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In (S)GML ancestor's IBM SCRIPT/VS, what does DSM stand for in macros DSMFIG, DSMLIST... ?

  • please add more details to your post. It is difficult to know what you're asking with proper context. – Jack Kasbrack Nov 29 '18 at 16:48
  • See, for example, the IBM SCRIPT/VS programmer’s guide. – Stephen Kitt Nov 29 '18 at 17:55
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    I understand what you're asking. However, some more details would be nice; the AD is FTH for the A(R|PA). – wizzwizz4 Nov 29 '18 at 20:15
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what does DSM stand for in macros

In principle nothing. It's "just" a string used to mark all (well, most) APF (Application Processing Function) that are part of the system. IBM provides in no place a meaningful interpretation.

In an informal way I was given Document Structure Macro as an explanation ... but that was quite a long time ago and I doubt that there will be any reference anywhere.

Like so often it's a naming convention to manage symbols of different origin within a single name space. This continues within the DSM macros as:

  • DSM@ marking all attribute handling macros
  • DSM# indicating internal macros that get called by others or the profile
  • DSME for end tag macros
  • Any other DSM Macro will handle one or more start tags

BTW, as so often with IBM, names aren't as sharply defined as one may assume. Depending on context the language is SCRIPT or Generalized Markup Language (GML).

SCRIPT defines a set of very basic, serially processed output formatting commands to be embedded in text, with each command starting a new line (*1). SCRIPT/VS is one of many extensions, like SCRIPT/370 before. It offered extensions to support IBM's 3800 laser printer. It was also ported to the PC, and gained thus some audience.

GML on the other hand is a format using a tag based system, much like today's SGML (or HTML). It uses start and end tags, encapsulated between a colon (:) and a period (.), much like the < and > in HTML. Except, GML doesn't really exist at all. What exists is the GML Starter Set, a set of macros that handle the conversion of block based encoding into the serial format of SCRIPT.

Oh, and then there is EasyScript - a simplified GML version, that gets directly interpreted with other SCRIPT commands.

Not to mention that IBM did create many dialects or extensions like ISIL, the Information Structure Identification Language, a GML extension/version used to write most of their manuals.

Another variant is Bookmaster which as well enriches GML for publishing purpose, here with regards to modern printers and graphic displays to support more complex and visually appealing layouts.

Together with Bookmanager it creates a PDF like environment to render such documents on graphic devices. It comes with a server product to manage libraries of ... well, E-Books :))

Sometimes it seems there isn't anything that IBM didn't develop ahead of time just to not be able to make it standard later on when the world was ready.


*1 - SCRIPT itself is close related to RUNOFF - better known due it's unix clone roff :)

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    I didn't expect such a comprehensive answer! Thank you! – Greg82 Nov 30 '18 at 8:26
  • @Greg82 You're wellcome. This is RC.SE, we like a holistic answer as much as a well formed question (hint). – Raffzahn Nov 30 '18 at 16:05

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