Re: Generic formats

Subject: Re: Generic formats
From: David Jones/KSBEISD <David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- DATAHUB -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 08:40:23 HST

>From: joens @ MSN.COM (Russell Joens)
Date: 07/17/96 12:56:03 AM
Subject: Re: Generic formats

>JMHO. A generic wordprocessing format would have been nice, but MS
>doesn't want it to exist.

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

Thank you. I've read some on SGML, including a book produced by InterLeaf. From
my limited understanding, SGML tags are supposed to describe the function each
document component serves in the document's structure. The formatting
associated with each tag is defined separately, for each application/document
in which you want to use the SGML-tagged data. I may be wrong, but good SGML is
not supposed to go to the depth of formatting detail required by wordprocessing
applications. For one thing, the more "formatting" information embedded into
the SGML, the harder it becomes to reuse the SGML-tagged information, and reuse
of information is one of the strong points of SGML.

Since SGML is the original from which HTML was derived as a subset, it might be
pertinent to keep in mind that a number of SGML purists feel that each of
HTML's "format-oriented" tags take it a step away from SGML. I think that
indicates the intent behind SGML. SGML is structure- and content-oriented,
while HTML is more format-oriented.

Maybe HTML (if it survives the war between Netscape, Microsoft, IBM, and Sun)
will someday be enhanced enough to be a generic wordprocessing format?

Just thinking out loud, no offense intended, YMMV, HAND!

David Jones, Technical Writer
David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- Datahub -dot- com
Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate

"I do not speak for my employer, my computer, or any other living thing."

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