based on webMethods' Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL) 2.0, an XML application that defines Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to Web data and services." See the database entry for other information on the CommerceNet Industry Initiative on XML.

  • August 28, 1997. Article previewing the Resource Description Framework specification, from Eamonn Sullivan: "Developing a Card Catalog for the Expansive Web." Published in PC Week 14/36 (August 25, 1997) 34. "The emergence of XML in a more or less solid form earlier this year has provided a more comprehensive framework for metadata, prompting several organizations to propose solutions based on XML. The main proposals have been XML-Data from Microsoft which is available at and MCF (Meta Content Format) from Netscape (available at Both proposals provide for a sophisticated method to describe the structure of information, such as properties about authorship and relationships between objects. This week [August 25, 1997], a working group under the auspices of the W3C organization will meet in Redmond, Wash., to begin hammering out a specification that will take the best parts of XML-Data, MCF and PICS. The resulting RDF [Resource Description Framework] specification, if used widely, will enable more efficient searches and exchanges of information between organizations. [Extract]" See more on the Resource Description Framework in the dedicated section. The article is available online:

  • August 28, 1997. Publication of a new book on SGML: Bob DuCharme, SGML CD: A Complete SGML Toolkit. Charles F. Goldfarb Series On Open Information Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Professional Technical Reference, 1997. Extent: xx + 353 pages, CDROM disc. ISBN: 0-13-475740-8. The book and accompanying CDROM provide a valuable collection of SGML software and instructions on how to use the tools to usefully implement SGML. The software tools support SGML design, authoring, composition, and publishing. The book serves as a tutorial guide, covering "Lennart Staflin's Emacs mode for editing SGML documents, along with an Emacs tutorial for those who've never used this powerful editor (Win95/NT and DOS versions of Emacs are included on the CD); James Clark's nsgmls and jade; Earl Hood's perlSGML DTD analysis tools; the and David Megginson's perl development libraries; and SGML Systems Engineering's SGMLC-Lite development environment for creating interactive Windows SGML applications." See the author's description of the volume, or the bibliographic entry for other details.

  • August 27, 1997. Conference entry for "SGML Open for Business," September 17, 1997, Clarion Hotel, Millbrae, California. SGML Open for Business is a "one-day, educational seminar co-sponsored by SGML Open and the Northern California SGML Users' Group" providing management and implementation information on SGML and XML. Jon Bosak (XML Working Group Chair) will present "XML: The New Standard for Web Data" in the General Session. The Vendor Showcase will feature "leading vendors of SGML and XML products including: Adobe Systems, ArborText, Chrystal Software, Data Conversion Laboratory, Grif, Infrastructures for Information, Inso, Isogen International, SoftQuad, Texcel Research and Xyvision."

  • August 27, 1997. Added database entry for Project AQUARELLE. AQUARELLE, "The Information Network on Cultural Heritage," is sponsored by an international consortium gathering public and private cultural organisations. Two of its principal objectives are to "develop a resource discovery system for the cultural heritage information available in archive and folder databases, and to provide the technical facilities supporting information access through hypertext navigation as well as information retrieval by querying." The partnership is currently composed of cultural organisations, publishers, information technology companies, and research organisations; it is for "curators, urban and regional planners, publishers and researchers." At the technical level, the most relevant and important standards on which AQUARELLE rely are: (1) Z39.50, a protocol supporting distant access to documentation systems, and (2) SGML, a language supporting the specification of complex document structures..."

  • August 26, 1997. On August 25, 1997 a submission entitled The HTTP Distribution and Replication Protocol was tendered to the W3C by representatives of Marimba Inc., Netscape Communications Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Novell Inc., and At Home Corporation. "The goal of the DRP protocol is to significantly improve the efficiency and reliability of data distribution over HTTP. . . The DRP protocol uses a data structure called an index, which is currently specified using the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Because the index describes meta data, we anticipate using the Resource Description Format RDF), which was formerly called the Meta Content Framework (MCF), in a future versions of the DRP protocol specification. XML is used in the interim because the RDF standard was not finalized at the time of writing. . . The DRP defines the following new features: (1) Content identifiers, using the existing URI specification, which can uniquely identify a piece of content; (2) An index format which can be used to describe a set of files; (3) A new HTTP header field, Content-ID, which is used to obtain the correct version of a file by specifying a content identifier; (4) A new HTTP header field, Differential-ID, which is used to obtain a differential update for a file." A related document, "Generic Diff Format Specification (GDIFF)", was also submitted by Marimba. See the text of the DRP submission, or the database entry in the XML page for other information.

  • August 25, 1997. A new SGML Open Initiative (September 1997), "Through the initiative, SGML Open and its members pledge to promote: (1) open standards; (2) elimination of proprietary extensions; (3) complete interoperability. The name '' embodies the concepts of XML and serves as an abbreviation for interchange, interactivity, interoperability, internet and international." See the URL:

  • August 25, 1997. Announcement from Paul Prescod for a series of documents on SGML processing using Python. Titles: "SGML Processing in Python"; "Using SGML Groves from Python, Visual Basic and other OLE client scripting languages"; "PySgml: A Module (under development) for SGML Processing in Python"; "An Introduction to Groves for Python Programmers." Prescod says: "Python is a really easy, incredibly powerful scripting language. You might think of it as a more powerful, faster TCL or easier to use Perl. It really combines the best features of other scripting languages and borrows many neat features from the Great Languages from history (Simula, SmallTalk, Lisp, Algol)." See the links on the author's Home Page.

  • August 25 [28], 1997. Article by Lynda Radosevich on the use of XML in medical informatics: "Health Care Uses XML for Records. Other Vertical Industry Groups also Expected to Cooperate to Customize XML." Published in InfoWorld Electric, August 25, 1997. Also published in InfoWorld [ISSN: 0199-6649] 19/34 (August 25, 1997) 51-52; see the bibliographic entry in the main database. See also the main entry for SGML Initiative in Health Care (HL7 Health Level-7 and SGML) for other information.

  • August 21, 1997. New survey article on XML (Extensible Markup Language), by Robert Carter, on the Microsoft SiteBuilder Network. See the listing among other XML articles. Posted August 14, 1997.

  • August 17, 1997. Preparation of a document containing complete bibliographic information for the twelve (12) articles in the JASIS Special Issue dedicated to SGML, guest edited by Elisabeth Logan and Marvin E. Pollard. The issue theme was "Structured Information/Standards for Document Architectures," in Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Special Issue. Volume 48, Number 7 (July 1997). See also the main bibliographic entry for details on this volume.

  • August 17, 1997. Announcement for an article on XML written by Rohit Khare and Adam Rifkin. Published by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in IEEE Internet Computing Volume 1, Number 4 (July - August 1997), 78-87. See the bibliographic entry for the online abstract in HTML, and the link to the full text, in PDF format.

  • August 17, 1997. Update of the document listing principal SGML reference publications ("Starter Documents"). One may now count twenty-some volumes, many of which are available from the International SGML Users' Group (with member discounts), as indicated in the annotations. A possible sign that "SGML" is now closer to becoming a household word: we now have a title SGML for Dummies, from IDG. An announcement for this book (by Bill von Hagen) and the SGML CD: A Complete SGML Toolkit by Bob DuCharme -- both recently released -- will follow in a few days.

  • August 17, 1997. Updated announcement for the SGML Finland '97 Seminar (9.-10.10.1997), from Kimmo Elovainio, Chair of SGML Users' Group Finland. See the main conference entry for other details.

  • August 15, 1997. Announcement for a submission to W3C by Microsoft and Marimba for an XML-based standard, the Open Software Description Format (OSD). The joint submission was made to W3C on August 13, and is accompanied by several descriptive documents, referenced in the main database entry. A document 'NOTE-OSD' written by Arthur van Hoff (Marimba, Incorporated), Hadi Partovi and Tom Thai (Microsoft Corporation) bears this abstract: "This document provides an initial proposal for the Open Software Description (OSD) format. OSD, an application of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), is a vocabulary used for describing software packages and their dependencies for heterogeneous clients. We expect OSD to be useful in automated software distribution environments." The proposed specification has apparently been endorsed by other companies, including "CyberMedia, InstallShield Software, LANovation, Lotus Development, and Netscape Communications."

  • August 15, 1997. Updated conference entry for Seybold San Francisco '97, September 29 - October 3, 1997. Mosconi Center, San Francisco, California. Several sessions dedicated to XML and SGML are especially noted in the conference entry.

  • August 15, 1997. Announcement for an online article on the Extensible Markup Language: "Introduction to XML,", by: Lars Marius Garshol. Translated from the original Norwegian version.

  • August 15, 1997. Announcement for an updated version of the XML specification, edited by Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen. References: WD-xml-970807, W3C Working Draft 07-Aug-97, Extensible Markup Language (XML). See the W3C web site for the HTML version, and the XML reference section for links to the draft in XML and Postscript format.

  • August 14, 1997. Final Program announcement for the 1997 International Conference on the Application of HyTime. IHC '97. August 19 - 20, 1997. Adds a presentation "Using Architectures in Nortel," by Colin Gajraj.

  • August 12, 1997. Announcement from Charles Faulhaber (University of California, Berkeley) for the publication of the MLA (Modern Language Assocation of America) draft Guidelines for Electronic Scholarly Editions. Highlights from the : "B. Encoding norms. It is preferable to use the implementation of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) specifically devised for coding electronic texts, the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). The choice of an alternate standard should be fully justified and explained. C. The text itself should be essentially self-describing, which means that the computer file which embodies it should contain a header with essential meta-data. The Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI P3), edited by C.M. Sperberg-McQueen and Lou Burnard (1994) offer detailed descriptions of the sorts of information that should be provided for the source document as well as the electronic text itself." See the main TEI entry for other information on the Text Encoding Initiative.

  • Another essay by W. Eliot Kimber of Isogen (producing a lot lately!): a response to the incipient Resource Description Framework (RDF) proposal, in terms of the AFDR architecture mechanism of HyTime Second Edition (on which, see the highlights, or the standard ,now complete and provisionally online, also thanks to Eliot). The RDF-AFDR paper: "Using the RDF Data Model as an SGML Architecture," by W. Eliot Kimber. The document summary: "Describes the author's attempt to use the Resource Description Framework (RDF) data model as an SGML document architecture conforming to the Architectural Forms Declaration Requirments annex of ISO/IEC 10744:1997 (HyTime Second Edition). Includes an explanation of RDF base architecture as well as examples of using that architecture derived from the examples used in the RDF working draft."
  • August 12, 1997. Announcement for SP Wizard version 1.4.26, by Larry Robertson ( ". . . a freeware 32 or 16 bit Windows interface using OLE Automation wrappers around NSGMLS and SPAM." There are no doubt several of these utilities for the SP applications, but currently I have links only to two: SP Wizard and CSW Parser Plus.

  • August 12, 1997. More articles on the progress of XML (Extensible Markup Language): "XML Makes Web pages Smarter, Your Work Easier"[Intersights], by Eamonn Sullivan in PCWeek Online, August 11, 1997. Also: "XML Gains Foothold with DataChannel Viewer," by Michael Moeller, PC Week Online.

  • August 12, 1997. Updated entry for the use of SGML encoding in Electronic Theses and Dissertations, reflecting reference collections at a number of universities.

  • August 09, 1997. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) for initial enhancements of PSGML to enable an XML editing mode: ". . . I patched PSGML to add an XML mode that enables XML-specific delimiters, parsing, and error-reporting -- in other words, it's a real, native XML DTD-driven editor." The new code for XML support has not yet been incorporated into the main psgml distribution, but Megginson is requesting assistance from qualified alpha testers to help debug the code. Please help! The announcement contains a list of currently supported and unsupported XML features.

  • August 06, 1997. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for the DSSSL Documentation Project Procedures Library. Includes Chapter 1: Procedures (IEEE/R4RS Procedures); Chapter 2: Scheme but not DSSSL procedures; Chapter 3: DSSSL-specific Procedures; Chapter 4: Debugging. [" based largely upon David Love's contribution of July 2, 1997"] Also: SGML source. In this connection, note also the availability of a preliminary Glossary for DSSSL.

  • August 06, 1997. Announcement for a new Home Page of the Library of Congress for Finding Aids using the Encoded Archival Description standard (EAD). The new page "provides links to all the archival finding aids at the Library of Congress which have been encoded in SGML using Encoded Archival Description. Other kinds of online finding aids for collections at the Library of Congress, primarily in ASCII format, may be found through web pages for the reading rooms; many more finding aids in paper format are available for use in the reading rooms of a number of special collections divisions." See the Library of Congress - Encoded Archival Description (EAD) - Finding Aids Project main entry for further details.

  • August 06, 1997. A provisional upgrade and reorganization of the collection of DSSSL materials in the SGML/XML Web Page database, in preparation for relocating the main collection in a separate document. Access to the DSSSL information is now enhanced through a contents listing and collection subdivision.

