The Yale team working on encoding finding aids according to the EAD DTD
has run up against a problem. We've found that when the size of our
instances exceeds around 250 KB, Panorama will no longer display the
whole of the file. Beyond a certain point in the document, all lines seem
to be typed on top of each other, resulting in an unpleasant and
unreadable mess. Since we will be encoding many finding aids of this size
and larger, this represents a serious problem for us.

We have also found that once we have files of this size navigation around
the document is extremely slow (Panorama takes several seconds to respond
to clicks in the navigator, for instance) and hyperlinks from one part of
the document to another no longer function.

We have contacted SoftQuad's technical support and have clarified that
the problem is with Panorama's display of tables. The representative I
spoke to said that he had successfully viewed a file of 7 MB in Panorama.
It is the table-handling routines which are at fault. Instances without
tables should not encounter these problems. Since we feel that tables are
the most appropriate way to display container listings, however, this
specification of the problem does not help us.

SoftQuad have passed the problem on to their programmers, who are
currently preparing version 2.0 of Panorama Pro. We are very much hoping
that a fix can be implemented in the 2.0 release. If not, we will be
forced to look for alternative browsers which can display our SGML
instances satisfactorily.

We hope that this information is of use to others who are evaluating
SGML tools for use with the EAD DTD. We would be interested to hear of
other repositories who have encountered similar problems, or other
serious problems using Panorama to display EAD instances.

David L. Clough
Systems Assistant, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
New Haven CT 06510 USA
(203) 432-1749 [log in to unmask]