Back from the cracking XMLOpen conference - given the quality of the speakers and delegates it was more like a summit or symposium.

Some highlights:


Meeting Murata Makoto and hearing so much about Relax NG - i'm well impressed and intend to explore W3C to Relax mapping tools in preparation for WS-I Schema Work Plan, if it ever gets off the ground. Give Kal Ahmed's documentation tools a whirl.


Getting a bilby pin from Rick Jelliffe was nice. Schematron looks cool and i've already several applications for this useful technology in mind including Embedding Schematron in W3C Schema. Of course DSDL is building a very nice ISO standard framework around Relax NG and Schematron. Alex Brown gave a good introduction to the effort and Jeni Tennison's talk on datatypes was brilliant.


Sean McGrath gave great value with 2½ talks and bonhomie at mealtimes. I was mightily impressed by his common sense regarding XML processing and i'm carefully reading and digesting the RIGS (Reach Interoperability Guidelines). Look out for a video of his keynote speech themed on simplicity, elegance and complexity appearing on the XMLOpen site - it was cracking. Edd Dumbill thought it raised more questions than answers. i felt differently, coming away even more resolved to fight the power. Complexity is rarely the best or only solution to a complex problem!

Sean's pipelining talk struck a chord with my mate Adrian. It's the architecture we've used on several successful systems. Small independent boxes strung together asynchronously are the only way to build large and reliable systems.


Uche Ogbuji on processing XML in Python and John Wilson on XML in Groovy both provided good stuff straight from the horse's mouth.

Harry Halpin and Henry Thompson's paper on Web Proper Names. Henry is always good value and willing to present ideas during their formation - it certainly got people talking!

John Merrells talk on business models for Open Source software was great food for thought ... thinks ... thinks ...

I missed Peter Rodgers talking about 1060 NetKernel, but there was more than a little buzz afterwards, so i'll be looking that up too. 1060 if you did but know is the value of XML as roman numerals.


On a personal note, I hope my spiel on versioning went OK. i have to admit to being a little nervous going on first thing and slightly phased looking out at some of the celebs in the audience. Slides and examples here.

So, kudos to Eamonn and Alex for putting on a top conference in a top location - i'm certainly looking forward to the next one!