  • August 06, 1997. Release of an updated version of Part 2 of the XML Standard: Extensible Markup Language (XML): Part 2. Linking. Edited by Tim Bray (Textuality) and Steve DeRose (Inso Electronic Publishing Solutions). Reference ids: WD-xml-link-970731 = W3C Working Draft July-31-97. The document abstract: This document specifies a simple set of constructs that may be inserted into XML documents to describe links between objects and to support addressing into the internal structures of XML documents. It is a goal to use the power of XML to create a structure that can describe the simple unidirectional hyperlinks of today's HTML as well as more sophisticated multi-ended, typed, self-describing links." See the "Specifications and Reference" section of the XML Page for other information.

  • August 04, 1997. Publication of a major resource for SGML implementors and users: The SGML FAQ Book: Understanding the Foundation of HTML and XML, by Steven J. DeRose. Published as: Electronic Publishing Series, Number 7. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997. Extent: xxiv + 250 pages, appendices. ISBN: 0-7923-9943-9. DeRose is Chief Scientist at Inso Electronic Publishing Solutions, and an editor of the XML standard (XML-Link). The book's contents are summarized in following online documents: (1) Detailed Table of Contents (including the list of major "Questions" answered in the book); (2) Endorsements from SGML experts (Joseph V. Gangemi, Sharon Adler, Anders Berglund, Eric van Herwijnen); (3) Publisher's description.

    The SGML FAQ Book is at once a 'practical' handbook which will help SGML users avoid common pitfalls, and a technical manual to assist SGML application designers and software developers. It is by far the most detailed technical commentary on the SGML standard ever published. The central section, which answers some 106 "Questions" about SGML (or 150 questions, depending on how you count) is divided into seven chapters, based upon the "most likely need to know" principle. Questions arising from different kinds of tasks and different categories of SGML users thus shape the chapters' content: (1) For Authors and Document Editors Using SGML Tools; (2) For Authors and Document Editors Who Commonly Deal With Raw SGML; (3) For Data Conversion Specialists; (4) For Authors And Editors Using External Data Or Modifying DTDs; (5) For Builders of SGML DTDs; (6) For Builders of SGML DTDs Who Must Constrain Data In Special Ways; (7) For Builders of SGML DTDs and SGML Declarations. The volume is also indexed, and contains useful appendices.

    In The SGML FAQ Book, DeRose explains counter- and non-intuitive particulars of the ISO 8879:1986 metalanguage which have regularly 'tripped up' both novices and formal language experts. The book thus answers a plethora of practical and theoretical (technical) FAQs that have been heard on the Networks for many years. The SGML FAQ Book has been heralded as "long overdue" by SGML experts who have reviewed it. Reviewers who served as referees included, in part: Sharon Adler, David Barnard, Anders Berglund, Michael Brown, Robin Cover, Harry Gaylord, Debbie Lapeyre, John Lavagnino, Chris Maden, Eve Maler, Gavin Nicol, Liam Quin, Peter Sharpe, Mackenzie Smith, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, B. Tommie Usdin, Eric van Herwijnen, and Wayne Wohler.

  • August 04, 1997. Posting of the preliminary schedule for presentations at the XML Developers Day, to be held in conjunction with 4th International HyTime Conference, August 21, 1997. Sixteen (16) presentations on XML are listed on the preliminary schedule. For more on the XML Developers Day, see the main entry.

  • August 04, 1997. Publication of the International SGML Users' Group Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 3 (July 1997). The Newsletter is the chief publication organ of the International SGML Users' Group (ISUG). The Newsletter is under new editorial oversight by Eamonn Neylon. The current issue has a focus upon the Extensible Markup Language, with three feature articles on XML: Charles F. Goldfarb, "XML and SGML"; Pamela Gennusa, "First XML Conference in Europe"; Peter Murray-Rust, "Scientific Publishing in the 21st Century - XML!"

  • August 04 [15], 1997. New draft article on XML by Adam Rifkin and Rohit Khare: "X Marks the Spot. eXtensible Markup Language opens the door to a motherlode of automated Web applications." The article is to "be published in IEEE Internet Computing, July/August 1997, and might be published in the Autumn 1997 issue of the World Wide Web Journal." See also the main entry for the Extensible Markup Language, and the bibliographic entry for the IEEE article.

  • August 04, 1997. Brief article on XML, from Jesse Berst, of AnchorDesk: "The Excitement Over XML." Wednesday, July 30, 1997.

  • August 04, 1997. Announcement from Murata Makoto of Fuji Xerox Information Systems for a Japanese translation of Jon Bosak's programmatic essay, "XML, Java, and the Future of the Web".

  • August 04, 1997. Release of a DocBook Online (DocBook-to-HTML) DSSSL Style Sheet, from Norm Walsh. Version 0.1, July 31, 1997. "To use this stylesheet, select the "SGML" output format (-t sgml in Jade). . . [this DSSSL spec is] based extensively on the modular DocBook Style Sheet." [archive copy, posted August 4, 1997]

  • August 04, 1997. Posting of a call for papers for the World Wide Web Journal Volume 2, Issue 4, to be published as XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques, from O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. ISBN: 1-56592-349-9. The volume is to be guest edited by Dan Connolly. See the bibliographic entry for further information, or the full volume description from the publisher [archive copy]; also:

  • July 26, 1997. Addition of several new bibliographic entries for articles on SGML/XML in issues of Seybold Report on Internet Publishing, published by Seybold Publications. Since its inauguration in late 1996, nearly each of the eleven issues of the Seybold Report on Internet Publishing has carried one or more significant articles on SGML, XML, DSSSL, or HyTime. See, for example: (1) "Britannica Online: Reinventing the Encyclopedia," by Liora Alschuler, and (2) "Online Journals: Print Publishers Move from Pilot to Full Rollout," by Mark Walter. See other articles by Liora Alschuler, George Alexander and Mark Walter (alphabetically) in the bibliographic listings.

  • July 26, 1997. Publication of Electronic Publishing: Origination, Dissemination and Design (EPODD) Volume 8, Issue 4, edited by David Brailsford and Richard Furuta. At least three articles in this issue will be of special interest to SGML researchers: (1) "File Format for Documents Containing both Logical Structures and Layout Structures," by Makoto Murata [extends and elaborates upon the CONCUR feature of SGML]; (2) "Transformation of Structured Documents," by Eila Kuikka and Martti Penttonen [note also the new bibliography entry for Kuikka's online PhD dissertation]; (3) "Portable Documents: Problems and (Partial) Solutions," by David W. Barron. See also the description of EPODD (ISSN 0894-3982), due to begin publication in electronic format with the next issue.

  • July 26, 1997. Announcement for a new application arena for XML: "XML and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)." The proponents say: "XML/EDI provides a standard format to describe different types of data -- for example, a loan application, an invoice, healthcare claim, project status -- so that the information can be decoded, manipulated, and displayed consistently and correctly by implementing EDI dictionaries. Thus by combining XML and EDI we create a new powerful paradigm!"

  • July 26, 1997. Submission of "XML-ixed" ISO 8879 entity sets, by Rick Jelliffe of Allette Systems; the postings were made to the XML Development list. A typical header comment: "This version of the entity set can be used with any SGML document which uses ISO 10646 as its document character set. This includes XML documents and ISO HTML documents. This entity set uses hexadecimal numeric character references." Please report any errors to Rick: The entities mapped to hex are in the following files: ISOgrk4.pen, ISOtech.pen, ISOdia.pen, ISOlat1.pen, ISOgrk1.pen, ISOlat2.pen, ISOgrk2.pen, ISOnum.pen, ISOgrk3.pen, ISOpub.pen. Available in a concatenated file, or archived as separate files in a .ZIP package. See also the larger collection of entity sets.

  • July 25, 1997. Brief article on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) by Tim Bray: "XML: Moving Toward Richer, Smarter Web Pages." In Network World 14/25 (June 23, 1997), Supplement Section [Intranet Handbook].

  • July 25, 1997. Publication of another book in the Charles F. Goldfarb Series On Open Information Management: PARSEME.1ST. SGML for Software Developers, by Sean McGrath. Sean is Chief Technology Officer, Digitome Electronic Publishing, Enniscrone, County Sligo, Ireland. The publisher's description includes these words: "In this book, an experienced SGML developer shows software engineers and developers all they need to succeed in developing SGML systems and products. Starting with the basics of SGML documents, DTDs, instances and parsing, the book introduces SGML to software developers. Once SGML basics are covered, the book presents the detailed information and worked examples that developers need to implement SGML solutions. It covers parsing in detail, then reviews SGML processing types, and considers the programming languages and techniques that may be used to implement SGML, including line-oriented, recursive descent, event-driven and tree transformation techniques. The book covers implementations of SGML generation, information reuse, dissemination and management. It also presents SGML subtleties, data variations and optional features that software engineers should be aware of. Finally, the book reviews related standards such as the HyTime hypertext/multimedia standard, and the new DSSSL standards for processing and style." See the book's bibliographic entry for links to a Table of Contents and other descriptive information.

  • July 25, 1997. Program Announcement from Steven R. Newcomb for the 1997 International Conference on the Application of HyTime (IHC '97), August 19 - 20, 1997. Three tutorial sessions are offered: Eliot Kimber's HyTime Course, Introduction To XML, and Practical Formatting Using DSSSL. See the main conference entry for further details. Note that the XML Developers Day (August 21, 1997) is being held in conjunction with IHC '97.

  • July 24, 1997. Word (from Tim Bray) that "the latest release of Internet Explorer 4.0 has a brand-new XML API." See the Microsoft Web server for a description of the "XML Object Model" ["This document defines the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Object Model for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0....XML-based documents are being used for at least two different applications for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0: (a) CDF files (Channel Definition Format), where a channel is a Web site that has been enabled for Webcasting to information receiving programs such as Internet Explorer 4.0. The mechanism that makes this possible in Internet Explorer 4.0 is the CDF file.; (b) XML-based documents are also being used in Internet Explorer 4.0 for describing download modules for download of code in the form of cabinet files, Java packages, and so on. This new format is meant to supersede .inf files and is called the distribution unit format (DUF)."] See further the simple implementations of the XML Object Model as samples, or the API Reference. The main database section on XML contains other information about Microsoft's proposed XML support.

  • July 24, 1997. Brief article on XML by Lynda Radosevich and Ed Scannell in InfoWorld Electric [July 19, 1997], "XML to Extend Client Possibilities."

  • July 23, 1997. An updated version of an online tutorial introduction to DSSSL, kindly provided by Paul Prescod (University of Waterloo). Note that the third installment of Bob DuCharme's serialized tutorial article on DSSSL has been published in in <TAG>: The SGML Newsletter, July 1997. The title: "Formatting Documents with DSSSL Specifications and Jade." See the bibliographic entry for full reference information.

  • July 22, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a new version of Jade - an implementation of the DSSSL style language now being used by an increasing number of developers. Jade version 0.9 contains mainly bug fixes, but it has two enhancements: (a) incorporation of the latest changes to the TeX backend, from Sebastian Rahtz; (b) the RTF backend now handles the span characteristic. See further description of this publicly-available DSSSL engine in the main Jade entry.

  • July 19 [20], 1997. Announcement from Eliot Kimber (Highland Consulting) for an extended tutorial example on SGML architectures, embodied in a highly-structured document type for DSSSL specifications. The author described the document type as illustrative of "Using SGML Architectures and DSSSL to Do Literate Programming." The associated paper, publicly available on the ISOGEN Web site, "relates the author's experience in developing an SGML-based system for creating and managing DSSSL specifications using SGML architectures as defined by the new Architectural Forms Declaration Requirements Annex of ISO/IEC 10744:1997 (Annex A.3 of HyTime). [It] Demonstrates the use of the following: (1) Using architectures to combine semantic objects from different domains into a single document; (2) Using architectures to associate general-purpose metadata with domain-specific objects (DSSSL functions and specifications in this case); (3) Using multiple architectures with a single document; (4) Using the same set of declarations for both client documents and as an architectural meta-DTD; (5) Using multiple levels of architecture; (6) Using architectural instance derivation to do useful things; (7) Suppressing architectural processing of elements and data; (8) Using SGML to structure program code ('literate programming')." See more on Architectural Forms and SGML Architectures in the Topics section of the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • July 19, 1997. Announcement from Liora Alschuler for the posting of a proposal that has been submitted to the HL7 SGML SIG on the development of an SGML-based standard for exchange of healthcare information. Readers interested in this and related work are invited to join the discussion on the role of SGML in healthcare, via the HL7 SGML Listserver forum. The 'Kona Proposal' defines The Kona Architecture: "Exchange requires a prior agreement on content and information definitions. However, total agreement within a domain as large as Medical Informatics is not feasible. Using SGML, the metalanguage from which HTML was created and on which XML, the new standard for Web documents, is based, the Kona Architecture resolves these two opposing forces by establishing scaleable levels of exchange so that partners can determine the degree of conformity in the documents they send one another.a new approach to exchange of electronic health records and documents." See the entry for the SGML Initiative in Health Care (HL7 Health Level-7 and SGML), or the Kona Proposal in draft form.

  • July 19, 1997. New entry for SSSH - Simplified SGML for Serial Headers, sponsored by Pira International. "SSSH - Simplified SGML for Serial Headers - was developed in 1996 by Publishing Technology and New Media Group on behalf of Book Industry Communications, the standards body of the UK book and serials publishing industry. SSSH has much in common with its respected antecedent, MAJOUR, but reduces the number of required elements, in accordance with the recommendations of the OASIS group of UK serials publishers, and adds new elements for the article identification schemes (SICI and PII) that have been developed since MAJOUR was published in 1991."

