Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
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 job, I learned on that first day, would be to write the publishing system that would turn SGML into Troff so that sqtroff could turn it into PostScript. “SGML”, I recall thinking, “well, at least I know how to spell it.”
Ah yes. “Unix Power Tools” was formatted as SGML, the one and only book at O’Reilly I worked on that wasn’t in a Word format. I must express a partiality to my NeoOffice, though the SGML system was ideal for cross-referencing and indexing. OpenOffice ODT, or OpenDocument text, will be the most likely format for the next UPT. Just another example of the permanent/impermanence of web trends.
Norm also mentions about HTML5 possibly being the nail in this child of SGML’s coffin, but as I wrote recently, the folks behind HTML5 have solemnly assured us this specification also includes XHTML5. I’d hate to think we’re giving up on the benefits of XHTML just when they’re finally being realized by a more general audience.
Of course, I’m also fond of RDF/XML, which seems to cause others a great deal of pain, the pansies. And I’ve never hidden my SVG fandom and SVG is based in XML. I must also confess to preferring XML over JSON–you know, good enough for granddad, good enough for me. Atom rules. Or is that, Atom rocks? I’m also sure XML has squeezed between the joints of many of my other applications, and I just don’t know it.