SGML 93 Appendix: The Year in Review
(c) Copyright 1993 by Tommie Usdin and Yuri Rubinsky
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part provided that
this copyright notice is reproduced on each copy made.
- Authored by Tommie Usdin, Atlis Consulting Group and Yuri Rubinsky, SoftQuad Inc
- Webified by Mark A. Gaither, HaL Software Systems
As always, we begin this article with a disclaimer: This is a highly
personal whirlwind tour of SGML activities in the last year
and includes only things we've heard about. Thanks to all the
individuals who contributed to this document, either through
the Internet, or at the SGML '93 Conference. Please note that unlike
previous year's reports, this one does not include vendors' announcements
of new products.
SGML 93 conference proceedings are available for sale by calling the GCA
What is in this report:
- The SGML review produced its first interim report in May, which
was published in . In addition to reiterating the principle
for future development -- which guarantees that existing SGML
documents will continue to conform -- the report indicated that
the review has progressed sufficiently that participants were
comfortable indicating that they know that changes will be
required to SGML. The group has included an arbitrary
non-representation sampling of requirements in the report. It
is important to re-state that this activity is NOT the
five-year review. That traditional ISO routine event was passed
some time ago; The creators of SGML continue to meet with the
SGML user community to consider future development based on
present and anticipated uses.
- HyTime, whose formal adoption as an International Standard was
announced as the kickoff item in the 1992 Year in Review is
gaining momentum in a variety of places. IBM is incorporating
HyTime structures into its IBMIDDOC DTD (which we'll hear about
later in this talk); TechnoTeacher demonstrated some of the
capabilities of its HyTime engine a few weeks ago at CALS Expo
and will be releasing product in the first half of next year.
And it seems at least three HyTime books are heading towards
publication. Yuan-Ze Institute of Technology and IBM Research
have announced the formation of Project YAO, an international
consortium for the production of free SGML system software.
The consortium's first products are Object SGML, a C++ class
library for SGML parsing with native HyTime support, and POEM,
a Portable Object-oriented Entity Manager. The products
are currently in alpha test and shipment is expected in the first
quarter of 1994.
- Sharon Adler reports that the second draft of DSSSL will be out
by the end of January and will consist of three levels of
complexity and conformance. It is expected that vendors will be
able to move quite quickly to the first level, which is
effectively equivalent to the screen and print display
capabilities of most SGML authoring and browsing tools. The 2nd
level will offer full compatibility with FOSIs, but, in
Sharon's words, "will be better." The 3rd level will support
arbitrarily complex specifications.
- ISO 12083
- This week marks the formal announcement of ISO 12083, the
much-enhanced and internationalized version of the ANSI/NISO
standard Z39.59-1988, the American National Standard for
Electronic Manuscript Preparation and Markup (also known as the
AAP DTD). The ISO standard differs from the ANSI standard in
that all ambiguities, redundancies and formatting specific
aspects of the original have been removed, element and
attribute names and values have generally been lengthened for
increased legibility (within the limits set by the Reference
Concrete Syntax), and simple HyTime and ICADD constructs -- see
separate item below -- have been incorporated into the DTDs.
- Standard Page Description Language
- Dr James Mason, convenor of ISO activity in SGML and related
standards, reports that the SPDL now has the authorization to
go to press; the committee is ironing out the small details.
User Group Activity
- The Swedish SGML UG got off to a flying start in August 1993. A
day with Eric van Herwijnen, several Swedish vendors and SGML
pioneers attracted nearly 200 attendees/members.
- Northern California
- The first meeting of the Northern California SGML UG was held
recently at Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, Calif.
- The Japanese SGML Forum sponsored SGML Show '93 for the public
and attracted an audience of 400 for product introductions, an
advanced-user lecture, and product demonstrations.
Participating companies (in alphabetical order) included:
Aldus, Electronic Book Technologies, Fujitsu, Interleaf, Nihon
Unitec, and Nissho Iwai.
- The French SGML UG began in December 1992 in Paris. The
President is Michel Biezunski. More than 35 people took part
and included many people interested in implementing SGML as
well as vendors. The plan is to organize four events each year
dedicated to specific themes, such as one day of user
- The first chapter located in the Middle East is the Israeli
Chapter which is being organized by Nary Ratberg in Tel Aviv.
