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SGML/XML Songs

This collection of songs from people who really should know better shows just how easy it is to combine SGML and XML with fine lyrics and catchy tunes!

Have you ever felt that SGML and XML are so good that you just want to sing? Is your secret ambition to be a songwriter but you've never known how to make the transition from being a geek? Do you feel that your company song doesn't fit the needs of your workgroup and you want something more SGML- or XML-specific to sing each morning? If you have an SGML or XML song that you would like to share, please contact Deborah A. Lapeyre (dalapeyre@mulberrytech.com).

The Beach Boys Collection

  • Servin' XML by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Surfin' USA")
  • Valid XML by Michael Sperberg-McQueen (to "California Girls")
  • Parser App by Tony Graham (to "Surfer Girl")

Others

  • Bits on a Disk by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas)
  • DTDs by Deborah A. Lapeyre (to "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer)
  • I Use DSSSL by Tony Graham (to "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" by Lloyd-Webber)
  • My Favorite Tags by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "My Favorite Things" by Rogers and Hammerstein)
  • PI PI PI by Tony Graham (to "Money Money Money" by Abba)
  • T-E-I by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Do Re Mi" by Rogers and Hammerstein)
  • Use P3 by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Let it Be" by The Beatles)
  • The XML Bunch by Tony Graham and G. Ken Holman (to the "Brady Bunch" theme song)
  • The XML Hillbillies by Tony Graham and Deborah A. Lapeyre (to the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song)

All lyrics copyright their respective authors.


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The Beach Boys Collection

Servin' XML

by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to the tune of "Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys)

If everybody had a notion
The kind that rings a bell
To modify that big behemoth
We call SGML
You'd see them dropping those features
That make our lives like hell
Servin' up real data--
Servin' XML

Look no DOCTYPE, XML
Look no DOCTYPE, XML


We'll all be priming our browsers
And tuning our display
For context-sensitive searching
On servers far away--
We'll all be gone for the hour
We're surfing through the bell
Tell the teacher we're searchin'--
Searchin' XML

We'll say goodbye to SUBDOC
And to the big CONCUR
We're happy ditching our DOCTYPEs
Like they never were
We'll be well-formed as all get out
No one could ever tell
That we ever had SHORTREF
Or used SGML.

Valid XML

by Michael Sperberg-McQueen (to the tune of "California Girls" by the Beach Boys)

Well-formed docs are hip,
I really dig those tags they wear,
And PDFs, with their fallback fonts,
They print on printers everywhere.
Full S-G-M-L can make
Your parser feel all right,
And H-T-M-L, with the U-R-L links,
They keep the servers warm at night!

I wish they all could be valid XML.
I wish they all could be valid XML.
I wish they all could be valid XML.

Parser App

by Tony Graham (to the tune of "Surfer Girl" by the Beach Boys)

Little parser, little one.
Have my tags come all undone?
Is it valid, is it, parser app?

I have launched you on the doc
Showing as a hot spot.
Is it valid, is it, parser app?

We could surf the web together
picking links to follow
In my browser I would take you
everywhere I go.

So I say from me to you,
"Only valid XML will do."
Is it valid, is it, parser app?

Others

Bits on a Disk

By Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas)

I close my eyes--
Only for a moment, but my text is gone
All those words--
pass into the ether of eternity

Bits on a disk--all it was was bits on a disk

Same old song--
Software from the network that I got for free
Big blank screen--
"Abort Retry Ignore" is all it says to me

Bits on a disk--all it was was bits on a disk

Don't give up--
Text can last forever if you back up right
But alas--I haven't made a backup since last Wednesday night

Bits on a disk ...

DTDs

By Deborah A. Lapeyre (to "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer)

I think that I shall never see
well-formed, without a DTD.

A DTD whose form expressed
By several parsers has been blessed;

One that controls what I can see,
And lets me search predictably!

For documents may form-less be
Without the aid of DTD,

To force the structured form we love
(That intimately lives in groves).

Moral

Text is penned by fools like me,
But it's a mess, sans DTD.

I Use DSSSL

By Tony Graham (to the tune of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" by Andrew Lloyd-Webber)

This won't be easy,
you'll think it's strange.
When I try to explain how I print -
that I use an ISO standard
after all that I've done.

You won't believe me.
All you will see is the good output,
although it's dressed up to the nines -
it started with S-G-M-L

I had to let it happen.
I had to change.
Couldn't stay being proprietary.
Stuck with one vendor,
No choice of software.
So I choose freedom.
Running around, trying everything new.
But nothing impressed me at all.
I never expected it too.

Don't cry for me, I use DSSSL.
The truth is it is quite good:
Style sheet language,
Flow object tree,
A choice of backends.  You should try it.

My Favorite Things

By Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to the tune of "My Favorite Things" by Rogers and Hammerstein)

Big feature structures with <f>s and <fs>s,
<Certainty> tags that record all my guesses,
Page breaks and forme work and <milestone> flags,
These are a few of my favorite tags.

<Front>, <body>, <back> in a text with a header
<Div>s nesting deeply, now what could be better?
<Castgroup>s in <castlist>s and <l>s in
<lg>,
These are the things that I like in P3

When I'm surfing
And I download
Formats I deplore,
I smugly reflect on my TEI text
And then I rejoice once more.

