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Selected Presentations

Here are links to slides and papers from selected conference presentations given in recent years. In many cases, these won't be perfectly self-explanatory, as they were designed to illustrate talks given orally. But they offer a sense of things, and links are also offered to written versions published online.

Note the large file sizes: most of these include images given at high resolutions. (In fact in some of them, zooming in to inspect closely is more or less imperative.)

The Craft of XML (2015)

Presentation slides from JADH 2015 (Kyoto, Japan, September 2015), 9.22MB

Delivered to the annual conference of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities (JADH). An examination of the design principles and architecture of XML-based technologies in historical and cultural context.

Attending JADH 2015 was one of the highlights of my professional career. After 35 years away I was able to visit Japan again, spending time in Tokyo and Kyoto with old friends, practicing my school-boy Japanese, and just soaking it up. For the conference I made a small demo, HaikuML, illustrating an XML-based workflow that supports automated Kanji dictionary lookup for us students still learning to read. If I have another lifetime, I will certainly spend more of it in Japan.

Hierarchies in Range Space (2014)

Presentation slides from Balisage 2014 (North Bethesda, MD, August 2014), 5.83MB

A high-level theoretic view considering how hierarchies emerge in document structures, and why being able to render multiple concurrent hierarchies is of special interest in literary studies.

Markup Beyond XML (2013)

Presentation slides from Digital Humanities 2013 (Lincoln NE, July 2013), 448KB

A concise, very high-level view of LMNL, the Layered Markup and Annotation Language, and of Luminescent, a demonstration implementation of LMNL processing on an XML stack.

Also, Luminescent is on github.

Three Questions and One Experiment (2012)

Remarks in PDF including presentation slides, 9.35MB

Keynote presentation at the workshop on Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling in the Humanities, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, March 2011.

A high-level philosophical examination of the significance of data modeling (especially modeling of and with text) for the digital humanities; with some particular attention given to the paradoxes inherent in our commitments to modeling technologies such as XML.

Interoperability in Ten Minutes (2011)

Five slides in PDF 1.17MB

Delivered at Interdition workshop, Würzburg , Lower Franconia, October 2011

See the Interedition wiki for a writeup of my brief remarks.

Abstract Generic Microformats for Coverage, Comprehensiveness, and Adaptability (2011)

PDF file of presentation slides, 12MB

Slides for a presentation given at Balisage 2011 in Montréal. See the written version in the Balisage Series on Markup Languages.

As markup technologies mature, certain dogmatic principles regarding their design and maintenance are under pressure. Electronic book applications, for example, present special challenges, in that books do not, and cannot (in order to serve their own proper purposes) lend themselves to the same level of regularization in processing as (say) journal articles or technical documentation. Any book may need to be one of a kind.

In traditional approaches, the focus is on design and maintenance of schemas governing families of documents and thus on schema extensibility to deal with the problem of coverage and comprehensiveness of description across the document set. But it isn't going to work with books, where the boundaries of the “document type” are both harder to discern, and permeable. Instead, we need the capability to extend the model in the instance – a capability offered to us in microformats.

JATS-Con presentations

2011: “Taming the Beast: JATS data, non-JATS data, and XML Namespaces” discusses strategies for dealing with namespaces in XML and XPath-based technologies. Includes XSLT stylesheets for namespace rectification.

2010: “Fitting the Journal Publishing 3.0 Preview Stylesheets to Your Needs: Capabilities and Customizations” discusses the customization framework available for the NLM/NCBI Journal Publishing 3.0 tag suite (now JATS).

Towards Hermeneutic Markup: An architectural outline (2010)

PDF file of presentation slides, 11.3MB

Slides for a presentation given at Digital Humanities 2010 in London. See more coverage of this paper (including abstract and demo) on my personal web site.

Despite sustained and heroic efforts, markup technologies have to date still not realized the promises made for them when standards like SGML were proposed as solutions for problems in scholarly text encoding. This paper engages this question directly, from the high level, examining requirements for a technology that will support more than simply publishing activities, but also scholarly analysis and research as such.

Indirectly, it makes a case for a markup system that can support overlapping structures natively, such as LMNL.

How to Play XML: Markup Languages as Nomic Game (2009)

PDF file of presentation slides, 7.5MB

Slides for a presentation given at Balisage 2009 in Montréal. The written version of the paper is included in the Balisage Series on Markup Languages.

In this paper I ponder certain game-like aspects of markup technologies and their design, deployment and use. Of course, technologies are not games – quite – and yet even as they exist only in the context of cultures, economies and human purposes, markup technologies, like games, can also be considered (and in some respects demand to be considered) as isolated, autonomous and self-sufficient systems. Recognizing this tendency in them can help to inform the way we use and relate to them and to each other within the contexts they define.

While this argument is readily generalized to much else beyond XML/XSLT or Internet technologies, as always with such things, the significance is in the details. This fact follows from the thesis: games are signifying systems, and so are markup technologies.

Balisage and Extreme appearances

The Balisage Series on Markup Languages includes several of my papers, including several listed above (2009, 2010, 2012). See the author index.

The older Proceedings of Extreme Markup Languages® also has me listed (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). In this case, however, CSS formatting has been lost by the publisher, so you will get only a rough rendering of the written papers.

Beyond the “Procedural vs Descriptive” Distinction (2001)

PDF file, 694KB

The paper was presented at Extreme Markup Languages 2001, in Montréal. This is the written version formatted in PDF (by a professional typesetter) for the conference proceedings.

A sustained examination of the theory informing the design of markup languages, the argument of this paper is embedded in the conversations of its time, and yet has aged remarkably well. Breaking down markup languages across various axes including whether their descriptions are intended retrospectively (i.e., to describe faithfully some pre-existing artifact or set of artifacts, as markup applications in the humanities frequently do) or prospectively (i.e., with one or more applications in view, as will be the case with “born digital” data), or both, the purpose here is to consider markup both as code – a contrivance for driving a machine – and yet also as rhetoric: a form of communication in itself.

This paper was subsequently revised (lightly) and published in the journal (now defunct) Markup Languages: Theory and Practice.

Page generated December 2018.