XML 2006 ended today, after more than a year of planning (I started working on the conference in November 2005). I am usually a politely cynical person, and tend to dismiss expressions of emotion in organizers as empty words; however, I am surprised at how strong my emotions are. Before the conference, everything is numbers and rooms and layouts, but during the conference, it’s hundreds of people who have taken days (or more) out of their lives and away from their families to come to Boston to give talks, listen to papers, socialize, and generally just be together. I wish that there were some words I could use to describe how I feel without being trite.
The last day went well, but it was a hard start: adrenaline is a fickle mistress, and while she stayed close by my side Tuesday and Wednesday, I woke up this morning to find her gone. Instead of bounding up and down stairs, I had to drag myself; instead of looking forward to breakfast, I had to force it down while trying not to be sick. Fortunately, as the day went on, some of my energy came back, and the morning had a good start with a long and enthusiastic audience discussion after Paola Marinelli presented his and Stefano Zacchiroli’s XML Scholarship-winning paper, Co-constraint validation in a streaming context, describing a new way to validate XML documents.
While a few people had to leave early, we had good attendance right up until the final session, and well over 100 people came out to hear Jon Bosak’s closing keynote this evening, which included Renaissance poetry, 1990’s dogrel, old e-mail threads, vigorous invective against software vendors, a committee status report, and everything else one would expect from Jon, ending in a loud standing ovation from the audience.
Thank you to everyone who made this such a wonderful, crowded, and energetic conference. I hope to see many of you in Paris at XTech 2007 next spring, in Montreal at Extreme Markup 2007 next summer, and of course, at XML 2007 here in Boston next fall. Now it’s time to check the weather for my flight home to Ottawa tomorrow.