- SGML SIGhyper
- Erik Naggum has succeeded Steve Newcomb as Chairman of the SGML
SIGhyper group, the long name of which is "the SGML Users'
Group's Special Interest Group on Hypertext and Multimedia."
- Graham Tritt reports that a successful annual meeting of the
SGML Users Group Switzerland was held in November, with
attendance of 35, in his words, most still in the "interest" or
Major Public Initiatives
- SGML Open
- SGML Open, the consortium of vendors and users, was founded
this year to undertake both technical and marketing activities.
With nearly 40 members, the group is rapidly moving to propose
techniques to support multi-vendor interoperability beyond SGML
itself. Meetings at the end of SGML '93 resulted in the
creation (and beginning activity) of working committees to deal
with creation of marketing materials and specifications for
common support for entity management and handling.
- Following recent meetings at the ACM Hypertext Conference in
Seattle and between the Worldwide Web and TEI communities in
Cork, Ireland, renewed and vigorous interest is being shown in
creating a "seriously useful" DTD for the online browsers for
the WWW. An ad hoc from the ACM meeting has presented a
proposed update to HTML and Dave Raggett of Hewlett Packard
(who created HTML) is working on revision 2, which is known as
- A joint committee of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA)
and the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC)
continue to work on a device-independent file format for news
service data transmission based on SGML. This standard, called
the Universal Text Format, was drafted last year and known then
as the NIML, or News Industry Markup Language. UTF is intended
to be used in conjunction with the International Interchange
Model, adopted several years ago by the NAA and IPTC. Most
major news services in North America, Western Europe and Japan
are involved, along with a number of large US newspapers. The
working group currently is refining the UTF proposal to
incorporate a DTD for news service files. The goal is to submit
the standard for approval next summer to the parent
- The Text Encoding Initiative reports that all major base
tagsets and several additional publications, without the
"Draft" status, are due shortly.
- Pinnacles Group
- The Electronic Component Industry group takes a giant `baby
step' toward standardization of product information
interchange. The Pinnacles Group, consisting of Hitachi, Intel,
National Semiconductor, Philips Semiconductors, and Texas
Instruments, last week (12/2/93) completed the document
analysis and architectural phase of this effort. DTDs for
review are expected in February 1994.
- International Committee for Accessible Document Design
- Last year, Texas passed legislation which specified SGML and
the ICADD tagset as the favored encoding for mandatory delivery
of all textbooks which have been adopted by the state education
authorities. The electronic files are to be used to create
Braille, large print and synthesized voice versions of the
textbooks for use by the print-disabled. Eighteen other states
have passed similar legislation and are expected to upgrade
their legislation to match that of Texas. Exoterica has
announced that it will make available an ICADD application--for
free -- which will transform any file marked up according to an
ICADD-enabled DTD into the recommended tagset.
Berger-Levrault/AIS has announced the availability of similar
support in its Balise software.
- Davenport Group
- The Davenport Group discovered that it had at least two
crash-priority agendas that were competing for the attention of
its participants, and so it splintered quite amicably into two
groups. The group that kept the name "Davenport" continues to
work on the "DocBook" DTD, in collaboration with the Unix
International DocSIG, which is expected to allow the
documentation of Unix (and Unix-like) software documentation to
be entirely portable.
- The other Davenport successor group continues to work on the
development of conventions for the use of HyTime. This group
now functions under the aegis of the Graphic Communications
Association Research Institute, and it is called the
"Conventions for the Application of HyTime" (or "CApH", an
acronym which is pronounced like the first syllable of the word
"caffeine"). The meta-DTD that used to be called "SOFABED"
under the aegis of Davenport is now called "Topic
Relationships" under CApH; it suggests ways of representing
indexes and other navigational information using HyTime. CApH
is also developing conventions for using the HyTime "activity
tracking" architectural forms to represent the wishes of
information can be used, for example, after royalty payments,
security clearances, etc.
- In Canada, a joint venture of government and industry was
formed to promote the CALS vision without reference to the
military domain. The conceptual framework for the initiative
has been termed FUSION, an acronym that stands for the "Focused
Use of Standards for Integrating Organizations and Networks."
