SIL International Home

SIL Electronic Working Papers
SILEWP 1998-006

Author: Gary F. Simons
Title: Using architectural processing to derive small, problem-specific XML applications from large, widely-used SGML applications
Source: A paper presented at Markup Technologies '98, Chicago, 19-20 Nov 1998
Keywords: computing, humanities computing, SGML, XML, architectural forms, DTD design, conformance of derived DTDs, TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), lexicography, dictionary, Sikaiana, Solomon Islands
The large SGML DTDs in widespread use (e.g. HTML, DocBook, ISO 12083, CALS, EAD, TEI) offer the advantage of standardization, but for a particular project they often carry the disadvantage of being too large or too general. A given project might be better served by a DTD that is no bigger than is needed to solve the specific problem at hand, and that is even customized to meet special requirements of the problem domain. Furthermore, the project might prefer for the data it produces to meet the different syntactic constraints of XML conformity. This paper demonstrates how architectural processing can be used to develop a problem-specific XML DTD for a particular project without losing the advantage of conforming to a widely-used SGML DTD. As an example, the paper discusses the markup for a dictionary of the Sikaiana language (Solomon Islands) and develops a small XML application for the purpose derived from the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) DTD. The TEI Guidelines offer a mechanism for building TEI-conformant applications; the paper concludes by proposing an alternative approach to TEI conformance based on architectures.
Paper: Text