  • July 17 [18], 1997. Announcement for the publication of a new book in the Charles F. Goldfarb Series On Open Information Management: SGML on the Web: Small Steps Beyond HTML, by Yuri Rubinsky and Murray Maloney. Begun by the late Yuri Rubinsky, the book was completed by Murray Maloney. At the time of writing, both authors were affiliated with SoftQuad, Inc; Maloney has since become Technical Marketing Director for GRIF S.A. The book is described as an "Introduction to SGML for HTML Users," and it should serve the reader well for this purpose. Appendix A contains a revised and corrected version of SoftQuad's popular SGML Primer; the book also has an excellent glossary, and a list of Yuri's publications. The accompanying CDROM contains a complete copy of the SoftQuad Panorama Pro 2.0 SGML browser -- which should make the book highly attractive to buyers for this reason alone.

    The following online materials will assist potential users in evaluating SGML on the Web for their needs: (1) Table of Contents; (2) Volume Preface written by Yuri ; (3) the publisher's description ; (4) acknowledgements ; (5) summary of the CDROM contents. Full bibliographic information is given in the book's bibliographic entry. See also the positive review of SGML on the Web from Eric Freese, published in <TAG> 10/7 (July 1997) 10-11.

  • July 17, 1997. Announcement for the publication of a new book by Martin Bryan: SGML and HTML Explained (Addison Wesley Longman, 1997). Complete details are given in the bibliographic entry. The most novel feature of this book is that it's also available (substantially) online in HTML format; since its release earlier this year, at least three chapters have been revised (online) to reflect changes based upon the release of the HTML 4.0 DTD.

    The publisher's description: "Fully updated to cover the latest features of SGML and HTML, this new edition of SGML: An Author's Guide now includes a detailed description of how the concepts of SGML are used in HTML. Building on the strengths of the previous edition, SGML and HTML Explained provides an accessible explanation of all the features provided by both languages through numerous practical examples. [The book features:] (1) Real world examples taken from the world of electronic publishing used throughout; (2) A detailed description of the new standard HTML3 DTD including forms, Tables and Multimedia; (3) An exploration of the SGML and HTML techniques that can be applied in document analysis and information modelling; (4) A CD-ROM containing an interactive HTML example to enable readers to explore the real effects of Hypertext Links and other active HTML features."

  • July 14, 1997. Announcement for the publication of the SGML Special Issue in Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS) Volume 48, Number 7 (July 1997). Guest edited by Elisabeth Logan and Marvin Pollard, the volume contains twelve (12) articles on SGML, or more broadly, on the theme "Structured Information/Standards For Document Architectures." See provisionally the online Table of Contents or the bibliographic record in the SGML/XML Web Page. Information about JASIS is located on the Wiley server.

  • July 11, 1997. Announcement for the release of an updated version of the 'Syntax' portion of the XML draft: Extensible Markup Language (XML): Part 1. Syntax, W3C Working Draft 30-Jun-97 (WD-xml-lang-970630). Edited by Tim Bray (Textuality) and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois at Chicago). See the W3C server and the main XML database entry for other updated information on XML.

  • July 11, 1997. Announcement from Matthias Clasen (Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg) for a new version of 'psgml-jade.el', a PSGML add-on for editing DSSSL stylesheets and other specifications. "This version has improved support for menu-driven customization of style sheets. You can now save and reuse customized values." See also the announcement for the previous version.

  • July 11, 1997. Renewed "Call for Presentations" at the upcoming XML Developers Day Conference. Chaired by Jon Bosak, the Developers Day is a "technical conference for XML developers will be held Thursday, August 21, in Montreal, Canada. The event will immediately follow four days of HyTime tutorials and conference sessions in the same location and, like them, will be hosted by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA). XML Developers Day is a single-track event devoted to technical reports on the latest developments in XML theory and practice." See the main conference entry for other information.

  • July 10, 1997. Announcement from John Price-Wilkin for the addition of several hundred new volumes to the University of Michigan's Making of America site:, "bringing to the total number of books to 1,402. That's an average of 258 pages per volume, and a total size of 742Mb of searchable text. This represents a significant body of materials for research, 85% of the size of the English Poetry Database, now accessible freely on the Internet. Nearly 200 more monographic titles will be added in the coming months, bringing the size of the monographic portion to nearly 1Gb . . . The UM portion of the project uses a combination of automatically generated OCR with a low level of SGML encoding, using the TEI Guidelines. This strategy provides us with a means by which we can inexpensively build access mechanisms while at the same time building a consistent upgrade path." See the main database entry Making of America (MOA) Project - University of Michigan and Cornell University for additional information.

  • July 10, 1997. Announcement from Kevin Russell (Linguistics, University of Manitoba) for package of files and installation instructions for editing TEI documents with Emacs and PSGML. The package, entitled "Ebenezer's software suite for TEI," includes "the program files for Emacs, Lennart Staflin's PSGML package, James Clark's Jade engine and SP parser, the official files for the TEI (DTDs, entity files, WSDs), the [SGML Open] catalogue files for making all of the above run hopefully transparently, and a short tutorial." The cost: "All for one low price ($0) which can fit the budget of over 70% of humanities projects in North America today." Note that the main TEI entry contains other hints for other SGML editing and browsing software used to process TEI documents, including (1) TEI DTD and SoftQuad's Author/Editor, (2) TEI (Lite) DTD and SoftQuad Panorama, (3) TEI DTD and WordPerfect (SGML Edition), etc.

  • July 10, 1997. Announcement for a major new release of the HTML specification, version 4.0. Materials for the HTML 4.0 Working Draft Release (multiple formats) are available in several files. Microsoft has pledged to support the W3C standard in its MSIE browwer.

  • July 10, 1997. Addition of a help file, kindly supplied by David Megginson, for "fontifying/colorizing" the display for PSGML editing mode. Megginson gives a recipe showing how to map font faces to any or all of the symbols 'comment', 'doctype', 'end-tag', 'entity', 'ignored', 'ms-end', 'ms-start', 'pi','sgml', 'short-ref', 'start-tag' and so forth. A related discussion on TEI-L recently confirmed that recipe works for PSGML on a number of different platforms. See the main PSGML entry for other information on Lennart Staflin's PSGML - a GNU Emacs Major Mode for editing SGML coded documents.

  • June 28, 1997. Announcement from David L. Gants and John Unsworth of (University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities) for an enhanced version of Babble. Babble is identified as "A Synoptic Unicode Browser" that may be downloaded for use on Solaris, Win95, and NT systems. It is "an SGML-capable synoptic text tool that can display multiple texts in parallel windows. It uses Unicode, an ISO 16-bit character set standard, which allows multilingual texts, using mixed character sets, to be displayed simultaneously. Babble also allows users to search for strings in text or in tags, and to link open texts for scrolling and searching." In the new version 1.1.1, Babble can also "be run as a helper application alongside Netscape or other Web browsers, and it can receive multiple Unicode files from a Web browser." See also the main entry for Babble.

  • June 28, 1997. Reindexing of the SGML/XML Web Page. The entire database of the SGML/XML Web Page has now been reindexed, following a period of inattention. Please note the cautions and caveats when using the [] local VMS search interface; in some cases, better results may be obtained from an external search service (InfoSeek, AltaVista, Lycos, etc.).

  • June 27, 1997. Announcement from Tim Bray (co-editor, XML-Lang) for the availability of Lark version 0.90. "Lark is a non-validating XML processor implemented in the Java language; it attempts to achieve good trade-offs among compactness, completeness, and performance." Designed to run on the client and to be over the network, Lark is compact: its "total byte count is just over 40K". According to the author, differences between Lark 0.90 and the previous version include: "(1) handling of entity references in attribute values; (2) handling of &#X style hex character references; (3) draconian error handling; (4) the Handler has an element() method to serve as an element factory; (5) lots of bug fixes; (6) distributed in a package, 'textuality.lark'." The new version also "now comes with an application named XH . . . which reads the XML form of documents. . .and generates HTML. . . Xh doesn't use the event stream, [but] lets the parser build the tree and then just runs around the elements and attributes. . ." Other publicly-available software for XML is listed in the software section of the main XML page.

  • June 26, 1997. Preparation of a Topic Navigation Map FAQ document, by Martin Bryan. The work of the Topic Navigation Maps committee (responsible for ISO/IEC CD 13250) will be of interest to researchers concerned with HyTime architectural-form based modularized documents, indexing, intelligent help systems, metadata, and information mapping. The work takes cognizance of development trends in XML, the Extended Naming Rules TC, and and the (recently completed) HyTime TC Annexes. "It is presumed that the TNM standard will be defined in terms of SGML Architectural forms and the other facilities defined in the SGML Extended Facilities annex in the HyTime revision. It is further presumed that TNM will be based on the use of both SGML TCs (including the one to be defined later this year, which will allow multiple attribute definition lists to be associated with an element) and that the ISO 10464 extended character set will normally be used to define TNM applications (as is the case with XML)." See the dedicated database entry for further details on the Topic Navigation Maps (TNM) design effort.

  • June 26, 1997. New entry in the Conference page for the TeX Users Group 18th Annual Meeting. July 27 - August 1, 1997. Lone Mountain Conference Center. San Francisco, California. Tuesday of TUG '97 is an entire day devoted to "The Web and SGML", including a presentation on DSSSL stylesheets by Jon Bosak, and a session on 'The TeX backend for Jade' by Sebastian Rahtz.

  • June 26, 1997. Announcement from Liora Alschuler for a new industry-wide initiative to design an SGML/XML implementation for medical information. The project is called "Operation Jumpstart." "Operation Jumpstart refers to a privately-funded effort of medical practitioners, informatics specialists, medical technology vendors, and HL7 and SGML consultants who will meet July 7-11 to create an initial draft of an SGML standard architecture for healthcare. . .[its mission is] to develop a simple, focused reference architecture useful in both exchange systems and persistent storage. This architecture, along with reference code and examples, will be released into the public domain under copyright control of the HL7 SGML SIG." For other information, see the database entry for SGML Initiative in Health Care (HL7 Health Level-7 and SGML).

  • June 26, 1997. Announcement from Kimmo Elovainio (VTT Information Technology) for the SGML Finland '97 Conference, with a "Call for Papers." Date: October 10, 1997. Abstracts due: July 15, 1997. The conference is being organized by the SGML Users Group of Finland. This is the second in a series, the first of which was SGML Finland '96, which took place during 4 - 5 October 1996 in the Hotel Serena Korpilampi, Espoo, Finland.

  • June 23 [24], 1997. Announcement from Jean Paoli for the draft specification of an XML application called XML-Data. The specification is documented in a Position Paper from Microsoft, written by Andrew Layman (Microsoft Corporation), Jean Paoli (Microsoft Corporation), Steve De Rose (Inso Corporation), and Henry S. Thompson (University of Edinburgh), with contributions from Paul Grosso, Sharon Adler, Anders Berglund, François Chahuneau, and Edward Jung. XML-Data is an application of XML for exchanging structured data and metadata on the Internet. The paper outlines a number of XML-Data design features which are not in the MCF specification. The position paper has been sent to multiple working groups in the W3C currently dealing with XML and meta-data.

    According to the abstract of the draft document, XML-Data "provides the specification for exchanging structured and networked data on the Web. This specification uses XML, the Extensible Markup Language for describing data as well as data about data. We expect this specification to be useful for a wide range of applications such as describing database transfers, digital signatures or remotely-located web resources." See the the XML-Data specification document from Microsoft, or a slightly longer version of the document, posted to XML-DEV; also, XML-Data database entry in the XML page for links and other information.

  • June 22, 1997. Announcement from Tim Bray for an updated draft specification "for MCF (Meta Content Framework), an application of XML proposed by Netscape. The drafts have been heavily reworked based on early feedback, check out the specification at: If (like a lot of other people) you found MCF a little daunting first time around, you might want to check out the new tutorial at:" For other information, see the MCF entry in the XML section.

  • June 22 [27], 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for a new version (0.70 - db070.dsl) of the DocBook 3.0 DSSSL stylesheet, thanks to a number of enhancements from Norman Walsh. Automatic Table of Contents generation is among the enhancements. The stylesheet is available from the UNC Sunsite WWW server:, or alternately via FTP: For more recent work on this DocBook stylesheet, see the DSSSL page of Norman Walsh. [Note: Version 0.84 is available on Norm's DSSSL page as of June 27, 1997. Of this release, Norm says: "I've made docbook.dsl modular with entities. Each module is no longer a separate style specification. I've provided two simple examples of how a customization can easily be layered on top of docbook.dsl by using it as a separate style specification, which I think is very useful."