The prototype applications currently under development deploy
SGML as the central tool in managing shared information
- New Drug Applications
- The US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is skeptical that SGML
will really work for New Drug Applications (NDAs), so a small
group headed by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA)
has built a demonstration Computer Aided New Drug Application
(CANDA) using real drug content. The FDA has agreed to "look at
it" and in fact has people in attendance at this conference.
Many pharmaceutical companies have decided they can't wait, so
they're implementing SGML on their own.
- Common Desktop Environment (CDE)
- The help system that will be distributed with CDE Unix systems
from six major vendors is based on a SGML file format called
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission is now accepting
corporate filings in SGML as part of its long-awaited second
phase EDGAR -- Electronic Data Gathering and Retrieval --
project. By 1995, all public corporations in America will be
expected to file their financial disclosure information this
way. Sadly, the DTD is very limited and shows how the politics
of trying to please absolutely everybody can play havoc with
good application design.
- Air Transport Association/Aerospace Industries Association
- In the ATA world, British Airways reports that it will provide
an SGML solution to handle SGML aircraft maintenance and
operational manuals. Phase I is for introduction into British
Airways of the Boeing 777 in March 95. The German Lufthansa
Airlines has released to field-usage an SGML-based central
document management system using ATA DTDs. The system, which
supports any DTD, is named DocMaint and will be marketed by
STEP who developed the system. Pratt & Whitney is implementing
a system to deliver technical publications in SGML for use in
the commercial aviation industry. The first publication will be
available in 1994 for the engine being developed for the Boeing
777 Aircraft. Aerospatiale, through the Airbus consortium,
began this year to deliver SGML-coded maintenance and
operations manuals to their customers on a routine basis. The
Electronic Library System, in which SGML and associated
standards will play a major role, was launched, with an initial
focus on its ground-based component. Boeing itself has
developed an indexing system for Service Bulletins using tagged
Service Bulletins and created dynamically. This leads to very
user friendly search and navigation path to get to the desired
bulletin. The system was developed under Unix and the
materials are downloaded to PC machines.
Recent and Forthcoming Publications
- Press Coverage
- North American coverage of SGML in the mainstream computer press
continues to grow rapidly. Articles have appeared in PC Magazine,
PC Week, MacWeek, Personal Computing, Washington Technology Week,
and Forbes Magazine, among others.
- The Taiwanese November issue of BYTE includes a piece by Charles
Goldfarb on HyTime.
- In a highly-directed public relations misfire, SGML was mentioned
on radio in Birmingham, Ala. twice and Bakersfield, Calif. once by
David Silverman of DCL. David reports that no new business was received
as a result of this strategic promotional activity.
- Prentice Hall
- Prentice Hall has announced the formation of a new series of
books and multimedia publications: "The Charles F. Goldfarb
Series on Open Information Management." The series will support
the development and deployment of information management
solutions based on open standards such as SGML and HyTime.
Initial titles will address document type design methodology,
the benefits of SGML-based information management solutions,
the development of SGML applications, and the HyTime standard
for hypermedia application development. Under Dr. Goldfarb's
guidance, the series will be geared to information specialists,
engineers, IS managers, systems programmers, and other computer
and publishing professionals seeking to implement open
information management solutions.
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Kluwer Academic Publishers are announcing the Spring 1994
publication of "Making Hypermedia Work: A User's Guide to
HyTime" by Steve DeRose of Electronic Book Technologies Inc.
and David Durand of Boston University. "Making Hypermedia
Work" is a user's handbook for representing hypertextual
information in SGML. The book fully describes the most useful
parts of HyTime while providing design guidelines to help users
avoid pitfalls and build effective documents for hypertext and
- Also from Kluwer
- Eric van Herwijnen's book "Practical SGML" has gone through ten
printings, and the second edition will be available in February
1994. During the last year an Electronic Book (DynaText
application) version appeared with an SGML parser so you can
parse the examples.
- Manager's Guide from VNR
- Responding to the fact that the interest in SGML far outpaces
the understanding of SGML, and that the lack of an accurate,
non-technical explanation remains a major impediment to its
wide-scale adoption, Van Nostrand Reinhold has contracted to
publish a manager's guide to SGML. The book is in progress and
scheduled for publication in the fall of 1994. This book is the
first in a series of books on SGML by VNR and will be followed
by books on DTD writing and other technical subjects.
