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XML Summer School in Oxford

Teaching and learning XML with old and new friends.

I wrote last year about how much I was looking forward to going to the XML Summer School at Oxford University, and I'm looking forward to it even more this year, because my wife and daughters will come with me. (Not to the classes, but certainly to several of the social events, and there are plenty of those.) It will be held at Wadham College again; the picture shows Wadham's beautiful chapel, which adjoins the room where they usually hold the opening reception.

[Wadham chapel]

Most of what I wrote last year still applies, and Eve Maler, Tony Coates, and Lauren Wood already wrote about this year's upcoming event. One great addition to the lineup this year is Dan Connolly, who will join the Trends and Transients track.

The distinguished personnel and fascinating topics of the XSLT-and-related track that I'm chairing will remain the same. One change to this track's authors' accomplishments in their fields is that Priscilla Walmsley, who will teach the XSL-FO and XQuery classes again, just saw O'Reilly publish her XQuery book. Of the others teaching in this track, XSLT experts don't get any more expert than Michael Kay and Jeni Tennison, and Paul Prescod's explanation of XSLT use in popular AJAX applications taught me that there was a lot more XSLT under the hood of many applications I use often than I had realized, in addition to giving me a firmer grounding in what really goes into an AJAX application.

The Trends and Transients track includes a section where each track chair gets to "rant" about something. I put "rant" in quotes because Ian Forrester put my five-minute talk from last year on YouTube, and while I don't think I was ranting that much, it's still titled "Bob DuCharme rants" because that section of the program was billed as track chairs ranting. It went well, and people laughed at my jokes, but it was hot, and in addition to the fan that you see next to me there are fans near Ian, and they gave me a little too much competition for the audio attention of Ian's video recorder. (I expanded on the topic of the rant in this weblog about a month after the summer school.)

The social events that are an integral part of the schedule are a lot of fun and always in very interesting settings. I know my kids will want to catch the newest event this year, a tour of the 400 year-old Bodleian Library, although the library's role as the Hogwarts infirmary in the first two Harry Potter movies will appeal to them more than the library's age.

There always seems to be plenty of wine with dinner and beer wherever we go afterwards, so it takes some discipline the night before presenting some sessions to go easy on the alcohol. For more on how much learning and fun the week provides, see also my wrapup from after the event last year. And it's not too late to sign up and join us!