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Created: July 02, 2008.
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Balisage 2008 Conference in Montréal Continues Extreme Markup Tradition.

Balisage 2008 Markup Conference International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems


"Balisage 2008: The Markup Conference" continues the popular Montréal conference series (formerly "Extreme Markup Languages") under a new title "Balisage." The word Balisage in Montréal French means "markup", or "electronic text encoding, especially in the form of markup such as XML or HTML; more generally, it means 'signaling' or 'marking', especially with lights, such as runway lighting, lighted buoys, or dim roadside lights that permit almost daylight speed while driving at night."

While the conference name has changed, the conference is still "Extreme" in its historic sense, and is predicated on a community conviction that "There is nothing so practical as a good theory".

The Balisage 2008 Conference organizers have published the complete program listings for the main conference (August 12 - 15, 2008) and for the "International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems" on August 11, 2008.

The people involved with Balisage are a different breed, which accounts for the program's attractiveness to regular attendees — some seeking refuge from commercialism felt in the typical industry-driven conferences. Listings for the Balisage Conference Committee, Advisory Board, and speakers reveal what the web site declares: "The people making Balisage include markup theoreticians, practitioners, data modelers, developers, and aficionados. We work as software developers, academics, librarians, system architects, lexicographers, integrators, archivists, document managers, standards developers, and programmers."

Balisage 2008 Conference topics include languages and processes for manipulating XML, the Semantic Web and semantically-based document markup, resource-oriented architectures, ontology design, schema mashups, constraint management, real-time generation of topic maps, secure publishing for social networks, managing overlapping annotations over the same primary data, the social limitation of interoperability in digital libraries, implementation of XSD 1.1 conditional-type assignment, and a host of others.

Speakers from the business and government include: BEA Systems, IBM, INRIA, Intel, Red Hat, SAIC, Sun, the World Wide Web Consortium, and the Y-12 National Security Complex. Academic speakers include representatives of Acadia University, the University of Bielefeld, the University of Bologna, Brown University, the University of Illinois, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Ottawa.

Montréal in August "has always been the place and time for serious markup geeks to meet, and this year there's an all-new conference for them. Balisage is a peer-reviewed conference designed to meet the needs of markup theoreticians and practitioners who are pushing the boundaries of the field. It's all about the markup: how to create it; what it means; hierarchies and overlap; modeling; taxonomies; transformation; query, searching, and retrieval; presentation and accessibility; making systems that make markup dance (or dance faster to a different tune in a smaller space) — in short, changing the world and the web through the power of marked-up information."

"Balisage is also an XML Conference. It's an XSL Conference. It's a conference about XSD, XQuery, RDF, UBL, SGML, LMNL, XSL-FO, XTM, SVG, MathML, OWL, TexMECS, RNG, and a lot more. We welcome papers about topic maps, document modeling, markup of overlapping structures, ontologies, metadata, content management, and other markup-related topics at Balisage."

Balisage 2008 is hosted by Mulberry Technologies, Inc. and co-sponsored by the DC XML Users Group, OASIS, Philadelphia XML Users Group, Text Encoding Initiative, United Kingdom Forum for Structured Information Standards, and the World Wide Web Consortium (WWW).

Program Overview for Balisage 2008 Markup Conference

Balisage 2008: The Markup Conference

Held in Montréal on August 12 - 15, 2008

Schedule at a Glance:
Detailed Program:

The International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems

Held in the same Montréal location on Monday August 11, 2008

Program Overview:
Detailed Program:

Speaker/Author names
Murray Altheim, John Arwe, Syd Bauman, David J. Birnbaum, Jon Bosak, Peter F. Brown, Anne Brüggemann-Klein, Kurt Cagle, John Cowan, Maurizio Casimirri, Hugh A. Cayless, Marc de Graauw, Christo Dichev, Darina Dicheva, Boriana Ditcheva, David Dubin, Patrick Durusau, Daniela Goecke, Sandro Hawke, Ralph A. Hertlein, G. Ken Holman, Claus Huitfeldt, Sam Hunting, D. Matthew Kelleher, Albert J. Klein, Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre, David A. Lee, Pierre Lévy, Jianhui Li, Chris Lilley, Susan Malaika, Yves Marcoux, Paolo Marinelli, James David Mason, Jerome McDonough, Robin McNeill, Roland Merrick, Alex Milowski, Jan Krzysztof Miziołek, Mike Moran, Tomasz Müldner, David Orchard, Steven Pemberton, Philippe Poulard, Liam Quin, Jonathan Robie, Oliver Schonefeld, Laurel Shifrin, Lorenz Singer, Norman E. Smith, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Maik Stührenberg, B. Tommie Usdin, Fabio Vitali, William Wise, Lauren Wood, Ann Meirion Wrightson, Yu Wu, Zhiqiang Yu, Mohamed Zergaoui, Qi Zhang

