SGML Forum of NY: 13 March

At Tim's suggestion, I'm summarizing an event in NYC last Thursday.

The SGML Forum of New York is a group of SGML users that gather
occasionally to discuss SGML issues.  I gather that it's composed
primarily of publishers.  The topic on Thursday was "SGML and the
Future of the Web: XML and Other Alternatives".  Chet Ensign of
Matthew Bender and Eli Willner of Data Conversion Labs organized it;
they usually get 30-40 people; for Thursday, they accepted 63
reservations and started turning people away.

Alan Karben from the Wall Street Journal was the only other WG member

The speakers were:

o me, "XML, SGML, and the Future of the WWW"
  I covered XML from a technical point of view, and outlined the
  implications of XML to holders of extant SGML data.  Dale Waldt
  asked for a <TAG> article based on my talk; I plan to post the
  article on Inso's Web server when it's done, since several other
  attendees requested slides.  The WG will certainly get mail with the
  URL when it is available.

o Lori DeFurio from Adobe, outlining Frame+SGML
  She didn't cover XML, but the Q&A came back to XML support several
  times.  Adobe is currently observing XML interestedly, and has not
  made a decision about support yet.

o Cynthia Shern of ArborText, "ArborText's XML Plans"
  Demo'd export and import of well-formed XML from ArborText.  So it's
  not natively editing XML, but it might as well be.  The export
  appeared correctly well-formed as of the 961114 draft, though it was
  missing some things that the WG has considered since then

The audience seemed very keen on XML; the extreme draw of the subject
was heartening, and the audience was (nearly) uniformly receptive.
The one exception was one man who was just beginning to get into SGML;
my talk had been as much about what XML isn't as what it is, and I had
frightened him.  He did not believe that XML could be learned from a
single book from a bookstore, based on my talk.  I plan to add a
preface to my article concerning the intended audience. (-:

Christopher R. Maden                  One Richmond Square
DynaText SIT Technical Support        Providence, RI 02906 USA
Inso Corporation                      +1.401.421.9550 (voice)
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