Sadly, another year has passed and my 100% record of not attending the Balisage conference is intact.
This year looks to have been particularly interesting with Michael Kay speaking not only on pipelines but on the fascinating overlaps between markup processing and an all-but-forgotten software design methodology known as JSP (Jackson Structured Programming).
At SGML '96, I gave a talk on the relationship between the JSP methodology and SGML processing. At the time, we were using the ideas in JSP extensively in an C++-based SGML processing toolkit we called IDM. Its great to see JSP get some air again as there is a lot of stuff in Michael Jackson's thinking that really resonates today. Not only the ideas in JSP but also the ideas in JSD (Jackson Structured Design).
I had the great good fortune to work for Dave Croydon of Fiamass when I left college. He introduced me to JSP in the context of building real-time financial trading systems in 8086 assembler! I didn't know it then but what I learned from Dave hugely influenced the approach I would end up taking to everything from programming to system architecture at Propylon.