How to find the DSSSL spec online

The DSSSL specification is copyright by the International Standards Organisation, who only make paper copies available at a fairly high price. However, the US government also asserts its right to cost-free distribution of the draft standard as produced by Working Group 8, as detailed in the following statement:


The files in this directory constitute the SGML source for ISO/IEC 10179, DocumentStyle Semantics and Specification Language. EPS files for graphics are included.

These files exist for the sole purpose of supporting the development of DSSSL in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8 and are not to be republished without the permission of WG8 and ISO.

ISO holds a copyright on the contents of these files, and readers may examine them only with the understanding that the copyright exists.

Because government funds were expended in the development of DIS 10179.2, the United States Government also claims a nonexclusive, royalty-free copyright to the contents of the DIS.

Neither ISO nor the United States Government makes any warrantee as to the utility of this data for any purpose other than to present it in support of standards development. Potential implementers of this DIS are warned that it is being balloted in JTC1 and is subject to change at the end of the ballot period.

James David Mason
Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The directory mentioned above is was here: DSSSL archive at ORNL, now lost, where you once could find sgm, pdf and ps versions of the spec. The filenames you want for pdf or ps are dsssl96f and dsssl96b. Some of the documents available there are available at the XML Cover Pages.

You can also [no longer] find The DSSSL Digest there. This contains the procedure prototypes and first para. of documentation for every procedure in the spec.

James Clark has produced an RTF version using JADE, and someone at Novell (Jon Bosak before he left?) has produced an HTML version.

Norm Walsh has now produced an up-to-date HTML version, in both plain and HTML Help variants. They are available as zip files, [no longer] reachable from a readme file.

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