Minutes of the Tools SIG Meeting in Zadar, 13 November 2010

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The working meeting of the Tools SIG was held on November 13, 2010, at 11:00 a.m., in the PDS-1 room, Zadar University (Ctoatia).


A lot of people (about 20) could attend the meeting this year thanks to the new conference schedule. I can’t list everyone’s name.

Serge Heiden (SH) called the meeting to order at 11 a.m.

First, everyone presented himself rapidly.

SH then exposed the priorities of the Tools SIG activities to address during the meeting: TEI tools users outreach and Tools SIG active members recruitment.

[Note: like for the previous Tools SIG meeting in Ann Arbor, the lack of preparation before the meeting prevented us from being able to discuss about technical matters related to tools. It was thus a general discussion only.]


Documentation about tools for TEI beginners

SH: how to describe tools for beginners ?

Lou Burnard (LB): there are loads of tools descriptions database and web sites. They are often out of date, and people don’t use them much. They are nice to discover a new tool.

LB: it would be nice to have several synthetic reports (review ?) about tools or projects. A synthetic report on a project would describe the combination of tools used, where were the problems and successes. It could be case studies. This would or should be easy to write, in a narrative way.

Øyvind Eide (ØE): it would be nice to have description of new tools, and to update those descriptions.

Sebastian Ratz (SR): TEI by example is a good thing to start with. We should add information relative to tools to it and to keep information up to date (editor role?). The interest comes from the description of real life examples.

X: it would be useful to ask users their skills profile before explaining why and how she should use a tool pour a specific goal.

SH: add to that context information (does someone in your context has this or that skill ?).

SR: you must take into account the available budget before replying to a question concerning tools (for example licence prices).

Y: you always announce system requirements for tools, but you should also ask for user requirements.

SH: what do you think of doing a FAQ ?

Sarah: un idea would be to list questions a user should ask himself before continuing.

LB: another possibility is to do a survey:

  • what tool do you use
  • how did you make it run
  • what problems did you encounter using that tool
  • what are the system requirements
  • what are the user requirements: is she able to run XSL

SR: the ‘DH arts’ mailing list is interesting. TEI members should participate to that list. People ask questions, other reply, there is often a digest of the thread at the end.

SH: is there a way to give useful feedback to core community tools developers ?

SR: I never received feedback. The best way should be to follow the open-source way, that is to upload patches.

SH: For our own experience with your XSL style sheets, we have changed and adapted them to our corpora and needs, but we have not understood them completely, we have just solved our problems. It is thus difficult to propose a sensible patch. But we would like to give feedback, through the TEI wiki probably.

Tools SIG participants implication

SH: do you know how to make people involve in the SIG activities ?

ØE: the manuscript SIG has a clear goal, they apply for grants, they organize workshops.

Piotr Banski (PB): un idea would be to give students working on a project ECTS.

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 a.m.

Submitted by Serge Heiden

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