TEI Host Activity Reports, Jan-Sept 2005.


Contents

The following reports summarize activities during the period from January to September 2005 at each of the four host institutions: Brown, Nancy, Oxford, and Virginia.

Brown University

Staffing and institutional matters

The TEI effort at Brown University, based in the Scholarly Technology Group, the Women Writers Project, and the Center for Digital Initiatives, comprises:
  • Julia Flanders (JF), Brown's host representative to the TEI board, approximately 10% time (contributed by Brown)
  • Syd Bauman (SB), North American Editor of the TEI Guidelines, 50% time (of which slightly more than half is contributed by Brown)
  • Patrick Yott, Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives, support and consultation as needed (contributed by Brown).
Major activities in this period have been:
  • Technical and editorial activities
  • Management and organizational activities
  • Training and promotional activities
These activities are described in more detail below.

Technical and editorial activities

With the ongoing development of P5 this year, a significant part of SB's time has been spent on the revision of the Guidelines, and on overseeing and assisting the efforts of work groups, chapter authors, and other contributors, and on guiding and participating in Council's deliberations. He worked with David Durand on improving the descriptions of TEI XPointer Framework schemes, established a proposed datatype system for P5, oversaw the development or revision of several P5 chapters (including the chapters on multiple hierarchies and on independent headers), and deleted several chapters that are no longer pertinent. He also guided the xml-biblio group through the process of creating their proposal for <biblItem> , and instantiated it in P5. He also wrote a recommendation for TEI policy on associating a document instance with a schema, an effort which is paralleled by a similar effort by OASIS and may result in the adoption of one or the other system by TEI.

SB contributed to several infrastructural tasks, assisting with the move of the TEI development effort to Sourceforge this year, and also assisting James Cummings with his documentation for building the Sourceforge version of TEI P5, which will assist users in obtaining the most up-to-date versions of P5.

JF reviewed two chapters, proposed (with Perry Willett) a replacement mechanism for representing the regularizations of names, and participated in ongoing discussions within the Council.

Management and organizational activities

JF served as Chair of the TEI Board and thus a member of TEI Council from January through October 2006. During this period JF worked on membership recruiting, bringing in three new members, and helped manage the changeover of TEI hosting and administration from Bergen to Nancy and Virginia.

JF and Veronika Lux, with some assistance from SB, have further expanded the TEI's operating procedure document. JF also worked with Veronika Lux and Daniel Pitti on the TEI's procedures for documenting and invoicing new members. Also, with the assistance of SB and the stylesheet volunteers, JF wrote and distributed the call for stylesheets.

JF worked with Sebastian Rahtz and Veronika Lux to prepare a funding proposal to the ALLC in support of internationalization of the Guidelines.

SB served on the program committee for the 2005 Members' Meeting, recruited the TEI's first German member, and established a working relationship with Syncro Soft through which he secured a discount on <oXygen> as a benefit of membership, and secured sponsorhip from Syncro Soft for the Members' Meeting.

Training and promotional activities

Both SB and JF have continued to informally represent and promote the TEI in various public forums. Each participated in several organized activities as well:
  • JF and SB presented TEI training workshops at the following:
    • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2 days, February 2005
    • University of Victoria Humanities Summer Institute, 4 days, June 2005
    • Brown University (with Patrick Yott), 3 days, August 2005
    In each case the workshop included lecture, hands-on training, consultation, and intensive recruiting activities.
  • SB presented a paper on the mechanism for representing overlap in XML and its applicability to the TEI at the Extreme Markup Languages conference in Montreal, August 2005.
  • JF and SB, along with David Birnbaum, Laurent Romary, and Matthew Zimmerman presented a panel session on various TEI topics at ACH/ALLC 2005, University of Victoria, June 2005.

JF continued to represent the TEI on the ADHOC committee which has eastablished closer collaboration between the ACH and ALLC; discussions on how to proceed, and how the TEI might be involved, continued via email and were culminated at the ACH/ALLC 2005 conference.

2005 Financial Report

Brown's 2005 host contribution was as follows:
  • US$5000
  • US$26129 (Syd Bauman's time, unreimbursed)

Brown was reimbursed $17,482.50 for Syd Bauman's time.

