Balisage preliminary program

Balisage 2008 logo

The Balisage 2008 program committee met this week, and we now have a preliminary program. (As I write, the schedule-at-a-glance isn’t up yet, but it really should be up any moment now.)

We’ve got a good range of topics, with talks on resource-oriented architectures and a framework for managing constraints and how markup relates to the philosophical problem of universals and how to handle overlap in a format that makes good use of the non-overlapping properties of XML. And a parallel algorithm for XML parsing and validation that exploits multiple-core machines, and an XML Exchange for messaging that uses XQuery to route messages, and structural metadata as a socio-technological problem and using the Atom Publishing Protocol to build dynamic applications.

The day before Balisage begins, there will be a one-day symposium on versioning issues, which has also shaped up very nicely. (More on that in another post.)

Great topics, great people (I’ve heard a lot of these speakers, and I know they’re good), and Montreal in August. What more could you want?

So think hard about being in Montreal the week of 11-15 August, for the versioning symposium and for Balisage 2008. I look forward to seeing people there!

Balisage — the paper deadline nears

Two weeks to go before the Balisage paper submission deadline. That’s far enough away that with a little luck and some late nights, you can still get a draft paper put together that is complete enough for review.

But it’s close enough that you have to start now. The Balisage review process has a very tight schedule and long extensions are not an option.

(Enrique interrupts me at this point to remind me that not everyone in the world — not even every reader of this blog — will necessarily know what Balisage is. He’s right.)

Balisage is a new conference on markup and its applications, organized by a group which has, in past years, worked together as the organizing committee for Extreme Markup Languages and a variety of other conferences organized by IDEAlliance (and the Graphic Communications Association) before that. It will take place this August in Montréal. To be very specific, it will take place 12-15 August, with a pre-conference symposium on 11 August.

Any topic related to the theory or practice of markup (preferably both! there is nothing as practical as a good theory! there is nothing so theoretically fruitful as thoughtful practice!) is in scope. We are hoping for papers on vocabulary design, XQuery, XSLT, SGML, XML, alternatives to XML, overlapping hierarchies, general problems of knowledge engineering and information management, topic maps, OWL, RDF, UBL, validation, the futility of validation, the utility of validation despite its futility, using markup for graphics, SVG, XSL-FO, ontologies, content management, markup theory, information structure, and more. Theory, case studies, developer reports, all are in scope.

Last year, the day before Extreme Markup Languages we organized a one-day symposium on the handling of overlapping structures, which was hugely informative. This year, there will be a one-day symposium on versioning, covering any and all issues relating to revision, variation, and managing change in XML documents and vocabularies. I confidently expect to learn a lot, and I hope you will, too. But for that to happen, you have to attend.

I’m one of the organizers, so I have a vested interest in making you, dear Reader, think that Balisage is an interesting and informative conference to attend, and a cool place to be, and a wonderful place to get your interesting new idea heard by smart people who care and know about markup.

So don’t take my word for it: check out the Web site and ask around, and decide for yourself. More info at

I hope to hear from you soon.