4.0493 Hypertext Standards (Response from NIST) (1/44)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 17 Sep 90 21:37:17 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0493. Monday, 17 Sep 1990.

Date: Fri, 14 Sep 90 11:20:19 EDT
From: Judi Moline <moline@swe.ncsl.nist.gov>
Subject: Response to 4.0480 on hypertext standards

This is in response to the posting Vol. 4, No. 0480. Wednesday, 12
Sep 1990 by pdk@iris.brown.edu (Paul D. Kahn) regarding Hypertext

When the inquiry came from Willard McCarthy I considered how I might
respond in a manner that would shed light on the work being done.
Because NIST is not directly involved in the standards making process
for hypertext at this time, I didn't respond. However, since we were
mentioned in the Kahn/Riley posting, I must now make some comments.

I agree that there seem to be three groups working on standards in the
Hypertext arena currently. However, the National Institute for
Standards and Technology is not directly attempting to produce a
standard. The other three groups are identified in the previous note.
The numbers don't match because the HyTime work and the new multimedia
work (X3L2.8 and JTC1 TAG) have been lumped together. The third group
is the Dexter group.

We support these efforts towards standardization and held a workshop in
January towards bringing the standards efforts together. Up until then
we were not aware of any meetings which had brought together the
participants in the diverse efforts. From our perspective the January
workshop was very effective in opening the channels of communication.
We tentative planned a follow-up for August but due to lack of a core of
solid paper submissions cancelled it. Our decision was based on the
feeling that there was not enough new technical material to warrant
bringing people from all over the world to a workshop at that time.

The allegation that we lean towards ODA is not true. NIST supports both
SGML and ODA. As to why SGML isn't more in evidence in the OSI
workshop, I don't know. There is certainly a corporate feeling that
these two standards should not be competing and should be brought
together. At the moment I am working with SGML as are others in my

I appreciate Paul Kahn's giving us credit for the workshop and hope that
we may play a role in mediating or facilitating the development of the
standards important for Hypertext.

Judi Moline
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899