Mr. Gavin Nicol

Chief Technology Officer, Context Labs


Gavin has been a technology leader and innovator for 25+ years working at corporate research centers in Japan, and corporations and startups in the US and the Netherlands. Through his work at EBT, a founding member of the W3C, he has broadly influenced many of the technologies underlying the modern web. He played a significant role in the development of the HTML, HTTP, XML, XSL, DOM, XPath, SVG, XQuery and XLink standards, and in building some of the earliest prototypes and implementations of the technologies. He is considered “the father of I18N on the WWW”. His innovations span a broad range of technologies, including distributed hypermedia, text processing, natural language processing, management of large documents, stylesheet-driven conversion and delivery capabilities, real-time graph processing, use of neural networks in recommendation engines, complex event processing, syntax-driven semantic data integration, geospatial analysis, search technologies, versioned NoSQL database engines, distributed ledgers, and reputation networks. Several of the innovations developed by Gavin and his colleagues underlie many aspects of the modern web and many were years ahead of their time. These innovations have also appeared in many leading-edge products, such as the award-winning DynaWeb, Dynabase and Engenda products, Oracle Fusion integration server, Gypsii location-based social networking platform, and the technology underpinning Sina Weibo, one of the largest social networks in China (with currently over 300M users). At Citizens Bank, he headed mobile development, shipping new features faster than thought possible. His work at Context Labs focuses on scalable blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, trust models, security models, identity models, large scale data analytics, graph analytics, and on applications of these technologies within verticals

Standards Activities

IETF HTTP WG - Participated in early IETF work on HTTP 0.9 and HTTP 1.0, especially with regard to SGML/HTML and MIME compatibility and I18N.

IETF HTML 2.0 WG - Early member involved in the design of tables, and especially on the formal DTD, and compatibility/definition in terms of SGML.

W3C HTML - Co-authored the I18N specification for HTML, which became a W3C Recommendation and was later, incorporated into HTML 4.0 and XHTML. Currently active in reviewing XHTML I18N.

IETF MIME-SGML - Principal contributor to the WG, especially in the design and implementation of a catalog based packaging mechanism.

IETF MIME-HTML - Invited expert based on earlier MIME-SGML experience.

IETF MIME-XML - Invited expert based on earlier MIME-SGML experience.

VRML - Participated in early design work, and later on the XML encoding of VRML.

SGML Open/Oasis - Member of technical discussion groups on SGML fragments, catalogs, I18N, and entity management.

XML - One of the original working group members, later an interest group member as an invited expert. Contributed significantly to the I18N aspects of XML.

XML Infoset - Invited expert based on experience with SGML Property Sets in DSSSL and HyTime (ISO 10179 and ISO 10740).

XSL - Co-author of the original XSL proposal. Worked with Sharon Adler (chair) and James Clark (editor) on various aspects.

XLL - Participated in the early design work with Steve DeRose (editor), and worked on XPath syntax and semantics.

SVG - Produced an early SVG definition, and participated as an invited expert during 1998.

DOM WG - Editor for level 1 DOM. Produced the initial proposal for the level one core API’s based on SGML properties. Significant contributor to basic API’s and data model. Responsible for production of the DOM specification until mid 1998.

W3C I18N WG - Invited expert on I18N responsible for reviewing W3C specifications and also for defining I18N interoperability standards such as character models, normalization models, etc.

ISO SC22 WG – invited expert on the SC22 mailing lists.

XML/EDI - A founding member of the XML/EDI initiative

DSSSL and HyTime - Acted as a reviewer for both standards.


Mr. Nicol will also be a panelist discussing:

Lessons Learned: Getting Started with Blockchain Today - Advice for Early Adopters

--Weighing the tangible and intangible costs and benefits of blockchain investment

--Deciding whether to create a blockchain or join an existing one

--Building a business case for internal and external stakeholder buy-in

--Developing strategies to address roadblocks as they arise during the planning process