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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
Search is a simple string search in either book title or book author. The full text search is a search of the text of the review.
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$GML - The Billion Dollar Secret
Chet Ensign
0 13 226705 5
Prentice Hall
James Gordon
Appeared in:
This book is written by the godfather of SGML and is targeted mainly at managers who have to handle mountains of documentation. It explains about the benefits of SGML to them and their company.

SGML is a way of tagging data to make it more meaningful, for example, James Gordon is just my name, by tagging it like this<reviewer>James Gordon</reviewer> distinguishes James Gordon the reviewer from James Gordon who writes raunchy books for the local book shop. If you needed to search through an online archive of books and their reviews you can search for James Gordon the reviewer not James Gordon the author.

I believe this book review section is stored in SGML to allow the different type of indexing to be achieved automatically.

The first section of the book shows how the process of producing documents hasn't changed much with the introduction of computers, the hidden costs of converting documents to the latest DTP or word processing package and the dumbness of those documents once produced. It then describes what SGML is and explains the problems a fictitious company had with its documents.

The main bulk of the book is case studies from companies like Grolier, Sikorsky and Mobil. It explains their initial problems with format centric documents and how they all came to choose an SGML solution. It then goes on to explain how they produced their solutions and what they can now achieve using SGML that they couldn't before. The savings are not just monetary, since SGML also allowed them to change the software used to manipulate the data without the costly conversion costs involved previously.

The last section covers 'Is SGML right for you' and some of the other resources available.

Would I have bought this book? Well no I wouldn't, but then I would have missed out on a very good overview of how using SGML can save a company not just money but time as well.