  • June 19, 1997. Announcement from Nancy Ide for the TEI Tenth Anniversary User Conference. "To commemorate the tenth anniversary of its founding, the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is sponsoring its first user conference, to be held 14-16 November 1997 at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The TEI was established at an international planning meeting on text encoding standards, held at Vassar College on November 12-13, 1987. The TEI is sponsored by the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the Association for Computational Linguistics, and the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing. The TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange were published in spring of 1994. They provide an extensive SGML-based scheme for encoding electronic texts across a wide spectrum of text types and suitable for any kind of application." For further details, see the conference main entry.

  • June 19, 1997. Announcement for a Tcl XML Parsing Package, distributed by the Australian National University. This Tcl package has been created for parsing XML documents and DTDs. The package requires Tcl 8.0b1 or a later version. The parser has been tested with a simple DTD and several small document instances; it is said to use "the XML namespace. Other publicly available XML software is referenced on the main XML page.

  • June 18, 1997. A proposal written by John Tigue of DataChannel for collaborative effort toward XML Java API Standardization. The document title is "Informal Work on XML API Standarization for Java". Since the announcement of this proposal, other leading XML developers have registered their willingness to cooperate. The proposal's "first goal is to find a lowest common denominator for the current implementations and abstract that to a set of interfaces such that a developer could use this new API independent of an underlying implementation of the XML processor and/or invest in learning the particular benefits a specific implementation provides."

  • June 18, 1997. Announcement from Michael Leventhal of Grif SA "that Grif will have XML-related extensions in the next release of the HTML editor Symposia Pro and Symposia Doc+ at the end of this month [June 1997]. [CSS style sheet editing is also supported.] While Symposia is a commercial-grade product the XML extensions are primarily designed to give Grif's customers the opportunity to begin experimenting with XML. [The company's] hope is that this will help to give a larger audience a concrete idea of what XML is all about." See also a related posting from Michael Leventhal on Grif's decision to develop two types of XML editors, and a demonstration document on the Grif server: "Authoring and Formatting XML Documents".

  • June 17, 1997. New entry for the University of Iowa Library, Iowa Women's Archives. The Finding Aids archive "has over 700 linear feet of materials including, but not limited to, letters, diaries and journals, memoirs, scrapbooks, reports, minutes, memoranda, speeches, photographs, audio and videocassettes, oral history interviews, slides, and films. A select number of finding aids have been encoded in [Panorama] SGML and HTML and can be accessed through this web page."

  • June 12, 1997. Announcement by Netscape Communications for a new proposed XML application: a "structure description language" having XML syntax and used to provide a "general metadata framework for distributed information resources." According to the notice on the Netscape Developer's page: "The Meta Content Framework, or MCF, provides a standard way to describe files or collections of information. A new Netsape document describes how to apply MCF using XML, the Extensible Markup Language."

    A (first draft) specifications document entitled "Meta Content Framework Using XML" written by R. V. Guha (Netscape Communications) and Tim Bray (Textuality) was formally submitted to W3C on June 6, 1997. It is said to "draw heavily from the knowledge representation work in AI. . .[and to] owe a lot to the MCF project at Apple." The document's abstract: "This document provides the specification for a data model for describing information organization structures (metadata) for collections of networked information. It also provides a syntax for the representation of instances of this data model using XML, the Extensible Markup Language." The (draft) proposal is available for inspection on Netscape WWW server or on the Textuality server. See the main entry for MCF-XML in the XML Page for other links.

  • June 10, 1997. Announcement for a published translation of the XML FAQ document Version 1.0 (by Peter Flynn) into Japanese. The Japanese translation was made by Okabe-san. See the XML FAQ section for links to the XML FAQ documents.

  • June 09, 1997. New entry for the American Heritage Virtual Archive Project. The project represents a significant collaborative effort by Duke University, Stanford University,The University of California - Berkeley, and The University of Virginia. The participants endeavor to create a shared database of SGML-encoded finding aids which describe and provide access to collections documenting American history and culture. The effort also seeks to "demonstrate the feasibility of providing both scholars and average American citizens with user-friendly, universal Internet access to the research collections of the world." The delivery software is to support complex searching and hypertext navigating access through the full DynaText database, using Inso's DynaWeb product as a filtering device for converting the SGML documents to HTML.

  • June 07, 1997. Announcement from Jean Paoli of Microsoft (and W3C SGML ERB Member) for the public availability of the Microsoft XML parser. "The XML Parser in Java (MSXML) from Microsoft Corporation is now available for download from: This is the second piece of XML technology from Microsoft, the first being the Channel Definition Format support in Internet Explorer 4.0. The Microsoft XML Parser is a validating XML parser written in Java. Once parsed, the XML document is exposed as a tree through a simple set of Java methods. We are actively working with the W3C to standardize an XML API. (See the W3C overview page for the Document Object Model . .)." For fuller description of the Microsoft XML parser, see the dedicated entry in the XML software tools section of the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • June 04, 1997. Invitation for input from scholars having linguistic expertise in the domains of Ugaritic, Old Persian, Glagolitic, Croatian, Buginese, Cherokee, and Gothic Uncials (and SGML) - who also have an interest in some sample collections of entities and glyphs "for potential inclusion into [revised ISO] 9573, Information Processing - SGML Support Facilities - Techniques for Using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), probably revised Section 15: "Public Entity Sets for non-Latin Based Alphabets." [local copy, descriptive text only.] The proposed collections have been eveloped by Anders Berglund and others. See also the special section on ISO 8879 Entity Sets and Entity Management for related proposals (chemistry, etc.), and the recent W3C Working Draft, Additional Named Entities for HTML, WD-entities-961125.

  • June 04, 1997. Reorganization of the SGML/XML Web Page information on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to enhance usability. The cleanup operation is not complete, but readers should now change their bookmarks to, as the links in the former location ['related.html#xml'] will be falling into disuse. The new XML page is still not as pretty as James Tauber's XML links -- whose fine work, in part, motivated this (sanity!) maintenance operation in the SGML/XML Web Page. I do not intend at this point to strongly separate SGML and XML in the SGML/XML Web Page database, as it would create too many difficulties.

  • June 03, 1997. Renewed call for participation in the SGML/XML'97 Conference: December 7 - 12, 1997. The Washington Sheraton, Washington, D.C. The call solicits "presentations on SGML and XML theory, tools, techniques, and experience for the annual SGML technical conference." See the main SGML/XML'97 conference entry for details.

  • June 03, 1997. Several updated documents relevant to the SGML 8879 revision, on the WG8 [ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8] Web server, maintained by WG8 Convenor James D. Mason, and on the 'Project Editor's Review of ISO 8879: Current Information Set' site, maintained by Charles F. Goldfarb. The documents provide information about the SGML revision in light of concerns for the use of SGML on the World Wide Web, including a proposed 'WebSGML Technical Corrigendum'. The complete listing of documents from Barcelona (May 1997) is given in the dedicated WG8 register.

    Among the most important documents recently posted are the following:

    1. N1929: "Proposed text for ISO 8879 Annexes K and L: WebSGML Adaptations" - "This Technical Corrigendum adds a normative annex K and an informative annex L to ISO 8879 to meet an urgent need for adaptations of SGML for use on the World Wide Web and intranets. It incorporates by reference the Extended Naming Rules TC." [WG8 server link]
    2. N1928: "User requirements for WebSGML Adaptations [WebSGML TC]" - "WebSGML TC: Requirements For a TC to Allow Simplified Forms of SGML That are Optimized for Use on the World Wide Web and Intranets" . . .This Technical Corrigendum allows simplified subsets of SGML syntax to be used, that can be interpreted by smaller and faster SGML parsers. In addition, provision is made for parsing documents without access to DTDs, or with no explicit DTD at all, and for reference to SGML declarations by reference, in order to minimize storage and transmission requirements and simplify the creation of documents." [WG8 server link]
    3. N1925: "Report of the SGML group, Barcelona, May, 1997" - "We developed the WebSGML Technical Corrigendum (WG8 N1929), which received unanimous approval of the members present. . . We began development of the specification for multiple name spaces for element types, considering the proposals for element type modularity and typed subdocuments." [WG8 server link]
    4. N1927: "Recommendations of the Barcelona Meeting" - references action on the HyTime Technical Corrigendum, the SGML [N1928, N1929] WebSGML TC, ISO-HTML, and other documents.
    5. N1924: "Proposal from the French and Norwegian National Bodies regarding the WebSGML TC", by Michel Biezunski and Steve Pepper. Groups requirements of the WebSGML TC into four "levels of desirability and attainability"

  • June 03, 1997. Announcement from Don Thieme of the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) for the availability of the SGML/Europe '97 Conference Proceedings, being a record of the presentations at SGML/Europe '97, held May 13 - 15, 1997, at the Princesa Sofia International, Barcelona, Spain. "This spiral bound reference manual contains 55 papers, ranging from case studies on a variety to topics to XML, HTML and the Web to Intranets to Topic Map Navigation and much, much more. The contents are conveniently indexed by conference agenda, author, and title."

  • June 02, 1997. Announcement from R. Alexander Milowski (Copernican Solutions Incorporated) for the DSSSL Developer's Toolkit (DSSSLTK) version 1.0, available as a downloadable distribution. The toolkit "is similar in nature to the applet or serverlet architectures developed by Sun Microsystems/JavaSoft. . . a set of abstract interfaces written in Java to allow application developers to work with different Java-based DSSSL environments. . . [it] serves as an interface between difference DSSSL components. It represents an architecture for building DSSSL-oriented systems using the Java programming language. . . [it] provides a means for different DSSSL implementations in Java to share components such as parsers, transformation engines and flow object semantics. The toolkit contains three Java packages: dsssl.engine, dsssl.grove, and dsssl.flowobject. . . Developed as part of the Seng DSSSL Environment from Copernican Solutions, the SSSL Developer's Toolkit contains: (1) Full source code to the interfaces and classes; (2) Javadoc for the API reference; (3) Configuration and makefile utilities for building the distribution; (4) A prebuilt zip file containing all the classes." See the relevant section in the Copsol Web site for details, and the special section on DSSSL tools for other current examples of DSSSL-related software.

  • June 02, 1997. Announcement from Murata Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems) for the completion of a Japanese translation of Part 1 and Part 2 of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) specification. The URL for the translated specifications documents is: -- part of the main XML page sponsored by Fuji. Work is also underway to translate the XML FAQ document, and the important article "XML, Java and the Future of the Web", by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems, also Chair of the W3C XML Working Group).

  • June 01, 1997. New entry for the Electronic Binding Project (EBIND) - UC Berkeley Digital Page Imaging Project, which uses an SGML encoding based upon the TEI Guidelines. "The Electronic Binding Project, or Ebind, is a method for binding together digital page images using an SGML document type definition (DTD) developed at UC Berkeley in 1996 by Alvin Pollock and Daniel Pitti. The Ebind SGML file records the bibliographic information associated with the document in an ebindheader, the structural hierarchy of the document (e.g., parts, chapters, sections), its native pagination, textual transcriptions of the pages themselves, as well as optional meta-information such as controlled access points (subjects, personal, corporate, and geographic names) and abstracts which can be provided all the way down to the level of the individual page. . . This SGML file acts primarily as a non-proprietary, international standards-based (ISO 8879) control file for the multiple image files which make up a digitized book or document."

  • May 29, 1997. Announcement from Michel Vulpe of Infrastructures for Information for a free CATALOG editor. The tool is described as supporting: (1) a parse of CATALOG entries to ensure that each public identifier is mapped to a valid system resource; (2) the writing of a report after parsing the CATALOG; (3) an interface to assist the user in creating and editing CATALOG entries.

  • May 28, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a new version of Jade - "James' DSSSL Engine." A major new feature in Jade version 0.8 is "support for the sgml-parse procedure which allows multiple source documents. . .Other more minor features include: (1) a '-G' [flag] which causes Jade to produce stack traces on error; (2) support for quasiquotation; (3) a read-entity procedure that returns the content of an external entity as a string; (4) an all-element-number procedure, which is like element-number, but which counts elements of all types and is much faster (constant time)." James has also merged in the source for the Grove OLE Automation interface. See: the main entry for Jade, or the description of major improvements in Jade version 0.7, or the Jade Page on James Clark's WWW server.

  • May 27, 1997. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson (The Language Technology Group, Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh) for "the beta release of LT XML, the first publicly available XML (Extensible Markup Language) toolset written in C." The "LT XML tool-kit includes stand-alone tools for a wide range of processing of well-formed XML documents, including searching and extracting, down-translation (e.g., report generation, formatting), tokenising and sorting. LT XML is an integrated set of XML tools and a developers' tool-kit, including a C-based API. The beta release now available is UNIX-only, but a WIN16 version will be available in the near future. . . Sequences of tool applications can be pipelined together to achieve complex results." See the LT XML main entry in the SGML/XML Web Page, or the direct link:

  • May 27, 1997. Announcement for a rudimentary search facility for the DSSSList archive. Significant work on DSSSL (DSSSL for the Web, DSSSL Online) is now underway.

  • May 24, 1997. Publication of a fine article on XML (Extensible Markup Language) in both German and English, by Ingo Macherius. The article title: "Experts' Revolution. XML: a professional alternative to HTML." It appeared in iX-magazine [Online Edition], May 14, 1997, published by Verlag Heinz Heise GmbH & Co. Article summary: "An alternative to HTML is on the horizon and it should be taken seriously. Extensible Markup Language is being proposed by the W3 Consortium and could soon - at least on commercial sites - supersede HTML." Other URLs: the original version in German.

