Jean Paoli has been a leader in the SGML community since its early days; he was chief technologist at Grif S.A., for many years the leading European vendor of SGML authoring technology.
Well-connected to the European research establishment that was the birthplace of the WWW, he was aware of its importance before most people knew it existed.
He joined Microsoft in 1996 and, shortly thereafter, was a founding member of the XML effort. He deserves a very large part of the credit for waking Microsoft up to the importance of descriptive markup in general and XML in particular.
Jean's contributions to the XML WG debate got careful attention not only because of who he represented, but because he knows what he's talking about. He never actually did any editorial work on the XML specification; the appearance of his name in the list of editors achieved two important political goals:
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