Balisage 2012 – T minus 21 days

[16 July 2012]

Hard to believe, but Balisage 2012 is only three weeks away.

On Monday 6 August there is a pre-conference symposium on quality assurance and quality control in XML. I won’t list all the scheduled talks here, but the symposium program has a good balance of theory and practice, abstract rule and concrete application, and there are several case studies from organizations with major XML publishing programs (Ontario Scholars Portal, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information, the American Chemical Society, and Portico).

Tuesday through Friday, the conference proper will take place. Among the many talks I am looking forward to, today I’ll mention just a few.

Mary Holstege opens the conference with a talk about type introspection in XQuery; as a principal engineer at MarkLogic, she has a deep background both in the technology of XQuery and related specifications and good understanding of how real customers with large amounts of textual data actually use XML.

Later the same day, Steven Pemberton of W3C will speak on the relation between data abstractions and their serializations, with (passing) reference to work on XForms 2.0. Steven gives dynamite talks, and I want to hear how he describes the interplay of general design problems with the concrete work of spec development.

And at the other end of the week, Friday morning Liam Quin (also of W3C) will talk about work he has been doing to characterize the body of material served as XML on the Web, in particular that part of it which is not actually well-formed XML (and thus, in the strict sense, not XML at all). Since sometimes people use the existence of non-well-formed data on the Web to support arguments that XML’s well-formedness rules are too strict for practical use, I look forward to hearing Liam’s analysis.

Of course, there is a lot more to look forward to. I hope, dear reader, that I will see you in Montreal next month!