The "SGML Editorial Review Board" named here was born in the summer of 1996. To quote an email from Jon Bosak, the ringleader:

I've been bugging the W3C for some time to start up a group in parallel with their html-erb to foster the early development of SGML and DSSSL on the Web. They finally responded by saying, basically, that if I wanted a group like that, I could start it myself. After discussing this with some key people at WWW5 in Paris and SGML Europe in Munich, and getting the approval of my management to sink significant time into this, I have decided to take them up on their offer.

The first email exchanged among the members of the then-SGML ERB is dated Monday July 22, 1996. The email exchanges in that body were hosted by Dave Hollander at Hewlett-Packard, since a combination of infrastructure problems and lack of interest in the W3C made it impossible for them to host.

One of the advantages of Jon's approach (going ahead even though there was little enthusiasm evident at the time in the W3C community) was that he was able to recruit members based on what he thought they had to offer, not what their employers wanted to get accomplished.

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Copyright © 1998, Tim Bray. All rights reserved.