As someone who arrived much later to the XML party than most of my peers & mentors, this week’s series of XML @ 10 years posts has been a wonderful history lesson. Today, Norm Walsh posted an even more surprising quote:
I joined O’Reilly on the very first day of an unprecedented two-week period during which the production department, the folks who actually turn finished manuscripts into books, was closed. The department was undergoing a two-week training period during which they would learn SGML and, henceforth, all books would be done in SGML.
My current job at O’Reilly is basically a modernization of Norm’s: I’m the guy who makes the stuff that gets the content into the formats and places we need it.
But what was particularly striking to me as I sit in my hotel room doing a final set of slide prep for my sold out tutorial at Tools of Change Conference is that we’ve come full circle. We’re talking about XML and online and .epub instead of SGML and print, but teaching publishers markup is still a big deal, even 15 years on. The title of my tutorial tomorrow? XML for Publishers.
Shameless plug: If you missed the conference, you can still grab the DVD of the tutorial when it comes out in March.