SunSoft Inc has signed with Electronic Book Technologies Inc, Providence, Rhode Island, to help it develop what it is calling a universal document viewer, which will enable Solaris users to view, browse and annotate documents published on their networks stored in a range of formats. At present, support is envisaged for Standardised Generalised Markup Language, […]
SunSoft Inc has signed with Electronic Book Technologies Inc, Providence, Rhode Island, to help it develop what it is calling a universal document viewer, which will enable Solaris users to view, browse and annotate documents published on their networks stored in a range of formats. At present, support is envisaged for Standardised Generalised Markup Language, World-Wide-Web’s HTML, the Adobe Systems Inc Acrobat Portable Document Format, Common Desktop Environment’s SDL on-line help, Electronic Book’s Standard Generalised Markup Language-DynaText publishing system and the protocols used by SunSoft’s existing AnswerBook on-line document delivery format, including PostScript and ASCII. The aim is to provide a single tool that will ultimately recognise and display all structured documents published in these formats automatically, although initially, users will have to select a particular display format from menu of options. SunSoft has licensed Electronic Book’s Standardised Generalised Markup Language-based DynaText and systems integrator tool kit technology to use as the basis of the new AnswerBook universal document viewer, a prototype implementation of which is promised before the end of the year. It will use the existing FrameMaker-based AnswerBook tool, specific to Sun’s own on-line documentation services. The finished viewer will be up on a future version of Solaris, presumably 2.5, though whether it will be bundled or an add-on option has yet to be determined, according to SunSoft’s director of information products, Mike Rogers. Development will be split between Mountain View and Providence. In the interim, SunSoft will offer the DynaText viewer to Solaris users, software houses and OEM customers for viewing and publishing on-line documentation. DynaText is described as technology for automatically building a dynamic electronic book, including hyperlinks, tables, equations and graphics from SGML documents – and it can also launch external sound and video applications. DynaText is the delivery tool, DynaTagT is a Standardised Generalised Markup Language conversion tool, DynaBaseT is its SGML management repository and DynaWebT is an SGML World-Wide-Web Internet server. Electronic Book, a 1989 spin-out from Browns University, also in Providence, sells its tools to end-user organisations and vendors such as Sybase Inc and Novell Inc for publishing internal documentation and reference material. It now plans new generations of products that will provide access to other document protocols, presumably to be based upon some of the technology it will be developing with SunSoft.