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With the rapid increase in the amount of content on the World Wide Web, it is now becoming clear that information cannot always be stored in a form that anticipates all of its possible uses. One solution to this problem is to create transcoding intermediaries that convert data, on demand, from one form into another. Up to now, these transcoders have usually been stand-alone components, converting one particular data format to another particular data format. A more flexible approach is to create modular transcoding units that can be composed as needed. In this paper, we describe the benefits of an intermediary-based transcoding approach and present a formal framework for document transcoding that is meant to simplify the problem of composing transcoding operations.
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