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Yes. James Clark's most impressive work was nsgmls, which was a correct and comprehensive SGML parser (one of the few that ever existed). The annotated SGML standard was 688 pages long, and it was still missing huge amounts of critical information.

I know some truly amazing Lisp hackers—some of the most productive programmers I've ever met—who considered nsgmls an amazingly and slightly disturbing feat.

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