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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Industrial-Strength SGML
Author:
Truly Donovan
ISBN:
0 13 216243 1
Publisher:
Prentice Hall
Pages:
201pp
Price:
£??
Reviewer:
James Gordon
Subject:
sgml
Appeared in:
11-3
This book is aimed at people wanting to understand the basics of SGML but who do not need to delve deeply into the technical aspects of SGML. It introduces what SGML is and what it can do using a simple example of a cookery book SGML application.

After the introduction, it goes straight into entities that are used to define the tagging of data and the attributes of the entities. To explain, SGML is like HTML (but more powerful) by allowing you to define entities, e.g.<Publication> and attributes, e.g.<Publication id="Attribute 1">. These are defined in a file or files which make up a DTD (Document Type Definition). Documents can then be parsed and validated against this DTD to test the structure. It also explains how SGML handles (or in some cases ignores) non-SGML data within SGML, e.g. graphics, equations, multimedia, etc.

All this is part of the document analysis, which the book goes into in great detail, describing how to analyse, document structure to create the DTDs or rules. It explains the needs of authors to create the SGML, data storage and manipulation, publishing and the end user. It explains the concepts of conditional text where text is only printed when certain conditions in the SGML are met. Programs to publish documents and how the SGML can control them. Every aspect of SGML analysis, design, production, storage and publishing is covered by this book and are too numerous to list completely here.

As my colleagues are into SGML much more than I, they like this book immensely and I haven't seen much of it. They think it's very good and have taken some of the ideas already and used them in creating their DTDs.