Quick Links

Masinter's Musing (blog)
Twitter @masinter
LinkedIn
Facebook

Index

Standards
 File formats
 PDF
 Metadata
 Forms
 Content negotiation
URLs
HTTP
Standards Orgs
Governance & Internet
Internationalization
Other standards
Web history
Philosophy, semantics
Cloud services
Internet of Things
Digital preservation
Interlisp and Common Lisp
AI
Other links

Summary

Most publications and activities are listed here. Adobe 2000-2018; AT&T Labs in 1999; Xerox PARC 1973-1999. See LinkedIn profile for more details.

I've been on (medical) leave of absence from Adobe, but that and my affiliation with Adobe will end November 3, 2018. After that, I'll be looking for (part-time) consulting about things I know about, most of which is reflected in these pages.

Things I've been working on lately are

Internet Standards

A good chunk of my career has been around Standards, especially (but not exclusively) for the Web. I would explain my job as "arguing about how the Internet should work".

File Formats

What is a file format? A lot of my work has been in defining file formats, standards around them, protocols for negotiating formats for subsequent communication.

PDF

PDF, the Portable Document Format, was invented by Adobe folks more than 25 years ago--older than the web. Perhaps there are things we'd design differently today, but PDF is solid, widely deployed, and actively maintained. For some purposes, there's nothing like it. I'm helping with some related efforts:

Metadata in Files

Metadata is data about data: e.g., for a phone call, who called whom when; for a library book, the card catalog information. There are different kinds of metadata, and different ways of associating metadata with the data it describes.

Forms

Forms are an interesting component of file formats because they imply a request for information, and span the gap between User Interface and API.

File Formats and Content Negotiation

URL, URI, IRI, URN

The main invention of the web: using URLs for hypertext. You'd think the standards for URLs would be simple, but this fundamental part of he web still has problems.

HTTP

The primary way communication happens for the Web and many other applications:

Standards Organizations & Processes

Computers around the world from different origins work with each other because everyone agrees how they should work. There's not a separate Internet for Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe. But of course not everyone agrees; working out differences about the future is standards work.

Governance and the Internet

The primary value of the Internet comes from the fact there is only one, with everyone (and everything) connected. Governance (regulation, legislation) is local and hierarchical: city, state, region, country, with interactions relegated to treaties, negotiation, or worse (think "military"). How can anyone offer a global service and be subject to every constraint of every jurisdiction?

Internationalization

Other standards

Sometimes things don't work out or have more narrow applicability than expected.

Web history

Philosophy, semantics

Other topics

Cloud services

Internet of Things

Digital preservation

How do you save documents for a long time? Life insurance policies, plans for buildings, personal health records.

Interlisp

Through around 1986 I worked on an evolving code base for Interlisp, a software development environment for Lisp programming, written in Lisp.

Common Lisp

Artificial Intelligence


Other links