Dr. Charles F. Goldfarb, Project Editor
ISO 8879 text stable as of 6 December 1998.
ISO 8879 was published on October 15, 1986. After some 18 months of public use, an amendment, whose purpose was "to improve the expression of the design of SGML, not to change that design", was published July 1, 1988. The amendment corrected typographic errors and omissions, provided clarifying notes for unclear areas, and resolved some ambiguities.
Further public use of the amended standard unearthed additional areas where editorial clarification would be helpful. The ISO SGML committee documented these on January 19, 1990 in WG8 N1035.
The SGML Handbook, which I wrote and the late Yuri Rubinsky edited, was published late in 1990. It contains the official ISO 8879 text of October 15, 1986, incorporating the amendment of July 1, 1988. In addition, the recommendations of WG8 N1035 were followed, identified where appropriate by change bars.
I also annotated the text and added a structured overview of the complete language that introduces every term and concept in context. This book is still in print after seventeen years and was the essential reference used by the W3C Working Group when designing XML.
From 1991 through 1998 the ISO SGML committee conducted a "systematic review of the standard to consider future development". This activity resulted in three new normative Annexes to the standard. Many of their provisions are present in the design of XML.
ISO/IEC 10744:1997, the second edition of HyTime, contains in normative Annexes the SGML Extended Facilities and SGML Property Set. There is a summary of the Extended Facilities and an information site with a reader's guide.
ISO 8879, the SGML International Standard, is developed and maintained by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG1; that is, Working Group 1 of Subcomittee 34 of Joint Technical Committee 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission. A more complete selection of SC34 documents can be found at the SC34 Web Server.
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