- STC News
- The Society for Technical Communication devoted special
sections in two consecutive issues of the quarterly journal
"Technical Communication" to a series of eight articles on SGML
from a beginners' tutorial to case studies to an overview of
- More Milestones
- The SGML Handbook just reached a milestone 3000 copies sold and
is back to press for its third printing. Martin Bryan's
Author's Guide to SGML is back for its sixth trip to the
presses with 7500 copies in print. SoftQuad is pleased to
anounce that the "SGML Primer", its thirty-six page
introduction to SGML, is now in its sixth printing with 3400
copies distributed to date.
- The Compleat SGML
- Exoterica released "The Compleat SGML" in August, 1993. This
hypertext for Microsoft Windows links the SGML standard with
2348 SGML test documents. The SGML documents are created in
accordance with ANSI's Conformance Testing for SGML Systems
standard and serve to provide detailed illustration of the
points being made in the standard. It also includes annotations
that clarify some of the more esoteric areas of the standard.
In all, the hypertext links numbers in the hundreds of
thousands. Exoterica will also release "The SGML Conformace
Test Suite" in January. The SCTS provides the test documents
from "The Compleat SGML" in extractable form with a database
extraction tool. Both the National Computing Center in England
and the National Institute for Standards and Technology have
expressed interest in using the Exoterica Conformance Test
Suite for SGML testing.
- Kimber on HyQ
- Eliot Kimber has written a reference guide to the all-purpose
"HyQ" SGML query language that forms part of the HyTime
international standard. This publication is available free via
anonymous FTP from either of the two SIGhyper FTP sites (at the
University of Oslo in Norway and at Florida State University in
Government and Corporate Initiatives
- Library of Congress
- The American Memory Project of the Library of Congress is using
SGML to create a text base of historical materials on subjects
such as Women's Suffrage, the history of American Theatre, and
abolitionism in the US.
- University of Chicago Press
- University of Chicago Press is implementing systems for
translation to SGML, on-line editing in SGML, and output to
typesetting and for electronic journals. The first
implementation will be for the Astrophysical Journal.
- The Information Development group within IBM is developing an
internal SGML-conforming system to support the creation,
management, and production of all IBM product documentation for
all media types and delivery methods, using a single,
comprehensive SGML application called IBMIDDOC.
- OCLC and Information Dimensions Inc.
- OCLC and its subsidiary, Information Dimensions, Inc. (IDI)
have been selected to develop an electronic publishing system
for ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). The OCLC/IDI
in-house electronic publishing system will integrate the
various ACM publishing functions into a unified, automated
system that will encompass the writing, editing, composition,
production, archiving, and, eventually, distribution of
documents and publications. ACM publishes an estimated 40,000
pages per year, including books, journals, conference
proceedings, and internal publications.
- British National Corpus
- British National Corpus, a UK government funded
academic/industrial consortium is developing a 100 million word
corpus of modem English for use in lexicography and linguistic
research. Due for completition in April 1994, this corpus is
marked up in SGML, including part of speech codes and will be
freely available for research purposes, together with a high
performance SGML-aware browser/indexer developed for the
- Springer Verlag
- Springer Verlag is currently processing more than 50 journals
using SGML. In 1994 the number of journals will be expanded to
- Brockhaus, the German Encyclopaedia and dictionary publisher,
recently went into production with an SGML-based editorial
- US Government Printing Office
- Document analysis is in progress to place the Federal Register
on-line as the GPO continues to publish on paper. GPO's
typesetting programs will be made to recognize SGML codes as
well as its own set of codes that are strictly procedural. The
existing DTD for the Congressional Record on CD-ROM is now
being used to create a database for daily retrieval on bulletin
board as well as the printed document. CD-ROM may follow
- Uniscope has developed the Japanese Academic DTD for publishing
Japanese Academic Information on-line as a full-text database
- US Patent and Trademark Office
- The US Patent and Trademark Office (of the Department of
Commerce), in cooperation with its Trilateral Partners
(European Patent Office and Japanese Patent Office) in creating
a new, proposed revision of World Intellectual Property Office
(WIPO) Standard 32, specifying a list of tags and providing a
DTD and instructions for the use of those tags in electronic
exchange of SGML-coded patent and trademark data. The
Trilateral partners are also expecting final delivery early in
1994 of jointly developed SGML-based CD-ROM authoring,
retrieval, display, and printing software for mixed-mode (text
and images, on-the-fly page construction) patent and trademark
data. The The US Patent and Trademark Office is planning the
conversion of its internal systems for electronic application,
document markup, on-line database, document printing, CD-ROM
production, and dissemination systems to SGML-based text and
- European Patent Office
- The European Patent Office scans, OCRs, tags, and publishes
over a million pages of patent applications a year.