  • May 24, 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for the availability of a draft document "that puts the existing DSSSL Online (dsssl-o) specification in a form that can easily be made into a Working Draft for XML Part 3 (Part 3 of the XML specification suite)" as the discussion for XML Part 3 (XML Style) now gets underway. Although different style specifications may be developed for XML documents, "xml-style has always been defined as based on a subset of DSSSL." Qualified contributors are invited to join the discussion; see the posting for details.

  • May 23, 1997. Added entry for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, based upon an announcement from Richard Rinehart, BAM/PFA Information Systems Manager. The BAM/PFA has a new Web site which now features "several searchable resources of film documentation, including 12,000 curatorial film notes encoded in SGML and EAD-encoded guides to the art collection." The search engine used for project is called Isite, and "can handle many types of information types from simple text files, to marked up HTML files, to complex SGML files or MARC library records." The project team sought for (1) a "way to present primary collections information - use of standards so that this information would have lasting value and maximize the work put into it; and (2) the maximum flexibility and ability to share this information since it is the core upon which we will build. The method we found that fit all the above needs was the EAD. SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) is an international standard for encoding full-text and richly structured information. The EAD (Encoded Archival Description) is an implementation of SGML intended to encode information which describes collections."

  • May 22, 1997. Announcement for a two-day seminar on the use of SGML in the health care industry: "Health Level 7 SGML Mixer: Medical Claims Processing with SGML." July 24 - 25, 1997, Diego/La Jolla, California. The seminar is sponsored by GCARI (Graphic Communications Association Research Institute), the HL7 SGML SIG (Health Level 7, SGML Special Interest Group), and SGML Open. See also the main database entry for SGML Initiative in Health Care (HL7 Health Level-7 and SGML).

  • May 22, 1997. Announcement for the alpha release of SgmlQL -- an SGML/HTML query language tool developed within the MULTEXT project. "SgmlQL is a programming language for the manipulation of SGML/HTML documents. . . SgmlQL is based on SQL. It is a functional language, i.e., a language in which all data and program statements are expressions, or queries, and which are recursively evaluated. It allows for manipulation of numbers, strings, (SGML) names, elements, attribute-value sets, documents, and (mixed content) lists, and can perform complex operations on these objects. SgmlQL works on normalised SGML (closing tags present, etc., as output of the spam and sgmlnorm normalizers, or the nsgmls parser)." To download the software, see the URL:

  • May 22, 1997. Note from Arjan Loeffen on the passing of Jan Grootenhuis (1944 - 1997), on May 16, 1997. Jan was "one of the leading figures in the Dutch SGML community." Some of his published works are listed in the SGML bibliography he maintained online. He worked for CIRCE (Centrum voor Informatica Research en Consultancy Europa BV), and edited the very fine SGML newsletter entitled <!ELEMENT - Een uitgave van de SGML Users Group Holland, for the Dutch SGML Users' Group. Jan's Home Page may still be accessible.

  • May 22, 1997. Yet another article on XML (Extensible Maarkup Language): "XML Is The Future Of HTML", by Jason Levitt. InformationWeek Online, May 19, 1997. One article among a growing number, showing that XML is reaching the attention of popular magazine readers.

  • May 20, 1997. New entry for the Yale University Library EAD Finding Aids Project. "The Yale University Library EAD (Encoded Archival Description) Finding Aids Project provides access to archival finding aids in a platform-independent electronic format, using SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). Finding aids are inventories, indexes, or guides that are created by archival and manuscript repositories to provide information about specific collections. While the finding aids created by repositories may vary somewhat in style, their common purpose is to provide detailed description of the content and intellectual organization of collections. Access to finding aids through the Internet will assist scholars in determining whether collections contain material relevant to their research. . . The EAD encoded versions of Yale's finding aids are configured to be viewed using SoftQuad's SGML browser, Panorama." See also the Library of Congress EAD Finding Aid Pilot Project or the Berkeley (Sunsite) Encoded Archival Description Project for other information on this SGML application.

  • May 19, 1997. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is featured prominently as the cover story in Web Review for May 18, 1997. The four-part article entitled "The XML Files: Multidimensional Files that Go Beyond HTML" is authored by Web Review publiisher Dale Dougherty, also 'co-founder of O'Reilly & Associates, head of O'Reilly's Digital Media Group, and publisher and developer of Global Network Navigator (GNN).' Following an overview of XML -- excerpted from a longer document "XML, Java and the Future of the Web" by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems, also Chair of the W3C XML Working Group) -- the article includes the following sections:

  • May 17, 1997. New work on 'enhancements to DSSSL (ISO/IEC 10179:1996) for use on the Web.' James Clark has begun to identify further requirements for the use of DSSSL on the Web, and to describe enhancements that could be standardized within the ISO effort, or alternatively, "standardized by some other organization using the extension mechanisms provided in DSSSL." Particiation is invited. The new work may be considered part of the larger dsssl-o (DSSSL Online) effort -- identifying facilities that need to be added. Issues currently identified include: CSS1 formatting, linking, Non-SGML packaging, Implementation simplifications, Inserting Objects, Java Applets, Forms, Scripting, Math, and Miscellaneous. The issues are sketched in an online HTML document entitled DSSSL WWW Enhancements. See the the main DSSSL entry for other information.

  • May 16, 1997. A brief report on the SGML Europe '97 Conference (Barcelona), provided by Peter Murray-Rust. Conference highlights included new developments on XML and DSSSL. See the main SGML Europe '97 conference entry for other information.

  • May 16, 1997. New entry for the Mathematical Markup Language -- a proposed XML application. A W3C Working Draft document describing the Mathematical Markup Language has been issued by the editors Patrick Ion (Mathematical Reviews / American Mathematical Society) and Robert Miner (Geometry Center / University of Minnesota). "Mathematical Markup Language, or MathML, is an XML application for describing mathematical expression structure and content. The goal of MathML is to enable mathematics to be served, received, and processed on the Web, just as HTML has enabled this functionality for text." The draft document issued by the working group calls for "content markup" (encoding of semantic notions, permitting the evaluation of mathematical expressions, etc.) as well as presentation markup.

  • May 15, 1997. Submission of a public-discussion draft document on Adding Strong Data Typing to SGML and XML, by XML editor Tim Bray. The paper addresses the problem of SGML/XML having "very limited support for data typing as a database person would see it. . . an obvious deficiency whose seriousness will increase as XML is used increasingly for electronic data interchange and database-related applications. . . [the document] proposes a mechanism to attach strong type declarations to XML elements using reserved attributes. While this is similar to HyTime's "architectural form" mechanism, this note does not include assume understanding, nor provide any discussion, of that mechanism."

    Note that Jean Paoli of Microsoft has submitted a related proposal in connection with the XML discussion "XML for Structured Data". For more information on the latter, see also provisionally: "XML for Structured Data", provided in HTML format by Murray Altheim (

  • May 15, 1997. Posting of a new W3C draft document PICS-NG Metadata Model and Label Syntax, by Ora Lassila and other "metadata" experts. Appendix A of the draft outlines the "Correspondence to the XML Web Collection Proposal." One proposal for the metadata syntax involves lisp; another involves the use of XML: "the Extensible Markup Language . . .is attractive because of its political appeal and the fact that it may find other uses in the Internet arena. The full definition of an XML syntax for PICS-NG will be included in a future version of this document." The PICS-NG document "introduces an model for representing metadata, and a syntax for expressing and transporting metadata based on this model. In a way, this is a new version of the PICS content rating label mechanism and motivates its use as a general metadata description formalism. The new PICS - which we shall here call "PICS-NG" (for "Next Generation") - is based on a conceptual object model for metadata, suitable for expressing information about web resources as well as other PICS-NG formulations."

  • May 09, 1997. Article on XML (Extensible Markup Language): "XML will take the Web to the next level. Labs explore enabling technologies of next-generation markup language", by Eamonn Sullivan. Appeared in PCWEEK Online, April 28, 1997. From the introduction: "Many companies have jumped wholeheartedly into the Web, only to find that deploying a large Web site is as complex as developing a large application--and that HTML is not up to the task. It's akin to trying to develop an operating system in BASIC. The Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is the World Wide Web Consortium's answer to the limitations of HTML. It is an extremely flexible language that will enable organizations to deploy more sophisticated documents and exchange complex data via the Web." See the XML main entry for more on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • May 09, 1997. Announcement from Sebastian Rahtz for a recently-updated version of the 'jadetex' package and a PDF version of the DSSSL standard, produced by TeX directly writing PDF with jadetexpdf. Jadetex is a generic TeX backend for Jade, the DSSSL engine developed by James Clark. The author believes that "Jadetex now works. . . for average documents" -- given minor caveats on tables, ISO entities (incomplete), and a few breaking rules. See the Jadetex entry for other details.

  • May 08, 1997. Updated version (Draft Version 1.0, 1 May 1997), of the XML FAQ document, from Peter Flynn of University College, Cork: [Answers to] "Commonly Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language: The XML FAQ." From the announcement: "XML is the Extensible Markup Language being defined by the SGML Working Group of the W3C. It is an application profile of SGML, designed to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web. It defines an extremely simple dialect of SGML (which is described in the Draft XML Specification). The goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML."

  • May 08 [June 09], 1997. New entry in the Conference page for ACH-ALLC '97. ACH-ALLC '97 is the Joint International Conference of the Association for Computers (ACH)and the Humanities and the Association for Literary & Linguistic Computing (ALLC), to be held at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, CANADA, June 3 - 7, 1997.

    As with many of the recent ACH-ALLC conferences, ACH-ALLC '97 will feature a significant number of presentations on SGML/XML 'descriptive markup' used to structure information of interest to linguists, literary specialists, and others in humanities computing. Examples:

  • May 01, 1997. New entry for the Cambridge University Press Electronic Editions. Several of the Cambridge University Press Electronic Editions use SGML encoding and the DynaText SGML searching/browsing software. In addition to supporting rich hypertext navigation, the SGML encoding permits very specific searches within the texts, including: (1) restricting queries to particular SGML elements, or (2) enabling queries that address the hierarchical text "structure" itself. In addition, the search software supports traditional query logic (proximity, context regions, boolean operators, substrings, wild card characters, etc.). Examples of CUP's SGML encoded electronic texts include: (1) Samuel Johnson: A Dictionary of the English Language, (2) Chaucer: The Wife of Bath's Prologue, and (3) the World Shakespeare Bibliography. Samples of the SGML encoding are provided in the supporting documentation.

  • April 29, 1997. Added references for three more 'news' articles on XML (Extensible Markup Language) published recently in computer magazines: (1) "The Web is Ruined and I Ruined it", by David Siegel; (2) "Netscape Acknowledges XML", by Cyril Dhénin; (3) "[XML] Markup Language Takes HTML to Task", by Michael Moeller.

  • April 25, 1997. Added entry for Open Financial Exchange -- an open specification for the online transfer of financial data based upon SGML/XML. The initiative is backed by Microsoft, Intuit, CheckFree, and other companies (Vertigo Development Group, Inc., Syntellect Inc., Destiny Software Corporation, InteliData Technologies Corporation, Digital Insight, ULTRADATA Corporation, Online Resources & Communications Corp.). According to the Version 1.0 specification, documented in the online DTDs: "SGML is the basis for Open Financial Exchange. There is a DTD that formally defines the SGML wire format . . . However, [the XML connection] Open Financial Exchange is not completely SGML-compliant because the specification allows unrecognized tags to be present. It requires clients and servers to skip over the unrecognized material. That is, if <XYZ>qqq</XYZ> appeared and a client or server cannot recognize <XYZ>, the server should ignore that tag and its enclosed data. A fully-compliant SGML parser would not validate an Open Financial Exchange document if it contained any tags that the DTD does not define." Note that the Open Financial Exchange specification is a second major XML/SGML-based initiative sponsored in part by Microsoft: the Channel Definition Format is another such standards effort.

  • April 25, 1997. Annoucement from James Clark for the release of Jade version 0.7, with "quite extensive changes." Jade (James' DSSSL Engine) is an implementation of the DSSSL style language, with a command-line application that combines the style engine with the spgrove grove interface and four backends: "(a) a backend that generates an SGML representation of the flow object tree; (b) a backend that generates RTF (tested with Microsoft Word 97); (c) a backend that generates TeX; (d) a backend that generates SGML. This is used in conjunction with non-standard flow object classes to generate SGML, thus allowing Jade to be used for SGML transformations." Binaries (for Windows 95 or Windows NT DLLs) and source code are available.

    Some interesting aspects of Jade version 0.7: (a) "One important internal change is that backends can now add their own specialized flow objects without changing the front end. The SGML transformation backend now uses this to implement its flow objects"; (b) "The main addition in the front-end is support for much more of the query language. A lot of what is not implemented can be implemented easily with procedure definitions"; (c) The version of SP releases in Jade 0.7 "now has some support for XML validation. Use -wxml to turn this on."; (d) "Microsoft have now released its free Word Viewer 97, and the Jade RTF backend now uses the Word/Word Viewer 97 hyperlink mechanism for representing links. Word Viewer 97 has several features that are significant for Jade, notably much better Unicode support and tables with vertical spans." See the Jade main entry for more information on Jade.

