"Jim Wing (J W)" <jwwing@vnet.ibm.com> Fri, 11 February 1994 18:25 UTC

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Date: Fri, 11 Feb 94 11:33:52 CST
From: "Jim Wing (J W)" <jwwing@vnet.ibm.com>
To: info-oda+@andrew.cmu.edu, ietf-oda@cs.ucl.ac.uk
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Proposed work for MDDI SIG of OIW.  Interested folks should attend the
March meeting of MDDI SIG to get this work going.

Posted by: Jim Wing, OIW MDDI SIG member, IBM Software Solutions Div
           jwwing@vnet.ibm.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 94 14:05:27 EST
From: Jon Stewart <jstewart@sst.ncsl.nist.gov>
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Subject: Open SGML Doc Interchange w/ Standard "Styles"


Requirements and Proposed Solution for E-mail Interchange
of Revisable Office Communication Documents
with Standardized Presentation Styles

Subtitle: Open SGML Interchange with Standardized Formatting

Date:     24 January 1994
By:       Jon A. Stewart, Acting Chair MDDI
Purpose:  Review at March 14-18 MDDI/OIW Meeting
_______________________________________________

Statement of Problem  --
   Need for open, standardized E-mail interchange of revisable office
   communication documents containing multimedia content and
   standardized presentation styles (formatting specifications).
   Document preparation, formatting and viewing/printing should be
   possible with any "editor of choice" but interchange and archiving
   is always in ONE standardized SGML-encoded format.

Definition:
   Office Communication Documents (OCDs) are defined here as:
1) relatively small (typically 1 to 25 pages),
2) containing multiple content types (therefore "multimedia"),
3) necessarily revisable in logical structure, content and
   presentation styles,
4) requiring online viewing and printing ("presentation") in accordance
   with the originator's formatting specification in order to properly
   convey the information in the document, and
5) having a high probability of being edited and/or merged into
   larger, more complex documents.

Proposed Solution--
1. Develop SGML DTDs for the Office Communication Documents (OCDs).
   These should include the following classes -- memos, letters, and
   technical reports. (PROPOSED: Initially use the classes already defined
   for the ODA interoperability testing with elements from the 28001A DTD
   defined for CALS.)
2. Develop a Standardized Style Sheet (SSS) based on FOSIs (28001B)
   and ODA layout semantics. Such a SSS will have an SGML encoding and
   possibly other standardized encodings. (NOTE: If used with
   the ODA formatter from the ODAC Toolkit the ASN.1 encoding will be
   required).
3. Develop bidirectional translators between the SSS and the Proprietary Style
   Sheets (PSS) that control existing formatters and author/editing
   systems (such as Word Perfect, ArborText's  ADEPT Series SGML Editor).
   (NOTE: An SSS to FOSI translator could also be designed for SGML
   formatters that use FOSIs.)
4. Use MIME to "package" the parts of an SGML document for E-mailing.
   The MIME envelope/package would contain 1) the SGML DTD, 2) SGML source
   markup instance, 3) SGML encoding of the SSS, and 4) non-SGML content
   elements such as CGMs and rasters. (NOTE: Use of MIME  for this purpose
   has already been demonstrated, as reported by Ed Levinson of Accurate
   Information Systems at the December MDDI meeting.)

Benefits to the Users, Including DoD and
Other Government Users and Major Suppliers:

1. Allows use of "editor of choice" (e.g. WordPerfect)
   to prepare documents that are to be E-mailed. Such documents
   are prepared with the Proprietary Style Sheet (PSS) for that system and
   this formatting defines the appearance that the originator intends to
   convey to the readers of the document.

   NOTE: The SGML "export" converter for the editor of choice produces
   the revisable SGML document and separate non-SGML content files
   as required for actual interchange (such SGML converters are becoming
   common in the popular word processing/desktop publishing systems).

2. The receiver is NOT locked into the same system for editing/formatting as
   the originator since the PSS is converted into the SSS for interchange
   (NOTE: the receiver may either be an SGML-based system or another
   proprietary word processing/desktop publishing system that "imports"
   SGML).

3. The logical structure and content of the document is ALWAYS preserved and
   interchanged in only ONE format -- SGML (the non-SGML content elements are
   separate files whose formats are governed by other standards such as
   CGM or T.4 fax).

4. Because the DTDs of the OCDs are based on elements from 28001A (or other
   industry-wide common DTDs such as that of AAP) it is possible to merge
   these relatively small OCDs into the "larger environment" with ease --
   that is, to subsume the smaller subdocuments into a larger more complex
   one as defined by the standards of the controlling environment.

5. MIME provides an existing widely used solution for E-mailing the OCD and
   all the parts needed to understand it -- content elements , SSS, etc.
   NOTE: X.400 and SDIF could be utilized for the same purpose.

6. OVERALL RESULT: The document is consistently formatted by all systems
   processing it, and all content and logical structure are preserved in SGML
   and separate non-SGML content elements governed by other standards.
   (NOTE: For successful presentation/display/print the receiver must
   faithfully convert the SSS into its own PSS for formatting; the OSINET ODA
   interoperability testing project defines criteria for judging the fidelity
   of interchange of the formatting control specification.)

Proposed Initial Project--
   Show feasibility by
   1) completing the DTDs for OCDs;
   2) defining a strawman SSS based on an alignment of ODA layout
      semantics, WordPerfect formatting and the existing FOSIs;
   3) designing and implementing a bidirectional WordPerfect PSS to/from
      SSS translator; and,
   4) interchanging and correctly processing a set of test documents
      in accordance with interoperability testing principles defined by the
      OSINET ODA testing project.

NOTE: This initial feasibility study is to be limited to traditional
"paper documents" (no audio or video content). Initial testing could
utilize the OSINET ODA test documents. To demonstrate the goal of
consistent formatting for open SGML interchange the test documents will
be generated on one system and received on a different one. It is
proposed that Word Perfect for Windows be the generator system and
that another popular system (such as Framemaker or Word for Windows)
be the receiving system. The test receiver system must be able to import
SGML with the content elements required (CGM and T.4 fax initially)
and the SSS must be translated (either by program or hand) into
PSS to control the formatting of the receiver. The receiving system
could also be an SGML-based system such as ArborText's ADEPT SGML
Publisher that has FOSI-controlled formatting.

  •   Jim Wing (J W)