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|Title:||Algebraic specification of documents|
|Author(s):||Ramalho, José Carlos|
Almeida, J. J.
Henriques, Pedro Rangel
|Journal:||Theoretical Computer Science|
|Abstract(s):||According to recent research, nearly 95 percent of a corporate information is stored in documents. Further studies indicate that companies spent between 6 and 10 percent of their gross revenues printing and distributing documents in several ways: web and cdrom publishing, database storage and retrieval and printing. In this context documents exist in some different formats, from pure ascii files to internal database or text processor formats. It is clear that document reusability and low-cost maintenance are two important issues in the near future. The majority of available document processors is purpose-oriented, reducing the necessary flexibility and reusability of documents. Some waste of time arises from adapting the same text to different purposes. For example you may want to have the same document as an article as a set of slides or as a poster; or you can have a dictionnary document producing a book and a list of words for a spell-checker. This conversion could be done automatically from the first version of the document if it complies some standard requirements. The key idea will be to keep a complete separation between syntax and semantics. In this way we produce an abstract description separating conceptual issues from those concerned with the use. This note proposes a few guidelines to build a system to solve the above problem. Such a system should be an algebraic based environment and provide facilities for: - Document type definitions; - Definition of functions over document types; - Document definitions as algebraic terms. This approach (rooted in the tradition of constructive algebraic specification), will allow for homogeneous environment to deal with operations such as merging documents, converting formats, translating documents, extracting different kinds of information (to set up information repositories, data bases, or semantic networks) or portions of documents (as it happens, for instance, in literate programming), and some other actions, not so traditional, like mail reply, or memo production. We intend to use CAMILA (a specification language and prototyping environment developed at Universidade do Minho, by the Computer Science group) to develop the above mentioned system.|
|Appears in Collections:||DI/CCTC - Artigos (papers)|