Every month or so I seem to post this, in the hope that someone will provide the solution. Each time I
get another fragment of an answer, but end up no nearer to success. Trying other SGML lists does not
seem to have elicited much progress.
Working on the theory that I would need to provide links to items within handlists, and cross references
between them, I incorporated unique ID attributes into each item level descritpion in EAD lists as I went
along. By following a pattern it meant that I could put in a cross reference to an item before reaching it
as I could predict what it would be. This works fine within a single document.
The primary intention of this, however, was to provide anchors for references from other handlists as I
proceesed them, as so many of our collections are connected, and it seemed a prime requirement to be
able to hyperlink all these references together. This is a fundamental way of providing information about
collections within the context of the repository, and should also allow cataloguers elsewhere to refer to
The first problem was that no element in EAD allowed for a hypertext link to an ID in another file, but
this could be fixed (?). The more enquiries I make about ID references between documents, the more
contradictory the responses: probably many SGML documents are not required to link to external text
files except to include them in their entirety, but this will be required in handlists.
One problem to resolve is whether it is a viewer or an SGML problem - does Panorama PRO simply not
allow this viewing pattern: sadly no response from Softquad on that one.
Others state that Hytime links are the solution, but try finding one that works beyond the tiny example
that comes with Panorama PRO and only links within the same document. In fact some say Hytime
should be avoided as it does not provide as reliable an anchor as an ID, while elsewhere it is stated that
it is impossible to make links to ID's in other documents. I tried using the original Findaid DTD, but this
didn't work either.
Does SGML allow links to an ID attribute in another SGML document?
If so, can it be viewed in Panorama - i.e. where is there a working example that can be browsed.
If not, is Hytime the answer, and where can a working example with links between documents be viewed?
It is an added difficulty of SGML that there are two parts to a problem with it - the SGML and the viewer.
It would be nice to get as far as eliminating one side of the equation.
Durham University Library