Liam Quin

Writing – Overview

I’ve given a lot of talks, written chapters in text-books (and even a text-book of my own once), written conference papers, blog postings, tweeted (@barefootliam and from the W3C official account @w3c) and worked on press releases, documentaiton, W3C standards, and other communications. This page describes a selection of them.

Books and Chapters

The XML Specification Guide

The XML Speficiation Guide with Ian S. Graham; Wiley, 1998

I wrote the annotations on XMl and Ian wrote the tutorial and introduction; Ian was a co-worker at Groveware Inc., and had written a best-selling HTML book.

The book has very positive reviews on Amazon but suffered because several similar books were released at the same time as well as Tim Bray’s Web site with similar content.

Beginning XML

Beginning XML, 5th edition, with Joe Fawcett and Danny Ayers, Wrox, 2012

The primary author (Joe) contacted me for help finishing this book because the co-author was having problems. I ended up writing six chapters and also a course for use in teaching XML using the book.

Open Source XML Database Toolkit

I ended up writing this book to get out of contractual obligations I had with Wiley to write all future books with them. I don’t recommend it today because it predates XML Query and other NoSQL approaches to storing XML in databases, but it was a useful learning experience for me.

Mastering XML

Mastering XML, With Anne Navarro, Chuck White and Linda Burman, Sybex, 1999

This book was written to a tight schedule, with only two or three days to write each chapter. I wrote some chapters but with a fixed page count and too much to cover this book was doomed to failure. The book “Mastering Msc>XML” works much better, and has better reviews as a consequence.

Libre Graphics meeting

LibreGraphicsMeeting is a series of annual conferences aimed at fixing problems with Free Software for professional graphic design work and showcasing actual work.

I spoke at the second LGM conference and several since, and have also been involved in the code of conduct and in promoting interoperability and high quality text handling. In the past few years I’ve attended as part of the GIMP team.

You can see a video of me talking in Toronto on EPUB and Web convergence.

Digital Publishing

I first did the typesetting for a book back in 1995 – the proceedings for a symposium on algebraic topology – using troff on Unix systems, and I’ve given courses and tutorials and talks about digital typography.

Later, I designed and typeset SGML on the Web: Small Steps Beyond HTML by Yuri Runkinsky and Murray Maloney. Yuri was the president of SoftQuad inc., and died suddenly before the book was finished; Murray finished it and I designed and typeset it, gaining the testimonial that it was one of the easiest to read and well-designed text-books of the time.

I was consulted on the work on Web fonts, and was part of the initial Working Group that created the WOFF format, helping to broker the technical compromise that enabled the major font foundries to partcipate in the work.

My name is on an IETF Internet Draft for the rel/rev values in HTML; I've thought a lot about information architecture and accessible wayfinding in online publications.

I've given courses and tutorials on HTML and CSS and graphic design as well as writing book chapters on the subject.

SGML and XML Conferences

The first markup conference, about how to represent information in computers, was SGML ’89 in Atlanta, GA., USA in (of course) 1989. I’ve spoken at many markup conferences since, including XML Europe, The XML Summer School at Oxford University, XML Prague, the SGML series of conferences, the XML conferences, Extreme Markup, Balisage and more.

Libre and Open Software

I gave a paper at the Usenix conference in 1994, A Text Retrieval System for the Unix Operating System on lq-text, my text retrieval package, and some of the innovative algorithms and data structures it used.

I’ve given talks at OSCON and other venues about XML Query and the value of non-relational data representations for textual information.