Presentation titles for Balisage 2008: The Markup Conference:

  • Cool versus useful
  • REST Oriented Architectures (ROA): Taking a resourceful approach to web data
  • Informal ontology design: A wiki-based assertion framework
  • Universals by design: Mabinogion of markup
  • Constraints rule!
  • Optimized Cartesian product: A hybrid approach to derivation-chain checking in XSD 1.1
  • Topic maps in near-real time
  • SGF: An integrated model for multiple annotations and its application in a linguistic domain
  • Using Atom categorization to build dynamic applications
  • An event-centric API for processing concurrent markup
  • xmlsh — a command language (shell) based on the philosophy of the Unix Shells, designed for XML
  • Discontinuity in TexMecs, Goddag structures, and rabbit/duck grammars
  • State of the art of streaming: Why W3C XProc, W3C XSLT WGs and ISOSC34 WG 1 are looking closely at streaming?
  • Graph characterization of overlap-only TexMecs and other overlapping markup formalisms
  • Dirty laundry: Committee disasters, what happened, what we learned
  • Beyond the Semantic Web: the Semantic Space
  • Reconsidering Conventional Markup for Knowledge Representation
  • Hybrid parallel processing for XML parsing and schema validation
  • Linking Page Images to Transcriptions with SVG
  • The Apache Qpid XML Exchange: High-speed reliable enterprise messaging using open standards and open source
  • An onion of documents and metadata
  • Structural metadata and the social limitation of interoperability: A sociotechnicalview of XML and digital library standards development
  • Parser possibilities: Why write a markup parser?
  • Properties of schema mashups: dynamicity, semantic, mixins, hyperschemas
  • Hypertext Links and Relationships in XML Databases
  • Secure publishing using schema-level role-based access control policies for fragments of XML documents
  • Putting it all in context: Context and large-scale information sharing with Topic Maps
  • Translation between RDF and Topic Maps: Divide and translate
  • Freedom to constrain: Where does attribute constraint comefrom, Mommy?
  • Text retrieval of XML-encoded corpora: A lexical approach
  • But wait, there’s more!

Pre-conference Event: International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems

A one-day preconference event before Balisage 2008 will be held August 11, 2008: International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems, as detailed in the program listing. Web site description:

The "International Symposium on Versioning XML Vocabularies and Systems" is a one-day discussion of issues relating to revision, extension, variation, and managing change in XML vocabularies.

Things change; new concepts come into being; sometimes things turn out to be different from how we thought they were. So sometimes we decide to revise our formerly perfect XML systems. As a result:

  • new terms appear in our tag sets
  • existing vocabularies are revised at both coarse and fine grain, either to fix bugs or to allow concepts to mutate semantically
  • parts of the vocabulary are deleted or deprecated
  • different flavors of the same vocabulary arise
  • schemas proliferate and document collections become heterogeneous

All this movement leaves us with many critical questions: Should all changes be backwards-compatible so that no users of the current system are inconvenienced? Do we ignore current users and march boldly into a new and incompatible world? Do we need forward compatibility? Knowing that users have extended our vocabulary, how do we version the core out from under them? Does it matter which schema language you are using, or all we all in the same boat?

Schedule: Three presentations explore the overall versioning problem and provide a review of conceptual models and terminology. Three presentations explore live cases: the evolution of HTML by a standards development organization, the user-driven revision of a tag set for journal articles, and the problem of managing version changes across multiple vocabularies and numerous user groups in a large organization. The early afternoon presents systems and methods for attacking versioning problems. The late afternoon will be a Hyde Park Speaker's Corner, with open-mike signups available for attendee participation. We cap the day with a closing wrap-up...

Principal References

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Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
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Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


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