Sgml Implementation Procedures

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Title:
Sgml Implementation Procedures
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Watson, Dennis G.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

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Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Publication date: November 1992."
General Note:
"Circular 1087"

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00004494:00001


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Circular1087 TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/JohnT.Woeste,DeanNovember1992SGMLImplementationProcedures1 DennisG.Watson2INTRODUCTIONImplementingSGML(StandardGeneralized MarkupLanguage)indocumentprocessingisamajor taskformostinstitutions.Itofteninvolvesaltering theproceduresandmethodspeoplehavepreviously usedinproducingdocuments.Beforejumpinginto SGMLimplementation,itisimportanttopreviewthe stepsinvolved.ApriorunderstandingofbasicSGML terminologyisrequiredforadequatecomprehension ofthisdocument.SGMLimplementationcanbe dividedintoninesteps: 1.Recognizeapplication 2.Establishgoals 3.Formworkinggroup 4.Analyzedocuments 5.Writedocumenttypedefinition(DTD)and SGMLdeclaration 6.ValidateDTD 7.VerifyDTD 8.Developtoolsforusers 9.Document,train,evaluate,andmaintainRECOGNIZEAPPLICATIONBeforeexpendingefforttoimplementSGML,one mustfirstdetermineiftheapplicationisindeed appropriateforSGML.TypicalSGMLapplications havemultipleoutputformats,outputdevices,orinput sources.Exampleoutputformatsareprinted publications,electronicon-linedatabases,and multimediaCD-ROMs.Otherrequirementswhich indicateprobableSGMLapplicationsare: longevityofdocumentformatbeyondthecurrent generationofcomputerhardwareandsoftware, documentinterchangewithotherinstitutions,and multi-purposeormulti-productdatabases.ESTABLISHGOALSSettinggoalsisanimportantstepinSGML implementation.SGMLisseldomimplementedonly forthesakeofconformingtoastandard.SGMLis usuallyimplementedbecauseitisasolutiontoa problem.Goalstypicallyfallintooneormoreof threecategories:interchangingdata,publishingdata, andmanagingdata.Goalsareusedtodirectthe SGMLimplementationandshouldbereferredto often.SGMLimplementationisultimatelya managementdecisionandgoalsshouldbestatedin termsthataddressmanagementconcerns.SGML cutsacrossthedifferentobjectivesofauthors,editors, andproductionstaff.Thegoalsshouldbedeveloped fromaholisticviewpoint.Goalsettingshouldinclude shortandlong-termgoals.Anexamplegoalofan SGMLimplementationmightbetodevelopasingle inputformatfordocumentsthatcanbeautomatically processedformultipleoutputformats(e.g.printed andCD-ROM).Thegoalmaybequalifiedby specifyingacertainclassofdocuments(e.g.fact sheets).ThroughoutanSGMLimplementation projectfocusmustremainontheoverallgoals. Flexibilityshouldbemaintainedwithoutsacrificing thegoals. 1.ThisdocumentisCircular1087,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida. Formoreinformation,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice.Publicationdate:November1992. 2.DennisG.Watson,associateprofessor,AgriculturalEngineeringDepartment,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgricultural Sciences,UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611.

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SGMLImplementationProcedures Page2FORMWORKINGGROUPFormingaworkinggroupisacriticalstepin implementingSGML.Thisstepnormallyrequires somepriorworkinsellingasolutionandgaining administrativesupport.Aworkinggroup'seffortwill includedocumentanalysis,writingadocumenttype definition,andreviewingtheSGMLimplementation. Thus,aworkinggroupshouldrepresenttheinterests ofthosewhowillbeaffectedbytheSGMLsolution. Thismayincludeauthors,editors,production workers,databasedevelopers,anddistribution personnel.Atypicalworkinggroupwouldconsistof usersfromauthoringeditorial,production,data processing,training,andmanagementdepartments. Last,butnotleast,aworkinggroupshouldincludean SGMLspecialist.Insomecases,theSGMLspecialist isaconsultant. Asuccessfulworkinggroupoftenmustbe successfulpolitically.Thegroupshouldinclude politicalmembersaswellastheappropriatetechnical members,whowillbetheusers.Politicalmembers arethosewhohavethepowertomakeadecisionand ademostratedwillingnesstomakeadecision.A politicalmembershouldalsobeabletopromote compromise. Theworkinggroupleadershouldhaveagood workingknowledgeoftheSGMLstandardandability toapplySGMLtoproblems.Theleadershouldbe strong,yetflexible.Aworkinggroupleadermustbe preparedtohandlestrongegos,opposingviewpoints, andpossiblyevenhostility.Theleadershouldhave strongpoliticalsupportfromadministration. Groupselectionisveryimportantandshouldbe stackedinfavorofthedesiredoutcome.Choose userswithapositiveattitudetowardthegoalsanda willingnesstochangethestatusquoinfavorofa bettersystem.Userswithpowertomakeand implementdecisionsareextremelyvaluable.Alluser groupsshouldberepresentedontheworkinggroup. Aworkinggroupcouldconsistoffivetoten members.ANALYZEDOCUMENTSDocumentanalysisisacriticalstepin implementingSGML.Documentanalysisconsistsof: 1.Identifyingasetofdocumentsofthetypetobe implementedwithSGML. 2.Analyzingthedocuments. 3.Identifyingthedataelementswithinthe documents. 4.Namingthedataelements. 5.Identifyingthehierarchicalstructureofelements. 6.Determiningifelementsareoptionalor repeatable. Carefullyselectarepresentativesampleofthe documentstobeimplementedwithSGML. Analyzingthedocumentsandidentifyingthedata elementsoftenrequiresareiterativeprocessof "tearing"adocumentintotwoorthreepieces.For examplethefirstiterationmay"tear"ashort documentintothreepieces:frontmatter,body,and backmatter.Thenextiterationincludes"tearing" eachofthesepiecesintotwoormorepieces.This processcontinuesuntilthedocumentisdividedinto asmanypiecesasappropriatetomeetthe requirementsoftheSGMLimplementationgoals. Eachpieceiscalledadataelement(orjustelement) andmustbenamed.Theprocessisdescribedfurther, withexamples,inarelatedpublication.WRITEDOCUMENTTYPEDEFINITION(DTD) ANDSGMLDECLARATIONOncethedocumentanalysisiscomplete,the documenttypedefinition(DTD)canbewritten.The DTDshouldbewrittenbysomeoneveryfamiliarwith SGML.Dependingonthedetailincludedinthe documentanalysisstep,thereisusuallymorethan onewaytowriteaDTD.ADTDisanalogoustoa computerprogram.Twocomputerprogrammers giventhesamespecificationscouldwritedifferent programstodothesametask.InDTDwriting,there isoftenmorethanone"right"solution,althoughone solutionmaybebetterthananothertomeetthegoals oftheSGMLimplementation.TheSGMLstandard specifiesalanguageandsyntaxforwritingaDTD. WritingtheSGMLdeclarationisarelatively simplestepwhencomparedtotheothersteps.The SGMLstandarddefinesadefaultdeclaration.In manycases,thedefaultisused.Sometimeschanges aremadetoaccommodatelongernamesforelements. ApersonveryfamiliarwiththeSGMLstandard shouldwritetheSGMLdeclaration.VALIDATEDTDDTDvalidationistheprocesswhichdetermines whethertheDTDconformstotheSGMLstandard. Asoftwareprogram,calledavalidatingSGMLparser, isusedforthisstep.TheprogramreadstheDTDin

