Subject: sgml
From: scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 09:18:32 +1100

>I'm curious: why would anyone choose to author in SGML? My group did some
>investigation and it seemed like an extremely complicated way to get the
>job done. With tools like HTML and Bristol Technology's HyperHelp, why
>would anyone need to mess with DTDs and SGML?

>The only thing we could come up with was that people had to use SGML
>because of government contracts, etc.

>I would be extremely interested to know why anyone chose to go the SGML
>route. What were you gaining? Why didn't you choose other tools to
>accomplish the same thing?

>If you feel there are some extremely compelling reasons to choose SGML,
>please let me know. I would appreciate any feedback to help us make our
>decision about which tools to use to develop online help.

Simple. When your client wants to use the same information in several
formats. for example, a client of ours wants to put their manuals into HTML
so their clients can either access it off their own web site (the doco being
shipped to them on CD-ROM) or use our client's. On the other hand, there's
no pleasing some people and they want the manuals in a paper format.

Storing the information in a single format and pouring it out into the right
container when needed means SGML is the best option.

Also there's the problem of electronic doco -- our client supports several
platforms not all of which necessarily has 'Hyperhelp' type app available
(hence the HTML delivery).

Besides, HTML is already a subset of SGML. Dynaweb, from EBT, will take an
SGML document and serve it up to a web browser without any messy conversions
(as far as I can tell, we are in the early stages of evaluating this

ciao, scot.

HCI Consulting, GPO Box 4846 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia.
#include std.disclaimer

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