PI PI PI

By Tony Graham (to the tune of "Money Money Money" by Abba)

I parse all night, I parse all day, to check against my DTD
Ain't it sad
And still it seems the DTD is not so necessary
That's too bad
In my dreams I have planned
If I joined the XML band
I wouldn't use a DTD at all, I'd fool around and have a ball...

PI, PI, PI
Use any GI
In an XML world
PI, PI, PI
Add a PI
And be well-formed
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I add a little PI
In an XML world

No more link or shorttags, but we need empty tag end-tags
Ain't it sad
And so to SGML be, I think we need a TC
That's too bad
If I link, I'll use XLL
Or to print, XSL
So XML is the game, SGML will never be the same...

PI, PI, PI
Use any GI
In an XML world
PI, PI, PI
Add a PI
And be well-formed
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I add a little PI
In an XML world

PI, PI, PI
Use any GI
In an XML world
PI, PI, PI
Add a PI
And be well-formed
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I add a little PI
In an XML world

In an XML world

T-E-I

By Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to the tune of "Do Re Mi" by Rogers and Hammerstein)

Let's start at the very beginning.
A very good place to start.
When you read you begin with

A, B, C.

When you encode you begin
With T-E-I.

T-E-I?

T-E-I.
And now I will have to tell you why
T-E-I.

T-E-I!

T-E-I-S-G-M-L

Oh, let's see if I can make it easier.

T, a text, an encoded text.
E, a bunch of entities.
I, an IDREF for myself.
S, a set of nested trees.
G, a gen-e-ric I.D.,
M, for marking up your best,
L, a metric line to me!
that will bring us back to T text-text-text!

Now, encoders, T-E-I-S-G and so on, are only the tools you use
to build a text. Once you have these tags in your heads, you can
encode a  million different texts by mixing them up. Like
this:
G, T, M, S, I, T, E.

Can you do that?

G, T, M, S, I, T, E.

G, T, M, L, T, E, T.

G, T, M, L, T, E, T.

Now, put it all together!

G, T, M, S, I, T, E.
G, T, M, L, T, E, T!

Good!

But it doesn't mean anything!

So we put in tags. Two tags for every element. Like this:
When you know the tags to use,
T-E-I is what you'll choose!

Use P3

By Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders (to "Let it Be" by The Beatles)

When I find myself with untagged data, Brother Michael comes to me,
Speaking words of wisdom,
Use P3
And in my hour of parsing, he is standing right in front of me,
Speaking words of wisdom,
Use P3

Use P3, Use P3, Use P3 yeah use P3
Write it in your DOCTYPE, use P3.

And when the data capture projects tagging in the world agree,
there will be an answer,
Use P3
For with a sudden rapture there is still a chance that they will see
the one and only answer,
Use P3

And when the data's lousy there is still a helpful DTD
Parse until tomorrow
with P3
I wake up to the sound of progress--Lou and Michael at the door
Speaking words of wisdom
Here's P4!

Use P4, use P4, use P4 yeah use P4,
Perfecting all our data, use P4.

The XML Bunch

By Tony Graham and G. Ken Holman (to the tune of the "Brady Bunch" theme song)

Here's the story
of an ISO effort
that was working on three standards for a while
All of them were quite complex
(S-G-M-L!);
the youngest one did styles

It's the story
of a World Wide Web
that was busy with some standards of its own
H-T-M-L
and some others
yet they were all alone

'Till the one day
when the standards met the Web
and they knew that it was much more than a hunch
that they all could somehow work together
that's the way we all became The XML Bunch

The XML Bunch
The XML Bunch
that's the way we became The XML Bunch

The XML Hillbillies

By Tony Graham and Deborah A. Lapeyre (to the tune of the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song)

This is the story of a man named Jon,
Great diplomat, ne'er put a foot wrong,
'Till one day he was shooting off his mouth,
To shut him up, got his own working group,
XML that is, SGML on the Web.

This is the story of a man named Tim,
Worked pat and lector, not much comin' in,
'Till one day he said "Here's XML"
Now, as we know, Tim's utterly cool:
Working drafts, XML.com, geeky cool.

This is the story of a man named James,
Lived in Thailan', followed his own aims,
'Till one day he was made the tech lead,
And in XML we got what we need,
Valid, of course, well-formed, PI targets.

This is the story of Michael the guy,
Did many things, even wrote TEI,
'Till one day he said "Light SGML",
As punishment, made him edit XML,
Write that is, dot the "i"s, cross the "t"s.

This is the story of a man named Pete,
Chemist in U.K, says mol'cules are neat,
'Till one day he got into tools,
Made a mailing list away from the fools,
Dev that is, XML-Dev, geek talk.

This is the story of a man named Dave
English Doc, old enough to shave,
'Till one day he said "Let's have a try",
And on the list they built an API,
SAX that is, Simple API for XML.

This is the story of a man named Rob,
Liked XML more than his job,
'Till one day he swapped right over,
Now XML is covered by Cover,
Robin that is, Robin Cover's Web Page.

This is the story of a man named Flynn,
First name's "Pete", ain't that confusin'.
'Till one day he saw th' same question again,
Said, I'll write 'em down 'n save brain strain,
FAQ that is, Frequently Asked Questions.

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Selected lyrics copyright © 1997 by Syd Bauman & Julia Flanders.

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