Stewart Russell writes:
>I know of no commercial dictionary publishers who use TEI in their
>production books*, and most of HarperCollins reference output (apart
>from dictionaries) are held in Quark.
>SGML is mostly unknown to publishing people outside academia.
I'd agree that SGML and XML are still mostly unknown to publishing people.
I'd even submit that this is equally true inside academia. But if you're
only going to paper, do these count as in scope to Rafal's question about
"electronic"? The second you look to projects that are beginning to target
online media, the situation changes.
I stand by the assertion that there are significant amounts of editorial
work going on in non-TEI formats, that qualify as electronic even in the
strict sense. One I can name is, for example, OUP's Dictionary of American
Biography (24 vols, 17500 entries), which is now in XML to support
electronic publication: check out http://www.anb.org. (I could name others,
but then I'd have to shoot you. The OUP ANB was a fairly unusual project
for us in that they were willing to go public in having a relationship with
an XML consultancy, at least to the extent of thanking us on line when
their site went live. Some I can't name are much larger endeavors....)
>I'm more worried about the extent to which other
>interests will try to bend the standards in their direction by
>implementing bells and whistles which make it easier to use
>non-portable extensions than to learn all this hard stuff with pointy
>brackets. This hasn't happened with TEI because it's ouside the scope
>of most of the big companies' interests, but XML/XSL/etc _are_ within
>that scope. The risk is therefore that some aspects of XML/XSL/etc
>will become less easy to bind into the eventual XML version of the
>full TEI if we are trying to adhere strictly to the standards.
This is a legitimate concern. And it is exactly why (or one reason why)
it's good to have standards hawks around (like you, Peter :-), who
understand that the basic principle of designing the data format to the
requirements for the data -- NOT to the tools of the moment -- and then
designing the system to support and express the data format, remains a
solid one, and not just for ivory-tower academics but for any concern whose
information is their real asset: not only is it the right way to do it; it
saves you $$$ in the long run. And that strong, implementable,
vendor-neutral standards are essential to this.
The TEI and its users have a key role to play in maintaining the viability
of this approach, which we do by insisting that the data come first, the
bells and whistles later.
Wendell Piez mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com
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