SGML: Memory of Yuri Rubinsky (1952-1996)

SGML: Memory of Yuri Rubinsky (1952-1996)

[Via CTS Digest, (c) Erik Naggum]
Article: 12388 of comp.text.sgml
From: (Tom Magliery)
Newsgroups: comp.text.sgml
Subject: Yuri
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 12:50:12 -0600
Organization: National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Message-ID: <>

I am another of the souls whose lives have been deeply affected by the
too-short passage of Yuri Rubinsky through them.

I've known Yuri for less than two years, dating to a visit he made to NCSA
in summer 1994.  He was here promoting an idea, of course:  modifications
to HTML to support automatic Braille translation.  My two fond memories of
that visit are of Yuri giving us a very animated presentation on what this
"SGML" stuff was all about, and of a group of us packed into a
not-quite-large enough office with Yuri, talking about how much better
HTML could be if we just did these few little things (which we did).

Since then I've encountered Yuri at a number of SGML and Web-related
activities, and in collaborations between SGML and SoftQuad.  He was my
SGML mentor, the first person I would ask whenever I had an SGML-related
question.  If he hesitated to answer, it was only because he was (as we
now say) temporarily distracted.  He never failed to answer a question,
though, however trivial it might have been.

Several people have spoken fondly of the funeral and related activities
last weekend in Toronto.  I, too, was deeply moved by the many "Yuri
stories" that people shared.  The comment that best summed up my feelings
about the weekend was made by Yuri's mother:  "I never thought I would
enjoy my son's funeral."  It *was* a pleasure, undoubtedly because of the
overwhelming feeling that he was present throughout.

I am a better person for having known him, and I hope that I will be able
to live up to his memory.


Tom Magliery ** NCSA ** 605 E Springfield ** Champaign IL 61820 ** USA