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DSD 1.0 Announcement

Document Structure Description 1.0Nov. 18 1999

A Document Structure Description (DSD) is a new and very effective way of describing XML documents. This new schema language is result of a research collaboration between AT&T Labs, NJ and BRICS at the Aarhus University, Denmark. The DSD language has arisen out of a need to describe XML documents to Web programmers with an elementary background in computer science. DSDs have also been expressively designed to further W3C sponsored XML technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and XSL Transformations (XSLT).

CSS is an essential part of modern HTML, but has so far not been formulated as a general style sheet mechanism for XML that works with any semantic domain. DSDs provide both a generalized semantics for a CSS-like style sheet mechanism and document processing instructions that provide the abstraction benefits of CSS in any XML document.

XSLT 1.0 is a programming notation that allows transformations of classes of XML documents into semantic domains like HTML. XSLT programs are easy to write, especially if assumptions can be made about the input documents. The expressive power of DSDs allow declarative and readable specifications of XML documents that are to be subjected to XSLT processing.

DSDs require no specialized XML/SGML insights. The technology is based on general and familiar concepts that allow much stronger document descriptions than possible with DTDs or the current XML Schema proposal.

For more information, please go to the DSD Web site: http://www.brics.dk/DSD

We already offer

  • a detailed, complete, and tested DSD 1.0 language description
  • an introductory article
  • free source code
  • a meta-DSD that completely accounts for the syntax of DSDs
  • an XSLT pretty-printer that converts DSDs into hyper-link HTML
  • a preliminary industrial case report, where we discuss the use of DSD to describe XPML, a variation on HTML for interactive voice services

We are encouraging comments and suggestions for further development!

Nils Klarlund, AT&T Research
Anders Møller, BRICS
Michael I. Schwartzbach, BRICS

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Copyright © 1999 AT&T and BRICS.   Last updated: Nov. 18 1999.