The (SGML) geekiest shirt ever

"We're all special characters".

some description

A few years ago at the Oxford XML Summer School, at an outdoor dinner at the Oxford Botanic Garden, I saw that Eve Maler’s T-shirt said “” on it. I couldn’t resist pointing out to her that her that with its lone start-tag, her shirt was not well-formed. She took off her jacked to show me the back, which said “”. I stood corrected.

The ThinkGeek web site has just come out with a T-shirt that’s even worse: it’s so markup geeky that most XML geeks won’t get it. It says “I ♥ ISO 8879”, referring to SGML, the ISO standard of which XML is a simplified version. (I first met Eve, and many other well-known markup geeks, at an SGML conference before XML was invented.) The “♥” part is the numeric character reference for a heart symbol. Get it?

To make it even more obscure, the ThinkGeek webpage for the shirt doesn’t even mention SGML. Some may see a clue in its reference to this ISO standard “setting the groundwork for XML”, but I think that very few people are going to buy this T-shirt.

And they’ll all be at Balisage in August.

4 Comments

By Aristotle Pagaltzis on July 1, 2008 12:16 PM

Of all the ultra-geek shirts I have seen, this one is my perpetual favourite:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jedwards/89064330/

By Alex Brown on July 1, 2008 2:29 PM

But numeric character referencing wasn’t part of 8879 (was it? - I forget).

Though I suppose an XML person could love SGML. Especially now that it’s not encountered much ;-)

  • Alex.

By Forget It on July 1, 2008 4:32 PM

Check this birthday cake:

http://dl.ziza.ru/other/052008/12/pics/015_pics.jpg

By St├ęphane Bortzmeyer on July 4, 2008 10:56 AM

Why doe the cake use the attribute “code” instead of the more standard “xml:lang”?

(Answer: because the language identifiers used as values of this attribute do not have the proper syntax?)\