  • April 25, 1997. Significant improvements to the jadetex package, by Sebastian Rahtz. In the example (described and available for inspection), the SGML source of the DSSSL specification itself is transformed via 'jadetex' into TeXm then into PDF using 'pdftex'. Labels, links (PDF), and color are working. See the main entry for further details on Sebastian's jadetex package.

  • April 25, 1997. A contribution on Node properties in Jade, from David Megginson. The overview: "It is important to understand the implications of James's inclusion of the 'node-property' primitive in Jade 0.7 -- we now have direct, low-level access to the grove built from the parse SGML document, and can easily navigate from the root down to each leaf, and back again. . . [I have created] a web page to help [me] understand which classes and properties were supported by the current version of Jade, including the INTRBASE properties that are not part of the SGML grove plan proper." [Jade currently implements the following modules, as defined in Chapter 9: Groves of ISO/IEC 10179:1996: INTRBASE, BASEABS, PRLGABS0, INSTABS, BASESDS0, INSTSDS0, and SUBDCABS.] See "Node Properties in Jade" or the main entry on Groves and Grove Plans in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • April 25, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a Grove-based SP OLE Automation interface. This interface "provides access to the grove (tree) of an SGML document from Visual Basic or any other language that supports OLE Automation (such as Perl for Win32, or Microsoft's version of Java) . . . binaries only [dlls], source later." The interface supports the following modules from the SGML property set: baseabs, prlgabs0, instabs, basesds0,instsds0, [and] subdcabs. See the test distribution and the main entry on Groves and Grove Plans in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime.

  • April 25, 1997. Announcement from James Clark for a rudimentary implementation of XML xpointers in SDQL -- DSSSL's Standard Document Query Language for identifying portions of an SGML document. It "works with Jade 0.7".

  • April 21, 1997. Updated version of Part 2 of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) specification. Part 2 of the XML draft "specifies a simple set of constructs that may be inserted into XML documents to describe links between objects. It is a goal to use the power of XML to create a structure that can describe both the simple unidirectional hyperlinks of today's HTML, as well as more sophisticated multi-ended, typed, self-describing links." The editors are Tim Bray (Textuality) and Steve DeRose (Inso Electronic Publishing Solutions). Title: Extensible Markup Language (XML): Part 2. Linking. Reference ids: WD-xml-link-970406, W3C Working Draft April-06-97. The document in Postscript and RTF is available from the UNC Sunsite server. See the main XML entry for other information on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • April 18, 1997. Added section of pointers and description for ESIS - ISO 8879 Element Structure Information Set, based upon a thread from the SP programmers' list. The HyTime TC (groves) will augment and nuance this, but meantime the links are here. Readers who know of other/better online resources on ESIS are invited to send the URLs as references.

  • April 15, 1997. Announcement from Steve Newcomb for the 1997 International Conference on the Application of HyTime, to be preceded by Eliot Kimber's HyTime Course. August 19 - 20, 1997, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Overview: "HyTime is one of the SGML family of ISO standards for information representation and interchange. HyTime is the only internationally standard way to represent hypermedia documents, and, with its object structure modeling capabilities, which undergird the "grove" paradigm used in SGML (including XML) and DSSSL, it is unarguably the most general, abstract, and advanced way to use SGML, and to re-use information of all kinds in every way. This conference brings together HyTime users, prospective HyTime users, systems vendors, systems integrators, applications developers, consultants, and researchers to compare notes, share lore, ask questions, and develop answers..."

  • April 09 [15], 1997. A new article on XML in WebWeek 3/9 (April 7, 1997), by Liora Alschuler: news of Netscape's altered disposition. See "Netscape, On Second Thought, Warms to XML." The article's lead sentences: "Saying that so far Netscape sees no technical barriers to implementation of a draft standard for the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), the browser giant's program manager confirmed that it is now examining the draft standard with interest. This is a complete reversal of the company's position two weeks ago, which was essentially 'Not now, not ever.'..." See the main XML entry in the SGML/XML Web Page for other summary articles on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • April 07, 1997. Announcement for an "SGML Encoding and System Implementation Summer Workshop," offered by The Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan. Dates: May 27 - 31, 1997. "The frist three days of the workshop will cover SGML encoding (theory and use of Author/Editor), scanning/OCR, reading and using DTDs, and several related topics. The final two days will split into two tracks: one covering how our system works (the relationship between web forms, middleware, the OpenText search engine, and the SGML text) and how it can be locally modified, the other addressing public service issues." See the conference entry for other details.

  • April 05, 1997. Announcement from Christophe Espert (Electricité de France, Direction des Etudes et Recherches) for a new release of the YASP SGML parser interface. YASP has been implemented as a DLL for Windows NT and Windows 95, but the source code may also be compiled on Unix and other systems. The new version of YASP (1.36) has functionality "that will help enhance GROVE building in applications. YASP now reports ELEMENT, ATTLIST, NOTATION and ENTITY declarations as it parses them. YASP still gives access to the fully resolved DTD after the document prolog has been parsed. Therefore, objects of classes in the PRLGABS0, PRLGABS1 and PRLGSDS modules can be built." For more on information on YASP, see the YASP main entry in the "Public Software" section, or the Yasp 1.36 documentation in PDF.

  • April 05 [07], 1997. Announcement from Pamela Cohen of the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (CETH) for the 1997 CETH Summer Workshop. Theme: "Making Text Work." July 27 - August 1, 1997, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Course instructors: Gregory Murphy, Wendell Piez, and Michael Sperberg-McQueen. "The 1997 CETH Summer Workshop is an intensive, one-week course of study that focuses on the application of SGML (the Standard Generalized Markup Language) and the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) encoding scheme in the humanities. The Workshop is open to beginning and advanced users alike. The goal is to provide in-depth coverage of the fundamentals of electronic document markup, and issues related to the use of SGML and the TEI in practice. There will be opportunity for beginners to learn the basics of document markup using SGML." See further details on the workshop via the CETH Web server. For more information on CETH, see the main entry for Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • April 05 [07], 1997. New entry in the SGML/XML Web Page for the Electronic Text Centre (ETC), University of New Brunswick Libraries. Directed by Alan Burk, the Centre is developing programs to publish a variety of information -- from archival material to journals and newspaper -- over the Web. Archival texts will be marked up in the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) encoding, and a functional prototype for one such information database is the SGML-encoded diary of Marston, from the Centre's Benjamin Marston Diaries Project. The ETC is sponsoring a Summer 1997 Seminar on SGML; see also the text version of the seminar announcement.

  • April 04 [07], 1997. Announcement from Lou Burnard for 'TESS: The Text Encoding Summer School,' sponsored by The Humanities Computing Unit at Oxford. The course will be held at Oxford University, July 8 - 11, 1997. Educational objectives for students are to: (1) learn the basics of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML); (2) gain hands-on experience of marking up an electronic text using the Text Encoding Initiative's TEILite Document Type Definition; (3) gain hands-on experience of SGML authoring and browsing software; (4) learn about issues involved in distributing SGML documents; (5) gain basic knowledge of the range of SGML-aware software products available; (6) gain practical experience of marking up a complete document in SGML and delivering it via the Internet. See "TESS: The Text Encoding Summer School" for an online course description and application form. For more information in the Text Encoding Initiative's SGML application, see the TEI main entry.

  • April 04, 1997. Announcement for two summer SGML courses, to be taught by David Seaman and Daniel Pitti at the University of Virginia. Dates: Monday 14 July - Friday 8 August 1997. The course titles: "Introduction to Electronic Texts and Images," and "Implementing Encoded Archival Description." The two courses are part of the Rare Book School program at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

  • April 02, 1997. Updated version of Part I of the XML specification, available from the Textuality WWW server and from W3C. The new draft is the first published revision since November 14, 1996. The full title: Extensible Markup Language (XML): Part I. Syntax. Reference ids: WD-xml-lang-970331; W3C-SGML-ERB DD-1996-0004; W3C Working Draft 31-Mar-97. For links to Postscript and RTF versions of the document, see notes in the XML main entry.

  • April 02, 1997. Announcement from Christina Powell of the Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan for a major addition of fifteen new texts to the collection of SGML-encoded works in the American Verse Project. "The American Verse Project is a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press. The project is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920. The full text of each volume of poetry is being converted into digital form and coded in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) using the TEI Guidelines. The texts are searchable and can be viewed in HTML as well as SGML."

  • March 31, 1997. Updated version (Draft Version 0.5) of "The XML FAQ" maintained by Peter Flynn, of Silmaril Consultants. Significant additions/alterations have been made in the document, and are easily identifiable because they are shown in magenta. See the main XML entry in the SGML/XML Web Page for other details on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • March 29 [April 21], 1997. Added entry YADE (Yet Another DSSSL Engine) - a DSSSL engine being developed by Norbert H. Mikula, of Philips Semiconductors and the Department of Informatics, University of Klagenfurt, Austria. YADE... "is a DSSSL engine that has been implemented using Java and . . . is used in conjunction with [Mikula's] XML parser NXP (Norbert's XML Parser). YADE is using the Scheme engine Kawa, which has been developed by Per Bothner. YADE also follows the concept of having a core DSSSL engine and 'backends' for output to a certain device. As of today, YADE only supports the Java AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) as a reference implementation of a backend." Although YADE is not yet ready for public release, the author thinks it might be after the presentation at WWW6 in Boston.

  • March 27, 1997. Announcement from R. Alexander Milowski (Copernican Solutions Incorporated) for an HTML version 1.1 of a Grove Guide. "The Grove Guide is a transformation and re-orientation of the DSSSL Grove property sets. For each class, it lists the properties it has at each grove plan. Both the SGML and HTML version are fully navigatable via hypertext links." See the HTML document or the document in SGML. The SGML/XML Web Page also has a larger collection of references to Groves and Grove Plans in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime.

  • March 26, 1997. A growing public interest in XML (Extensible Markup Language) -- at least, to judge from the number of articles now appearing in popular trade journals. See, for example, recent articles by Liora Alschuler in WebWeek and Clarisse Burger in Le Monde Informatique (the latter in French). Other short articles on XML are referenced in the "news" section for XML in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • March 26, 1997. Availability of text for the specification of ISO-HTML, ISO Hypertext Markup Language, as per the explanation in an archived WG8 document. One element in the rationale for this proposed standard, clarified (to me) in the recent documentation, is the concern for document integrity: "The web has expanded and browser developers have added additional features to the markup language such as new tags and new semantics for the tags. As a result, many documents have been created which can only be rendered faithfully on a limited number of browsers. Normal web practice is to hide any syntactic problems detected by the browsers and thus the reader is not always aware that the page being browsed is not faithful to the original authored document. . ." One of the goals in the proposed standard is "to ensure that it will remain possible for an author to produce simple hypertext for the web and be confident that a conforming browser will be able to render the document faithfully." [from the draft text]

  • March 26, 1997. Announcement for work in progress on an XML parser, by Sean Russell (Department of Physics, University of Oregon). More precisely: "the kernel of an XML parser in Java." Among other more mature XML parser toolkits are: (1) the Lark, the XML processor from (XML co-editor) Tim Bray of Textuality, and (2) NXP, Norbert Mikula's XML parser written in Java.

  • March 25 [26], 1997. Still unclear on Groves and Grove Plans in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime? Or: when is a tree not just a tree of subnodes? See the instructive diagram created by Henry S. Thompson, Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh. It provides a picture of part of the grove which a conformant SGML parser would produce (viz., a processor conformant to to the DSSSL specification/forthcoming HyTime corrigendum).

  • March 25, 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for an updated version of the DSSSL stylesheet for DocBook (version 0.68b), with credits to James Clark, Anders Berglund, Tony Graham, and Terry Allen for various kinds of assistance. See the Sunsite FTP server:, or via HTTP: For more information on DocBook, see the Davenport Group the main entry.

  • March 25, 1997. Announcement Tony Graham of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. for a newly inaugurated mailing list for DSSSL users: DSSSList ( "DSSSList is provided as a forum where users of DSSSL -- Document Style Semantics and Specification Language -- can exchange ideas and solutions." To subscribe to the list, send mail to with the command "subscribe dssslist" [no quotes] as the body of your email message. See also the DSSSList Archive , managed by hypermail.

  • March 20, 1997. New entry for the Making of America Project, based upon information from John Price-Wilkin. "The Making of America project is a collaborative effort between Cornell University and the University of Michigan. . . Currently included in the UM online collection are some 200,000 pages of American publications from 1850 to 1900; by mid-year, the collection will extend to include approximately 650,000 pages, including several journals."

    "The MOA supports SGML-based Access Systems: "We hope that users of the system will appreciate some of the functionality developed through UM's nearly eight years of experience with deploying SGML-based access and delivery systems. Attractive, easily navigated displays of results showing the number of occurrences per page are combined with displays of the page image, circumventing many of the problems encountered when relying on OCR alone. As we have opportunities to "clean up" and more richly encode OCR'd texts, the system will begin to show dynamically-rendered HTML with links to the page images. The mechanisms used for the MOA system will be provided to participants in the UM's SGML Server Program." [from the announcement].

