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     On the issue of realism and the idea that SoftQuad should be able to
make a reasonable return on their investments:


      I don't like beating up on SoftQuad and if it seems as if I have in my
past comments I regret that impression.  Yale has been engaged in serious
discussions to purchase many copies of Panorama Publisher and something akin
to a site license for Panorama Viewer to install on workstations throughout
the campus.  I don't expect Soft Quad to give away a product that is as
powerful and Panorama Publisher.  I AM, however, concerned with the issue of
whether SGML is going to become a "relatively" easy to use format for
individual scholars for whom we want to provide remote access.  We made a
decision to become an early (and aggressive) implementor of EAD because we
wanted to go beyond the limitations of gopher based access to ASCII text
files of our finding aids.  We did so because we believed that by late 1997
most scholars would have access to WWW enabled mini-computers with browers
such as Netscape, Explorer, and Mosaic to which an SGML VIEWER could be easily
and inexpensively added.  I assumed (perhaps naively) that the committment to
Panorama Free that marked SoftQuad's entrance into the WWW world was a
harbinger of plug-in and helper apps that would - in the model of Quick
Time, Real
Audio, and Acrobat Reader - be given away in order to promote the sale and
use of
server end tools (such as Panorama Publisher and Author Editor to mention
two such
products).  I continue to believe that SGML offers enhanced navigational
tools that go far beyond HTML frames.  (By the way,  I think the Berkeley
Art Museum site is an excellent example of both the possibilities and limits
of using frames.)  But SGML will only catch on when people can be assured
that the investment they make in its more complicated and rigorous coding
can expect to attract widespread use and attention.  Thus, I continue to
believe that it is in the SGML COMMERCIAL WORLD's best interest to develop
and distribute free, basic readers.  Sell the high end features such as the
ability to build personal webs and annotations on top of existing documents.
Sell the editor that makes it possible to implement style sheets and
navigators.  Sell the SGML markup tools and validators and parsers.  But
just as Netscape gives its
browser away to the educational market and Microsoft gives Explorer away to
anyone
in order to facilitate their server business, give away the readers.  Then,
but I think only
then, will SGML begin to take off the way it should have three or four years
ago.

George Miles