Nancy (ATILF, LORIA, INIST)

Staffing and institutional matters

The TEI-C effort at Nancy mainly comprised:

  • Laurent Romary, DIS-CNRS (LR), Nancy's representative on the TEI-C Board
  • Susanne Alt, ATILF-CNRS (SA)
  • Veronika Lux, INIST-CNRS (VL), approximately 20% time
  • Mathieu Quignard, LORIA-CNRS (MQ)
  • Patricia Gautier, INIST-CNRS (PG), administrative support, approximately 5% time

Many other persons who take part in various TEI activities in Nancy are mentioned below.

Nancy has taken up activities for which AKSIS - University of Bergen was responsible from 2000 to 2004, especially the Membership management. During a transition phase (April-June 2005), Tone Merete from AKSIS and her team largely continued to assume the membership management while transfering data and knowledge to Nancy.

Major activities in this period have been :

  • General management
  • Design and development of a database for membership management
  • Grant application
  • Promotion and training
  • Work on TEI content esp. on the topics "terminology", "dictionaries", "encoding of spoken corpora", "TEI header/metadata"; technical work on the organization of TEI element in classes
  • Managing a link between TEI and other standards bodies

These activities are described in more detail below.

General management

  • Membership and subscription management: invoicing, sending reminders, registration of new members/subscribers, correspondence with members/subscribers, etc.
  • Membership and subscription recruitment
  • Preparations for the members' meeting in Sofia : registering participants, sending a call for votes, preparing the ballot, etc.
  • Preparing papers for the board meetings: reviewing posters, writing the host report, etc.
  • Working on establishing a recruiting strategy for the TEI consortium

A database for membership management

  • VL designed and supervised the development of a mySQL+php database for TEI membership management. Laurence Kbida (LORIA) and Pierre Couchet (INIST) did the development (3 person/months). The database is now accessible via a secured protocol (https) with login and password, at https://tei-admin.inist.fr/ We are working on a version 2 (correction of bugs, minor changes in the tables structure) and version 3 (automatic mail functionalities).
  • VL populated the database with data from the University of Bergen and from the University of Virginia. This was largely manual work because of the quality of the data.
  • VL updated the database registering all exchanges (ie. invoices, reminders, letters, etc. sent to members and subscribers in 2005), all payments, new members, etc.

Grant applications

  • VL co-authored (with Sebastian Rathz and Julia Flanders) a proposal for the ALLC to do some work on TEI internationalization. This project might serve as a pilot for a larger-scale application to the EU.
  • VL and SA applied for a grant (CPER) to organize the TEI workshop in Nancy on October 20-21(we asked for 3000 euros to cover catering and contributions to travel for some participants (esp. students)).

Training and promotional activities

  • VL organized a TEI workshop in Nancy in March for all nanceier TEIers, with the aim to get people to know their neighbours' work better and to organize the Nancy site work. Lou Burnard delivere an introduction to P5 and ODD ; there were 25 participants and more than 15 talks. The workshop led to the creation of (1) several work groups focussed on the major themes identified (ie. "dictionaries", "corpus", "metadata" and "TEI dissemination") (2) a French speaking TEIers delivery list : tei-fr@inist.fr
  • VL and SA organized a TEI workshop in Nancy in October, to gather French speaking TEIers. There are about 40 participants from Nancy, Paris, Avignon, Lyon, Oxford, Trier and Berlin, both academics and people from the industry.
  • VL did a poster on TEI for the "Rencontres des professionnels de lNIST" (June 2005) organized by the INIST in Nancy.
  • INIST organized half a day workshop on ODD and Roma for 20 persons (with L. Romary as an instructor)
  • TEI is included in training on XML done by people from INIST (esp. Sylvie Grésillaud, Catherine Morel); Jean-Luc Benoît (ATILF) teaches TEI at the ENSSIB.
  • Sylvie Grésillaud, INIST proposed a TEI workshop to the organizing committee of "La semaine du document numérique" ( http://diuf.unifr.ch/event/sdn06/ )
  • VL will coordinate with G. Poupeau (Ecole des Chartes) and Hélène Manuélian (Métadif, Université de Cergy Pontoise) to elaborate a proposal for a TEI summer school.

