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Metastructures 1998

Call for Participation in

Metastructures 1998

The Graphic Communications Association (GCA) invites content management industry leaders to participate in the fifth annual Metastructures conference. Formerly known as the International HyTime Conference, Metastructures 1998 is about the evolving abstractions that underlie modern information management solutions, how they enhance human productivity, and how they are being applied by expert managers. (The notion of strongly-typed hyperlinks is an example of a metastructure.)

Proposals for tutorials, papers, and presentations on HyTime, the SGML Extended Facilities, STEP, and the XML-related metastructures, such as XLink, XPointers, Resource Description Format, SMIL, and XML-EDI, are welcome. The conference will be followed by the XML Developers' Conference, chaired by Jon Bosak, Chairman of the W3C XML Working Group.

Monday, August 17: Tutorials
Tuesday, August 18 - Wednesday, August 19: METASTRUCTURES 1998
Thursday, August 20 - Friday, August 21: XML DEVELOPERS' CONFERENCE

All events:

Le Centre Sheraton
1201, Boulevard Rene Levesque Ouest
Montréal, Québec, Canada
+1 514 878 2000
fax +1 514 878 8214

Paper, presentation, and tutorial proposals
for Metastructures 1998 should be sent by June 19, 1998 to:

Steve Newcomb, Co-chair, Metastructures 1998
c/o ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230
Dallas, Texas 75202 USA
+1 214 953 0004 x137
Fax +1 214 953 3152
Conference Co-chairs:

Carla Corkern, President, ISOGEN International Corporation

Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.

What happened to the HyTime Conference?

It's still here, and this is it! Although the ISO HyTime standard is still unsurpassed in its comprehensiveness, flexibility, and power to define and represent metastructures, the HyTime standard is no longer the only vendor-neutral standard for alternative structuring, re-use, and "view definition" of the components of information content assets. To continue to serve the needs of content management professionals with state-of-the-art thinking and reports from the cutting edge, the conference needs a less constraining name that is congruent with its true focus.

The true focus of this annual conference has always been the application of a "standard set" of universally understood abstractions -- metastructures -- for creating and interchanging views of content. Now that there are several relevant standards, several of which appear to be engaged in a process of convergence, the Metastructures conferences seek to provide a forum where content managers can assess how the metastructures provided by emerging vendor-neutral standards fit together, and how metastructures are being applied in real content management solutions.

What vendor-neutral standards?

At the time of this writing, relevant vendor-neutral content metastructure standards include (but are not limited to):

  • The HyTime architecture (ISO/IEC 10744:1997), which provides metastructures for three viewing paradigms: hyperlinking, scheduling, and hierarchy. HyTime enjoys growing popularity with uncompromising content managers, and it has facilities for assimilating additional systems of metastructures.

  • A growing family of proposed and/or draft XML-related standards emanating from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and elsewhere. These are designed to please implementers and to meet the needs of mass market users, and especially to serve the needs of Web-based activities.

  • STEP,

  • More...

As with any conference, the success and usefulness of Metastructures 1998 depends on the knowledge, abilities, and preparation of its participants. We are assembling a remarkable set of half-day and full-day tutorials to be offered the day before the conference. Every conference participant can help themselves and all other participants by attending the tutorials that are most likely to broaden their knowledge of the content management field.

This year, the conference organizers are noticing that the area of content schema languages has lately been receiving a great deal of attention, and that there are several vendor-neutral standards and proposals for new standards:

As it did last year, Metastructures 1998 will immediately precede the XML Developers' Conference, chaired by Jon Bosak. Those who choose to attend both conferences will get a full measure of the most advanced thinking on information management (including XML-based information management) followed by the most advanced thinking on implementation of the XML family of standards. Because of the generality and power that XML inherited from SGML, it's safe to say that all metastructures are relevant to XML, and that XML can be relevant to all metastructures. In other words, information managers participating in Metastructures 1998 should consider also attending the XML Developers' Conference, in order to see what's being developed, and to make their XML application needs known to the people who are in a position to do something about them. Similarly, XML applications developers should consider participating in the Metastructures conference to gain intelligence about user requirements and borrow ideas.

As always, the conference will be preceded by (at least) one day of optional tutorials, including Eliot Kimber's famous HyTime performance.

Conference fees: