Steven Pemberton


Latest and upcoming talks

Brief Biography

Projects: current, web, programming languages, interactive documents




Blatant Self Promotion: awards, the press, radio/tv, film

Other Stuff



The Fundamentals of the Web: A podcast interview with me about the concepts underlying the architecture of the web, such as separation of concerns and declarative techniques.

Nemo Kennislink - Internet in ontwikkeling: NEMO is the Dutch Science Museum, and Kennislink is where they publish their podcast. Last month 35 years ago the CWI created the first open internet node in Europe, and I happened to be the first user. Here I discuss the past, present, and possible future of the internet. 40 minutes, in Dutch (with auto-translated English subtitles).

BBC World Service Weekend: I was panellist for three hours, discussing events, and news stories. Hour 1 (I start at 26:30); hour 2; hour 3.

Are you ready for ixml?: An online talk and Q&A by me on Invisible XML.

The Only Constant: "Artificial intelligence with Steven Pemberton: Can AI be considered truly intelligent?" a podcast discussion with me.

35 years of European open internet: A short interview with me as the first user.

ACM Distinguished Speaker: I have been nominated and accepted.

Het Klokhuis: I was on the Dutch children's TV program Klokhuis, in the episode explaining the internet. (In Dutch, starting at around 7:46)

Declarative Amsterdam: the 5th annual conference on declarative techniques, was at the Science Park Amsterdam, 2/3 November. Next year: 7-8 Nov 2024.

Zo was het web niet bedoeld (That was not the intention of the Web): A Dutch article about the development of the web, and the negative effect large internet companies have had, partially based on an interview with me.

En toen was er internet (And suddenly there was internet): A Dutch article about the origins of the internet in the Netherlands and Europe, partially based on an interview with me.

Advanced XForms Hands-On Tutorial: techniques and examples. The earlier introductory tutorial is here: XForms Hands On.

Advanced ixml Hands On: A tutorial dealing with advanced concepts and techniques for ixml, with a number of case studies. Video will follow. The earlier introductory tutorial is here: ixml Hands On, also available as a video.

ixampl: the source code for my ixml processor, transformed using an ixml grammar, and then displayed using an XForms app.

Want to learn XForms? See XForms: An Introduction.

Want to learn ixml? See Invisible XML

Recent and Upcoming Talks

Talk: There's no I in AI at Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, NL, 12 January, 2024. The raw video (subtitles still to be cleaned up, and general editing needed).

Talk: Internet: Past and Future at Montessori Metis, Amsterdam, NL, 31 January, 2024.

Talk: There's no I in AI at Higher Education Connect 24 conference, Leeds, UK, 24-25 September, 2024.

Brief Biography

Now: I am a researcher, author, public speaker, and broadcaster, affiliated with the CWI, The Dutch National Research Centre for Mathematics and Informatics. My research is broadly in interaction, and how the underlying software architecture can better support users. I am an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

Before: At university I was tutored by Richard Grimsdale, who built the first transistorised computer, and was tutored himself by Alan Turing. I was a research programmer at the University of Sussex before going to implement Algol 68 for the research computer MU5 at the University of Manchester (in the department where Turing had worked himself); and later was a lecturer in computing at the University of Brighton, and wrote a book on Pascal Implementation.

Programming languages: Coming to the CWI, I co-designed the programming language ABC, the forerunner of Python, and co-wrote a book on ABC. I wrote part of gcc.

Human Computer Interaction: I was a member of the SIGCHI Executive Committee for a decade, and editor in chief of the SIGCHI Bulletin, and later ACM/interactions. I chaired the CHI conference in 1997. I co-founded, and co-organised their early conferences. In 2009 I was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award; in 2022 the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award.

Internet and Web: I was one of the first handful of people to use the open internet in Europe. Involved with the Web from the beginning I organised two workshops at the first Web Conference at CERN in 1994. From there I became involved in W3C, and co-designed HTML, CSS, XHTML, XForms, RDFa, and several other Web technologies. I chaired the HTML and XForms working groups for a decade, and still chair the XForms group, and the ixml group. I have also been a member of the ODF technical committee.

I asked ChatGPT to write a bio for me. The bit in green is completely false:

Steven Pemberton is a renowned researcher in the field of computer science and information technology. He is currently affiliated with the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, where he has been actively involved in cutting-edge research and development for several years.

Pemberton is best known for his contributions to the development of the World Wide Web, particularly in the areas of markup languages and web standards. He is a co-author of several key web technologies, including HTML, XHTML, and CSS, and has been instrumental in driving the evolution of these standards over the years.

In addition to his work on the web, Pemberton has also made significant contributions to other areas of computer science, such as the design of programming languages, the development of software engineering methodologies, and the study of human-computer interaction.

Pemberton is a highly respected figure in the academic community, and has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has been awarded honorary doctorates by several prestigious universities.

As a speaker, Pemberton is known for his engaging and informative presentations, which draw on his deep knowledge of computer science and his passion for technology. His talks are always thought-provoking and entertaining, and he has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and events around the world.


If there is one thread that runs through these projects, it is about people. In particular, what are the changes that need to be made to the system architecture to make the resulting system more human-oriented.

Current projects

Invisible Markup: We choose which representations of our data to use, JSON, CSV, XML, or whatever, depending on habit, convenience, or the context we want to use that data in. On the other hand, having an interoperable generic toolchain such as that provided by XML to process data is of immense value. How do we resolve the conflicting requirements of convenience, habit, and context, and still enable a generic toolchain? Invisible XML (ixml) is a method for treating non-XML documents as if they were XML, enabling authors to write documents and data in a format they prefer while providing XML for processes that are more effective with XML content. This is an ongoing project to provide software that lets you treat any parsable format as if it were XML, without the need for markup.

this work is beautiful and ground-breaking

ideal for acting as a bridge between data formats and data representations, providing transformations that are easier to write, easier to debug, and more robust than using imperative code

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Invisible XML is the most exciting innovation to have happened to XML since, well, since XML was invented!

There is a W3C working group you can join; meets bi-weekly. And a tutorial. And an advanced tutorial. And the official Invisible XML Specification.

Igor - an Internet of Things Framework: The Internet of Things is driven by many tiny low-powered processors that produce data in a variety of different formats, and produce the data in different ways, sometimes on demand (such as thermostats), sometimes by pushing (such as presence detectors). Traditionally, applications have to be a mash up of accesses to devices and formats. To use the data in a cohesive application, the data has to be collected and integrated; this allows very low demands to be put on the devices themselves. The Igor architecture places a thin layer around a diverse collection of Internet of Things devices, hiding the data-format and data-access differences, unifying the actual data in a single XML repository, and updating the devices automatically as needed; this then allows a REST-style declarative interface to access and control the devices without having to worry about the variety of device-interfaces and formats.

XForms - a declarative programming language: Originally designed as a language for forms, it has developed into a Turing-complete language for writing applications. Correspondents report that an application in XForms is about one quarter the length of the equivalent Javascript. One company reported that a large project that normally took 30 people 5 years, had been completed by a team of 10 in one year using XForms. Another example is a British NHS patient records project that was funded for £10 million, and had a 70 person project team; the hardware alone cost £5 per patient. The project failed; subsequently a single person reprogrammed it using XForms, and it now runs on Raspberry Pis at a cost of 1p per patient, and is already deployed in 5 hospitals, and being rolled out in Ukraine. XForms is fabulous. Well thought out, concise and undervalued

XForms has been vastly underrated. I look at all the frameworks on the JavaScript side [...] and what I see are fairly complex frameworks for doing bindings that are very limited in their application once you get beyond simple data structures. Over the course of a few hours, I was able to put together a full editor for creating new RDF classes using XForms, one that I'm watching my compatriots at my current company struggling with even beginning using Angular. I like working with JavaScript, but I'm getting frustrated with people's inabilities to recognize the benefits of declarative programming. -- Kurt Cagle

XForms Hands-On: An online, hands-on tutorial, leading you through XForms, with exercises to do yourself. A keeper. Amazing walk-through and resources Best XForms tutorial ever! Great tutorial! This was great Absolutely *excellent* I just can't get enough of this stuff. There's so many examples of XForms working in this

Declarative Foundation: The Web was originally based on declarative principles, but has recently, and damagingly, reverted to old-fashioned pre-web procedural principles. A group of us have formed a foundation and conference in order to promulgate declarative techniques, and keep the flame burning for when the web world again realises that procedural approaches are unsustainable in the long term.

