A conversation with Stefano Mazzocchi about Cocoon and SIMILE

I’ve written a lot about MIT’s Project SIMILE since I visited the team back in December. In this week’s Interviews with Innovators I talk with Stefano Mazzocchi, the creator of Apache Cocoon, about his work on the SIMILE project. Early in the interview I asked whether he thought he was more well-known for Cocoon than for SIMILE, and he said:

Different crowds know me for different activities. And rarely do these people talk together. Well, it’s happening more now, but when I started I was one of the few people who could talk to the open source, industrial, XML-ish crowd, and to the academic, RDF, AI-ish crowd. I was kind of in the middle, and both sides didn’t really understand what I was doing with the other crowd.

I can relate to that! I seem to spend a lot of time between different worlds, trying to connect them.

It was a pleasure to finally meet Stefano for the first time in person last month, after years of correspondence and cross-blog chatter, and then also to record this interview about an approach to the semantic web that feels to me like light at the end of the tunnel.

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