Re: SGML - Tell me about it

Subject: Re: SGML - Tell me about it
From: Elaine M Brennan <ELAINE -at- BROWNVM -dot- BITNET>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 1993 09:26:11 EDT

On Fri, 8 Oct 1993 22:00:29 -0500 Linda Wolf said:

>Could someone explain for those of us who are new to the field (sorry if
>this has been asked and/or answered before) what does SGML stand for?

SGML stands for Standard Generalized Markup Language. It's also known
as ISO Standard 8859. But somehow, I doubt that that's the answer
you're looking for.

SGML is a metalanguage -- that is, technically, it's a language
used to describe the specifications of a particular markup
language, although that description is often overlooked today.

SGML is a descriptive markup language -- it's used to describe
*what* the content and the structure of a document is; this is
in contrast to prescriptive languges, which focus on how something
looks. With SGML, the formatting information is kept separate
from the content.

Thus, SGML-encoded files are system-independent, platform-
independent, and software-independent, and can be (theoretically,
at least) easily ported from one to another with changes made only
outside the content file. The tools to do this, however, have
been remarkably slow in development.

For more information, I suggest you review the log files for
this list, and use the information posted earlier to retrieve
the comp.text.sgml FAQ.


Elaine Brennan
Assistant Director
Women Writers Project
Brown University
Box 1841
Providence, RI 02912
Elaine_Brennan -at- brown -dot- edu

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