[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 28] 1987
► pp. 154–181
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)
Een Bijdrage Tot Betere Informatie Distributie en Ontsluiting
The traditional way of creating and typesetting a manuscript hampers the necessary modernization of the production process and particularly the dissemination and accessibility of information. This is caused by the use of wordprocessing packages and the nature of typesetting instructions. Both wordprocessing codes and typesetting codes contain insufficient information, because they only aim at a single presentation of the text.
Scientific publications, however, can be distributed in many different forms: on paper, in all possible layouts; in whole or in part via electronic means such as floppy disks, compact disks, datacommunication, etc. In addition information should be accessible from many points of view. New electronic tools (i.e. micro-computers) and databases with advanced search software have the technical possibilities for this. The Standard Generalized Markup Language, the new ISO-standard, is a method of recording texts in such a way that the afore-mentioned can be achieved.
This method has two basic principles:
1. the descriptors of texts (called SGML-tags) must be based on content and not on form.
2. the SGML-tags used for description of texts must be defined in a document description. This is based on the principle that texts are structured, i.e. independent of its purpose. It enables one to describe the elements of which a text consists, the order they have to be in the text, and whether they are optional or obligatory, and/or repetitive.
The description of the content of texts makes it possible to create conversions (via software) to a diversity of printed and electronic forms (distribution). It is also possible to search databases for e.g. an article about a certain subject or written by an author of a special institute or a university (information retrieval).