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Managing Complex Documents Over the WWW: A Case Study for XML
July/August 1999 (vol. 11 no. 4)
pp. 629-638

Abstract—The use of the World Wide Web as a communication medium for knowledge engineers and software designers is limited by the lack of tools for writing, sharing, and verifying documents written with design notations. For instance, the Z language has a rich set of mathematical characters, and requires graphic-rich boxes and schemas for structuring a specification document. It is difficult to integrate Z specifications and text on WWW pages written with HTML, and traditional tools are not suited for the task. On the other hand, a newly proposed standard for markup languages, namely XML, allows one to define any set of markup elements; hence, it is suitable for describing any kind of notation. Unfortunately, the proposed standard for rendering XML documents, namely XSL, provides for text-only (although sophisticated) rendering of XML documents, and thus it cannot be used for more complex notations. We present a Java-based tool for applying any notation to elements of XML documents. These XML documents can thus be shown on current-generation WWW browsers with Java capabilities. A complete package for displayingZ specifications has been implemented and integrated with standard text parts. Being a complete rendering engine, text parts andZ specifications can be freely intermixed, and all the standard features of XML (including HTML links and form elements) are available outside and inside Z specifications. Furthermore, the extensibility of our engine allows any additional notations to be supported and integrated with the ones we describe here.

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Index Terms:
Document management systems, hypertext, active documents, XML, Java, specification documents,Z notation.
Paolo Ciancarini, Fabio Vitali, Cecilia Mascolo, "Managing Complex Documents Over the WWW: A Case Study for XML," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 629-638, July-Aug. 1999, doi:10.1109/69.790821
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