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Extreme diversity

Last week's Extreme Markup Language conference was pretty remarkable
stuff.  While the details of some of the presentations are starting to
fade, they'll continue to echo for a long while.

I wrote a blip on the O'Reilly network about what I got out of the

What I think I liked best about the conference was that it pretty
decisively laid to rest the notion that markup is a single set of
practices, a notion I've found proffered in a lot of books, articles,
and yes, conferences.

While XML is indeed a simplification, much needed, of a specification
which attempted to address an enormous variety of issues, much of the
work at Extreme demonstrated that it's possible to use even that more
limited set of tools in creative ways to solve a lot of complex
problems.  Even in presentations where XML itself wasn't the focus, it
made a contribution.

In some ways the conference felt like XML-Dev, but in person, with ideas
colliding, fading, reappearing, and growing.  Perhaps the most
remarkable aspect of the conference was that I had that feeling during
the sessions, not just in the hallways and related social engagements.

I'm glad it was a small conference, but I'll admit to wishing that more
people could have had that experience.  Maybe XML 2001...

Simon St.Laurent