Lurker self-introduction

Eric S. Raymond (
Fri, 22 Dec 1995 13:00:31 -0500 (EST)

This is a belated self-intro for the www-html list intended to make the
agenda behind my questions and suggestions ("A lurker speaks up...") clear.

My full name, in case it doesn't show in your headers, is Eric S. Raymond.

I am very interested in dual-mode publishing, using the same markup for
hypertext and typesetting for paper. I am accordingly interested in HTML
enhancements that permit it to carry all the information (in conjunction
with style sheets and/or rendering filters) needed to do production-
quality typesetting.

I am heavily involved in Linux development (I co-maintain one of the
Linux core libraries, ncurses). I'm specifically interested in Linux
web tools, and may be joining Phil Hughes's project to hack Arena into
a free, highly capable, Linux-hosted browser, if it gets off the ground.

I am involved with Java, and maintain the Java-on-Linux HOWTO for the
Linux Documentation project. I will be the first technical reviewer
and rescue writer for O'Reilly Associates' upcoming series of Java

I am the maintainer of the Jargon File and editor of "The New Hacker's
Dictionary", an early and gratifyingly successful experiment in
dual-mode publishing (HTML version available from my home page).
Presently I maintain the masters in a heavily hacked version of
Texinfo and generate from that ASCII, dvi and PostScript. When I can
maintain the masters in HTML and filter that to production-quality
PostScript, I will consider HTML mature ;-).

I have a strong background in language, interpreter, and compiler
design. I have been thinking about hypertext systems for many years
and have written or co-written at least three, one of which (VH) is
still in active use on the net. I'm also intimately familiar with
many text-formatting tools, including {gtn}roff, pic, tbl, eqn, TeX,
Texinfo, and Scribe.

I tend to approach HTML as a language for content-based format description
that happens to have a distributed namespace, rather than as a hypertext
system that happens to do display formatting.

It may be of interest to some of you that I wrote the VC and GUD modes
in Emacs 19, and would like to help develop better Web tools for Emacs.

You can find my home page at