TEI Members Business Meeting, November 3, 2007: Minutes

Minutes taken by Chris Ruotolo


The meeting was certified at 14:13 EDT.

Approval of agenda

The agenda was amended to include approval of last year's minutes.

Appointment of recording secretary

Chris Ruotolo was appointed recording secretary.

Approval of last year's minutes

The minutes were approved.

Distribution of ballots

The election ballots were distributed.


The Board members confirmed that they are not remunerated for their services.

Chair's report
Daniel O'Donnell reported on the past year's activities:
  • Work on the P5 Guidelines was completed, and a stable version (1.0) was delivered.
  • The first public draft of the new TEI website was released. Ongoing refinements to content and organization are expected.
  • The TEI Tite customization was completed. Perry Trolard did the work of comparing keyboarding specifications from CDL, Michigan and Virginia, and combining these into a single specification, created as an ODD and expressed in P4 and P5 versions. We hope to use this spec to negotiate volume discounts on digitization from vendors, and to offer these discounts as a TEI membership benefit.
  • Work on internationalization continued in 2007, and translations into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and French are now complete. Sebastian Rahtz acknowledged the people who have done the work: Marcus Bingenheimer (Chinese), Jean-Luc Benoit and Pierre-Yves Duchemin (French); Werner Wegstein (German); Ohya Kazushi (Japanese); Carmen Arronis Llopis (Spanish); Marco Venuti and Letizia Cirillo (Italian).
  • Next year's Members Meeting will be held at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) at King's College London. The local organizers will include Arianna Ciula and Paul Spence.
Treasurer's report

Daniel Pitti gave the Treasurer's report. In 2006, the TEI reported $127,000 in expenses, and $117,000 in income, for a year-end deficit of $10,000. However, there was an incoming balance of $62,000 going into 2006, so we now have an outgoing balance of $51,000. In recent years, the TEI has gradually eaten away at this balance, because we've increased spending to push P5 through to completion. Now that P5 is finished, there should be less pressure on the budget. The TEI has collected $100,000 in membership dues this year, including host contributions. DP has projected that we will have a cash-flow deficit of $15,000 for 2007, leaving us with an outgoing balance of about $30,000.

Council's report

Christian Wittern gave the Council's report. He explained how the Council conducts its business, primarily by email and conference call. The current Council members are spread out over a 19 hour time difference, from New Zealand to Lethbridge, which shows that the TEI is truly a worldwide organization. The Council had one face-to-face meeting this year, held in Berlin and hosted by Laurent Romary. The meeting was very intensive and productive, and mostly devoted to discussion of the chapter reviews that each Council member had prepared in advance of the meeting. Early in the year, Daniel O'Donnell, Sebastian Rahtz, and Christian Wittern formed a subcommittee called the Deadline Supply Committee (DSC), which listed the remaining P5 tasks and provided deadlines for them. In the second half of 2007, the frequency of conference calls increased, and the Council began to throw out things that obviously wouldn't be delivered on time. Christian is satisfied with the P5 release, and thinks that the Council can now readjust its priorities and think about what's next for the TEI beyond P5. Those who are interested and would like to be on the Council should know that it's interesting work, and the current group was very excited about what they accomplished.

Approval of auditor and fee

The auditor, KPMG, was approved, as was the auditor's fee of $3,000.


Matthew Driscoll gave a talk on abbreviations and the new TEI mechanisms for encoding them. Abbreviations are customarily divided into four types (suspensions, contractions, brevigraphs, and superscript letters) that date back to antiquity and are still with us today. MD showed a medieval manuscript sample in which two-thirds of the words were abbreviated in some way. In earlier versions of the TEI Guidelines, abbreviations were encoded with the "Janus" tags <abbr> and <expan> , which were limited. In P5, additional tags for abbreviations include <ex> (editorial expansion, which contains a sequence of letters added by an editor or transcriber when expanding an abbreviation) and <am> (abbreviation marker, which contains a sequence of letters or signs present in an abbreviation which are omitted or replaced in the expanded form of the abbreviation).

Election results
The election results were announced. The following people were elected to the TEI Council:
  • Gabriel Bodard
  • Peter Boot
  • Elena Pierazzo
  • Paul Schaffner
  • David Sewell
  • Manfred Thaller
The following people were elected to the TEI Board:
  • Daniel O'Donnell
  • Susan Schreibman
SIG slam

David Sewell reported on the Tools SIG meeting, which had four people in attendance. The group discussed the new tools link on the main TEI website and the tools pages on the TEI wiki. They want to make some changes and additions to the wiki, including a new category for authoring tools. They talked about adding information on tools for beginners, or a beginners toolkit, and a list of essential tools for working with the TEI. They would like to include more sample scripts, and maybe even video tutorials showing how to use certain tools. The SIG agreed that its members will periodically check the wiki, and agreed to add a commentary section to the Tools template on the wiki.

Syd Bauman reported on the Libraries SIG meeting. TEI Tite was the main topic of discussion. The group also talked about how the DLF TEI in Libraries group and the TEI Libraries SIG interact, and discussed the possibility of the SIG taking over the DLF group's role. DLF may be willing to help fund activities like the survey of potential TEI Tite users or the development of crosswalks into and out of TEI Tite. The SIG discussed the conformance issues surrounding Tite, and what would be necessary to bring it into conformance. There was also discussion of migrating the TEI in Libraries Guidelines on the DLF website to the TEI website, although these Guidelines would first need to be re-examined in light of P5.

Julia Flanders reported on the Education SIG meeting. The group discussed approaches to teaching TEI, and ways that the website could be enhanced to support training. For now, the group will begin by populating the Education section of the wiki. This SIG hasn't had a good track record of follow-through, so they will attempt break the work into small pieces. They will put a call out on TEI-L for TEI trainers to update the wiki and provide links to their teaching materials.

Øyvind Eide reported on the Ontologies SIG meeting, which had five or six attendees. The group reviewed what has been done in the past year. The draft mapping of TEI elements to CIDOC CRM was published in January. The Perseus project has been working on combining TEI documents with museum data. The SIG talked about creating some guidelines for generating TEI that is easily mappable. They discuss possible ways to fund their ongoing work. The SIG hope post more reports on ongoing projects to the mailing list.

Elena Pierazzo reported on the Manuscripts SIG meeting, which had fifteen attendees. The SIG divided itself into two groups, modern and medieval, to better accommodate different approaches to manuscripts. The SIG has proposed modifying the manuscript chapter of the Guidelines, adding new elements and attributes and providing examples (e.g. how to do a genetic edition). Four task forces were formed, focusing on genetic editions, the manuscript description module, the facsimile element, and the revision of the critical apparatus chapter.


The meeting adjourned at 16:04 EDT.