The Web

In the late 80's I built a system with my group, Views, that if you saw it now you would call a browser, though it was more than that. It had extensible markup, stylesheets, vector graphics, client-side scripting, everything you would recognise as the web now (though it didn't run over TCP/IP). So when the web came along, we understood what it was about, and we got involved. In 1993 Jakob Nielsen, Scooter Morris and I wrote a white paper for ACM/SIGCHI on visions for electronic publishing, where we recommended using the web; it's nice to see we got most of it right. In 1994 I organised two workshops at the first web conference at CERN (one on electronic publishing, one on client-side computation). In 1995 I designed and built an early online journal, the SIGCHI Bulletin. I chaired the European World Wide Web Working Group W4G, and then got involved with the fledgling W3C. As a consequence I became involved with CSS and HTML, and ended up chairing the HTML and Forms working groups.

XHTML, the new HTML: I was chair of the W3C Working Group that developed the next generation of HTML as an XML application with a clean migration path from HTML 4.0. Our specifications include:

XForms: I was activity lead and co-chair, and am now chair, of the group developing the next version of Forms for the Web. By splitting traditional XHTML forms into three parts – data model, instance data, and user interface – XForms separates presentation from content, allows reuse, gives strong typing (reducing the number of round-trips to the server) as well as offering device independence and a reduced need for scripting.

As the name suggests, XForms was originally designed for dealing with forms. However, thanks to its generalised design it is suitable for much more. There is an ongoing series of articles I am writing, published at

Even as someone who’s not a developer, I’ve found [these] quite approachable.

Correspondents report that an application in XForms is about one quarter the size of the equivalent Javascript. One company reported that a large project that normally took 30 people 5 years, had been done by a team of 10 in one year using XForms. Another example is a British NHS patient records project that was funded for £10 million, and had a 70 person project team; the hardware alone cost £5 per patient. The project failed; subsequently a single person reprogrammed it using XForms, and it now runs on Raspberry Pis at a cost of 1p per patient, and is already deployed in 5 hospitals.

I wrote XForms: A Tutorial Part 1 and Part 2, the XForms 1.0 Quick Reference, the XForms 1.1 Quick Reference, XForms Hands-on and Advanced XForms Hands-on.

RDFa, interoperable web metadata: If the Semantic Web is going to reach the browser, there needs to be a straightforward way of adding semantics to XHTML. RDFa is a way of leveraging existing parts of XHTML (principally the meta and link elements) to add semantics, that makes it easy to extract RDF from the content without requiring an author to understand how RDF works.

RDFa allows a page to be machine-readable as well as human-readable. For instance, if a page is about a conference, the browser can see that it is an event, where it is, and when it takes place. So it could offer to show you a map of the location, to add the event to your agenda, to look for flights or hotels, without you having to re-enter the place and dates at every different flight ot hotel booking site.

Search engines like Google and Yahoo already use RDFa to identify certain types of content, such as product listing and reviews, in order to improve search results. Best Buy in the US reported that it increased traffic by 30% and the click-through rate by 15%. Facebook, Newsweek, Flickr the UK Government, the US Goverment, and many others now use RDFa. Research has shown that in 2010 RDFa was the fastest growing data markup format on the Web, accounting for 3.6% of all Web pages.

I am an editor of the RDFa Syntax document; there is also an RDFa Primer, and I have written a tutorial RDFa for HTML Authors.

"One of the most sensible things that the Semantic Web Activity did was to put the question of defining an attribute-oriented RDF spec in the hands of Steven Pemberton and Mark Birbeck, both of whom have extensive experience working with modularizations of HTML.

To me, RDFa is pure brilliance, because it actually mollifies two distinct camps - the Semantic Web purists who seem to have trouble understanding why HTML people dislike RDF so much, and the Microformats crowd who seem to believe that any taxonomy at all can be expressed as microformats, so long as it's their taxonomy.

It also makes it possible for both groups to realize that they are essentially working on the same fundamental problems but in completely incompatible ways. I see RDFa as being the compatibility bridge." Kurt Cagle.

"RDFa is not the product of any European research funding, but it might be highest impact" Guus Schreiber

"RDF in HTML" to RDFa is indeed a long road & achievement. Not to forget its influence on others. Still very exciting. A great balance of human and machine-reuse that fits into the Web stack / tooling. Sarven Capadisli

WAI-ARIA: This was a technology proposed by a handful of people including me, which finally became a Web standard. Now in use by Google and Facebook amongst others.

ODF: I was on the technical committee for ODF (Office Document Format) which is the standard format for office-suite programs like OpenOffice. It is an extensible format, and apart from including SVG, and some things from XHTML, it also includes two other technologies I have worked on, XForms, and RDFa. ODF 1.2 was approved as a standard in October 2011. It became an international ISO standard in 2015.

Rich Web Application Backplane: XML (and XHTML Modularization) offer an extensible syntactic mechanism for building multi-namespace documents, but if you are going to build applications by combining different markup languages, it would be good if they use a common semantic underpinning for events, data-submission and so on. A number of representatives of different W3C markup languages got together to start defining such a thing, and named it the backplane.

CSS – Style Sheets for the Web: HTML was designed as a structure definition language. HTML specifies for instance that something is a top-level heading, but not how such a thing should look on the screen. Adding tags to define fonts and the like, such as Netscape did, is therefore the wrong approach, since that has nothing to do with the structure of a document. Style sheets let you define how an HTML or XML document, or group of them, should look. It has a number of advantages too, such as letting you define a house style for all your documents. If you change the house style, you only have to change the style sheet in one place and all your pages immediately take on the new look. Work I have been doing with the World Wide Web Consortium. I chaired the first W3C Style Sheets Workshop, and wrote the Quick Reference on CSS1, which according to the great links2go before it disappeared, is a Web "key resource". I helped design CSS1, CSS2, and parts of CSS3.

Most people of people surfing the Web now use a CSS empowered browser, so there's no excuse not to use CSS, or to use the <font> tag!

If you really want to see the power of CSS, then the place to go is Zen Garden, a breathtaking collection of dozens of beautiful CSS styles all applied to the same XHTML document.

UWISH: HCI and the Web. Forrester Research did some research in why people return to web sites. There were 4 main reasons: good content (thank goodness this was number one!): 75%, usability: 66%, download speed: 58%, frequency of updating: 54%. All other reasons were noise compared with these 4.

So usability is important. But the supply of usability experts isn't growing as fast as the web. Jakob Nielsen has calculated that shortly the existing supply of usability experts will have to spend one hour per web site in order to keep up. This project investigated usability over a number of different types of web site, in order to produce awareness, tools and techniques for usability of web sites.

Some web resources for CSS, XML and XHTML: I give a course Styling the New Web that teaches CSS and how to use it with HTML, XML, and XHTML, and how usability is consequently improved. These are supporting resources for that course.

Proceedings of WWW Conferences: Since no one else seems to have done it, here are the links to the online proceedings of all WWW conferences.

Programming Languages

ABC: A Simple but Powerful Interactive Programming Language and Environment. We did requirements and task analysis, iterative design, and user testing. You'd almost think programming languages were an interface between people and computers. Now famous because Python was strongly influenced by it. Lambert Meertens has written an article on its origins.

ABC for the Raspberry Pi: There is now an implementation that runs on the Raspberry Pi. Even on the Zero it runs fine.

Pascal Implementation: A book and sources. I'm not particularly a fan of Pascal, but on giving a course on compiler writing to final year degree students, I noticed that they didn't really come away with the ability to write a compiler. So the following years I gave the course based on a real compiler, and the best one available for such study was the Pascal P4 compiler. Since the compiler wasn't documented anywhere, a colleague and I wrote this book together. Included here is the complete text of the book and source of the compiler.

Enquire: Everything you wanted to know about your C Compiler and Machine, but didn't know who to ask. I wrote this originally for a piece of software (ABC, above) that had to run on any hardware, and require no particular knowledge from the person installing it. One day Richard Stallman passed by, and mentioned that they needed such a program for GCC. So I rewrote it and donated it. It produces the file float.h for the GCC compiler. The version here is a slightly more up to date version.

Dhrystone: Measuring the speed of your machine/C compiler. Although this program has fallen out of fashion, SPECmarks having taken its place for a standard measure of speed, SPECmarks costs money, and dhrystone is free. With earlier versions of dhrystone, you had to edit the sources, and compile and run it by hand. This version does all the work for you. All you do is "sh dry.c". A VAX 780 was about 1500 dhrystones (and 1 SPEC); an original IBM PC XT was 400 dhrystones. In 1987, when Dhrystone was new, and people were prophesying that "one day we will all have a Cray on our desk", the very fastest machines (Crays, Amdahl, etc.) weren't faster than 30k dhrystones. Now a typical workstation is a few hundred million – so you now have several thousand Crays on your desk! In fact my mobile phone has the power of 15,000 VAX 780s, which means I have more than 700 Crays in my pocket....