As a demonstration of the power of information structures to organize
the brain, this year's Miscellaneous section is broken down into three
- Miscellaneous Vendors
- Although we're not doing a section of vendor announcements this year --
This area had a separate slot at the SGML '93 Conference -- several
major players in the non-SGML world made announcements that have an
impact on the SGML world. These are Adobe, Lotus, and Microsoft.
- Adobe and Avalanche
- Adobe has announced a technology licensing agreement with
Avalanche for Avalanche to write code that will ship in an
Adobe publishing product. The software will support the
importation of SGML and other application file formats into
structured Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files.
Acrobat will use the document structure for full text retrieval
and the generation of hypertext links based on the structure. A
further goal is to be able to extract an SGML file from the
structured PDF file that is equivalent to the original SGML
- Lotus Development Corporation indicated at the Seybold
conference two months ago that it is "committed to providing an
integrated SGML solution for a future release of AmiPro".
- Late in October everybody's favorite multi-national software
conglomerate posted a long document to Compuserve entitled
"Microsoft Word and the SGML Standard" and announcing a product
called "SGML Author", an add-on to Word comprising a converter
(which is end-user focused) and a separate mapping application
geared to a systems person. The product is planned for
commercial availability in the first half of 1994.
- Miscellaneous Projects
- University of California at Los Angeles
- InfoUCLA, UCLA's campus-wide information system, has adopted
SGML to meet the diverse information needs of its community.
Everything from the schedule of classes, campus calendar, and
grant opportunities to press releases and policies are being
converted to SGML for electronic publication to multiple
distribution platforms including the World Wide Web and ICADD.
In their words, "InfoUCLA is using SGML to support local campus
diversity through international standards."
- The IEEE is completing a suite of DTDs for IEEE standards and
moving into a demo phase. The IEEE will be becoming an Internet
site. It is now putting up anonymous FTP and is debating (as so
many people are) how to charge for publishing electronically.
- Medieval SGML
- Medieval court protocols for the city of Stockholm are being
marked-up in SGML. These historical documents will then be
available for the benefit of historians, researches and
dessimated electronically in museums using SGML DARC.
- Oxford Text Archive
- The Oxford Text Archive reports that its conversion of
standards literary works to TEI-conformant SGML is continuing.
About 100 titles now are available including complete novels of
Trollope, Twain, Bram Stoker, Jefferson, Henry James, Conan
Doyle, etc. Files are available by anonymous FTP with the
admirable policy that "we don't put anything up for FTP unless
it's been marked up in SGML."
- The 1994 Cinemania is now in stores. Microsoft benefited from
the SGML production techniques used in creating the first
version in that they didn't need to create any new hypertext
links into the new data.
- American Chemical Society
- ACS is now updating their journals DTD with intent to make
online and CD-ROM journal delivery.
- World Congress on Expert Systems
- In the category of "most far flung SGML contributions", the
World Congress on Expert Systems simultaneously delivered a
CD-ROM of its proceedings and both hard cover and paperback
print versions including 210 submitted papers. All this was
produced from diskettes of text with SGML markup from a total
of 35 countries!
- University of Norway
- The University of Norway in Bergen is converting their
collection of Norwegian songs to SGML, for easy translation
into ASCII, HTML, and LaTex. The database is primarily text but
there are chords included for a lot of songs, and the melodies
for some. A preliminary version of the server has been set up.
- Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
- The critical text edition of Swedish author August Strindberg's
collected works are being marked-up in SGML.
