On Sat, 2005-12-10 at 16:22, Charles Muller wrote:
> Some members of the list are probably aware of my principal digital
> project, the online Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB] at
> <http://www.acmuller.net/ddb>. Although this lexicon is not based
> directly on a TEI DTD, its tagging structure is almost wholly derived
> from TEI models. Due to my own work and that of numerous
> contributors, this lexicon now contains 37,000 entries, and is
> regarded as a primary reference work in the field, now recommended by
> the leading scholars in Buddhist Studies, and subscribed to by several
> major research libraries.
> We have, from the outset, tried to make the DDB known as a
> collaborative project, encouraging contributions through a
> tiered-access system, wherein contributors are given unlimited access,
> and non-contributors limited access. Due to this policy, along with
> the growing widespread use of the DDB in our field, the number of
> incoming contributions, and editorial revisions has been rapidly
> However, the current setup of the DDB is such that the basic data
> files reside on my local desktop, being periodically validated and
> uploaded to the server. Thus, the situation is such that all new
> entries or revisions have to go through one person--me. For the first
> several years this was working, but it is now getting to the point
> where I am hard-pressed to adequately handle this input.
> Thus, in order to continue in its growth and development, the DDB is
> eventually have to go through a major transformation, wherein
> server-based files are accessible for editing and addition by a
> designated group of editors, perhaps including some sort of window for
> contributions by unknown users, whose work could in turn be verified
> and added to the DDB by members of the designated editorial team. In
> other words, something sort of *like* a Wiki, but which still works
> through the XML structure of the documents.
> There is, of course, a wide range of technical questions that need to
> be addressed in the design of such a system, and many of these are
> already being thought through by myself, as well as Michael Beddow,
> who is primarily responsible for the present web functionality of the
> DDB, and Christian Wittern, who has been offering his expert guidance
> to the project since its outset.
> It occurs to me, however, that since the DDB is basically a TEI
> structured body of data, and there is a large number of academic
> research projects currently in progress around the world that are
> using TEI (and more broadly, XML), it might be the case that there are
> other projects which already have, or are beginning to think along the
> same sorts of lines. If that happened to be the case, it would be good
> if we were in touch with each other, because if we were able to work
> together to build something, whatever we managed to come up with would
> quite likely be useful for other projects using XML/TEI for web-based
> collaboration and delivery.
> I mention this especially at this time, since I have just applied for
> an ACLS digital research grant specifically for the resolution of this
> problem, and if I am lucky enough to get it, I should have enough
> money to put together a meeting or two.
> So if you have any thoughts on the topic, please do share them, either
> privately to me, or on the list, as appropriate.
Since reading your note I've had a number of random thoughts that --
although they don't recommend anything definite -- may be helpful for
all that ...
If I read you correctly, it seems that you need some sort of Content
Management System (CMS) that is [TEI] XML aware, or capable of being
made so. In particular, it seems that you need some sort of forms based
interface that enables your contributors to enter valid [TEI] XML code
which can then be incorporated in your database.
I am not sure if Drupal (http://drupal.org/), the CMS with which I am
familiar, possesses an extension or module with such an interface:
If not, it may be a relatively simple undertaking to write such a thing.
Another, perhaps more scaleable approach might be to assess the Sun Java
System Portal Server and Spark pCM. Both are included in the current --
freely available -- Solaris Enterprise System:
I'm not sure about Japan, but many varsity servers in this part of the
world and in Europe and the States still run Solaris. A framework for
you to test such an approach may already exist.
Richard MAHONEY | internet: indica-et-buddhica.org
Littledene | telephone / telefax (man.): ++64 3 312 1699
Bay Road | cellular: ++64 25 829 986
OXFORD, NZ | e-mail: r.mahoney[use"@"]iconz.co.nz