Executable Semantic Definition of Programming Languages Using Two-level Grammars (Van Wijngaarden Grammars): Aad Van Wijngaarden was director of the CWI when it was still called MC (Mathematical Centre or Mathematisch Centrum). He invented two-level grammars that turned out to be extremely powerful: with one very simple mechanism you can define both the syntax and semantics of a programming language. This is a piece explaining how they work, and how you can even use them to prototype a language.

Interactive Documents

Views: Moving the User Interface from the Application to the System. We did a task analysis at the complete computing environment level, rather than at the application level. Everyone benefits.

Hot Links and Cool Sites: How Do You Make an Electronic Journal Readable?: In 1995 ACM/SIGCHI decided to put its main publication, the SIGCHI Bulletin, online. I analysed the needs of readers of online journals, and produced a design and then implemented it, discovering on the way a nice way to keep links up-to-date using make (see Management of a Large Website with Make).

Acela: An Interactive Book and Authoring System.


"[You are] the number 20 most published HCI author according to our stats" – a publisher writing to me.

The CWI keeps a list of all my publications.

Future Web: A special edition of ERCIM News, that I edited with Lynda Hardman. The by far most popular [ERCIM News] article ever is "The Path to Web n+1" – almost best-seller like.

Views and Feelings: Articles that I have published from time to time. If I have a blog, then I suppose this is it...

The SIGCHI Bulletin: Of which I was Editor-in-chief 1993-9.

interactions: "New Visions of Human-Computer Interaction". An ACM publication, of which I was Editor-in-chief 1998-2004. De periode dat je redacteur was van Interactions is voor mij het hoogtepunt geweest van dat blad.

HCIBib: Gary Perlman's HCI Bibliography lists me as a 'Hot Author'. Here is my listing there.

Other listings of my publications: DBLP,, ResearchGate,,

Books: Pascal Implementation; The ABC Programmer's Handbook. Numbers.


I am currently an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

"If you have a chance to hear Steven Pemberton speak, go".

"Apart from the insight, energy and humour which he uses to treat us, he has a rare gift to present main lines of big pictures."

"Even if the conference only consisted of Steven Pemberton's talk, it would be worth attending!"

"It is not often that someone technically proficient in their field is also a good speaker".


Invited Talk: Are you ready for Invisible XML? at Brighttalk Live Webcast (Online), 5 December, 2023. Video.

Invited Talk: The end of the paper internet at Aarhus 23, Aarhus, Denmark, 9 November, 2023.

Invited Talk: There's no I in AI at Aarhus 23, Aarhus, Denmark, 9 November, 2023. A great conference keynote inspiring A very thought-provoking talk a great presentation, insights and an experience I was thrilled to get Fascinating, [...] made a complicated topic not only simple but actually enjoyable. Suddenly, AI became more to do with human development than something for the IT department. No matter what I say here, it won't even come close to doing this talk justice. [...] I couldn't help but feel in awe that I was in the presence of such an impressive mind. Thank you Steven Pemberton for a mind opening talk

Invited talk: A Diagram Interpreter in XForms at Declarative Amsterdam 2023 Science Park, Amsterdam, NL, 3 November.

Talk: A Declarative Code Browser with ixml and XForms at Declarative Amsterdam 2023, Science Park Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL, 3 November. The clearest explanation of UTF-8 I have heard.

Tutorial: Advanced XForms Hands-on: Techniques and Examples at Declarative Amsterdam 2023, Science Park, Amsterdam, NL, 2 November. The tutorial.

Invited Talk: XForms - Current developments at Declarative Amsterdam 2023, Science Park, Amsterdam, NL, 2 November. A scientific pleasure. It gave me a new perspective. I understood it all. It made me feel clever.

Invited Talk: Internet: The Next 35 Years, at Science Park Open Day, Science Park, Amsterdam, NL, 7 October.

Tutorial: XForms Hands-on, at XML Summer School, Oxford, UK, 10-15 September. The Tutorial

Talk: There's no I in AI, at XML Summer School, Oxford, UK, 10-15 September. Brilliant. Really, really good.

Talk: AI and the Evolution of Programming, at XML Summer School, Oxford, UK, 10-15 September. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Captivating.

Demo: A Diagram Interpreter in XForms at Markup UK, London, UK, 2 June 2023.

Tutorial: Advanced ixml, Hands-on at Markup UK, London, UK, 1 June 2023. The Tutorial. Super exciting. I'm very impressed. This has inspired me to delve deeper.

Talk: Invisible Markup at The Web Conference 2023, Austin, Texas, USA, 2 May 2023.

Invited Talk: The Printing Press vs the Web: The Effects at The Web Conference 2023, Austin, Texas, USA, 2 May 2023. Great talks with really inspiring information A friend and I just read and discussed [this] for about two and a half hours

Talk: The Hundred Year Web at The Web Conference 2023, Austin, Texas, USA, 2 May 2023. Paper. Teaser. so much joy and energy

Tutorial: Invisible Markup at The Web Conference 2023, Austin, Texas, USA, 1 May 2023. Teaser. The Tutorial.

Tutorial: Declarative Web Applications with XForms at The Web Conference 2023, Austin, Texas, USA, 30 April 2023. Teaser. The tutorial. Never has so much worked first time so often for me.

Invited talk: Declarative Programming at Stony Brook University, New York, USA, 14 April 2023.

Invited talk: On the Design of Notations at SBCS Language Seminar (online), Stony Brook University, New York, USA, 9 February 2023. Video. Fantastic talk!

Invited Talk: Internet 2023: Identity at Freelance Friday, Amsterdam, NL, 13 January 2023.


Talk: "On the Representation of Abstractions" at Declarative Amsterdam, Science Park Amsterdam, NL, (and online), 8 November. Video. Paper.

Tutorial: "Advanced ixml Hands-on" at Declarative Amsterdam, Science Park Amsterdam, NL, (and online), 7 November. Video.

Invited Talk: "ixml: declarative abstract data representation" at CWI Amsterdam, NL, 19 October.

Invited Talk: "The future is already here, just not very evenly distributed" at Science Park Open Day, Amsterdam, NL, 1 October.

Talk: Artificial Intelligence with XForms, at XML Summer School, Oxford, UK, 15 September. With John Chelsom.

Talk: Invisible XML Coming into Focus at Balisage 2022, Online (Washington DC, USA), 1 August. With Tomos Hillman, John Lumley, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Bethan Tovey-Walsh, Norm Tovey-Walsh. Paper.

Keynote: Three Intertwined Timelines at Post-CHI 2022, Amsterdam, NL, 22 June 2022. Fascinating keynote Amazing.

Tutorial: ixml Hands-on at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 11 June 2022. Video. The most energising presentation of XML Prague

Demo: It's the Abstraction! at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 10 June 2022.

Talk: The Pilot Implementation of ixml at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 10 June 2022. Paper (PDF). Video. always the highlight of #XMLPrague.

Invited Talk: Programmers are Humans too at CHI 2022, New Orleans, USA, 3 May 2022. Video. Well, that was amazing. I had no idea you did all that stuff. That was the best talk I have ever heard.

Invited Talk: The 100 year web at Freelance Friday, Amsterdam, NL, 19 January 2022. Interesting talk and discussion.; Excellent presentation again; Was great as always; Informative webinar. I really enjoyed; Makes me really miss the days of W3C meetings when we could count on [Steven] for the most informed opinion in the room. Video


Tutorial: Invisible XML Hands On, Declarative Amsterdam, Science Park, Amsterdam (and online), 4 November. Steven’s tutorial set a very high bar indeed - I was VERY impressed. Was great!. Video.

Invited Talk: The Internet of Things and the Coming Robot Rebellion, at Science Park Open Day, Science Park, Amsterdam (and online), 2 October. Great lecture. Watch this. Steven Pemberton has a point here!  I enjoyed every second  [public key cryptography] simply and brilliantly explained. Video.

Talk: Artificial Intelligence with XForms, XML Summer School, Oxford, UK, 12-17 September. With John Chelsom.

Keynote: On the design of the URL, Web Summer Camp, Šibenik, Croatia, 2-4 September.

Talk: Structural Constraints in XForms, Balisage, Washington DC, USA, 5 August 2021. paper (html).

Talk: On the Design of a Self-Referential Tutorial, MarkupUK, London, 22 May 2021. paper (html). paper (pdf).

Tutorial: XForms Hands-On, MarkupUK, London, 21/22 May 2021. I'm impressed with how powerful this is. A really well done tutorial.