- News from France
- Bureau Veritas (Marine Branch), the French ship classification
company, has adopted SGML and began retrofit of their
regulations database to SGML, including an impressive
proportion of SGML-coded math and tables. CD-ROM publishing of
this database is expected in 1994, and a DynaText prototype was
recently presented. INSEE, the French National Institute for
Economic Statistics and Studies, is currently exploring SGML
technology and expect to apply it to a large number of their
publications. The PSA group (Peugot and Citroen) are
confirming their move towards the generation of SGML for
creation, management and paper-based or electronic publishing
of car maintenance documentation. Electricite de France is
confirming their choice of SGML as the strategic technology to
create and maintain documentation. In the R&D division, a new
project of building a HyTime-based multimedia server was
launched. Several publishers of reference materials are moving
to SGML. Flammarion used SGML to create the Dictionnaire de
Geopolitique, which, because of the use of SGML, will be
published on CD-ROM just after the first printing. In this
case, the main incentive for using SGML for this new project
was the expected high annual rate of changes in this text
database ... In the words of Francois Chahuneau of AIS,
"Political geography tends to be redefined quite often these
- The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV)
- FMV is in the process of developing a Base DTD for all
technical information (i.e. text, illustrations, schemas, etc.
constituting the information needed to operate and maintain a
materiel system). The DTD is to apply to any materiel system
ranging from tanks, fighters, to submarines, radios, radars,
trucks, etc. The Base DTD will be modularized, and based on
functional content coding. The goal is to provide SGML-coded
text (and references to graphics) in small modules that can be
collected and presented in different ways for different
purposes, on demand.
- News from Australia
- The Australian Department of Defence has just closed a Request
for Quotation for consultants to develop an Australian variant
of MIL-M-28001 and companions such as OS and FOSI. This version
will describe Administration as well as Technical manuals.
Legislation from State governments of New South Wales, Victoria
and South Australia is in various stages of being made
available electronically. These projects all involve SGML.
Australia's largest SGML project to date, the Australian Tax
Office's IRIS Project, moved into use from prototype earlier
this year. The challenge for the project now is to populate the
data base. The Australian Stock Exchange is piloting the use
of SGML in delivering company data -- a 200mb text database.
One of Australia's foremost Information Research Institutes is
due to release an SGML-aware database in conjunction with a
major system integrator in the very near future. The
Commonwealth Attorney General is redeveloping their data base
of legislation and case law; the likely technology for this
will be SGML.
- News from Taiwan
- The Research Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC), a
government agency responsible for directing and facilitating
the standardization and computerization of government
operations, has promulgated 25 standard forms for official
documents. Earlier this year RDEC has also designated SGML as
a preferred standard for document interchange. In response,
Yaun-Ze Institute of Technology developed a common tag set,
25 DTDs and some public entities for RDEC's adoption.
- The CJK Document Processing Meeting, an Ad Hoc SWG of WG8,
initiated project SPREAD (Standardizaton Project Regarding
East-Asian Documents) last year. SPREAD consists of 4
multilingual working projects on DTD, linguistics, fonts and
hypermedia. Taiwan is responsible for those on DTD and
linguistics. Final reports are due in May 1994.
- Yuan-Ze Institute of Technology initiated a joint project
with IBM, Naggum Software and TechnoTeacher to develop an
ObjectSGML/HyTime Parser and Portable Object-oriented Entity
Manager (POEM) for public use free of charge. (See top of this
- The SGML Consortium of 11 vendors in Taiwan and led by Yaun-Ze
Institute of Technology has released a product called the
SGML-document Preparation and Applications Development
Environment (SPADE), which consists of SGML kernel API,
DTD-directed editor, DTD and SGML validators, formatter and
other utilities, all with Chinese language capabilities.
Future efforts of the consortium will be in the development of
market-driven SGML applications.
