TEI: TEI Board Conference Call: 20 February 2008

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February 21, 2008 First draft

TEI Board Conference Call: 20 Feb 2008Chris Ruotolo

  • The meeting was certified at 10:05 EST, with the following members present: James Cummings (JC) for Sebastian Rahtz (SR), Julia Flanders (JF), Bertrand Gaiffe (BG), John Lavagnino (JL), Daniel O’Donnell (DO), Daniel Pitti (DP), Laurent Romary (LR), and Chris Ruotolo (CR). Susan Schreibman (SS), and Ray Siemens (RS) sent their regrets.

  • The meeting agenda was approved.

  • The minutes from the meeting in College Park were approved.

    • We need to set up a virtual storage space for official TEI documents. Most of these are already digital; paper documents should be scanned whenever possible. CR will look into setting up a password protected area of OpenCMS for storing these documents, using the same organization/finding mechanism that will be used to provide access to the former Vault materials. Currently, we have no central storage location for documents we need to retain in paper (e.g. legal contracts). DO, DP, and CR will form an office issues working group to discuss how to deal with this. Will provide an update by the next conference call.

    • There’s been no work on adding a news feed to the front page of the website. It’s on CR’s list of web tasks for the next quarter.

    • Making better use of the energy and enthusiasm of the SIGs is a major goal for the coming year. We need to figure out how to provide the resources necessary to help the SIGs be productive year-round. We currently supply web space and wiki space to facilitate their work, but typically the SIGs don’t accomplish much between the annual meetings, despite the presence of active and interested people. How can we encourage them to be more active? Should we approach them and ask them what they need? Are there specific action items that can be assigned to them?

      There are two basic kinds of SIGs: those that focus on encoding issues, and those that emphasize community building. Both kinds could use some help focusing their output in a way that’s useful to the TEI. Having a dedicated liaison to keep in touch and funnel ideas back to the Council would help keep them motivated. Other possibilities include having the SIG chairs meet quarterly to discuss progress on goals, or having a SIG chair sit in on Council meetings.

      LR, SS, and DO will look into models for getting Council members involved in the SIGs, and drawing more fully on the SIG chairs. They will report back at the next quarterly meeting.

      The SIGs keep people engaged in areas that are important to them, and are a useful way of keeping our membership active. This will be an experimental year for the SIGs.

    • The Council held a conference call as soon as LR was nominated. The next face-to-face meeting will take place in Galway, 2-4 April. Recent Council discussion has focused on the following areas [see also LR’s email to the Board list, 20 Feb 2008]:

      Outreach: the TEI needs to maintain awareness of big national and European encoding projects. We need to promote a better awareness of ODD and show how it can be adapted for specialized encoding projects. We should provide basic information and tutorials that help newcomers develop a better understanding of the TEI infrastructure.

      Guidelines maintenance: Council is proposing a release of the Guidelines every six months, with a pre-release announced before the MM. The release is not just an update of the Guidelines, but a compilation of packages, schemas, and software. Council wants to streamline the editorial workflow for the Guidelines, keeping track of everything on SourceForge. There needs to be some “air traffic control” for identifying issues raised on TEI-L that affect the Guidelines and reporting those to the Council immediately. Even without designated editors, we need to keep the notion of an editorial support group. To that end, Oxford has submitted a proposal to provide editorial support for the Guidelines, drawing on the expertise at the institution as a whole rather than assigning responsibilites to any one person. Some of the work involved would count toward Oxford’s in-kind host contribution; they are asking for some money for work beyond that amount.

      Mailing list: the reliability of the mailing list needs to be improved. This has already been addressed at Virginia.

    • Roma and the wiki have been moved from Oxford to the new server at Virginia. Moving the remaining Oxford materials (especially the Vault) over to Virginia will be the next priority, along with setting up a news feed. CR will update the Board and Council lists to reflect the recent organizational changes. The Virginia server will move to a new box tomorrow; CR will notify the list of any necessary downtime.

      CR and DP met with David Sewell to talk about communication between the Council and the web services committee, and discussed the possibility of having a Council rep (possibly DS) join the committee.

      DP mentioned the need to package the development work on Roma so that it can be updated more efficiently.

    • The Board unanimously approved opening an additional TEI bank account for the Mellon funds, and adding CR as a co-signer to the TEI accounts.

    • The TEI has received 30K from Mellon to run a survey and call for proposals from keyboarding vendors using TEI Tite. DO is the PI on the grant, and discussion and planning is already underway. This has raised a larger issue: should the TEI start hosting grants? Can the TEI act as the payee? We will have to resolve this in the future, as more grant opportunities come our way.

    • To be postponed until SS completes her move to Ireland.

    • The MM planning was slow getting started, but is now rolling. The main problem is the cost, exacerbated by the weak dollar. Fundraising is going to be more important than ever. The Board should be thinking about people we can hit up for $300-$400.

    • Nothing has happened so far. DO will touch base with Matthew and Lou.

    • Not much activity yet. RS would be happy to accept guidance form others. He has mostly been working on the viral marketing study, which should open some opportunities for recruitment.

    • BG has just gotten access to database, and is still figuring out how it works. To be held over until the next quarterly meeting for an update: is membership staying the same, rising or falling? Are people paying up? DO noted that Lethbridge is not listed as a member.

    • Nothing has happened yet. SR has generated a good PDF version of the Guidelines, and feels he has taken it as far as he can. DO has been in touch with the contact at OmniPress. JL and DO will work on arranging the printing in the next quarter.

    • DO won’t pursue hosting and financial support from Lethbridge at this time. We’re already getting the membership payment from Lethbridge, but haven’t asked for in-kind contribution yet.

    • At the last Members Meeting, there were complaints that the business meeting was disappointing and anti-climactic. At the 2008 MM, the meeting will be moved to Friday morning, and will be followed by an interesting keynote. The content of the meeting must be intrinsically interesting, or people will just sleep in. There should be plenary time at the end of the reports to talk about the state of various outreach projects. The hope is to eliminate some of the boring bits, including voting. CR is looking into the possibility of an online voting system, so that the election can be held in advance with the results announced at the meeting.

  • For future conference calls, committee reports should be circulated in advance over email.