A plea for realism here!
Readers of this list have heard a number of librarians ask for help
in the use of SoftQuad Panorama, and a few complaints have been
registered against SoftQuad for taking so little apparent interest in
the scholarly needs of librarians.
From my vantage point, part of the difficulty here is realistic
expectation - and frustration resulting from unrealistic expectation.
SoftQuad has done much to promote the use of SGML on the Web, and
particularly through the vision of Yuri Rubinsky, valuable software
products have been made publicly available - at a definite cost to
SoftQuad. However, SoftQuad alone cannot be expected to provide for all
the SGML needs of individuals in the academic community -- for free.
In particular, product support is expensive. Let's be fair in our
expectations, and fair in finding appropriate target for our frustrations.
The Panorama Viewer (demo/evaluation version) is still available for free,
as I understand things. Also, if you are willing to buy the new
book (February 1997) written by **Yuri Rubinsky and Murray Maloney
(SGML on the Web: Small Steps Beyond HTML), you get a CDROM with
a copy of Panorama [2.0, I think]. This version of Panorama may not
have free technical support, but for $44.95 USD (less with discount),
that seems not too much to ask for an SGML browser. If the library
science community is willing to help with support for Panorama
(e.g., for the EAD DTDs and for certain other usage "tips"), I'd say
it's still quite a good deal, given the specialized nature of the
What other company has done more, or as much, or anything even
approaching what SoftQuad has done **to help the individual
researcher** with an affordable solution for browsing and
searching of generic SGML documents?
XML browsers will begin to appear, many people think, and that
will provide some new possibilities.
** Bibliographic details for the book (ISBN 0-13-519984-0):
Best wishes to all,
Robin Cover Email: [log in to unmask]
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