Invited Talk: VU-Koor Timeline, Vrije Universiteit Koor, Amsterdam, 17 May 2021.

Invited Talk: Well-known music with unusual time signatures, Vrije Universiteit Koor, Amsterdam, 3 May 2021.

Invited Talk: Why there can be no perfection at Vrije Universiteit Koor, Amsterdam, 8 March 2021.

Invited Talk: "The future is already here, just not very evenly distributed" at Freelance Friday, Amsterdam, 13 January 2021. Video. Beautiful! You don’t get enough credit for your humor!


Keynote: The Evolution of Memory at Digital Leadership Conference, Aarhus, Denmark, November 2-5. A memorable conference keynote. I didn't expect to be so inspired in such a short time.

Talk: On the Design of the URL at Declarative Amsterdam 2020, Science Park, Amsterdam, October 9. ik heb er met plezier naar gekeken; onder de indruk dat er zo veel te vertellen is over het onderwerp; This was really a great talk! Very interesting The video. Paper (HTML).

Tutorial: XForms Hands-On at Declarative Amsterdam 2020, Science Park, Amsterdam, October 8. Video. A keeper. Amazing walk-through and resources Best XForms tutorial ever! Great tutorial! This was great Absolutely *excellent* I just can't get enough of this stuff. There's so many examples of XForms working in this

Talk: Declarative XForms Submission Testing at Balisage 2020, Washington DC, USA, 27–31 July. Great talk Another great talk Excellent talk Great session Steven is a great presenter, every time! The paper.

Demo: It's Conference Time at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 14-15 February. Won the conference demo prize.

Talk: (Re)presentation in XForms at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 14-15 February. With Alain Couthures. My favourite lecture. The paper. The Video.

Tutorial: Declarative Applications with XForms at XML Prague, Prague, Czechia, 14-15 February. really interesting It is not often that someone who is technically proficient in the field is also a good speaker.

Invited Talk: The Internet of Things and the Coming Robot Rebellion at Freelance Friday, Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam, NL, 10 January 2020. Really great talk even intrigerend als verontrustend inspirational and mind twisting super interessant verhaal dat je dwingt tot kijken vanuit verschillende perspectieven A video teaser.

Invited Talk: Declarative Programming at 79th meeting of IFIP WG 2.1, Otterlo, NL, 6-10 January 2020.


Invited Talk: Lit Lace at Smart Textiles Open Studio, V2 Lab, Rotterdam, NL, 26 November.

Invited Talk: On the Design of Notations at CWI Lectures on Programming & Cryptology 2019, Amsterdam, NL, 21 November. Awesome. Super interesting talk! A very interesting talk. Some people after the talk asked for more details on the notation for mathematics; you can read more in Numbers.

Invited Talk: Moore's Switch at Bristech 2019, Bristol, UK, 7 November. The video. Brilliant talk

Invited Talk: Internet and Numbers at Science Park Open Day 2019, Amsterdam, NL, 5 October.

Talk: Declarative vs. Procedural at Declarative Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL, 4 October.

Tutorial: XForms Tutorial at Declarative Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL, 4 October.

Invited talk: The Internet Effect and the Second Age of Enlightenment at Free University of Tbilisi, Tbilisi, Georgia, 25 Sept. and Leadership School, Yerevan, Armenia, 27 Sept. The Video. Photos.

Invited talk: The Economies of Programming Languages, International Black Sea University, Tbilisi Georgia, 26 Sept.

Invited talk: How to Think About the Future, at Leadership School, Yerevan, Armenia, 24 Sept.

Invited talk: The Future of Programming, at Leadership School, Yerevan, Armenia, 23 Sept. Photos.

Talk: Declarative -- The paradigm that didn't get mentioned at Curry-On 2019, London, UK, 15-16 July. the highlight of my day. The video.

Demo: Conference Overview at Markup UK, London, UK, 8 June 2019.

Tutorial: Declarative Applications with XForms at Markup UK, London, UK, 7 June 2019.

Invited Talk: Internet: The Long View at MORE-IP 2019, Amsterdam, NL, 4-5 June 2019. The best talk of the day We could listen to you for hours Steven!

Invited Talk: Internet@30 at Girls' Day, CWI, Amsterdam, 11 April.

Invited Talk: Internet: the Long View, at Forum Standaardisatie, Sociëteit De Witte aan het Plein, The Hague, NL, 28 March

Talk: On the Specification of Invisible XML at XML Prague 2019, Prague, Czech Republic, 7-9 February 2019. The paper. The video.

Talk: The Internet Effect at ISOC Internet New Year's event, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, NL, 17 January 2019 Goede lezing Intrigerend.

Invited Talk: Internet@30 at Freelance Factory, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, NL, 11 January 2019. Highly entertaining and informative, as usual! Zoals vanouds een volle zaal


Keynote: Gutenberg and the Internet at Media Art Festival, Leeuwarden, NL, 1 December. A newspaper review (in Dutch).

Keynote: The Internet Effect at Cardiff Education Convention, Cardiff, Wales, 23 October. Insightful fascinating...really well pitched.

Invited talk: 4 uur 'snachts is de nieuw middernacht at Amsterdam Science Park Open Dag, Amsterdam, NL, 6 October.

Oxford Union Debate: Have Open Technology and Standards Widenend Social Injustice? Lecturing at the Summer school at Oxford University, at a very late moment I was asked if I would replace someone who had fallen ill, for a debate at the Oxford Union ("We've already printed your name on the materials, we hope you can do it"). Although the introductions say I had 24 hours notice, it was actually more like 10 -- on a day I already had to give two other lectures. The other speakers had had 3 months to prepare... I'm at 42:00.

Invited talk: Invisible Markup at the XML Summer School, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK, 12 September.

Invited talk: Declarative Applications at the XML Summer School, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK, 12 September.

Talk: Fine-grained Access Control Framework for Igor, a Unified Access Solution to The Internet of Things at FIT 2018: the 4th International Workshop on the Future of the Internet of Things, Gran Canaria, Spain, 14 August. The paper (pdf). (With Pauline Sia and Jack Jansen)

Talk: XForms 2.0 at Balisage, Washington DC, USA, 2 August. The Paper. It's high time I started working with XForms As always, well worth a read.

Invited talk: On the Descriptions of Data at Balisage, Washington DC, USA, 1 August.

Keynote: The 100 Year Web at Balisage, Washington DC, USA, 31 July. The Video. Transcript. Amazing. Masterful. Worth the price of admission! Inspiring. Exciting Beyond excellent. A great, thought provoking overview Some good ideas herein w00t! These are well worth reading. You have to read this one, have to!!!!

Talk: Moore's Switch: Doing Software Better at Bessensap 2018, De Rode Hoed, Amsterdam, 15 June.

Talk: The XForms 2.0 Test Suite at Markup UK, Imperial College, London, 9–10 June. The paper (pdf). Awesome talk. You need to read these slides. Really!

Demo: A Histogram In XForms at Markup UK, Imperial College, London, 9–10 June. Full article. Won a prize. Be sure to view source

Talk: MC/CWI History at CWI Coder Class, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 19 April 2017. Boeiende presentatie.

Invited Talk: Software: What are we doing wrong? at Amsterdam Business Breakfast, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 21 February. Fascinating Presentation

Talk: Form, and Content at XML Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 9-10 February. The Paper. The Video. Great talk. Impressively meta.

Demo: Minesweeper in XForms at XML Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 9-10 February. Won the popular vote.

Invited Talk: Internet and the Numbers at Freelance Factory, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12 January 2018. Very interesting & funny like every year! Altijd inspirerend.

Talk: Digital Ephemera at ISOC New Years Event, Compagnietheater, Kloveniersburgwal 50, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 January 2018. Best talk of the evening.


Keynote: On the 60th Anniversary of the First Municipal Computer at Aarhus 17 conference, Aarhus, Denmark, 7–9 November 2017. Legendary; Super interesting; Fantastic ... highly informative, and entertaining too.

Invited talk: Computers en evolutie at Science Park Open Day, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 7 October. (In Dutch, with English subtitles)

Invited talk: CWI History at Future Internet, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 28 September.

Invited talk: Restful, Unified Access to the Internet of Things, at Symposium on Smart Textiles and Coding the Internet of Things, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 26 September. Video. Other talks at the symposium.

Invited talk: Decentral Web at Hackers & Designers Summer Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 August 2017.

Invited talk: A Game in XForms at CWI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17 July 2017.

Talk: An Architecture for Unified Access to the Internet of Things at XML London 2017, London, UK, 10-11 June. The Video of the talk. The paper (pdf). Loved the talk; Entertaining and interesting; Superb speaker; The only IoT talk I've ever enjoyed.

