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Newsgroups: comp.text.sgml
From: yuri@sq.sq.com (Yuri Rubinsky)
Subject: First Freeware SGML Viewer for the World Wide Web
Keywords: SGML WWW Mosaic SoftQuad Panorama
Organization: SoftQuad Inc., Toronto, Canada
Date: 17 May 1995 17:09:11 MET
The US National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), creators of the Mosaic World Wide Web browser, Synex Information AB of Stockholm, Sweden, and SoftQuad Inc, of Toronto Canada are pleased to announced the availability of SoftQuad Panorama, a freeware viewer for full SGML on the Web. In addition, Panorama employs some of the linking capabilities made possible through HyTime, and is the first end-user HyTime application in the world (to the best of our knowledge). It also supports TEI pointers for linking, CALS tables, and use of an SGML DTD for stylesheets. (SoftQuad and Synex have already committed to supporting DSSSL Light when it becomes available.)

The current version runs only on Microsoft Windows; others will follow soon.

The software, including online manual, a set of DTDs, stylesheets and table-of-contents-generators called navigators, may be reached through http://www.oclc.org:5046/oclc/research/panorama/panorama.html

OCLC, the Online Center for Library Computing, host of a new suite of SGML Web resources and demos curated by SoftQuad, is the first site licensee of the commercial version of the software, called SoftQuad Panorama PRO.

The NCSA has agreed to host an "SGML on the Web" page, which will contain pointers to a variety of SGML resources, but, in particular will act as the SGML equivalent of the NCSA/GNN What's New Page, the announcement board for interesting new Web sites. That address is:
http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/WebSGML.sgml [Ed. note (04Nov02): This URL changed to http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/WebSGML.sgml]

A .html file at the same site makes that information available to people without an SGML viewer too.

If you have SGML content to put up on the Web, please fill out the form attached to the WebSGML page.

For further information, please contact panorama@sq.com

In some senses, SGML on the Web is an experiment in which we all get to take part. Synex and SoftQuad have provided the first generation of technology for the experiment; NCSA has provided technical support and critical encouragement through a Memorandum of Understanding for co-operative development with SoftQuad.

Of course we'll remain heavily involved, but now it's up to all of you to try the new capabilities out; put up interesting content; push the edges of what full-blown SGML and the Web can do together.


Yuri Rubinsky                     +1 416 239-4801
President, SoftQuad Inc.          http://www.sq.com/
Suite 810  56 Aberfoyle Crescent  Internet: yuri@sq.com
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M8X 2W4  Fax: +1 416 239-7105

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Synex Information AB press release announcing Panorama SGML viewer. Please note the first sentence of the first paragraph, expressing a hope which, unfortunately, did not materialize....


Synex Information AB and SoftQuad Inc. announce SoftQuad Panorama - Powerful companion product for Mosaic

Chicago, Oct. 19, 1994. In a development that could dramatically alter the use of the Internet, SoftQuad Inc. and Synex Information AB today announced SoftQuad Panorama and SoftQuad Panorama PRO. These document viewers for the World Wide Web conform to the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), the International Standard Organization's (ISO) standard for information interchange. SoftQuad Panorama complement Mosaic, the immensely popular browsing product from the US National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

NCSA Mosaic will continue to provide browsing of documents created according to the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) standard for Web content, and will launch SoftQuad Panorama when it encounters any other SGML file. The NCSA has agreed to include a free version of SoftQuad Panorama as part of its Mosaic distribution, downloadable over the Internet.

NCSA and SoftQuad anticipate that a large number of industry organizations and corporations will develop add-on tools to exploit the richer markup of SGML that will now become widespread. To facilitate this, the newest releases of Mosaic offers a Common Client Interface (CCI) that enhances third party access to the Web. These users will also have access to the CCI through SoftQuad Panorama.

"SGML on the Web offers an opportunity for each industry or area of specialization to optimize viewing capabilities for its constituency," says Joseph Hardin, Associate Director of NCSA. "Mosaic's job now is to provide an open, standardized foundation of functionality that software suppliers such as SoftQuad and Synex can build upon."

