Re:New Project Proposal (or not..)

 Stephen Rust twisted the bytes to say:

 Stephen> Firstly, please stop me and tell me if you know of such a project already
 Stephen> in progress.

 Stephen> Overview:

 Stephen> My Proposal is to create a GUI Editor for SGML based documents.  The
 Stephen> editor should take info in Cees de Groot's sgml editor white paper, and be
 Stephen> able to give basic functionality to begin with, sprouting into whatever it
 Stephen> can be used for.

 Stephen> UNIX has a very powerful core.  With very many utilities designed to do
 Stephen> their job and do it well.  By writing front-ends to these tools, and still
 Stephen> utilizing their strength, very powerful GUI applications can also be
 Stephen> developed.  Re-inventing core functionalities provided by other command
 Stephen> line utilities (like jade, etc.) is not worthwhile and breaks the UNIX
 Stephen> model.  (in my opinion).  Its better to use the existing functionality and
 Stephen> just add on to the functionality by supplying a graphical element to it.


SGML is a huge language. It might be better if you deal with XML
instead of SGML. SGML is inherently difficult to parse and to support
in its totality. XML is simple to parse, its DTDs are slim. 

You have to decide early whether you want to have typesetting in the
elements of the document or not. Or maybe, the ideal would be to have
two separate entry windows (or modes): plain SGML/XML and WYSIWYG
entry in which a style is dynamically applied to the text being
inserted. The latter can be implemented with XSL, since the
typesetting could be a "one pass" process.

Univ. of Waterloo created an interesting tool called Rita to modify
quasy SGML documents around 10 years ago. It became a PhD thesis. I'll
see if I can find a paper on it. It might be useful for you. The idea
was good, Rita was no able to understand DTDs and it needed a special
style-sheet language which was not very sophisticated.

 Stephen> - Is it best to create a brand new sgml editor, or create plugins to
  existing editors?  Perhaps both?

My vote is for a dedicated editor. With the ability to expor the SGML
to external tools for further modification and later reimport it.

 Stephen> - How large a project would this be?

It depends on what your goals are. If you are shooting for SGML (as
defined in the stardard) it might take quite a loooong time.

 Stephen> Any other thoughts?

 Stephen> Thanks,
 Stephen> Steve

 Stephen> -- 
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 Stephen> as the Subject.

Daniel M. German                  "A machine --computer-- can only do
   Lady Lovelance ->               what we tell it to do"


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