Role of Industry Standard DTDs
At SGML 97 in Barcelona, The Role of Industry Standard DTDs was delivered and included in the proceedings. This was the last SGML conference attended, but the precursor to many XML conferences.
DTDs that are created for use in a specific industry often invoke strong feelings. Those who see SGML primarily as a means to exchange documents see them as essential to the task. Those implementing SGML primarily for its other benefits, such as multiple media publishing, may see such DTDs as an irrelevance. In this paper it is argued that neither position is totally satisfactory, and that while an industry standard DTD (if there is one) should play some part in the process of implementing an SGML solution, it should be compared to the real requirement, and if necessary tailored to suit the need.
In addition, two separate issues need to be distinguished. Whilst an entire DTD may be targeted at a specific industry, fragments of that DTD may solve more general problems. These fragments will be discussed separately.