  • March 18, 1997. Announcement for a translation of the November XML draft into Japanese, provided by Mr. Murata Makoto of Fuji Xerox Information Systems. The draft is available at Note that "Fuji Xerox Information Systems has put up a nice Japanese XML information page" at [information from Jon Bosak].

  • March 16, 1997. New entry for SETIS - Electronic Texts at the University of Sydney Library. "SETIS makes available a growing number of SGML encoded texts for use via web browsers. . . SETIS is engaged in a number of text creation projects, and this has involved acquiring knowledge and skills not only about scanning and text recognition software, but more significantly, about Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML) and the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines for humanities texts. Current projects include work on lecture notes by Professor John Anderson from the 1930's up to the 1950's and which are held in the University of Sydney Archives; an edition of Lord Shaftsbury's Characteristics, Manners, Opinions, Times held in the Rare Books collection at Fisher Library, digital images of the New Australia Journal in Rare Books which are in a state of decomposition. SETIS is also engaged in encoding the novels identified for digitisation by the Australian Co-operative Digitisation Project."

  • March 14, 1997. Press release from Microsoft announcing that "it has developed and submitted the industry's first Channel Definition Format (CDF) for push technology to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)." The Channel Definition Format is an application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The press release title: "Microsoft Leads Industry to Standardize on Formats for Internet Push Channels; Submits Channel Definition Format Specification to W3C. More Than 30 Leading Companies Rally Behind CDF as an Open Industry Specification For Optimizing the 'Broadcast' of Information to Millions of Internet Users."

    "CDF is an open and easily authored format for the publishing of Web-standard channels that will allow Web publishers to optimize the broadcast of their content to millions of Internet users. . . CDF will be easy for Web developers to adopt because it is based on XML [emphasis added], which has support among many third parties. XML has public domain software written in Java and other languages available now that can be used to parse CDF files. The CDF specification submission extends XML and Web Collections work that the W3C has in progress. These efforts will allow for open, HTML-based Web broadcasting based on standards-based technologies that are expected to have strong support among W3C members. Microsoft looks forward to other leading Web developers joining in support of this open standards effort." See also: (1) Microsoft's submission request to W3C : "The Channel Definition Format"; [mirror copy]; (2) Microsoft's submission request to W3C : "XML Web Collections"; [mirror copy]; (3) early draft version of The Channel Definition Format (CDF), by Castedo Ellerman [Version: March 10, 1997]; [mirror copy].

  • March 13, 1997. New entry for the Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP). The Centre de recherche en droit public at the Université de Montréal is pioneering the development of a number of information models and delivery methodologies for bringing "SGML and Law on the Infohighways." The project goals are to facilitate the distribution of a large corpus of judicial and administrative documents based upon SGML encoding, including Internet delivery. A number of draft DTDs have been created for encoding statutes and laws applicable in Quebec. The CRDP Web site hosts several online reference documents describing this effort, including highly significant papers delivered at a September 1995 conference, "SGML et Inforoutes pour la diffusion optimale de l'information gouvernementale et juridique." [Thanks to Nicholas D. Finke, Director of the Center for Electronic Text in the Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law, for a posting to TEI-L which alerted me to this endeavor. CETL also has very interesting SGML projects.]

  • March 13, 1997. New entry for The LEGEBIDUNA Project (Proyecto LEGEBIDUNA), Universidad de Deusto. "The LEGEBIDUNA project concentrates on the explotation of a bitext corpus of administrative documents in both Basque and Spanish as a source for the development of simultaneous editing and translating software. [The Web site] includes discussion on legal texts, translation memory, descriptive mark-up (SGML, TEI, MULTEXT), variable translations units, and parallel text alignment."

  • March 11 [12], 1997. Press release from Murray Maloney, Technical Director of SoftQuad Inc., announcing support for XML by SoftQuad and other Web Technology Leaders (Microsoft, Sun, NCSA and Dow Jones Interactive Publishing). The announcement was made in San Diego, California at a conference on XML sponsored by the Graphic Communications Association. As an addendum to the press release from this XML conference, Jon Bosak noted: "Microsoft stated publicly that they have two programmers working full time on XML implementation" [ mailing list]. Additional information on Extensible Markup Language (XML) may be found in the main XML entry.

  • March 10, 1997. Announcement from Paul Prescod (University of Waterloo) for an online "Introduction to DSSSL." The tutorial "does not presuppose knowledge of the Scheme programming language, but also does not cover as many features of DSSSL that Daniel [Germán]'s tutorial does [see below]. . . [it] does not teach most of Scheme, but teaches enough of it that you should be able to read and write simple DSSSL stylesheets for doing simple mappings from SGML to print formats or to HTML (using Jade)." The URL:

  • March 10, 1997. Announcement for a tutorial "Introduction to DSSSL," contributed by Daniel M. Germán. The tutorial "is based on the style-sheet play.dsl [contributed] by an Anonymous author and posted by Jon Bosak. It is rather simplistic and not very well documented, but it should be understandable." The nine parts include: (1) Our Hello World; (2) Adding Margins; (3) Basic character and paragraph style formats for a simple paragraph; (4) Indentation; (5) Adding variables to facilitate maintainability; (6) Displaying elements in different order to which they occur; (7) Using styles; (8) Testing context by using 'parent'; (9) Creating tables. Tutorial prerequisites are said to include a basic SGML knowledge and a basic Scheme knowledge. The URL:

  • March 08, 1997. Announcement from Norbert H. Mikula for a new beta release of 'NXP - Norbert's XML Parser'. NXP is a public domain XML parser written in Java. In the new beta release, NXP supports: Public Identifiers, Catalogs (including DELEGATE and CATALOG), Parameter Entitities, Resolution of name conflicts, and Attribute defaults. For more information, see the main NXP entry.

  • March 08, 1997. A recent[ly discovered] collection of information resources on XML (Extensible Markup Language), hosted on the Textuality Web Site. From XML editor Tim Bray, the materials include: (1) an elegant summary of XML -- what XML is and what it is not; (2) a succinct XML FAQ - Extensible Markup Language Frequently Asked Questions document.

  • March 08, 1997. Announcement for a tutorial on the application of XML (Extensible Markup Language) in Journal Publishing: "XML: The New Alternative for Journal Publishing On the Web." The tutorial is sponsored by EPSIG (The Electronic Publishing Special Interest Group), and will be taught by Dianne Kennedy. April 1-2, 1997. [Apparently in New York], 99 Park Avenue, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company. See also the text version of the announcement, from Dianne Kennedy.

  • March 05 [07], 1997. Announcement by the International Language Engineering Corporation (Boulder, Colorado) for the OpenTag Initiative. ILE has "announced a proposal for an open standard for data interchange within the localization industry. By launching the OpenTag Initiative, ILE is seeking to establish a working group in which both localization customers and their suppliers can participate in defining a standard that will support open data encoding methods during the localization process, and permit robust data interchange between suppliers and customers. . . As part of the OpenTag Initiative, ILE will contribute a draft specification of the format, sample files, and reference materials, all based on previously proprietary ILE information and technology, to facilitate adoption of the initiative by the localization industry. This proposed standard itself relies on the international open standards of XML/SGML and Unicode." For other details in the OpenTag Initiative, see the main entry. [Note that conformance problems were identified in the earliest release of the OpenTag specifications.]

  • March 05, 1997. New URL for the hub document that links to the W3C Working Draft specifications for Extensible Markup Language (XML). The new draft document "Hypertext Links in XML" [WD-xml-link-970305], edited by Tim Bray and Steve DeRose, is a deliverable from phase two of the XML design effort. It is now available for review by W3C members and other interested parties. See the main XML entry for other information on the Extensible Markup Language.

  • March 04, 1997. Article in InfoWorld by Lynda Radosevich, "W3C Preps XML Despite Netscape's Snub." Text includes: "...[besides GCA] Other supporters of XML are Digital, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JavaSoft, Microsoft, Novell, Spyglass, and Sun. But notably missing is an endorsement from Netscape, which stated that it believes the extensions [viz., the Net user's ability to create new tags for Web documents in a standardized manner] are not needed." See InfoWorld 19/9 (March 03, 1997): 43, or the online version of the document; [mirror copy, text only]. A related article may be found in "Netscape Replies to XML [apparently: not interested, thank you!]," Seybold Report on Internet Publishing 1/5 (January 1997): 2.

  • March 03, 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for an expanded collection of simple tutorial materials for DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language, ISO/IEC 10179). The UNC Sunsite server hosts the collection as a "graduated series of example stylesheets intended to introduce DSSSL basics" -- generously provided by Jon Bosak. Current examples include: (1) Mail. "A trivial markup language for mail messages is defined and then a series of increasingly more complex (but still very simple) stylesheets is presented to show the most basic DSSSL constructs"; (2) Testaments. "A markup language for testaments (religious works) is defined and an annotated stylesheet is provided for making formatted copies of testaments"; (3) Shakespeare. "A markup language for the plays of Shakespeare is defined and an annotated stylesheet is provided for making formatted copies of plays. A pointer is provided to a collection of the complete plays of Shakespeare to which the example stylesheet can be applied." See the main database entry in the SGML/XML Web Page for more information on DSSSL resources.

  • February 28, 1997. New entry for The Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Project (ETD), coordinated through Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and sponsored partially through the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). The ETD Project believes that SGML "is the logical solution for the long-term problem of preparing and archiving electronic documents." "The Virginia Tech Graduate School requires a specific form for the submission of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) to maintain the consistency of these complex documents. The formal statement of these guidelines serves graduate students submitting ETDs, the faculty with whom they work, and scholars who study the submitted ETDs. We defined a Document Type Definition (DTD) in the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) for the representation of ETDs, a logical choice for encoding complex electronic documents. To build the DTD, we analyzed constructs in existing theses and dissertations and studied the rules for their submission."

  • February 26, 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems) for "an all-day workshop on "Delivering Structured Documents over the Web" that will be held in conjunction with the WWW6 Conference in Santa Clara, California on April 7, 1997." Persons interested in participating in the workshop should send a message to Jon Bosak as workshop coordinator describing what they think "the best approaches would be to implementing structured document delivery on the Web in the areas of syntax (structured HTML, generic XML, SGML), linking (HyTime, XML-Link, Hyper-G), processing/scripting (Java, JavaScript, Active-X), and style (CSS, DSSSL, dsssl-o). Workshop committee members (and other participants) include: Tim Bray, Textuality; Steve DeRose, INSO/EBT; Dave Hollander, Hewlett-Packard; Jean Paoli, Microsoft; Henry Thompson, University of Edinburgh. See more information on WWW6 in the main conference entry, and further details of the workshop in an online document.

  • February 26, 1997. Want to learn about DSSSL, starting with a simple example? See the mini-tutorial contributed by Jon Bosak for DSSSL stylesheets applied to (SGML-encoded) email messages. In the tutorial package, the files "show a simple SGML application and a set of DSSSL stylesheets for that application. The stylesheets are arranged in a progression that shows certain basic DSSSL features in action."

  • February 24, 1997. Announcement from Peter Flynn of University College, Cork and Silmaril Consultants, for the first public release of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) FAQ document (Version 0.4, February 23, 1997). "XML is the Extensible Markup Language being defined by the SGML Working Group of the W3C. It is an application profile of SGML, designed to be a standard to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web." The FAQ document is still in draft, and does not represent an official part of the developing XML standard, but it has been reviewed by several W3C ERB and WG members, and is maintained on behalf of the W3C SGML Working Group. More information on XML (Extensible Markup Language) can be found in the main XML entry.

  • February 24, 1997. Announcement for a new test version (release 2.0.2, 1997-02-21) of the Telecom/Technical Interchange Markup (TIM) DTD, as work sponsored by the Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF) Information Products Interchange (IPI) Committee. The TCIF (Telecommunications Industry Forum) DTD is recommended for interchange of technical documents within the telecommunications industry. For tables, the TIM DTD uses the CALS table model; the SGML declaration has provisions for XML compatibility. The relevant resources are available via FTP from the Bellcore FTP server, or from the ISOGEN FTP server, More information on the SGML applications of the TCIF/IPI (Telecommunications Industry Forum Information Products Interchange) man be found in the IPI main entry of the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • February 24, 1997. Announcement for a new mailing list for "those interested in developing XML (Extensible Markup Language) applications and technology," posted by Peter Murray-Rust. The list name is: "XML-DEV: a mailing list for XML developers." The list is unmoderated, and mailings are digested at the Imperial College Computer Centre in an archive for XML-DEV. Subscription and other information may be found in the text of the announcement, or in the SGML/XML Web Page list entry.

  • February 21, 1997. Announcement for an introductory SGML course for two units of academic credit, offered by the University of California Berkeley Extension Service. Venue: March 4, 1997 - May 6, 1997, Tuesday evenings from 6:30 until 9:30, [Near] Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA. See the main conference entry for other information.