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SGMLImplementationProcedures Page3ASCIIformatanddisplaysanyerrorsitfindsin testingtheDTDforconformancewiththeSGML standard.Thisstepdoesnotdeterminewhetherthe DTDisaccurateforthedocumentsforwhichitis intended.Theprocessissimilartocompilinga computerprogram.Acompilerrequiresthatthe sourcecodebesyntacticallycorrect,butnotthatit willsolvetheproblem.ThusavalidatedDTDdoes notinsureasolution.VERIFYDTDDTDverificationistheprocesswhichdetermines whetheraDTDisindeedthedesiredsolutiontothe problem.Verificationisatypeofevaluation.The DTDisusedtoaddtagsormarkupdocuments(of thetypeforwhichitwasintended)whichare differentfromtheonesusedinthedocumentanalysis phase.Duringtheverificationprocess,usersnote elementswhichwerenotincludedintheDTDand otherinformationpertinenttotheDTDevaluation. DTDverificationcaneasilybecomeanongoing reiterativeprocess.ItisarareDTDthatneverneeds changingfromthedayitwasfirstwritten.Aschanges aremadetheverificationneedstoberepeated.A formalverificationprocessshouldbeestablishedto elicitfeedbackfromusers.DEVELOPTOOLSFORUSERSIfimplementingSGMLwereassimpleashaving aDTD,manymoreinstitutionswouldbeusing SGML.ViewingSGMLfromaholisticperspective includesanalyzinghowtheDTDwillbeusedby authors,editors,productionstaff,andotherusers. Basedontheanalyses,appropriatesoftwaretoolsand proceduresaredeveloped.Forexample,anSGML applicationtypicallyrequiresauthorstoinsertSGML tagsintoadocumentorlearntouseanewauthoring programwhichinsertstheappropriatetags.For manyauthors,switchingfromtheir"triedandtrue" wordprocessorcanbetraumatic.Forthesereasons, manySGMLapplicationsrequirecreativesolutionsto easethetraumaofimplementationatthelevelofthe authors.Ifpossible,simultaneousimplementationof afeaturedesiredbyauthorscanencourageauthor acceptance.Theproductionstaffrequiresadifferent setoftoolsfortheirpurposes.Softwareisneededto convertfromSGMLtothedesiredoutputformat.In manycases,commercialsoftwareisavailabletoassist inthisprocess. Withoutcarefulforethought,anSGML applicationcanresultinfailureduetofrustrationor unacceptanceonthepartoftheusers.Fromthevery beginning,softwaretoolsandproceduresmustbe consideredthatwillmakethetransitioneasierfor eachgroupofusers.DOCUMENT,TRAIN,EVALUATE,AND MAINTAINOnceaDTDhasbeenverified,itisreadyfor widespreaduse.DocumentationontheSGML implementationprocessshouldbecompleted.This documentationincludesthegoalsofthe implementation,resultsofthedocumentanalysis,and resultsoftheDTDverification.Anothersetof documentationsisrequiredforusers.Auser'sguide describesstep-by-stephowtoperformthenecessary stepstousetheSGMLimplementation.Authors needtoknowhowtoinserttagsintheirdocuments. Theproductionstaffneedstoknowhowtogenerate printedoutputordocumentdatabasesfromthe SGMLdocuments. Trainingsessionsshouldbeconductedto familiarizeuserswiththeprocessesandsoftware tools.Thesessionsshouldincludehands-on experience. Evaluationshouldincludefeedbackfromalluser groups.Theauthorfeedbackwillbevaluablein modifyingthesoftwaretoolsforauthors.Ifthe authorsaren'tusingSGML,thentheentire implementationwillfail.Likewisetheproduction staffmustbeabletomakeadequateuseofthe SGMLdocuments. Maintenanceisanimportantstageforlong-term successoftheSGMLimplementation.TheDTDmay needrevisionfromtime-to-timeandanysoftware purchasedordevelopedforuserswillcertainlybe updated.Plansshouldbemadeforthemaintenance phase.