[Apologies for multiple postings]

This pre-conference symposium co-located with Balisage 2010 should
be of interest to readers of this list.  Please forward as

If you have a department bulletin board, you might print out the
flyer at and put it up
for others to see.  I look forward to your paper proposals and your
attendance!  -Michael Sperberg-McQueen

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                      Call for Participation:
          International Symposium on XML for the Long Haul
            Issues in the Long-term preservation of XML

                        Monday 2 August 2010
                   Hotel Europa, Montréal, Canada

      Chair: Michael Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies


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Nearly everywhere, people who create, store, query, or serve XML
expect it to live a very long time. XML is platform- and
application-independent, and by and large it is platforms and
applications that vanish. If by encoding information in XML we have
freed it from dependency on specific platforms or applications, have
we succeeded in ensuring that the XML can live long into the future?

Or is there more to it than using XML? How can we best ensure that
our data, all our data, and its semantics survive this year, next
year, ten years? into the next millennium? Commercial information
may have a useful lifetime measured in years or decades;
cultural-heritage material, scientific data, governmental data, and
historical documents need to be preserved for centuries; information
about nuclear waste products will remain relevant for hundreds of
millennia. It‘s not enough for the bits to survive; the meaning of
the information needs to survive as well. What are we doing and what
should we be doing to help its survival?

This one-day symposium will bring together researchers, government
analysts, archivists, preservationists, librarians, and XML
practitioners to discuss the problems and challenges of deep time
document encoding. What is being done now and what more we can do?

We solicit papers addressing any aspect of this problem complex,
including but not limited to:

  - Analysis of the problem: what are the requirements?

  - How is XML for long-term archiving different from XML for
    immediate processing or message interchange?

  - Identification of particular risk factors (with or without
    recommendations for managing risks)

  - Long-term preservation and access issues in library, commercial,
    governmental, or other contexts

  - Designing for survival

  - How tradeoffs in the design of markup vocabularies affect data

  - Reports from the field on success or failure of specific
    techniques in preservation in particular fields (energy,
    defense, healthcare, STM journal articles, historical editions,
    curated scientific and scholarly data, product support and
    maintenance data, legislative records, etc.)

  - How to document the semantics of markup vocabularies so as to
    ensure that documents can be understood in the future

  - How to document and preserve application semantics

  - How to use XML as a wrapper around pre- or non-XML data to
    improve its chances of survival

  - The role of packaging

  - How to ensure that XML data remain usable even if the
    application environment they were built in (or for) has

  - Does scale change everything?

Paper Submissions

Paper submissions for the symposium should follow the instructions
for submissions to the main Balisage 2010 conference (same format,
same address, same due date).

Paper submissions are due 16 April 2010.

* * * * * There is nothing so practical as a good theory * * * * *

* C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC