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RE: Memorable quotes from Balisage 2013

If the idea was information on the web would be frictionless, it was a
spectacular failure, but then almost everything in nature that tried that

Four months of writing two FOSIs with Arbortext 5.3 for two very large and
mostly incompatible XML vocabularies, one of which uses a DTD and the other
which uses XSDs with a smattering of rdf convinces me that if all you need
is a way to get from XML to PDF, you should start with MS Word and go
straight to PDF.  The complexity and the fragility are not worth the cost.  

On the other hand on realizing Adobe took the goBack function out of the
Reader, I'm back to the original belief that you must have a way to liberate
information from programmers. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Costello, Roger L. [mailto:costello@mitre.org] 
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2013 4:35 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Memorable quotes from Balisage 2013

Hi Folks,

Balisage 2013 was excellent. Below are some memorable quotes that I jotted
down during the conference.
(Balisage attendees: please let me know of any mistakes in the below quotes.
Also, please let me know of other memorable quotes that you jotted down).

Memorable Quotes
1. In software development, the focus is often on trying to avoid breaking
the code rather than writing the code you need.

2. "No one wants to learn your markup language."  That is, users don't want
to think about elements and attributes, they just want to focus on creating
the content.

3. The value of open source has been oversold. Proprietary is about taking
responsibility of the product (contrast with open source, where no one takes

4. DFDL (data format description language) is an OpenGrid approach to
getting non-XML data formats (such as JSON) into an XML format. The DFDL
approach is to utilize XML Schema and add extra stuff to it. "Not sure how
much the JSON folks like that." (The JSON folks hate XML Schema, so the
quoted statement was said tongue-in-cheek.)

5. Infosuicide is where one deletes all traces of oneself from the Web -
remove websites, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Example: Mark Pilgrim
committed infosuicide; it is no longer possible to find him on the Web (see
this article about Mark:

6. Syntax is anything you can process, semantics is everything else.

7. 99% of humans think that a number is a decimal. We should be designing
for humans, not computers. So use the decimal data type!

8. Namespaces is an enormous sledgehammer to solve a very small problem --
the collision of two names within a single XML document (the occurrence of
which is highly unlikely).

9. There needs to be a shift in programming: programming must be secondary,
data must be primary.

10. JavaScript in the browser is a platform you can build on and it's fast.

11. XSLT is an event-based programming language: templates are fired upon
encountering a node. 

12. There are currently many metadata vocabularies. However, we need to have
a standard metadata vocabulary so that we know it will last.

13. People value things they pay for.

14. The cloud is an unreliable remote server that you can't always reach.

15. XML is about expressing the problem in the way that people think about
the problem, whereas HTML is about expressing the problem in the way the
browser thinks about things.

16. Who said something (i.e., the authority behind the statement) is more
important than an estimation of the probability that the statement is
correct (which is usually subjective).

17. In the semantics community they have this term "semantic lifting.
Semantic lifting means that one extracts RDF triples out of a document
(which is merely a conveyance mechanism), thereby giving the triples
semantics.  Nonsense! Symbols get their meaning from their context, symbols
don't get meaning by extracting them out of a document, which is analogous
to saying that a string gains semantics by making them longer (which is
obviously nonsense).

18. Research has shown that you will concentrate better if you remove your
socks and shoes. The explanation for this is that shoes and socks keep the
feet warm, thus blood flows into the feet. By removing socks and shoes, more
blood flows to the brain. 

Cool Websites
1. https://medium.com/about/9e53ca408c48  

"Medium" is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories
that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends. It's designed
for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the
world. It's used by everyone from professional journalists to amateur cooks.
It's simple, beautiful, collaborative, and it helps you find the right
audience for whatever you have to say.

2. http://about.travis-ci.org/docs/user/getting-started/  

Travis CI is a hosted continuous integration service for the open source
community. It is integrated with GitHub. The Travis CI environment provides
multiple runtimes (e.g. Node.js or PHP versions), data stores and so on.
Because of this, hosting your project on travis-ci.org means you can
effortlessly test your library or applications against multiple runtimes and
data stores without even having all of them installed locally.

3. https://www.heroku.com/ 

Heroku provides you with all the tools you need to iterate quickly, and
adopt the right technologies for your project. Build modern, maintainable
apps and instantly extend them with functionality from hundreds of cloud
services providers without worrying about infrastructure. Putting new
features into production has never been easier. Set up staging and test
environments that match production so you can deliver functionality without
fear, and continuously make improvements.

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsing_expression_grammar 

In computer science, a parsing expression grammar, or PEG, is a type of
analytic formal grammar, i.e. it describes a formal language in terms of a
set of rules for recognizing strings in the language. The formalism was
introduced by Bryan Ford in 2004[1] and is closely related to the family of
top-down parsing languages introduced in the early 1970s. Syntactically,
PEGs also look similar to context-free grammars (CFGs), but they have a
different interpretation: the choice operator selects the first match in
PEG, while it is ambiguous in CFG. This is closer to how string recognition
tends to be done in practice, e.g. by a recursive descent parser.

5. http://www.elasticsearch.org/overview/ 

elasticsearch is a flexible and powerful open source, distributed real-time
search and analytics engine for the cloud.


"A Pattern Language" offers a practical language for building and planning
based on natural considerations. The reader is given an overview of some 250
patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design
problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent
design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in
their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of
their own.

7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earley_parser 

In computer science, the Earley parser is an algorithm for parsing strings
that belong to a given context-free language. The algorithm, named after its
inventor, Jay Earley, is a chart parser that uses dynamic programming; it is
mainly used for parsing in computational linguistics. It was first
introduced in his dissertation (and later appeared in abbreviated, more
legible form in a journal).

Earley parsers are appealing because they can parse all context-free
languages[discuss], unlike LR parsers and LL parsers, which are more
typically used in compilers but which can only handle restricted classes of
languages. The Earley parser executes in cubic time in the general case
{O}(n^3), where n is the length of the parsed string, quadratic time for
unambiguous grammars {O}(n^2), and linear time for almost all LR(k)
grammars. It performs particularly well when the rules are written

8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYK_parser 

In computer science, the Cocke-Younger-Kasami (CYK) algorithm (alternatively
called CKY) is a parsing algorithm for context-free grammars, its name came
from the inventors, John Cocke, Daniel Younger and T. Kasami. It employs
bottom-up parsing and dynamic programming.
The standard version of CYK operates only on context-free grammars given in
Chomsky normal form (CNF). However any context-free grammar may be
transformed to a CNF grammar expressing the same language (Sipser 1997).

The importance of the CYK algorithm stems from its high efficiency in
certain situations. Using Landau symbols, the worst case running time of CYK
is \Theta(n^3 \cdot |G|), where n is the length of the parsed string and |G|
is the size of the CNF grammar G. This makes it one of the most efficient
parsing algorithms in terms of worst-case asymptotic complexity, although
other algorithms exist with better average running time in many practical

9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLR_parser 

A GLR parser (GLR standing for "generalized LR", where L stands for
"left-to-right" and R stands for "rightmost (derivation)") is an extension
of an LR parser algorithm to handle nondeterministic and ambiguous grammars.
First described in a 1984 paper by Masaru Tomita, it has also been referred
to as a "parallel parser". Tomita presented five stages in his original
work, though in practice it is the second stage that is recognized as the
GLR parser.

Though the algorithm has evolved since its original form, the principles
have remained intact: Tomita's goal was to parse natural language text
thoroughly and efficiently. Standard LR parsers cannot accommodate the
nondeterministic and ambiguous nature of natural language, and the GLR
algorithm can.

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