Welcome to the Fourth International HyTime Conference.

I'm Steve Newcomb, serving again as your Chairman.

I suggest you all get to know everyone you meet here. I think this may be the last really small and intimate HyTime conference, because I think the use of HyTime has just begun to explode. Future HyTime conferences will be attended by veterans and newcomers, but you will always be among the elite veterans who saw the explosion coming and were prepared for it. Each of us will probably turn out to be an important resource for others of us. It's important to make new personal connections during these two days. I personally would like to get to know each of you. If time doesn't permit that to happen during these two days, I would like to do that afterwards. (I'm planning to stay for the XML Developers' Day session on Thursday, too.)

I'd like to give you some advice. At the luncheons and breaks, make a point of conversing with people you don't already know; try to pick a table where you don't know anybody. If possible, volunteer the reasons why you're here, and what you're looking for from HyTime and from the conference. Talk about substance: things that affect you and your business, and the substance of the presentations. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I have learned a lot by using this technique at conferences. Of course, I have a personal reason for asking you to do this: in the explosion of adoptions that will occur during the next 12 months, all of HyTime's personal networks will be used. There is certainly going to be a shortage of people who know anybody who has used HyTime. As Benjamin Franklin once said to the framers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, "We must all hang together." (In its way, HyTime is just as radical and far-reaching as any declaration of independence.)

And now comes the time for my usual brief inspirational harangue, which I get to do just because I'm the Chairman of this conference.

As usual, this year's sermon has to do with the advancement of humanity and its ongoing invention of civilization. This year, though, I'd like to share with you some thoughts about productivity. The more productive we are as a society, the higher the living standard for each individual can be. HyTime offers substantial productivity improvements for information managers (and everybody is an information manager).

I've made kind of shopping list here of ways in which the HyTime second edition improves productivity. I don't think the list is complete, but it's what I've come up with so far. (If you can think of any other ways, please let me know.) Many productivity improvements can be realized by using the notion of inherited architectures:

Productivity enhancements can also be realized by using the grove and property set paradigm described in the 2nd edition of the HyTime standard:

So that's my list of productivity enhancements provided by HyTime.

Now I'd like to make some sound-bite remarks.

  1. It's pretty obvious now that XML is probably going to be significant. XML should not only be the easy on-ramp to SGML; it should also be the easy on-ramp to HyTime. Regardless of how much or how little XML's design or syntax resembles HyTime, HyTime is here to stay in any case.
  2. The US healthcare industry is going to be a major early adopter of the notion of inheritable architectures. We have two talks about this topic tomorrow afternoon.