Robin Berjon

Robin Berjon

Professional Experience

2015 - present

CTO • Standard Analytics / science.ai (New York)

This position involves developing an end-to-end scholarly publishing pipeline. It is built entirely on Web technology, involving a multitude of its aspects: establishing a new vernacular of HTML (Scholarly HTML) to enable the interchange of scholarly articles; creating semantic CSS to target rich documents without relying on shared class or id conventions; manipulating RDFa, JSON-LD, and schema.org content; extracting a wealth of information from formats such as Word's DOCX, LaTeX, or JATS; working with CouchDB; developing rich user interfaces with React; and JavaScript across the board.

2012 - 2015

Editor of the HTML Specification • MIT and University of Keio (W3C) (Paris, Boston, Tokyo)

I have been editing the HTML and DOM4 specifications as part of the W3C Team, under contract with the MIT (Cambridge, MA) and the University of Keio (Tokyo).

While there I also developed a new specification validation system, launched and contributed extensively to the massive Web Platform Tests and Test The Web Forward projects, and conducted many smaller development projects.

I developed WebSpecs, an automated publishing platform using GitHub as a back-end that endeavours to make writing and reviewing Web standards easy and open to the broad community of Web developers. I also launched Specifiction, a supporting discussion forum.

2008 - 2015

Freelance Consultant & Developer (Paris, London, Stockholm, Tokyo, Seoul, Shenzhen…)

I took care of prototype development, standards strategy & representation, and technology definition for large companies around the world (Vodafone, Canon, Samsung) as well as several SMEs with research or development needs.

I developed ReSpec, a popular tool to aid in the production and publication of technical standards and contributed to several projects defining applications built with Web technologies. I also wrote and taught the “Mobile Web 2: Applications” course for the W3C Dev Campus.

In 2012 I was elected to the W3C Technical Architecture Group, a small group charged with stewardship of the Web’s architecture.

2006 - 2008

Senior Software Architect • Joost Technologies (Paris, Leiden, London)

Joost was a platform for high-quality, peer-based, legal video distribution. While there I designed a Mozilla Gecko-based user interface using SVG, HTML, JavaScript, RDF, and XUL, and developed the widgets platform (format, API, and implementation) that allowed third-parties to enhance the Joost experience.

2002 - 2006

Senior Research Scientist • Expway (Paris)

As part of Expway’s research team I was involved in standards work, in inventing and refining XML compression formats (implemented in Java), creating XML domain-specific languages typically involving XML Schema modelling, and in developing Web-based user interfaces for Electronic Program Guide (EPG) applications on embedded devices, using SVG, HTML, and JavaScript.

2002

Translator • O’Reilly Editions (Paris)

Translation of the O’Reilly book Perl & XML from English into French.

1996 - 2002

Founder & Developer • Knowscape (Paris, New York, Brussels)

In 1996 I founded a Web Agency that would become involved in a large variety of projects as the Web went through its early, fast-moving years. In addition to “classic” Web development, I also operated on more advanced projects such as an SVG map editor for the CETE (French Ministry of Equipment), education software for Audi-Volkswagen, glossy sites for Elle Magazine or Bordeaux wines, multilingual publishing for Proximus, or an online trading system for the aerospace industry. I developed an extensive Content Management System (CMS) with powerful and flexible publishing features.

Technologies

I have a high level of expertise in most Web technologies, particularly the classic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript combo. Where JavaScript is concerned I am fluent in its use both in the browser and in NodeJS, and I am conversant with many frameworks. I am also familiar with many XML technologies (e.g. XSLT, XPath, XML Schema, RelaxNG, XQuery), including some pretty obscure ones.

In addition to JavaScript I can develop in Python, Ruby, and Perl, as well as PHP and Java. I learn new languages and new frameworks quickly and have experimented with more than I can recall.

While I can in no way compete with a proper designer, I can put together Web sites and user interfaces that won’t cause users to gouge their own eyes out. Similarly, I am not a professional database administrator but I have frequently made use of Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB, or CouchDB.

I have made extensive contributions to open source projects on a variety of topics; see for instance GitHub, CPAN, or Google Code. I regularly provide pull requests to the projects that I make use of.

I am a long-time user of Unix systems and have been running my own Linux servers. I know enough however that I would not recommend that anyone hire me as a professional system administrator.