  • February 17, 1997. Announcement from Copernican Solutions for the public availability of "an architecture overview and the javadoc for the dsssl.grove and dsssl.flowobject packages." "SEng/DSSSL is a java-based SGML and DSSSL environment that provides a componentized framework for developing SGML and DSSSL applications in both Java and the Scheme programming languages. This is the first of a set of information and technology releases for the SEng/DSSSL environment." See the text of the announcement, or the direct link to the "SENG DSSSL Environment: Architecture Overview" document.

  • February 17 [18, 21], 1997. A new test version (1.1.2) of the SP parser toolkit from James Clark is available for early testers (sources only). In addition to supporting the Extended Naming Rules of the WG8 TC (WG8 N1896Rev), the newest test version of SP has "more sophisticated treatment of character sets based on the new character set model adopted by WG8 for the SGML revision. [See the new doc/charset.htm file for a more complete description of all this]. This only makes a difference for the multibyte version of SP. Previously SP always represented a character by its bit combination in the document character set. SP now provides the alternative of representing a character by its bit combination in some other separate character set (often Unicode). SP also now provides more flexibility in describing how the characters of a storage object are encoded as octets. Previously this was specified relative to the document character set using a BCTF. It is now also possible to specify encodings that are independent of the document character set, in a similar way to, for example, MIME. Support has been added for set, in a similar way to, for example, MIME. Support has been added for Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese encodings. . ." The sources for SP 1.1.2 are available in the test directory on the SP FTP server. See also the "new release of SP available as part of Jade 0.5 from . .This SP release should be considered a beta release. . .J ade Win32 binaries are available in

  • February 17, 1997. New entry for ISO-HTML, ISO Hypertext Markup Language. 'ISO-HTML' is a proposed ISO/IEC International Standard for the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). It is a new effort in 1996-1997, under the auspices of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8, designed to create a standard that is "a conforming application of SGML, suited to serve the needs of JTC1 and others needing a stable format for documents displayed on the World-Wide Web (WWW)."

  • February 12, 1997. Following a period of site reorganization, the SGML Belux Web site is back online with a new URL: Included in the updated materials are the online proceedings of the 3rd Annual Conference on the Practical Use of SGML, held on October 31, 1996. Bibliography entries with abstracts have been created in the SGML/XML Web Page for the online published papers by Lou Burnard, Liz Gower, Norbert G. Mikula, Milena P. Dobreva, Erik Skinner (Benoit LaSalle), Paul Hermans, Jacques Deseyne, and Raf Schietekat.

  • February 12, 1997. Announcement from Infrastructures for Information Inc. for an Educational Support Program. "Infrastructures for Information Inc., . . . announces the no-cost availability of its S4-Desktop V2.1 middleware to any educational institution engaged in the use of SGML for teaching or non-profit research purposes. The program will make available to qualified institutions (public schools, universities and colleges) production versions of Infrastructures S4-Desktop Developer Kit middleware. S4-Desktop is a development environment for the SGML enabling of applications. It provides to the programmer a set of high-level functions that allows, for instance, a C/C++, PowerBuilder, or BASIC programmer to develop SGML applications. Applications already developed using Infrastructures technology include an award winning World Wide Web HTML editor, multi-media systems, document management systems, SGML editors, and semantic network navigation tools." See also a related press release on the S4-Desktop 2.1 product from I4I.

  • February 12, 1997. Announcement from Bruce Hunter of SGML Systems Engineering for the availability of the 32-bit versions (for Windows 95 and NT) of the SGMLC products. "The free SGMLC-Lite compiler is available for download now in both 16 and 32 bit versions, as well as a free Evaluation version of the top-of-the-range SGMLC-View browser/converter development environment." SGMLC is "an event-driven implementation of a major subset of the C programming language. It has been designed specifically for processing SGML documents, and the events which are recognised are those which may occur within a system when processing SGML documents; before, during and after the loading of individual documents."

  • February 07, 1997. Announcement from Arjan Loeffen for a revised and updated 'comp.text.sgml' shadow archive. The CTS shadow archive is hosted on a server at the Department of Computer & Letteren, Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University. The shadow archive "contains all submissions to Usenet 'comp.text.sgml' dated from sept 14, 1990 to jan 31, 1997; there are 16,009 messages about 6041 subjects." See the text of the announcement, or the direct link. In this connection, note that the The TEI-L/TEI-TECH shadow archive has also been updated.

  • February 06, 1997. New entry for the The Data Documentation Initiative, sponsored by ICPSR (The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research), located within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. ICPSR "has established a committee to develop a Document Type Definition (DTD) for an international codebook standard using Standard Generalized Markup Language, or SGML. SGML documents on the Internet can be linked and accessed through hypermedia tools, and social science codebooks marked up in SGML can take advantage of the enhanced functionality the World Wide Web affords. Because of their structured and encoded nature, SGML codebooks will also lend themselves to the production of data definition statements for SAS, SPSS, and other analysis software."

  • January 30, 1997. Updated information on the XML conference sponsored by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA), March 10-12, 1997, in San Diego. Presenters include: Tim Bray (Textuality), Norman W. Scharpf (Graphic Communications Association), Jim Sterken (ArborText, Inc), Bruce Sharpe (SoftQuad, Inc.), Jean Paoli (Microsoft), Eric Severson (IBM Global Services), Peter Lamb (Andersen Consulting), Wes Hair (INSO Corporation), Mark Walter (Seybold Publications), Robert McHenry (Encyclopaedia Britannica ), and Charles F. Goldfarb (Information Management Strategies). See the preliminary conference program, or the conference entry in the SGML/XML Web Page. Information on Extensible Markup Language (XML) may be found in the main XML entry.

  • January 28, 1997. Announcement from David McKelvie for the HCRC Language Technology Group's public release of LT NSL --- Normalised SGML Library, version 1.4.6. The toolkit offers significant enhancements over version 1.4.4. "LT NSL is an integrated set of SGML querying/manipulation tools and a C-language application program interface (API) designed to ease the writing of C programs which manipulate SGML documents. Its API is based on the idea of using 'normalised' SGML (i.e. an expanded, easily parsable subset of SGML) as a data format for inter-program communication of structured textual information. The API defines a powerful query language which makes it easy to access (either from the shell or in a program) those parts of an SGML document which you are interested in. Both event based and (sub-)tree based views of SGML documents are supported. . . LT NSL contains everything required to efficiently process a very wide range of conformant SGML documents. Its initial parsing module incorporates v1.1.1 of James Clark's SP software, arguably the broadest coverage SGML parser available anywhere, commercial or not." For more information, see the SGML Europe '96 presentations on LT NSL, or the main entry in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • January 27, 1997. Announcement from Henry Thomson for the "availability of the public release of version 1.0 of DSC---DSSSL Syntax Checker. This tool, which embeds a full R4RS Scheme interpreter in James Clark's SP parser, is designed both to provide an online syntax checker for all DSSSL expression, style and transformation language programs, and to serve as a preprocessor for any Scheme-embedded DSSSL implementation. Virtually the entire language as specified in chapters 8 through 12 of the standard is checked for syntactic correctness, and a nearly complete implementation of the core expression language is included. . . This is a UNIX-only release, tested so far under SunOS 4/5 and FreeBSD 2.1."

  • January 24, 1997. Announcement for an online document called a Grove Guide, produced by R. Alexander Milowski of Copernican Solutions, using the SEng/DSSSL environment. "This document lists each class and the properties defined for that class by grove plan module. This is, essentially, the reverse of what is in the DSSSL standard as the 'SGML Property Set'. The document also has some basic linking constructs for navigation of grove plan modules." The document is currently [January 24, 1997] in SGML format, readable using Panorana Free; later it will be produced in HTML format. The Grove Guide may be accessed from the COPSOL page "SGML Implementors: Standards". For more information on groves, see the main entry in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • January 24, 1997. Added entry for DTDParse, a DTD (documentation) utility by Norman Walsh of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This Perl-based tool "reads an SGML DTD and constructs a simple, easily parsed database of its content." In this connection, see a recent posting by Michael Sperberg-McQueen [with added links] on tools that (sort of) generate DTD documentation from DTDs.

  • January 20, 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for an early Alpha version (0.63) of a DSSSL DocBook stylesheet. See the text of the announcement for details, or the main Davenport/DocBook entry.

  • January 20, 1997. Announcement for the publication of a new book on SGML by Wordware Publishing, Inc.: Practical Guide to SGML Filters, by Norman Smith, with an introduction by Deborah A. Lapeyre. The book is "for programmers charged with SGML implementation, Webmasters, or anyone writing text processing applications. Complete with descripions, case studies, and detailed code illustrations, the book guides users through manipulating SGML data and creating SGML filters." See the main bibliographic entry for other details.

  • January 16, 1997. Announcement from R. Alexander Milowski of Copernican Solutions Incorporated for a utility that 'spell-checks' SGML documents: Ispell for SGML. Sources are available as a patch to the standard distribution; binaries are also available for Solaris 2.5, and a WIN32 port will be provided in the future. The brief description on the COPSOL WWW site says: "Ispell for SGML is a version of the ispell spell checker distribution that has been patched to understand and ignore SGML markup. This version is a simple markup scanner that does not assume any further knowledge of the DTD. It purely relies on markup mode scanning as specified in the SGML standard."

  • January 15, 1997. Announcement from Eve L. Maler for the release of the DocBook DTD, Version 3.0. For more information, see The Davenport Group Archive, or the main Davenport entry in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • January 15, 1997. Updated entry for the The Yuri Rubinsky Insight Foundation. Inaugurated in June 1996, the Foundation "provides a focal point for those honoring the life and work of Yuri Rubinsky, an industry leader, inventor, entrepreneur, author, humanitarian and friend." In particular, the Foundation "is dedicated to commemorating the genius of the late Yuri Rubinsky by bringing together workers from a broad spectrum of disciplines to stimulate research and development of technologies which will enhance access to information of all kinds."

  • January 14 [June 05], 1997. Announcement for an XML parser written in Java, by Norbert Mikula. The lexical analyzer and the grammar has been defined using the parser generator Jack. Status: In pre-beta stage. URL: NXP - Norbert's XML Parser.

  • January 13, 1997. Announcement from Matthias Clasen (, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel) for psgml-jade.el -- emacs lisp code which adds jade and jadetex support to psgml. Requires Gnu Emacs 19.* or XEmacs, together with Lennart Staflin's PSGML mode (tested with version 1.0.1) and David Megginson's DSSSL extensions (psgml-dsssl.el). "Now, whenever you are editing an SGML document with PSGML, you will see an additional menu with title 'DSSSL'. It contains entries to Jade, JadeTeX, Xdvi, David Megginson's `sgml-dsssl-make-spec' function and two more entries to display the results of process and to kill a running process." URL:

  • January 13, 1997. Updated version of the SGML version of Shakespeare's Richard III, prepared (as hypertext) by Eliot Kimber. The "All-Singing All-Dancing SGML-Based Hypermedia Version of Shakespeare's King Richard III" is viewable now both via SoftQuad Panorama and HyBrowse. The new HyBrowse version includes "independent links to associate commentary (notes on particular lines of the play) with the play itself; it also includes a discussion of how to use the demo and the principles being demonstrated."

  • January 13, 1997. Announcement by Peter Murray-Rust for a new (Version 1.0) release of Chemical Markup Language. Code supporting this application is Object Oriented, implemented in JAVA. CML is "a generic tool for management of molecular and technical information, especially geared to Inter- and Intra-net use . . . the primary purpose of pmr.sgml is to allow non-textual SGML applications to be rendered, processed transformed and edited. This is done in Java by subclassing Elements in the parse tree. Thus when <MOL> is recognised in an SGMLStream a MOLNode is created, and this allows molecular rotation, calculation of spectra, etc. through discipline-dependent classes. The mechanism is general, and can be used for graphs and other applications.. ." See, or the main entry for CML in the SGML/XML Web Page.

  • January 06 [07], 1997. Announcement from Jon Bosak for the availability of sample XML documents (release 1.01), complete with DTDs "for validating the documents and for comparison with DTDs generated by XML structure analysers." The XML document collections include, for example, the Bible and Shakespearean plays.

  • January 06, 1997. Public availability of the SASOUT table model DTD, submitted by Craig R. Sampson. "The SASOUT table model was developed to support the tabular documentation needs of the Publications Division of SAS Institute Inc. SASOUT instances contain sufficient meta information to allow them to be presented in both hard and soft copy. The meta data also makes possible non-traditional and interactive online presentations of the tabular data." The table DTD also "supports markup for indicating relationships between cells in a table [and] directly supports row header formatting." For a description of the SASOUT Table DTD and a link to it, as well as a URL for the associated paper, see the bibliographic entry for Craig Sampson's SGML '96 Conference presentation "SASOUT: A Context Based Table Model."

  • January 05, 1997. Announcement from Tim Bray of Textuality for Lark, an XML processor. The Textuality server contains a document "An Introduction to XML Processing with Lark," the abstract of which says, in part: "Lark is a non-validating XML processor implemented in the Java language; it attempts to achieve good trade-offs among compactness, completeness, and performance. . . Lark is available on the Internet for general public use." Document URL:; code sources:

What Was New in 1995-1998

Other SGML/XML news items recorded for 1995 and later may be found in separate online documents:

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