An attributte makes available extra information regarding the element on which it appears. The attributes always appear as a name-value pair on the initialization pointers. Example of an attribute is id="identification", which gives the attribute id the value identification.

Document Type Definition (DTD)

A group of statements that define element names and their attributes specifying the rules for combinations and sequences. It's the DTD that defines which elements can or cannot be inserted in the given context.


DSSSL stands for Document Style Semantics and Specification Language. It's an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 10179:1996). The DSSSL standard is internationally used as a language for documents stylesheets pages for SGML.


The elements define the hierarchical structure of a document. The majority of elements have opening and closing pointers. Within these pointers, pieces of text or even the whole document being written can be found. There are empty elements which contains only opening pointers without any content.


An entity is a name designated for some part of data so that it can be referenced by a name. The data could be anything from from simple characters to chapters to sets of statements of a DTD. Entity parameters can be generic, external, internal or SGML data. An entity is similar to a variable in a programming language, or a macro.

external entity

An external entity points to an external document. External entities are used to include texts on certain locations of a SGML document. It could be used to include sample screens, legal notes, and chapters for example.

generic entities

An entity referenced by a name, which starts with "&" and ends with semicolon is a generic entity. Most of the time this type of entity is used in the document and not on the DTD. There are two types of entities: external and internal. They can refer to special characters or to text objects such as repeated sentences, names or chapters.

internal entity

An internal entity refers to part of the text and is often used as a shortcut for frequently repeated text.

parameter entity

An entity often used in the DTD. The entity's name starts with a percent sign (%) and ends with a semicolon.


Objects such as side bars, pictures, tables, and charts are called floats when they don't have a fixed placement on the text. For printed text, a chart can appear either at the top or at the bottom of the page. It can also be placed on the next page if it is too large.

processing instruction

A processing instruction is a command passed to the document formatting tool. It starts with "<?". This document uses processing instructions for naming files when it is rendered into HTML: <?dbhtml filename="file.html">


Standard Generalized Markup Language. It is an international standard (ISO8879) that specifies rules for the creation of electronic documents in markup systems, regardless the work platform used.


An SGML element bounded by the marks "<" and ">". Tags are used to mark the semantic or logical structure of a document. A sample is the tag <title> to mark the beginning of a title.


eXtensible Markup Language. A subproduct of SGML created specifically for Internet use.


XML Style Language. XSL is to a XML document what a DSSSL style is for a SGML document. The XSL is written in XML.