Demo: XForms Game at XML London 2017, London, UK, 10-11 June. Another great example of what can be done using XForms. XForms for the win. Another expression of @stevenpemberton's creativity. Won the conference demo prize.

Invited talk: Programming - we're doing it wrong at NN Devops, The Hague, Netherlands, 25 April 2017.

Talk: The Future of Programming at CWI Coder Class, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 13 April 2017.

Talk: CWI – History at CWI Coder Class, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 13 April 2017.

Talk: On the Descriptions of Data at XML Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 9-11 February 2017. Even if #xmlprague only consisted of @stevenpemberton's talk, it would be worth attending! @stevenpemberton is always the Highlight of #xmlprague. Entertaining presentation. Great talk. #mademyday. Great talk. The Paper (pdf). The Paper (HTML). Video of the talk.

Invited Talk: 4 a.m. is the new midnight (and other internet philosophies) at Freelance Factory, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 January 2017. Brilliant talk. Loved it. Uitermate boeiend

Talk: Programming - we're doing it wrong at ISOC New Years Event, De Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, 12 january 2017.


Talk: XForms, the only standard web framework at NLUUG najaarsconferentie 2016, Bunnik, NL, 17 November 2016. Cool stuff!

Invited Talk: XForms in ODF at ODF PlugFest 12, Paris, France, 17 November 2016.

Keynote: On the choice of programming languages at DevMob, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 9 November 2016. Interessant verhaal.

Keynote: Moore's Switch at PFCongres, Utrecht, NL, 15 October 2016. Geweldige closing keynote. Prachtige talk. So cool ... Slightly starstruck.

Invited talk: Declarative Data Handling at, Ministry of Home Affairs, The Hague, NL, 7 October 2016. zeer verfrissend

Invited talk: Why is programming so hard? at Science Park Open Day 2016, Amsterdam, NL, 1 October 2016.

Keynote: Web n+1 at Web 11 Conference, Groningen, NL, 30 September 2016. A truly exciting and inspiring talk. As always an excellent keynote by the entertaining and knowledgeable Mr. Steven Pemberton. Video.

Talk: REST Interfaces to the Internet of Things at EuroIA 2016, Amsterdam, NL, 22-24 September 2016. Lovely examples.

Talk: Parse Earley, Parse Often at XML London 2016, London, UK, 4-5 June 2016. The paper (pdf); the paper in HTML. Video of the talk.

Invited talk: Research and Industry: Internet and the Web at Research & Innovation Tours, University-Industry Interaction Conference 2016, CWI, Amsterdam, NL, 1 June 2016

Keynote: The Future of Programming at PyGrunn 2016, Groningen, NL, 13 May 2016. Great keynote; Awesome; Great talk; Brilliant perspective; Essential reading for programmers. Move up a level!. Video of the talk.

Talk: The Second Enlightenment at DrupalJam 2016, Utrecht, NL, 12 May 2016. Video of the talk.

Keynote: HTML5 is the new flash at Philadelphia 16, Philadelphia, USA, 5 May 2016. opening my eyes.

Talk: Data just wants to be (format) neutral at XML Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 12 February 2016. Brilliant talk. Love it!. The paper(pdf); HTML version. Video of the talk.

Short talk: HTML5 is the new Flash at ISOC New Years Event, Het Sieraad, Postjesweg 1, Amsterdam, NL, 14 January 2016.

Invited talk: Powers of Two at Freelance Factory, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, NL, 8 January 2016. Great talk. The best speaker of the year!.


Keynote: HTML5 is the New Flash at XML Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 6 November. Delightful tour de force; Instant painfully true.

Talk: XForms: an Unusual Worked Example at XML Amsterdam XForms Day 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 5 November. [His] talks are always a pleasure.

Talk: XForms, an Introduction at XML Amsterdam XForms Day 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 5 November.

Invited talk: Internet, Security & Privacy at Amsterdam Science Park Open Day, Amsterdam, 3 October.

Talk: Declarative Device-Independent Interfaces at XDUI 2015: EICS Workshop on Systems and Tools for Cross-Device User Interfaces, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisberg, Germany, 23 June.

Invited talk: Moore's Switch, and its consequences at European CMS Experts Group, Delft, The Netherlands, 22 June. The key takeaway [of the meeting]. Great story. A modern classic.

Talk: XML Interfaces to the Internet of Things at XML London 2015, University College, London, UK, 6-7 June; the paper. Always impressed by [his] passion. Fasten your seatbelt.

Invited Talk: The Second Enlightenment at Freelance Factory, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 9. Really enjoyed the flaming privacy talk by @stevenpemberton. There is a short video of one funny moment of the talk.

Talk: The Second Enlightenment (short version) at ISOC Internetnieuwjaarsreceptie 2015, De Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 8. Good talk.


Invited Talk: The Hidden Pearls of ODF at ODF Plugfest 10, UK Cabinet Office, London, UK, December 8-9. Energetically delivered. Jolly good stuff about RDFa (about which I am now excited)...XForms ditto.

Keynote: The Open, Usable City at Smart City Ground Up, The European University, St. Petersburg, Russia, November 21.

Invited Talk: HTTP must die! at Hackers and Founders, Amsterdam, November 6. Very interesting stuff!. Chuffed to be hearing [this].

Keynote: Want do we want from the web? at Aarhus 14, Denmark, November 5. A tour de force!. Deep thinking at high speed from Steven Pemberton. Among the most popular speakers at [this conference].

Talk: HTTP must die! at W3C20, Santa Clara, USA, October 29.

Invited Talk: Computer Generations (and the Coming of the €1 Computer) at Science Park Open Dag 2014, Amsterdam, October 4.

Talk: Live XML Data at XML London, London, UK, 7 June. The paper. Fun romp through live interaction with XML. Great talk!.

Invited talk: Small Data at PiLOD, Waag Society, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 19 May.

Demo: The Programming Language as Human Interface at CHI Sparks 2014, The Hague, Netherlands, 3 April; Paper (pdf).

Invited talk: Internet - the next 25 years at IT School, Yerevan, Armenia, 20 March.

Talk: The Computer as Extended Phenotype at Interaction 14, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 6-8 February 2014. There is a video of the talk, which has been transcribed. Steven Pemberton is basically a web legend.

Invited talk: Declarative Web Applications at CWI Scientific Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 31 January 2014. There is a video of the talk, including the demo, and a separate video of just the demo. Impressive!

Invited talk: The True Cost of Content at Freelance Factory, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 10 January 2014. Excellent lecture! I loved every minute of it..

Talk: Communications, Content, Copyright at New Year's Event, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9 January 2014.


Talk: XForms: The Big Picture at XForms Today voor CIO’s en CTO’s, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 November.

Demo: Maps with XForms at XML Amsterdam 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 23 October. Won 3rd prize! Great fun!. Very very impressive!.

Keynote: Everything is XML, XML is Everywhere (we just couldn't know it) at XML Amsterdam 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 23 October. [Norm Walsh] is not the only XML rockstar.

Talk: Twenty-five Years of Internet at Opendag Science Park, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 5 October.

Keynote: Small Data at Open Data NEXT 2013 congres, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 27 September. Pity Pemberton was not given more time. Really interesting stuff. Cool guy. Great speaker!.

Talk: Invisible XML at Balisage 2013, Montréal, Canada, 7 August. Full paper; revised version. "This is clearly a submission that needs to be shredded, burned, and the ashes buried in multiple locations" – a reviewer. "I think the audience will eat him alive. But I want to be there to hear it." – another reviewer.

Invited Talk: Using XForms for interfaces to XML data at International Symposium on Native XML user interfaces, Montréal, Canada, 5 August.

Talk: Evolution, memory, sex, computers. at OHM 2013, 2 Aug, Geestmerambacht, The Netherlands.

Talk: What do we want from the web? at OHM 2013, 31 July, Geestmerambacht, The Netherlands. Wow moment

Tutorial: Web Applications with XForms 2.0 at WWW 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 14 May.

Invited Talk: The Future and The Internet at Freelance Factory, Amsterdam, 11 January.

Talk: HTTP Must Die! at Nieuwjaarsreceptie, Amsterdam, 10 January.


Invited talk: Serialisation, Abstraction and XML Applications at Balisage 2012, Montréal, Canada, 7-10 August.

Talk: Treating JSON as a subset of XML at XML Prague 2012, Prague, CZ, 11-12 February. The paper.

Invited Talk: There is no yellow in this presentation (on Colour and Reality) at Freelance Factory, Amsterdam, 13 January.


