New SGML search engine?

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New SGML search engine?

Lou Burnard-7
I have just received a slightly technical overview of the capabilities
of the new text retrieval system from Information Dimensions,
BASIS-PLUS, in which the following paragraphs caught my eye:-
BASISPlus recognizes an extensive subset of Standard generalized
Markup Language (SGML) to import and export marked up documents and
intelligently comprehend and display document attributes identified by
the markup. SGML is  ... [brief description of markup concepts,
usefulness of descriptive markup etc.] ... Documents stored in
BASISplus contain text with embedded markup in the form of the
BASISplus Generalised Markup Language (BGML). BGML is based on the
identification of document structure using descriptive markup. BGML
enables BASISplus to recognize the attributes of the text stored in
the BDIF format. BGML is derived from and is consistent with SGML.

At presentation time, the BASISplus Markup and Style Guide is referenced
to determine how to format the text and where to find the external
entities. It contains the definitions for markup elements, entity
references and processing procedures. A standard set of markup
elements is supplied with BASISplus and users can create customized
markup elements. Only the rules need to be edited; documents are
unchanged and are not exposed to editing errors. BASISplus requires all
the definitions of the markup elements and entity references to be
precompiled into a Markup and Style Guide  [...]

The Markup and Style Guide is a BASISplus repository contaioning
specifications for:
- Converters used to import and export documents [other formats mentioned
include Revisable Form WP, Flatfiles, DDIF Compound Docs, DIF ]
- Parsers used to locate 'context units' in the text of a document
- Presenters used to prepoare a document for viewing
- Markup language declarations for documents that contain markup
elements and entity references used for descriptive markup

If this is only half as good as it sounds, it's worth a second look.
OUCS is currently negotiating with Info Dimensions to upgrade our
current Basis systems to BasisPlus. I'll keep you posted...

Lou Burnard