"We are thrilled to help bring SGML support to the Web," says Hasse Haitto, President of Synex Information AB. "We trust that the unprecedented success of Mosaic will further spread the use of this important standard."

"With SGML on the Internet, there is greater potential for automated processing of text marked up in ways that meet particular requirements." said Yuri Rubinsky, President of SoftQuad. "For example, HTML has no way of encoding 'Part Numbers', or 'Copyright Information' or 'Maintenance Tasks'. SGML applications can do so, and can act on that information."

SoftQuad Panorama allows publishers to make available longer and more complex documents than are currently available on the Web and to have finer control of their display. Panorama performs searches that take advantage of whatever information structures exist in the source data and displays the results of those searches. The product will also be the first software to take advantage of mathematical fonts developed and contributed by the Online Computer Library Centre's (OCLC) Electronic Journals Online scholarly publishing initiative.

SoftQuad Panorama includes support for hypertext links beyond the Web's current capabilities---links to multiple points in other documents rather than simply one-to-one; links to locations and phrases in documents to which one has no write permission---all created in accordance with HyTime, the ISO standard for hypertext and multi-media encoding. SoftQuad Panorama also offers rich presentation capabilities including multiple user-selectable stylesheets for any group of documents, styles based on each element (such as a title, or a paragraph or list item) and its context, invisibility of specific information structures in specific views, display of simple and complex tables, and basic support for display of mathematics. SoftQuad Panorama will remove the pressure on publishers to maintain one set of source documents for their print, Braille, large type and CD-ROM versions and separate HTML source for distribution over the World Wide Web.

SoftQuad and Spyglass of Champaign, Illinois have agreed to offer SoftQuad Panorama PRO to the licensees of Enhanced NCSA Mosaic from Spyglass. SoftQuad Panorama PRO will be interfaced to Spyglass Mosaic via the CCI and will be compatible with the copyright version from NCSA. SoftQuad also intends to offer the supported, commercial version, SoftQuad Panorama PRO, to Mosaic end-users.

Availability and Pricing

SoftQuad Panorama and SoftQuad Panorama PRO will be available in March 1995 for Windows and UNIX operating environments. A Macintosh version will follow in mid-1995.

SoftQuad Panorama Free is an unsupported edition and is available at no charge from Internet sites and electronic bulletin boards that include Mosaic.

SoftQuad Panorama PRO is a fully supported commercial version which offers additional features that support user-control over display and navigation and the ability to create and save sets of links, annotations and customized bookmarks. Users of SoftQuad Panorama who seek this additional functionality can upgrade to SoftQuad Panorama PRO for US $139. Aggressive volume pricing is also available.

About the Companies

Synex Information AB is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a high-tech development company specializing in SGML browsing technology, with consulting, training, and implementation services. In addition to Panorama, the company has also developed SoftQuad Explorer. The company was founded in 1993, as a result of years of research and development of technology invented at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

SoftQuad Inc., headquartered in Toronto, Canada, supplies SGML and HTML software and services. It created the easy-to-use World Wide Web HTML editor, SoftQuad HoTMetaL PRO, a free version of which has been downloaded by over 50,000 sites around the world.

NCSA, a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, is dedicated to advancing high-performance computing and communications for computational science and engineering in academia and industry.

OCLC, in Dublin, Ohio, is a non-profit computer library service and research organization whose computer and network services link more that 18,000 libraries in 61 countries and territories.

Spyglass, of Champaign, Illinois, the NCSA's partner for Mosaic commercial availability, has licensed over 10 million copies of Commercially Enhanced NCSA Mosaic to many large partners including IBM, DEC, FTP Software, and NEC.

Licensing Information

The technology behind the Panorama browser can be licensed. For more information on Synex Information products and services, contact:

Synex Information AB
Stora Nygatan 20
S-111 27 Stockholm

E-mail: sales @ synex.se
Phone: +46 8 791 88 81
Fax: +46 8 791 88 89
WWW: http://www.synex.se

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