Keynote: Declarative Applications at Kings of Code, Amsterdam, 19 September. Cool

Invited talk: The Computer as Extended Phenotype at UX Week, San Francisco, USA, 23 Aug. It's like the TED talks of User Experience!. Watch the video.

Invited talk: XRX - Restful XForms at CWI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 5 July.

Invited talk: Why Visualisation? at Data Visualisation Barcamp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 7 May.

Talk: Multilingual Forms and Applications at Content on the Multilingual Web, Pisa, Italy, 4 April.

Keynote: Future Internet at Global Communications Network Conference, Amsterdam, 28 March.

Invited talk: The Computer as Extended Phenotype at Freelance Factory New Year's Event, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 14 January.

Invited talk: ODF and Authoring for the Web at Internet Society New Year's Event, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 January.


Invited talk: Functional Accessibility at Web Guidelines 2.0 and WCAG 2.0, Zeist, The Netherlands, 10 December.

Invited talk: XML and Applications at XML Holland 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 November. Wow.

Keynote: Open Source Is Not Enough at Transfer Summit, Oxford, United Kingdom, 24 June.

Talk: Social 3.0 at The Web and Beyond 2010, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1 June. The most comprehensive (and funny) talk of #twab2010. The video is online.

Talk: XForms and Model-based User Interfaces at W3C Workshop on Future Standards for Model-Based User Interfaces, Rome, Italy, 13-14 May.

Invited talk: RDFa and Digital Cities at AR Dev Camp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17 April. The most practical and useful info of the day; Steven Pemberton is a good speaker.

Invited talk: The Future from now... on the internet as part of the Solar Initiative Lecture Series, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8 April.

Invited talk: The Ten Euro Computer: a Contemplation on Values at Freelance Factory, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8 January.


Invited talk: Disintermediation through Aggregation: Making your Data your Own at Society of the Query, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13-14 November. Report. Video. Outstanding presentation

Invited talk: Declarative Applications at FXPAL, Palo Alto, USA, 5 November.

Keynote: Dimensions of Openness at NLUUG Najaarsconferentie Het Open Web, Ede, The Netherlands, 29 October.

Invited talk: XForms and Device Independence at Hyves, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 September.

Invited talk: The Future of Code at Kings of Code, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 30 June. Most intriguing talk of the day A really entertaining speaker.

Invited talk: The Standardisation Process at Pitney-Bowes Symposium, Shelton, CT, USA, 3 April.

Invited talk: The Power of the Declarative at Pitney-Bowes Symposium, Shelton, CT, USA, 2 April.

Invited talk: XForms and Declarative Applications at the Mozcamp, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 6 March.

Invited talk: Why you should have a website at the ISOC Nieuwjaarsreceptie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 15 January.

Invited talk: Never is a long time (Disruptive technologies and the Web) at the Freelance Factory in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9 January.


Keynote: Never is a long time (Disruptive technologies and the Web) at the jboye08 Web Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, 5 November.

Talk: Why you should have a Web Site at the W3C TPAC near Cannes in the south of France, 22 October. I had 150 seconds to get the essence of a 45 minute talk over... Delightful.

Talk: Why you should have a Web Site at XTech 2008 in Dublin, Ireland, 8 May. The nice man from the BBC filmed it and put it online (ironically enough, at the time on a site that later changed direction, and so the video disappeared. Luckily it got archived and put on "Provocative and contentious" said one reviewer, who later said "I should never have doubted Steven Pemberton" and "Steven Pemberton was right". Another said "The crowd completely disagreed. In hindsight he could not have been more correct." and "grows more relevant with each passing year". Text of the talk here.

Tutorial: XForms 1.1 at XTech 2008 in Dublin, Ireland, 6 May.

Invited talk: Why you should have a Web Site (and other Web 3.0 issues) at "Freelance Friday" in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 January.


Invited talk: A Declarative Approach to Services at the "Service Oriented Computing Platform Seminar" in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 15 November.

Invited talk: Open Standards Rich Internet Applications at W3C Day 2007 - Rich Internet Applications in Berlin, Germany, 26 September.

Talk: Loading the Silver Bullet at W3C Workshop on Declarative Models of Distributed Web Applications in Dublin, Ireland, 5 June.

Tutorial: XForms 1.1 at XTech 2007 in Paris, France, 15 May.

Keynote: Abstraction and extraction: in praise of at Apachecon 07 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2 May.

Invited talk: W3C technologies for information dissemination and interaction at the W3C European Symposium on eGovernment in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, 1 February.


Invited talk: Web 4.0: Start planning now! at Séminaire X/Aristote "Du Web 2.0 au Web 3.0 et au-delà", in Paris France, 7 December.

Talk: Kanji at W3C Team Day in Tokyo, Japan, 1 December.

Talk: What is XHTML Modularization, and Why is it Useful? at the W3C AC meeting in Tokyo, Japan, 30 November.

Talk: XHTML and the W3C Architecture at the W3C AC meeting in Tokyo, Japan, 29 November.

Invited talk: The Future of Web Applications at the Origo Standards Strategy Meeting in Edinburgh, UK, 23 November.

Keynote: Form – Content – Essence: Designing Markup for Information Representation at EuroIA 2006 in Berlin, Germany, 1 October. Someone recorded it and put it online, and there is a video. Intriguing.

Keynote: Web n+1: The Future of Web Interfaces at The Next Web in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 7 July.

Keynote: Web 4.0: Now's the Time to Plan at The Web and Beyond, 10th SIGCHI.NL Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8 June. Review: funny, intelligent and easy to listen to!.

Tutorial: XForms at The 15th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006) in Edinburgh, Scotland, 26 May.

Talk: The Power of Declarative Thinking at The 15th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006) in Edinburgh, Scotland, 24 May.

Talk: The Power of Declarative Thinking at XTech 2006 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17 May. A hell of a speaker, convincing, and, well... I liked his pose while talking.

Tutorial: XHTML2 and XForms at XTech 2006 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 16 May. War sehr beeindruckend, so klar, so knapp, so logisch..


Talk: The Power of Declarative Thinking at W3C Advisory Committee Meeting in Montréal, Canada, 1 December.

Invited talk: Usability, Accessibility and Markup Languages at Fundamentos Web 2005 (Web Foundations 2005) in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, 24 November. If you have an hour to spare, watch it online in high bandwidth and low bandwidth versions.

Tutorial: Advanced CSS Design at User Experience 2005 in Boston, USA, 28 October, and London, UK, 18 November.

Tutorial: Styling the New Web at User Experience 2005 in Boston, USA, 27 October, and London, UK, 17 November.

Tutorial: XHTML and XForms at W3C Benelux and ISOC Belgium in Antwerp, Belgium, 3 October, at W3C Germany and Austria in Munich, Germany, 21 October, and at Fundamentos Web 2005 (Web Foundations 2005) in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, 25 November. Watch it online in high bandwidth and low bandwidth versions.

Keynote: The Future of Web Interfaces at Interact 2005 in Rome, Italy, 16 September.

Talk: W3C XForms: improving the user experience with accessible, device-independent e-forms at The First Euro Conference on Mobile Government in Brighton, UK, 10 July.

Keynote: Hypothesis: Programmers are Humans too at EuroPython 2005 in Göteborg, Sweden, 28 June

Invited talk: Metadata in XHTML2 at the 40th Annual General Meeting of the International Press Telecommunications Council in London, UK, 7 June

Talk: XHTML2: Accessible, Usable, Device Independent and Semantic at XTech 2005 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (With Mark Birbeck), 26 May

Keynote: Metadata in XHTML2 at the News Standards Summit 2005 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 24 May

Talk: XHTML2 and XForms at the WWW 2005 Developers' Day in Chiba, Japan. (With TV Raman), 14 May

Talk: The Semantic Browser: Improving the User Experience at the W3C Track, The 14th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2005) in Chiba, Japan. (With Mark Birbeck), 13 May

Tutorial: XHTML2 and XForms on behalf of the German and Austrian W3C Office in Sankt Augustin, Germany, 19 April

Invited Talk: Evolution or Revolution? Both! at W3C Technical Plenary in Boston, MA, USA, 2 March.

Invited Talk: Ineluctable Modality of the Visible at A Decade of Webdesign in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 21 January. Watch it online. Read the transcript.


