Re: Generic Formats

Subject: Re: Generic Formats
From: Sarah Lee Bihlmayer <sarahlee -at- CONTENTMANAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 13:14:00 -0700

Russ Joens writes:

>There is a generic wordprocessing format, it's called SGML. It is a tagged
>ASCII format (very similar to HTML) but more powerful.

Actually, I wouldn't describe SGML in these terms. It's kind of
complicated, but here's a simplified explanation.

In a sense, SGML is really a programming language. It's based on ISO
standards established in 1988 and 1989 and is used to create customized
markup languages for many purposes--for instance, HTML is a markup language
defined with SGML. The files are saved in ASCII format, but any text editor
can be used for tagging on any platform. Tagged files can be processed for
output to many different types of media using various tools available on
multiple platforms. SGML-compatible tools can read SGML-tagged files saved
in ASCII format without typical cross-platform limitations--as long as the
tools are properly configured for the particular SGML-based tagging language
used. Saving files in SGML format in a word-processor is only "generic"
when the same set of SGML tags the word-processor uses is included in the
configuration for any other tool used to read and work with the files.

|Sarah Lee Bihlmayer * Intranet Documentation Specialist |
|Site Development * Content Creation * Content Management|
| Technical Writing * Developmental Editing * Indexing |
| 415-207-4046 * sarahlee -at- contentmanage -dot- com |

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