- Miscellaneous Miscellaneous
- SGML '93
- The GCA's annual technical conference devoted to SGML attracted
some 460 participants this year from 17 countries (up 160% from last
year, not counting an additional handful of people who were involved
only with the vendor tabletop presentations). Organized for the
first time into two tracks -- novice and expert -- the conference
included detailed descriptions of successful implementations,
reports on standards activity and industry-wide initiatives,
presentations of comparative techniques for SGML transformations,
beginner tutorials, birds of a feather lunches, and inspiring
keynote addresses. The SGML '94 conference is scheduled for
the same hotel, the same time next year, that is, Boston, Mass,
at the Sheraton Towers Hotel, December 5 through 8, with,
presumably, a similar collection of user and working group meetings,
tutorials and SGML Open events snuggled in and around it.
- ACM Hypertext Conference
- In the category of creeping SGMLishness, the ACM's Hypertext
Conference was practically overrun last month in Seattle with 5
out of its 24 courses related to SGML. Even a course on IETMs
and the Content Data Model had 40 people in it.
- Largest SGML Document
- David Peterson reports that, as far as he knows, the world's
largest SGML document remains the US Defense Logistics Agency's
Internal Catalog of Medical Supplies. Published quarterly, the
catalog includes more than 3 gigabytes of SGML text -- plus
- SGML and MIME
- The following excerpt comes from a US National Institute of
Standards & Technology OSI workshop report:
Ed Levinson, Accurate Information Systems, presented a proposal for
using MIME to support SGML documents on Internet. His proposal
addresses issues of functional standardization which are not being
addressed in current products such as naming for system independence,
protection against system commands, and awareness of processing
instructions' potential for abuse. Ed is looking for potential
implementors to provide the next step in creating Internet standard
for this proposal.
- O'Reilly & Associates and Harvard University
- A new mail list called firstname.lastname@example.org has been established to
address the problem of making published books available to the
blind in electronic form. O'Reilly & Associates and Harvard
University met to gain practical experience in addressing these
issues by providing digital documentation to Harvard students
and staff. Outside experts are involved by invitation, and the
scope will be expanded to address peripheral and broader issues
as initial problems are solved. Lar Kaufman reports, "We are
carefully limiting our scope to ensure that we cope with
immediate issues before expanding oour range of activities and
- Cal Poly University, California
- Future publishing managers are now learning about SGML, thanks
to industry support to Cal Poly University at San Luis Obispo.
The Graphic Communications Department is one of the largest
printing management degree programs in the country. Brian
Travis -- a graduate of the program -- has spearheaded this
effort, with support from Exoterica, SoftQuad, Information
Architects, and the GCA. Brian has developed a hands-on
laboratory project which gives these future managers direct
experience working with SGML and SGML tools.
- First Ever SGML Summer Holiday
- The first French SGML Summer School was organized by BL/AIS,
AFNOR and ADHARA in Vittel for a week at the end of June.
Thirty-five participants received an intensive mix of
theoretical and practical training.
- Data Conversion Laboratory
- Data Conversion Laboratory tells us that it this year converted
its 100 billionth character. SGML constitutes 80% of DCL's
- Joan Smith
- Joan Smith, often referred to as the godmother of SGML, has
retired this year. Joan founded and led the SGML Users' Group
until 1990. She also founded and led the CALS in Europe Special
Interest Group. Her latest book, "SGML and Related Standards",
is published in the UK by Ellis Horwood and distributed in
North America by Simon & Shuster (and the GCA). We wish Joan a
long and leisurely retirement and express our thanks to her for
all her help and efforts throughout the years.
- As of early November, the estimated readership of
comp.text.sgml newsgroup was 36,000 people, up 4,000 from
October. 78% of the USENET community receives the newsgroup on
their system, and can read it if they want to. In October, 178
messages comprising 495K were posted to the newsgroup. Only 2%
of the articles are crossposted to other newsgroups which
indicates a continued and specific need for the newsgroup,
although only 1% of the total USENET readership reads it. No
one has yet determined whether you can trust newsgroup
readership statistics, but whatever they mean, comp.text.sgml
is showing steady growth.
- SGML Multi-media from IBM and Playboy!
- In the realm of non context-sensitive projects, all the Playboy
Magazine issues from 1962-92 are available on a CD-ROM produced
by IBM Multi-media Lab for release soon and "unveiled"
yesterday at the OmniMark User Group meeting. Some of the
interviews include animation and audio. I think it's fair to
say that no one would have predicted Playboy Magazine moving to
Last updated Tue 21 Jun 94 by email@example.com