Software we have lost

the mortar that held the bricks together

Peter Flynn

Silmaril Consultants Textual Therapy Division

Cork, Ireland


Since the first days of SGML, there has been a variety of software to parse, validate, analyse, format, store, search, and extract the information. Some of this was what we now call Open Source, particularly the smaller utilities, but the majority of applications were conventional commercial offerings.

In the course of time, many of these have become unavailable, for assorted reasons, with the result is that some very useful systems have been lost, and replacements are not always as effective.

This research attempts to catalogue and analyse a collection of XML and SGML software that is either off the market, or only available within a different product, and thus not accessible to users. The objective is to see if there are still ways to shorten the distance between the bricks that are not otherwise provided for.

Table of Contents

Parsers and validators
sgmls  ☑
Author/Editor  ☑
Emacs + psgml  ☑
epcedit  ☑
InContext  ☑
MultiDoc Pro Translating Editor  ☑
Near&Far Author for Word  ✗
GriF SGML Editor  ✗
WordPerfect+SGML  ☑
Balise  ✗
DynaText  ☑
Omnimark  ☑
Microsoft SGML Author for Word  ✗
Formatters, including browsers and servers
Panorama Publisher and Viewer  ☑
FrameMaker+SGML  ✗
MultiDoc Pro Publisher  ☑
Other software
Near&Far Designer  ☑
PAT  □
SGML Darc  ☑
Some stuff has been gained.
Some stuff has been lost.
Sample SGML document
The DTD used in the sample document
The SGML Declaration used for the sample document
Software and documentation available

I am grateful to the numerous people in University College Cork and elsewhere who stepped up with offers of Windows and other installer CDs when my carefully-preserved originals went missing, including (alphabetically) John Barrett, Roy Cummins, Stephen Dineen, AV Drepe, Martin Fleming, Nick Hogan, Sinead Horgan, Steve King, Margaret Lantry, Piaras MacEinri, Neil Nash, John O’Connell, Michael O’Halloran, Billy O’Rourke, Bereniece Riedewald, Joel Walmsley, and Frank van Pelt. Thank you also to the SGML-era veterans who prompted me with the names, details, or disks of long-forgotten products, especially Debbie Lapeyre, Lauren Wood, and Michael Sperberg-McQueen