reply: what is sgml-aware

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reply: what is sgml-aware

Michael Sperberg-McQueen
Sorry -- I should have defined the term.  By "SGML-aware" software I
mean software that "knows" about SGML tags and thus can handle them in
some intelligent way.  Examples:  hiding all the tags.  Bolding all the
tags.  Finding the corresponding end or start tag for the tag which is
now under the cursor.  Allowing you to specify that the contents of tag
BLORT should be suppressed (from view, or from the output of a copy
command).  Allowing you to qualify search commands or other commands
using concepts like "within any BLORT" or "inside this current element"
or "the parent (surrounding element) of the current element".

Various kinds of software have or can be given various levels of SGML
awareness.  Conformant software, of course, is SGML-aware by definition.
A lot of other software is aware but not conformant:  TRUC and Lector
from Waterloo (Open Text Systems, I believe the spinoff firm is called),
Lexx from IBM (a product in England, and soon to be a product in the
US), -- there are others which slip my mind at the moment.  And of
course many an intelligent editor could be made SGML-aware with a good
set of macros or extensions -- emacs, Xedit, Kedit are obvious
possibilities, and surely many others.

SGML-aware software is important for two reasons:  (1) it shows you do
not need fully SGML-conformant or SGML-validating software to get a lot
of advantages from SGML, and (2) it allows for striking demonstrations
of how much more intelligent software can become if it knows something
about the structure of your text.

I hope this answers your question.

Michael Sperberg-McQueen

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re: reply: what is sgml-aware

Michael Sperberg-McQueen
(This came to me directly, but may be of more general interest.)

Date: Wed, 3 Oct 90 14:13:20 -0400
From: [hidden email] (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: Re: reply:  what is sgml-aware

I don't think that was what he meant... What he meant is `what does software
have to do to be considered `aware' of SGML'. I.e. It has to see the
tags, probably know whether they are balanced, read the SGML
declaration and know whether the tags are legally embedded the
way they are in the document; and if attribute/values and/or
entity references are used, also know how to read those.