Way back before there was XML, there was SGML, and there was one big SGML conference a year, with unimaginative names: “SGML 1990”, “SGML 1991”, and so on. 1990 is when I started going. XML was announced to the world at SGML ’96, an occasion I’ll remember till I die. All this is a lead-in to a plug for today’s version of that conference, still unimaginatively named: XML 2003. In particular, I’d like to encourage the kind of people who read me here to think about sending in a paper and getting on stage. Read on for details.
First of all, in the interests of disclosure: the conference is chaired by my wife, an XML maven in her own right; this is her third year.
Good Things · Last year, XML 2002’s headcount was up over the previous year, which is kind of a miracle given that the conference biz is generally in the toilet.
I think one of the biggest reasons is the process: they have a Program Committee full of smart people, and dozens of reviewers. This means you don’t get session after session of vendors blathering about their wonderful new seamless solutions (except in the vendor track, which is designed to give the pitchmen a platform; perfectly OK and useful as long as you know what you’re getting into).
Also, the keynotes look interesting: most readers here know who Jon Udell is. Adam Bosworth is one of the primary programmers behind Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and IE 4; now he’s at BEA. He’s a really smart guy and thinks harder about XML than just about anyone else in the world. The Adobe fellow I don’t know, but it’s a long time since I’ve caught up on their world-view, so it should be interesting.
Also, the conference has town halls and BOFs and a trade-show where anyone selling an XML widget shows it off, and all that good stuff. I have to confess, though, that I usually end up missing most of it because there are too many interesting people in the hallways, and I have spent whole days at these conferences basically without getting out of the hotel lobby bar.
I’ll be there.
Call For Papers · The reason I write this is that the call for participation is on the street. If you have something interesting to say that’s XML-related, fire it on in. The only guarantee is that some smart, well-informed, people will look at it seriously; but that’s more than most conferences can say.