Keynote: XML to the Desktop: XForms at XML Holland 2004 in Hilversum, The Netherlands, 9 December

Tutorial: Styling the New Web Using CSS at User Experience 2004, Las Vegas, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8 Oct, 6 Nov

Tutorial: XForms: Improving the Web Forms Experience at User Experience 2004, Las Vegas, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 6 Oct, 4 November

Keynote: XHTML, XForms, and the Mobile Web at the Nokia Technical Conference, Helsinki, Finland, 14 September

Talk: Web Forms – XForms 1.0 at the W3C Track, The 13th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2004) in New York, USA, 19 May

Invited talk: XForms Unplugged at the Seybold eForms Summit, in Amsterdam Netherlands, 20 April

Keynote: On the Design of Notations at XML Europe 2004 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 19 April

Tutorial: XForms at XML Europe 2004 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 18 April

Keynote: XForms: What and Why at the Industry XForms Briefing in London, UK, 6 April


SIGCHI.NL/CHINederland: Human-Computer Interaction in the Netherlands, of which I am a founding member.

Declarative.Amsterdam: A foundation and conference for the advocacy, fostering, and promotion of declarative techniques and technologies in computing. A home for all things to do with the ixml technology.

The Amsterdam New Media Association: of which I was a founding member.

CHI 97: The primary conference on Computer-Human Interaction, in Atlanta, USA, March 22-27, of which I was Conference Co-Chair.

The European WWW Workgroup W4G: Of which I was Chair.

Blatant Self Promotion


ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award 2022 (SIGCHI announcement). There is an article in a Dutch computer magazine (in Dutch) about it.

The SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award is presented to individuals for outstanding contributions to the practice and understanding of human-computer interaction. This award recognizes the very best and most influential applications of human-computer interaction. It is awarded for a lifetime of innovation and leadership. The criteria for the award are:

as well as active participation in the ACM SIGCHI community.

XML Prague 2020 demo prize: I won the demo prize for "It's Conference Time!".

XML Prague 2019 demo prize: I won the demo prize for "A Clock in XForms".

Markup UK 2018 demo prize: I won the demo prize for "A Histogram in XForms".

I was awarded an ACM CHI Lifetime Service Award in 2009. (CHI= computer human interaction):

"CHI Lifetime Service Award
The CHI Lifetime Service Award goes to individuals who have contributed to the growth of SIGCHI in a variety of capacities. This award is for extended services to the community at large over a number of years. Criteria for this award are: service to SIGCHI and its activities in a variety of capacities; extended contributions over many years; influence on the community at large."

I was awarded an ACM SIGCHI Distinguished Service Award in 1998:

"To Steven Pemberton for his hard work on the SIGCHI Bulletin and his dedication to the CHI community overall."

The Press and Internet

Internet Explorer met pensioen: Interview with me in Dutch by the NOS (Dutch equivalent of BBC News) about the end of Internet Explorer. On the same subject I was on Radio 1 Nieuws en co (starts at 36:30), and on the television 8 o'clock news (starts at 17:24). (All links in Dutch)

Digitale vrijplaats onder druk: an interview with me in the magazine Lichtkogel, published by the Dutch ministry Rijkswaterstaat (PDF in Dutch, pages 56-58).

Onze maatschappij is nog niet klaar voor AI: Interview with me (in Dutch) in AGConnect. (Alas registration required to read it all).

“A back-end engineer gets overly excited about stack machines...” and other talks…: an interview with me and two other speakers at Bristech.

Inspiring Web Pioneer Steven Pemberton: an interview.

25 Years AMS-IX: A video celebrating 25 years of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange. Includes a couple of sentences from me.

Demo prize for Steven Pemberton at XML Prague: I won the demo prize for my demo "A Clock in XForms".

Thirty years Internet in Europe: a mini-documentary on the first day that Europe connected to the open internet in 1988, includes an interview with me. (Dutch with English subtitles)

Programmeren kan tien keer sneller: an interview with me (in Dutch) in New Scientist (NL) number 59.

Het www is kapot, hoe gaan we het repareren?: A report by the Dutch NOS news organisation on fixing the web, based on a TV news report by them, featuring an interview with me.

Internetpionier Steven Pemberton: ‘Denk nu al na over het moment dat de computer slimmer is dan de mens’: A newspaper report on my keynote at the Mediaart conference.

Programmeren kan tien keer sneller: an interview with me (in Dutch) in New Scientist (NL) number 59.

Two articles based on an interview with me in the Dutch national press:
Met Mosaic begon het internet van nu and 'Het web gaat de verkeerde kant op'.

"HTML5 is the new Flash": an article in Net Magazine. Alas, Net Magazine is not published on the net...

The computer as extended phenotype: Someone went to the trouble of transcribing one of my more-popular talks. Great read.

CSS Colours – An Email: On X11 Colours and HSL. A glorious rant.

25 jaar internet in Nederland: I am featured in a book of interviews with people involved with the setting up of the internet in The Netherlands and Europe. By Peter Oolsthoorn.

De Nederlandse helden van het internet (Dutch heroes of the internet): Piet Beertema and I were interviewed for a short documentary on the internet, an interview that alas didn't make the cut in the documentary. Luckily they published it as a separate video, because we stood on that cold, wet, windy beach for most of the afternoon... (In Dutch; now with English subtitles)

Aartsvaders (m/v) van het Nederlandse internet (Patriarchs (m/f) of the Dutch Internet): So, there you have it, I have been added to the official canon of Patriarchs of the Internet. This is one of a series of interviews with various Dutch and European internet pioneers. Nice photos. (PDF, in Dutch).

The risks of using the internet: An interview in AkzoNobel's A Magazine (from page 30, despite what the table of contents says) (PDF).

Walled Gardens, Semantic Data and the Open Web: An interview in KDE News after my keynote at the NLUUG conference on the Open Web.

De dimensies van het open web (The dimensions of the Open Web): An interview in Techworld about my then forthcoming keynote at the NLUUG conference about the Open Web (in Dutch).

Bing wil zich onderscheiden van Google en Yahoo (Bing wants to differentiate itself from Google and Yahoo): A Dutch article on Microsoft's Bing search engine, featuring commentary from an interview with me, where I claim that Bing isn't different enough from Google to cause people to change, and talk about search engines that I use apart from Google that do offer new functionality.

Web 2.0: What does it constitute?: It looks like it's based on an interview with me, but they just pulled the quotes from the slides of a talk I had given. If you think the quote about CSS doesn't seem to make sense, it was because I was actually talking about RDFa, not RDF.

Codebesparing: An article in the Dutch Emerce, based on an interview with me about my "Declarative Thinking" talk (above). Doesn't get everything right, but the author invents "Pemberton's Law" that proposes that every 12 years computers become powerful enough to allow the use of programming languages that take more work out of the programmer's hands, giving around an order of magnitude more productivity for the programmer. No online link I'm afraid (what is it with these publications without an online archive?)

Profile: Steven Pemberton: An interview with me in the Dutch informatie, around the 25th anniversary of the CHI conference, and the relationship between HCI and my work. No online link I'm afraid. (For the record, as you can guess, I didn't say my home page was the first internet site in Europe...)

"Öpna program måste bli enklare": An article in Computer Sweden about my keynote at Apachecon, in Swedish if you hadn't guessed.

XHTML2: An interview with me at

Top 5 Consumer Trends for 2007:'s round-up puts "Web n+1" at number 3, a term which they claim was "cleverly coined" by me...

De Toekomst van het Web (The Future of the Web): An interview in Computable. (In Dutch.)

W3C Gelooft in XForms (W3C Believes in XForms): An interview in Computable. Spot the X Files reference. (In Dutch.)

W3C Web Initiative based in Usability Research and Analysis: An interview in Usability News.

The Interview: Steven Pemberton

An Expert's View on XHTML 1.0: An interview with me on Cnet

Spreading the Word on XHTML: An interview with me in Computerworld

Internet pioneer wants more: So there you have it, official: I'm an internet pioneer! They interviewed me for more than an hour in order to produce these two sentences. Either I didn't say much of interest, or they ran out of space... Nice photo though.

On Convergence: An interview with me in The Feature, on XHTML Basic, XHTML Modularization, and the chances for convergence of markup languages.

Xml on vielä raakile (XML is not ripe): An interview in the Finnish "Tietoviikko", which I am reliably told is "Computerweek" in Finnish. (PDF, in Finnish).

HTML is geen presenteertaal (HTML is not a presentation language): An interview with me by netprofessional magazine (Nov. 2002), that despite its name, doesn't publish its articles on the Web...

Derfor skal vi bruge XHTML 2.0 (Why use XHTML 2): An article in the Danish PC World.

Metamorfose: html wordt xhtml (Metamorphosis: html becomes xhtml): An interview with me by the Dutch PC Active magazine (Mar 2003). Again, no Web link alas.

