William W. Tunnicliffe

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William W. Tunnicliffe (1922? – September 12, 1996) is credited by Charles Goldfarb as being the first person (1967) to articulate the idea of separating the definition of formatting from the structure of content in electronic documents (separation of presentation and content).

In September 1967, during a meeting at the Canadian Government Printing Office, Tunnicliffe gave a presentation on the separation of information content of documents from their format. In the 1970s, Tunnicliffe led the development of a standard called GenCode for the publishing industry and later was the first chair of the International Organization for Standardization.

See also[edit]


  • The SGML Handbook, Goldfarb, pg 567, on the Generic Coding Concept.

External links[edit]