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Re: Several questions to sgml-tools

On Fri, Oct 30, 1998 at 09:48:06AM +0100, Andreas Tille wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Oct 1998, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> > HTML will not display any math correctly, use TeX for that ;)  If you want
> > to display ascii, use a tag that represents such. "pre" will do, maybe in
> > conjunction with "blockquote" (if it exists) or something similar.
> Immediately there is the next question:  How do I insert these Tags using
> sgml-tools or (seems me better) yodl?

Adding tags to an existing DTD is not hard to do, but you're faced with the
same problems as if you write youre own DTD... you have to change the style
sheet, too, etc.
> > Wrong. HTML 4.0 strict does not use such tags. HTML 4.0 transition defines
> > such tags but only for backward compliance and as an interim solution. HTML
> > 4.0 transition should not be used any longer. You should use Cascade Style
> > Sheets for presentation. Never depend on presentation.
> That are interesting news for me and it seems to be reasonable.
> I like the idea of logical markup and would like to usie it this way.
> Is there any way to include private CSS styles using yodl?

I don't know what yodl is. CSS styles are intended for HTML, I think you
could apply them to other SGML like formats, too, at least syntactically.
Still you would need software to process it.
> > > For poor browsers like lynx exist default methods like showing the
> >   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > Shame on you.
> I'm very sorry to shame my favourite web browser.  In fact I use 
> netscape only if I expect to view some graphic things.

> > To get the desired result, use things like:
> > 
> > <EM STYLE="warning">
> > Alpha Software
> > </EM>
> > 
> > and cascade stylesheet:
> > EM.STYLE { background-color: red, foreground-color: black, font-size: bigger} 
> That seems to be very interesting.
> By the way is there any good documentation for style sheets.
> I mean really good documentation.  In my poor (here stands poor indead for
> what it is :) ) opinion it had something to do with frames and this kind
> of stuff which I wanted to avoid.  Can anybody explain if there could
> be a way to create frames from a logical markup?  I think my lack of
> having a reasonable answer prevents me from using frames.

Style Sheets... what do you mean? If you mean CSS as above used in the html
example, there are (very few) books about it, and only a few broweser
understand them. Install the doc-html-w3 package, you get html 4.0
documentation and CSS, too.

Style Sheets is harder if you mean DSSSL. The best documentation is the ISO
standard itself. Not very readable. There are some tutorials etc, but not
very much.
> > No, a DTD wouldn't help you, as browsers are closed-minded and not aware of
> > it. Use cascade style sheets. Install the doc-html-w3 package (or sim.)
> That's a further interesting hint.  At this place thanks for all Debian
> maintainers to create such a complete distribution.

It's amazing. You can find nearly everything.
> > Look at www.w3.org. There's lots of stuff. Have fun.
> :). You are right.  My problem is that the WWW is an overkill of information.
> I prefer the way to install reasonable packages (like doc-html-w3) to
> which point me friendly and helpful people like you.  Did you ever
> used such a terrible search machine in the Web and found the information
> straightforeward?  Two or three years ago it was possible, but this
> is another cup of tee and leads to off-topic here.

Mmmh. I seldom use search machines. If I do, I take proper keywords and get
no matches most of the time ;)
> > What is the right markup? Will you consider any situation? What if you use
> > red colors and green colors, but I'm red-green-blind? Or I use a monochrom
> > monitor? Or I'm visually impaired? or in text mode over a slow console?
> As a LaTeX user I know that colors aren't necessary for markup.

Well, the problem is that some people use colors in a way so they are
necessary. However, it was just an example.

> > What if I'm not reading the text, but listening to it? What if I want to use
> > your source and transform it to another format/style/document?
> >
> > A lot of people have made a big effort to find solutions for this problems.
> > You have to made the effort and learn the concepts. First, don't think of
> > the presentation, think of the underlying structures of your document. Then
> > the computer can make sense of what you write, and a text to speech
> > synthesizer, too.
> OK, we don't want to disappoint somebody.  But if I want to descibe the
> usage of an image viewer I think I shouldn't spend much time to think
> about how can blind people obtain the documentation.

There is more than that. Occasionally, you want to listen to the text w/o
looking, because you have your eyes elsewhere. Or, you want to keep the
printing costs low, and you put all graphics in the appendix (or just use
black/white). If you take information storage seriously, there are a lot of
things to watch out for. Converting data from one format into another is a
complex area, and a lot of scientists work on it.

> There is some kind of information which has to be presented graphically.

I would be surprised to find something which can't be described in words.
However, I know and understand that it is often easier to have a graphic.
Graphics can help understanding something, and a single graphic can replace
a hundred words.

> The concept is good, but I would like those documentations consider to
> be good which gives the people addressed by the thing which is documented
> can obtain the necessary information in a straightforeward way.
> The documentation has to be well structurized and organized -- as a rule
> this is a consequence of logical markup and that's why I like it.

Yes, this is one reason for logical markup. Other reasons are automated
parsing, format conversion, machine independency...
> > The whole process is quite complex. The standards involved are ISO standards
> > and several hundred pages long. You don't need to know all to work with it,
> > but you should know about the fundamental concepts. There are some tutorials
> > for it, if you're interested, I can provide you with basic stuff.
> This seems to be very interesting for me and possibly for others.
> May be you think about bundling it in a Debian package.

It is not enough to make a package, I'm afraid.

> If I finished
> my theses a would probably have time to deal with such stuff, but for
> now I see no chance for further investigations in this topic.

Come back to me any time. For now, html+css should serve your needs, if you
don't need any math.


"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
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