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Subject: Announced: XML Pilot at the U. of Iowa
From: JR Gardner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:JR Gardner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 22 Mar 1999 14:00:05 -0600

TEXT/PLAIN (59 lines)

Many kind thanks to John Simpson and James Tauber for their pointers, as
well as an idea (from which we derived our xml-as-html serve-up) from
Peter Flynn some time back.

Ultimately, we've had several caveats, most prominent is that--as a public
university--budget and personnel are both at a premium.  Since we're doing
an academic project, our formatting is quite conservative-- no bells and
whistles yet (professors are far more concerned with being able to get a
double-spaced print-out than multiple linking and such)-- but our output
product is valid XML that "works" online with no post-processing.

The graduate students are writing the XML on Corel's WP9 beta, XED,
in-progress's Emile, all of which cost very little or--in some cases, are
free--a vital prerequisite for graduate student budgets!.  Once there are
Windows and Mac XML broswers, and Xlink/XSL become formal W3 Rec's, then
we'll update our dtd to allow for these more snazzy features.

As there is still reticence in academia to online publication of any
kind, we could not also saddle reluctant professors with requiring
additional software.  In addition, we could not implement a standard which
required the hellbroth of post-processing and attachment files currently
required to run XML online.  That simply would not fit our budget,
personnel constraints, and learning curve issues for graduate students.

So, the DTD (links to it are in the online demo) is a hybrid of TEI and
HTML, with some of our university's specific items required for theses and
dissertations thrown in.  At the end of the day, what matters is that it
works, that it's transparent to current and future Luddite prof's (that's
academic slang for the technologically hostile, for whom the only good
lecture is the traditional chalk-n-talk sage-on-the-stage variety), it is
also essential that the format we chose would be updatable, and that it
is, after all, XML ready and working NOW.

intro to concepts is at:

The "heroes" who are thanked--from this list--at the top of the page may
submit URI's for me to href via their name if they wish (I didn't want to
do so w/out specific permission).

You can also cut directly to the xml at:

Feedback is welcome.  Remember, we know there are more XML bells and
whistles than what we've implemented, but we needed to do XML with little
or no cost to the student and our existing ITS budgets.


John Robert Gardner
The University of Iowa  -&-
"No hell is worse than the state of perpetual inconsequence"
                                         16th-century, Venice

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