Work on TEI content esp. on the topics "terminology", "dictionaries", "encoding of spoken corpora", "TEI header/ metadata

  • LR worked a revised version of the chapter "terminology" for TEI P5
  • LQ is participating in a working group on encoding spoken corpora (équipe projet multi laboratoire du CNRS managed par Daniel Luzzati, LIUM, Le Mans and Anne Lacheret, CRISCO, Caen) and is working on a proposal to TEI on this topic
  • ATILF is working on using the TEI to encode several dictionaries (ranging from old to modern dictionaries, from classical human-user oriented dictionaries to lexical database for computers, etc.). SA started a working group to discuss and harmonize usage of the TEI for dictionary encoding. This group should produce a guide-for-beginners on "TEI for dictionaries".
  • a working group on metadata (with people from ATILF and INIST) have been created to explore the possibility to use TEI header for the encoding of metadata and to defined mapping between TEI header and metadata encoding schema such as Extended Dublin Core or OAI-OLAC or EXODIC (defined by and used at INIST). They have produced a report for LR in September 2005, summarizing their questions and will work on defining particular minimal TEI headers for particular usages such as cataloging or data harvesting, as well as a guide-for-beginners on the "TEI header".
  • LR participated to the work on structuring TEI elements in classes

Link between TEI and other standards bodies

  • LR took care of the TEI-ISO synchronization both during the finalization of the common standard 'feature structure representation' and the lauching of a common project on 'feature structure declaration'
  • LR is working on the new chapter "terminology" for P5 so as to reflect work done at the ISO on TMF

Oxford University

The TEI Consortium at Oxford is located within the Research Technologies Services at Oxford University Computing Services. Staff at Oxford include:
  • Lou Burnard (LB), European editor for the TEI
  • Sebastian Rahtz (SR), Oxford representative on the TEI Board
  • Judy McAuliffe, administrator
  • James Cummings (JC), member of TEI Council
As in previous years, Oxford staff have been involved in 2005 in
  • Maintenance and development of TEI website
  • Participation in TEI Workgroups
  • Editing the TEI Guidelines
  • Development of the infrastructure for TEI P5
  • TEI-related software development
for the Consortium, as well as local training and consultancy.

Resources and staffing

Oxford assigns approximately 40% of LB's time, and 15% of SR's time, to TEI activities. Most of LB's work is funded by the Consortium as TEI Editor, while SR's time is Oxford's main extra contribution as a host. In addition, SR's main role at Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) as Information Manager involves maintaining their web site ( http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ ) as a TEI application; he also manages the JISC-funded OSS Watch Open Source Software advisory service, which also uses TEI markup, and works with the TEI on tools and methods.

Administrative support is provided by Judy McAuliffe, and charged at 5%.

Editorial activities

2005 has been a year of consolidation in TEI P5. The many changes of 2004 culminated in a move to Sourceforge in January, and a formal first release of P5 in February. A second release was made in July, and a 0.2.1 release in time for the Members Meeting. Changing from Perforce to CVS was relatively easy, as no attempt was made to convert the change history, but it has taken time to get used to the new system.

JC took the lead on documenting the use of the TEI repository in Sourceforge, available in EDW 88.

P5 development

A subset of the TEI Council met in Oxford to discuss the TEI class system, with LB, SR and JC taking part. This produced detailed plans for action (in TCM 20 on changes to classes and content models; EDW 87, on changes to names) which are now being implemented by the editors.

Internationalization activities

SR has taken forward the Consortium's work on internationalization, and worked with Julia Flanders and Veronika Lux to write a proposal for funding of future work. The XSLT stylesheets now have translations of their string constants into Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Sample translations of the short descriptions of attributes and element for <person> has been produced for 12 languages by a volunteer group, and some of the technical implementation issues resolved.

SR has joined the W3C internationalization activity's Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) working group as an invited expert, bringing the TEI's perspective.

Software Development

During a period of leave in East Timor during April and May, SR undertook a rewrite of the internals of Roma. The aim of this was to make it behave more like the old Pizza Chef, and filter out unreferenced material early on. This means that an ODD file describing a customization of the TEI is simplified and rewritten as a new ODD file before being converted to DTD, Relax NG or W3C Schema. In earlier versions, the Relax NG version attempted to implement the changes and modifications of the ODD at the level of the schema. The result is that the ODD workflow is simplified, and useable W3C schemas are now the norm rather than the exception.

