Re: HTML and Publishing Architectures

Gavin Nicol (
Wed, 29 Mar 95 14:05:20 EST

>But I think SGML's big win is when Novell starts to interact with some
>"peer" organizations: perhaps they will contract out parts of their
>documentation to another company. It is often easier to tell that
>contractor "here's the DTD for Docbook" than it is to require that
>contractor to re-tool its shop to FrameMaker or MS-Word and the
>corresponding conversion tools.

The real win is application independence as you note. Beside that,
conversion from SGML tends to be easier than converting *to* SGML, so
one can generally buy a great amount of flexibility by using SGML
technology. In Novells' case, they can use the same data (different
stylesheets) to publish online documentation, or CDROMs (in fact, with
Dyna*, it's the same (compiled) sgml database file even).

Once SGML databases become mainstream technology, things will look
even better. The real painful part of SGML is in the nature of the
object representation, which disallows easy manipulation of single
objects. Once that barrier is overcome, document creation and
manipulation will undergo a slow, but profound change.