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30 Years of Standard Generalized Markup Language

SGML became ISO 8879 in 1986

Our current information ecosystem is largely (perhaps almost totally) unaware of SGML, yet it is totally dependent on SGML's progeny: HTML and XML. SGML may not have made much of a splash but the ripples it created are still spreading.

Can you believe it has been 30 years? Do you remember when SGML was shiny and new? When SGML conferences started with "SGML: The Year In Review", in which Yuri Rubinsky reported on new SGML products, projects, and even SGML documents? Did you work on, or with, SGML tools, SGML vocabularies, or SGML documents? Do you still remember how SHORTREF worked? Do you think exclusions might make XML modeling more convenient? Are there times when you want an alternate syntax? Can you spell SGML, DTD, and Doctype?

Come join us to celebrate this important anniversary.

Virtual Birthday Party Toasts:

We're sorry, but the time for signing up to attend the SGML Birthday Party has passed. However, we would LOVE to have a toast from you for the Virtual Party.


What is your name:
Email Address: (for confirmation only)

How are/were you involved with Standard Generalized Markup Language?

SGML Memories

We will be assembling a Virtual SGML Birthday Pary in the Balisage proceedings.

If you would like to contribute to this collection of memories please enter your text below or send a short essay or video to with "SGML Memory" in the subject line. (Providing text or video constitutes permission to publish these contributions in the proceedings.)

SGML Memory/Toast: