Singer Azusa Miyagi from the Okinawan pop duo Tink Tink
Day 5 found us all attending a joint session of the working groups to sort out more administrative details and share the recommendations made by WG 5. Anybody interested in seeing the state of play in WG 4’s work can consult the WG 4 web site, where progress on defect correction can be tracked.
Overall this has been I think a successful meeting: the two new working groups are up and running and their work is well underway. There was perhaps the occasional trace of residual angst overhanging from last year: NBs are keen to assert their sovereignty in the decision making process, and the Ecma delegates are keen to be assured the JTC 1 processes can deliver the mechanisms and timeliness needed to keep IS29500 in shape. In general however, there has been a decided “unclenching” as delegates warmed to the (let’s face it) sometime drudgery of maintaining XML document formats. This was all helped by the exceptional hospitality shown by JISC and ITSCJ in hosting the meetings, and in particular by the efforts of WG 4 convenor Murata Makoto. Whenever one wanted to know where to eat, what to drink, or where the prettiest singers could be found, Murata-san was your man!
It was great also to work with Jesper Lund Stocholm, who has also been covering these meetings on his blog. It would be better still if more countries followed Denmark, and more companies followed the shining example of CIBER, in supplying experts for assisting in this important work.
It was something of a shock coming from the 23°C sunshine of Okinawa to freezing snow-bound Britain. And also a shock to review the amount of standards work piling up to be done before the next SC 34 meetings in Prague: defects to be filed, maintenance agreements to be hammered out, agendas to write, ballots to vote on and proposals to draft. I am expecting the Prague meeting to be particularly vibrant, not least since it is preceded by XML Prague 2009. I have not been to an XML Prague before, but have heard only good things about it. Certainly, the programme looks fascinating (though I make no claims for my own presentation). It certainly seems that Prague is going to be the centre of the world for XML-heads everywhere in late March …