SGML book?
August 11, 2005 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I need a good middle-level introduction-to-SGML book.

I'm taking a new job in a couple of weeks, for which i will need to do some pretty basic sgml coding. They will train me there, but i'd like to go in with some knowledge.

I understand conceptually what SGML is and what it does, but i really have no experience with it. I've done *very basic* HTML coding for a class in college a few years ago, and that's the extent of my experience.

I want something that won't treat me like i'm dumb but also won't be excrutiating for a generally non-tech guy to sit down with for a few hours.
posted by milkman to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I found Developing SGML DTDs: From Text to Model to Markup by Eve Maler & Jeanne El Andaloussi (Prentice Hall PTR, 1995) very useful back when I was an SGML person. The Goldfarb series of books, also from Prentice Hall, tend to be pretty decent, too.

Will your new job be old-school SGML, or XML? There's a lot of complexity and limiting conventions in SGML that XML no longer uses. It wouldn't do you much harm to learn about the old ways, it just might be a slight waste of time.
posted by scruss at 1:43 PM on August 11, 2005

That's the book we used for a document processing class in library school, so I'd second that recommendation.
posted by MsMolly at 3:16 PM on August 11, 2005

Response by poster: thanks for the rec.

i'm coming in just as they are beginning a major transition from SGML to XML. I will, therefore, have to learn both, and will partially be involved in making the transition work smoothly.

Any texts that deal with both?
posted by milkman at 7:18 PM on August 11, 2005

Good habits in SGML are (generally) good habits in XML, and it sounds like you'll need solid SGML from the get-go.

I really, really hope you won't ever have to deal with DSSSL. It's extremely nasty.
posted by scruss at 5:04 PM on August 21, 2005

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