The TEI XSLT stylesheets used to produce the Guidelines and other TEIC documents were heavily revised in April and May; inline documentation was added, and the Stylebear web interface was relaunched.

The remastering of the Knoppix Linux distribution on CD for the TEI has been maintained by SR, as have the Debian packages for the all the TEI deliverables.

LB has continued work on Xaira, a TEI-XML text searching engine, designed for language corpora in any language. The Mellon grant work has been completed, and Xaira is now available as open source from http://xaira.sf.net ).

Teaching and promotional activities

SR, JC and LB taught four half day sessions about Text Encoding and XML as part of Oxford University Computing Services regular learning programme in February 2005.

In March LB gave a series of lectures in the V Mathesius series at Charles University, Prague, focussing on the use of TEI for linguistic annotation, and in June, taught a four day workshop on corpus encoding with the TEI at the Scuola Superiore di Lingue per Interpreti é Traduttore in Forlí.

LB and SR taught a 2 day workshop on TEI for the University of Würzburg in October.

LB, JC and SR have provided TEI consultancy to a number of projects and services in the UK and elsewhere. These include the Clay Sanskrit Library, which is developing a major online library of Sanskrit classics in translation and original languages. Stuart Brown has developed a TEI editing environment for this project, and the Xaira PHP interface is being used for searching it via the web.

University of Virginia

Host Institution Staff

Hosting duties at the University of Virginia are shared by the Library and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH).

The following individuals from the Library have contributed effort to the Consortium in 2005:
  • Matthew Gibson (MG)
  • Christine Ruotolo (CR)
The following individuals from IATH have contributed effort to the Consortium in 2005:
  • Daniel Pitti (DP)
  • Joy Shifflette (JS)
  • Shayne Brandon (SB)
  • Felicia Johnson (FJ)

DP stepped down as the Host representative and MG became Host representative in January 2005. MG left the University of Virginia Library in September 2005, and CR then became the Host representative.

DP was appointed Honorary Treasurer when Virginia assumed responsibility for the budget in April 2005. Prior to this, responsibility for the budget was held by Bergen.

CR was apppointed Secretary at the Board meeting in Sofia in October 2005.

Highlights from the Treasurer

The Bank of America checking account signing authority was transferred to DP in April. DP purchased Quicken software which is based on the XML-based standard Open Financial Exchange (OFX). Use of this software supports a direct link from the client software to the BofA account, facilitating accurate, efficient, and timely reconciliation of the account. DP also updated the accounting information to reflect current invoices and to facilitate easily generating reports to reflect the state of the account.

Systems and technical assistance

SB continued to administer the Sun server on which the main TEI web site resides. When Sebastian Rahtz migrated publication of the TEI web site into Cocoon, SB and DP worked with Oxford to bring up the Cocoon version of the site, and added secure authorization to the Members and Board documents within Cocoon. SB also did extensive work to modify the Virginia environment to work with the Cocoon based site.

DP is currently working with Brown and Nancy to normalize the membership database to accurately reflect current membership, invoicing, payment, and related details.

DP continues to monitor and administer the Council and Board mailing lists.

Web site redesign

Virginia assumed responsibility for maintenance of the TEI web site. The first order of business is a reorganization and redesign of the web site, in consultation with the Board. CR is chair of the interdepartmental committee responsible for the redesign and reorganization work. In June, CR met with members of the Board and Council to talk generally about the goals of the redesign and to map out a revised organizational hierarchy for the website. This organizational plan was given to FJ, who then developed three different design mock-ups for the new site. Once the Board has chosen from among the possible designs, Virginia will work to implement the new site, consulting with Oxford as necessary.

Web keeper

In September, CR agreed to serve as the TEI web keeper. Currently, this involves using Perforce to post essential materials to the TEI web site and make small fixes as needed. The web keeper role may change somewhat once the redesign is complete.

Nominations Committee

CR served as the external member of the Nominations Committee which developed the slate for the 2005 Board and Council elections.