Publications

Editor

Contributor

Standards Participation

W3C, Chair

Miscellaneous

W3C, Participant

Conferences

Sony Distinguished Engineers Conference
The Scorpion and the Frog”. A talk on the perils of building one’s business on platforms owned by a third-party and the value of the Web (Tokyo, 2015).
Tokyo HTML5 Conference
HTML.Next is You”. More details about WebSpecs and how to get developers to be more in control of the Web (Tokyo, 2015).
24h de la Création Numérique (24h on Digital Creation)
Speaker at a roundtable on the importance of the social sciences in defining new technology and organiser of a lightning talks session (Paris, 2015).
HTML5NL
Announcing WebSpecs”, the first public presentation of the operational WebSpecs project that enables developers to contribute actively to Web standards (Amsterdam, 2015).
Web@25 Celebrations
The lightning talks session at the end of the W3C’s 25th anniversary of the Web celebration day, including a session on “Web Ants” about understanding the Web as a complex system in the hope of avoiding monopolies.
Paris Tech Talks
Make Forks Not War”, or how to improve and streamline Web standards to make participation attractive to Web developers (Paris, 2014).
Balisage
Running and speaking on the full-day symposium about “HTML5 and XML: Mending Fences” (Washington, DC, 2014), including the opening eponymous keynote and a closing two-hours of “Ask Me Anything: The Future of HTML and XML”.
TakeOff Conference
Your Own-Adventure Web” (Lille, 2014),
Web.next” (Lille, 2013).
Open World Forum
Innover avec les standards du Web” (Paris, 2013).
Also delivered at: EPITA (Paris, 2013), Blend Conference (Lyon, 2013), and Le Tank (Paris, 2014).
Paris Web
Organiser of the “Lightning Talks” section every year (Paris, 2011-2014),
Bureau des Plaintes pour les Standards du Web (Web Standards’ Complaints Bureau)” (Paris, 2013),
HTML5 et le web de demain (HTML5 and tomorrow’s web)” (Paris, 2010),
Table ronde: web mobile (Roundtable: mobile web)” (Paris, 2009).
XML Prague
Ask Me Anything: Where Will The Web Be In 25 Years — Web@25” (Prague, 2014),
Done Right? Distributed Extensibility on the Web” (Prague, 2014),
XML and HTML Cross-Pollination: A Bridge Too Far?” (Prague, 2012),
Panel discussion on HTML/XML convergence” (Prague, 2012),
Multimedia XML” (Prague, 2010),
Cool mobile apps with SVG and other Web technologies” (Prague, 2009),
Designing XML/Web Languages: A Review of Common Mistakes” (Prague, 2009),
Binary XML and its Characterization” (Prague, 2005).
OECD (Organisation for Economic Coordination & Development)
The Web of Applications” (Paris, 2013).
Test The Web Forward
Reference expert (Shenzhen, 2013),
How To Read A Spec” (Paris, 2012).
Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair)
HTML5” (Paris, 2013).
WWW Conference
The Harmonious Path to HTML” (Lyon, 2012),
The Future of XML” (Chiba, 2005).
HTML5 Meetup
Un Passage en Cuisine” (Paris, 2012).
Tizen Developer Conference
Advanced HTML5 Features” (San Francisco, 2012).
Apps World
Modern Web Applications with HTML5” (London, 2012).
MOSQUITO Test Event
From Bug to Test” (Paris, 2012),
The Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group” (Paris, 2012).
Oxford XML Summer School
JSON for XML heads” (Oxford, 2010).
SVG Open
Organiser & Chair (Tokyo, 2004; Tokyo, 2007; Nuremberg, 2008; Paris, 2010),
SVG WG Panel” (Paris, 2010),
Introducing Binary SVG” (Enschede, 2005),
SVG WG Panel” (Vancouver, 2003).
XTech
Widgets: The Small, Cute, Powerful Side of WebApps” (Paris, 2007),
The Road to Efficient XML” (Amsterdam, 2006).
XML Europe
What's new in SVG 1.2” (Amsterdam, 2004),
Binary Infosets” (London, 2003).
Open Source Convention
Content Management Systems” (San Diego, 2002),
Towards an XPath API” (San Diego, 2001).

Education

Think Tanks

I have been a reviewer with the Terra Nova Foundation.

I wrote a finding with the Fondapol (Foundation for Political Innovation): Internet, politique et coproduction citoyenne (The Internet, Politics, and Coproduction by Citizens). This was republished by the Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) as part of a collective book called Innovation Politique 2012.