Minutes of the TEI Presentation Tools SIG Meeting in Sofia, 29 October 2005

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Here's a report on the Presentational Tools SIG meeting at this year's TEI meeting in Bulgaria, the third such meeting since the SIG was convened at the TEI Member's Meeting in Nancy, France in 2003.

This year's meeting took place on 29/10/2005 and those attending were:

  • Kevin Hawkins
  • Federico Meschini
  • Sebastian Rahtz
  • Miranda Remnek
  • Paul Spence

In terms of the meeting as a whole, I think we had a useful session in spite of the small number of people there. We spoke about most of the issues that have come up in previous meetings and on the list before, but tried to identify some concrete steps to move this SIG forward.


List of tools

Much of our discussion centred on producing an updated list of tools that people could refer to if they wanted to know how other people have gone about presenting/querying their TEI texts. We've talked about this in the past, but it's been difficult to decide how to structure it, and to work out how exactly it would relate more widely to TEI material.

Here were some ideas we came up with:

  • To start with, we thought a simple list of tools could be added somewhere on the TEI website, with some basic information about what they do. Since this was already started some time ago, someone volunteered to take the previous list and add it to the Wiki.
  • It was felt by some people that it might be useful to tie this in with a call to the projects listed at the url below to update their information:
    It was suggested that we might update the form that people complete when they want to add their project. This could not only help some of the listed TEI projects to update their information, but also might enable us to gather some information about what kinds of tools people have used in the past. This would obviously need to be discussed with the TEI Board.

Useful resources

We also discussed producing a simple catalogue of non-TEI specific but related resources to strengthen the links between the TEI community and other communities which had significant shared interests (e.g. Digital Medievalist, Digital Classicist). While not directly relevant to presentational tools, in practice it can be useful to do research on some presentation-related questions across various fora (e.g. character encoding issues, or how to go about producing a digital edition).

How we structure SIG-related material, and the means by which we make it available, obviously both depend on the broader question of how the TEI website and wiki are used by the wider TEI community in the future, and I'll make enquiries about the discussion that was due to happen about that in the TEI board meeting in Bulgaria.

Sample corpus for TEI documents

We talked briefly about the sample corpus for tool-testing but this was not deemed a high priority by those present. Do people on the list feel that we need to take this item any further? Back in January Mark Olsen mentioned a sample corpus they've set up in Chicago. My sense is that people will need to build up their own samples for testing from time to time, but that the nature of their samples will depend a lot on what they're testing (a linguistic tool not needing to test the same things as a publishing tool, for example), and that developers are now fairly well-placed to create or gather sample documents. What do people think?


Some interest was also shown in the issue of more widespread resource discovery and interoperability outside the TEI world, and in particular the manner in which TEI repositories might be made more widely available through OAI Service providers. While not directly relevant to Presentational tools, some people thought that this served wider tool-related needs, and so agreed to do some preparatory research into this area.

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