Inasmuch as my final “XSLT and XSL-FO toolbox of tips and tricks” session was well received, XML Summer School 2011 finished on a high note. My other sessions, “Developing and Testing in XSLT” with Jeni Tennison in the “XSLT/XQuery” track and a five-minute Ignite-format talk on EPUB, also went well, but it was that final talk in the “Publishing” track that got the most visible reactions.
Strangely, it was the existence of the xmlroff testing module that got several people most excited. I say ‘strangely’ because I’ve been mentioning it in presentations for years (including three days earlier in the “XSLT/XQuery” track) without it seeming the stand-out feature of any of those talks, yet this time I had someone finding its URL and downloading it before I’d barely finished the slide about it. But I am in no way complaining. It was good to see such a level of interest, and I hope it works out for him and the others. I’m also hoping to get some new feedback on how well it works, since although I’ve been using it (and tweaking it) for years, it doesn’t garner much feedback from other users.
My other reason for being pleased with the success of the XSLT and XSL-FO talk was that it meant that I’d kept to the high standard of the other talks in the track by Henry Thompson, Norman Walsh, and Sebastian Rahtz. The talks in the “XSLT/XQuery” track by Priscilla Walmsley (track chair) and Michael Kay (and, as always, Jeni’s delivery) and the other Ignite talks were very good, too, but I thought the other “Publishing” track talks were particularly good. Quite an achievement considering that this was the first year that the XML Summer School had a separate “Publishing” track, so credit also goes to Peter Flynn, as track chair, for putting the track together in the first place.
I know the above reads like I’m in a mutual admiration society, but it really was a week of very good talks.