Balisage 2016

Volume 19, Issue 11; 24 May 2016

Come hang out with all the markup geeks! Or, less flippantly, come discuss the hard problems and the deep questions with a broad array of engineers, librarians, philosophers, linguists, researchers, scholars, in-the-trenches practitioners, assorted polymaths, and interesting people of all stripes.

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.

Richard Feynman

I spent the first few days of last week holed up in Rockville, MD, pouring over the submissions that would become the Balisage 2016 Program. As ever, there were a lot of good papers.

I don’t think I can summarize the whole week (1–5 August in Bethesda, MD) any more eloquently than our esteemed chair, so I won’t try. I’ll just reproduce her words:

The 2016 program includes papers discussing reducing ambiguity in linked-open-data annotations, the visualization of XSLT execution patterns, automatic recognition of grant- and funding-related information in scientific papers, construction of an interactive interface to assist cybersecurity analysts, rules for graceful extension and customization of standard vocabularies, case studies of agile schema development, a report on XML encoding of subtitles for video, an extension of XPath to file systems, handling soft hyphens in historical texts, an automated validity checker for formatted pages, one no-angle-brackets editing interface for scholars of German family names and another for scholars of Roman legal history, and a survey of non-XML markup such as Markdown.

If you’re interested in markup or, especially this yearThe symposium topic this year is “XML In, Web Out: International Symposium on sub rosa XML., in how it can be used to provide stable, scalable, and sustainable infrastructures for modern applications, this is the conference you should attend. If you just want to hang out with incredibly smart people doing incredibly diverse and interesting things, this is also the place.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a conference about XML or SGMLHappy birthday!!! or JSON or XSLT or JavaScript or any other specific technology (though, by the same token, it’s also about all of them), it’s a conference about the power of declarative interfaces, open information, reuse, and data independence.

Looking forward to it!