Radio and TV

Internet Explorer met pensioen: Interview with me in Dutch by the NOS (Dutch equivalent of BBC News) about the end of Internet Explorer. On the same subject I was on Radio 1 Nieuws en co (starts at 36:30), and on the television 8 o'clock news (starts at 17:24). (All links in Dutch)

Welke grote sprongen kunnen we nog maken met wiskunde en informatica?: I was interviewed on the Dutch Radio 1 about the CWI's 75th jubilee. (10 minutes, in Dutch)

CWI: 75 years of pioneering research: CWI celebrates its jubilee with a video presented by me. (6 minutes in English)

The People's Cloud: I was interviewed for a documentary. Here is a short segment. Important to heed Steven's message. The full documentary is at

This is a highly informative series of short docs. Matt's gorgeous cinema-photography, sound design and animations transform it into an engaging watch. Many topics brought up resonate: how the global network is not one thing that can be managed, but must be managed by what in reality is only a few hundred people around the world; the sheer amount of energy needed to run the Cloud and how we are limited by access to electricity and our ability to cope with waste heat; who owns dark fibre; and perhaps my favourite topic as an Islander: submarine cables. It's great to see open conversations about the resource footprints, competitive advantages and just how big Big Data really is. And a fantastic resource for teaching. - Rebekah Wilson

Nieuwsuur: A Dutch TV news report on the Web at 30, includes an interview with me. Starts at 31:35.

Willem Wever: I was on the Dutch children's science program, explaining how the internet works.

30 jaar internet in Nederland: Astrid belde met één van de eerste gebruikers!: I was interviewed on Dutch Radio.

Nederland 30 jaar aangesloten op het internet: I was interviewed in a piece on Dutch TV (EenVandaag).

The new Volunia search engine: An interview on the Dutch news program Het Oog op Morgen. Starts at around 34 minutes in, and lasts about 6 minutes. In Dutch.

Interview at the Kings of Code Conference: Video, in English.

BBC Backstage Interview at XTech 2008: The second in the series. Now I have to go next year. There was a technical blip during filming that meant to we had to stop, and restart. Here is part 2. Spot the continuity errors.

BBC Backstage Interview at XTech 2007: Ian Forrester of BBC Backstage did a video interview with Mike Smith of W3C and me about directions the Web is taking. A photo of it happening.

The Next Web: The Dutch Business News Radio (BNR) boldly decided to do a live broadcast from the speakers' dinner the evening before the first The Next Web conference. It includes an interview with me about my vision of the future of Web Interfaces starting at 8:51 into the broadcast. (mp3; in English!). A photo of it happening.

A personal interview: in a special end of year program, the Dutch Telescoop program interviewed several regular contributors to find out more about the person behind the voice. I talk about how webcams improve communication, and making computer systems more human-friendly (RealAudio; in Dutch)

XForms: an interview on the release of the XForms recommendation (RealAudio; in Dutch)

So big, so bad!: Chosen as "5th Columnist" for Telescoop, the Dutch Technology programme, (some months have five Wednesdays in them) i got to give a 4 minute talk on a topic of my choice, this time on why the bad design of current programming languages means that we get more viruses than we should. (RealAudio; in Dutch)

The plug-in patent: A Dutch radio interview about the possible effects on the Web of the patent. (RealAudio; in Dutch)

The Kiss of the Spiderbot: Another talk on a subject of my choice. This time the economic value of making websites accessible. Recorded by phone from San Diego, at midnight. (RealAudio; in Dutch)

Time for website builders to support diversity: Another 4 minutes on the subject of my choice. I chose to rant against websites that only work for a select few browsers. (RealAudio; in Dutch)

W3C and P3P: A Dutch radio interview with me on the phone from the Web conference in Hawai'i. (RealAudio; in Dutch)

XHTML, XForms and Accessibility: Dutch radio interview (RealAudio; in Dutch)

The Demise of the Book: An interview with me on Radio Austria International (A SMIL document using RealAudio, in English)

A German Newsclip about XHTML: featuring inaudible but visible interview with me (RealVideo, in German)


My Beautiful Movie Career: I can't of course let it pass unremarked that I have a page on the Internet Movie Data Base. Even more impressive: I have a Kevin Bacon index of only 3! (If you don't know what that is, do a search for "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon".) I was credited alongside Ellen ten Damme in The Tears of Maria Machita (her first film!), which won a Golden Calf, and she played in The Summer of My Deflowering with Mark Margolis, who was in Diner with Kevin Bacon (thanks to Lloyd Rutledge for pointing this out). (This also means that since I have an Erdős number of 3 (Erdős-Molloy-Kranakis-Pemberton), I have an Erdős-Bacon number of 6.)

I was actually also in Soof, but alas they cut the scene I was in...

Other Stuff

Lit Lace: A colleague and I have worked on a project to design and implement interfaces to self-illuminating fabrics. It was featured in Dutch Design Week 2020.

MC and MC Escher: An article on how Escher met John Penrose, and the CWI's role in it.

Numbers: Helping my sons doing their maths homework, I wondered why it was presented in such a difficult way, and so went back to first principles, and redesigned a part of maths notation. Then I wrote a short book about it for their birthdays. At a talk, I presented a part of the work, and people asked me afterwards for more detail, so I posted a link to the book. This got picked up positively on Twitter, and so here is the official link. I'm super impressed with how this is written. Makes me wonder which other mathy topics could be described like this. I especially like how complex numbers arise naturally here. Where in school they struck me as weirdly contrived. I'm showing this to my daughter! Great work! Love the elaboration of numbers as a concept. ❤️ So pleasant to read, very accessible It's great!. Someone made a calculator based on the redesign.

An Englishman's Problems with the Dutch: Ostensibly an analysis of Dutch spelling, I posted this once to the net with the message "Read this and weep". However, they only laughed or raged. You need to know Dutch and English to understand it. "Englishmen who try to teach us lessons in spelling should very decidely be expelled from the language region." Geert van Istendael, Flemish author, apparently referring to this piece, in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard, 12 October 2015.

Twenty five years, and then a bit, at the MC CWI: Mainly of interest to people at the CWI, on how times have changed.

A Contribution to the Computational Theory of Big Game Hunting: The Dijkstra Approach: In August 1938 H. Petard published in the American Mathematical Monthly A Contribution to the Mathematical Theory of Big Game Hunting. In July 1988 I published on a newsgroup an addition to this seminal work, which got reposted without attribution and subsequently has been copied around the web (still without attribution; the 'linear search' method is by me as well). The problem is that the people who have copied it missed some of the intended humour and edited several parts out (this also happened with the version that got published in a book). Here then is the version as it should have been.

The use of 'they' etc. as a singular pronoun: When it comes to language I am a descriptivist not a proscriptivist: I believe that a language is defined by how it is used, and not by what some self-selected group of experts says it should be. A case in point is the use of the word 'they' and its relatives as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun. Shakespeare used it, the Bible uses it, Chaucer used it, Thackeray, Swift, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Bowen, Lawrence Durrell, Doris Lessing, C. S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, in fact it has been used in English constantly since at least the year 1300. And yet there are still people who claim that it is 'wrong'. This is a news article I posted in 1986 that someone kept and posted on the Web.

Amsterdam: A Newcomer's Guide. Originally written for attendees at a conference (INTERCHI '93), it was designed using classic user-interface methods: task and requirement analysis, user testing, iterative design. According to Google it is the most relevant visitor's guide to Amsterdam. See also London.

Some useful spreadsheets for Psion hand-held computers: After trying a couple of different PDAs (including one where you input by writing on the screen) I ended up with a Psion Siena, which ended up as an essential resource; is was really noticeable that the software was mature, and typing on a keyboard, even if it's with your two thumbs, is faster than writing on the screen. When I bought it I thought that I would be using it principally for the agenda and the to do lists, and maybe for an occasional note; in fact I had 13 database files, 28 to do lists, 56 word processor files, and 58 spreadsheets. I would now never buy a PDA without a good spreadsheet program. I later moved to a Psion Revo (same software), and then a Nokia 9300i (also same software, though mysteriously and regrettably missing the database), and now the Nokia E90 (with new, less mature, less complete software; why?). Here are a half-dozen spreadsheets I have developed. One day when I have free time again, I will update these to another format.

Student Volunteers' Handbook: I was SV Chair for CHI '95 in Denver. This is the handbook for the Student Volunteers.



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Science Park 123
P.O. Box 94079
1090 GB Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Email: Steven.Pemberton (at)

Tel: +31 624 671 668

Home Address

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The Netherlands

Instant messengers

Skype: stevenpemberton

"Let us go then you and I/while the night is laid out against the sky/like a
smear of mustard on an old pork pie"
Nice poem Tom. I have ideas for changes though, why not come over? – Ezra

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