At 07:47 AM 1/24/2006, Lou wrote:
>There *is* a markup conference already, of course.
>MarkupTechnologies, well known to a small number of TEI geeks.
Actually there are (at least) two (sorry Lou, I'm not sure which one
you mean). There's IDEAlliance's annual XML 2---, and there's Extreme
(also sponsored by IDEAlliance, but organized by older hands from the
SGML/XML industry). The former is something closer to an industry
trade show, with vendor exhibits, sponsorship from large
corporations, a fancy hotel venue and the rest. Its attendance is
usually in the mid-hundreds. The latter is much deeper and geekier,
and gets between 150-200 committed participants (or participants who
ought to be committed).
>Interestingly, we have been informed by one of its regular attendees
>(Wendell Piez) that the TEI is not well known or appreciated within
>that community. I'm not sure what that proves.
TEI is well known and appreciated at Extreme, at least to many of its
participants, and those who arrive not knowing about it often know
better before they leave. A number of TEI and quasi-TEI papers have
been delivered there, as Lou well knows (having presented on ODD, for
example, to what I recall was a fairly appreciative audience).
The big industry conference is more representative of the XML
industry as a whole, I'm afraid, where TEI is, to most attendees, yet
another acronym for a tag set to do something they don't have time to
think about. If they hear about it at all.
I dare say that TEI could make more inroads there, especially since
its new chair, as of 2007, is David Megginson, whose claim to XML
fame is that he led the initiative to design the SAX API, and
subsequently did important work on NewsML, but who started life
(IIRC) as a medievalist and composition instructor. I've never had a
chance to talk to him about it, but I'd be surprised to find him
TEI-unfriendly. As an old-timer he certainly knows what TEI's goals
and aspirations are.
But is there interest in presenting TEI papers to audiences of
managers and programmers for banks, insurance companies, big pharma,
government bureaucrats (albeit the interesting ones), and the rest?
What would TEI achieve by getting more exposure at such an event? I
think TEI's true audience remains on the academic side of things.
Nowadays, to say you're interested in markup languages isn't really
to say very much, at a conference on electronic publishing and data
interchange. Maybe the MLA, or analogous organizations in different
countries, is what TEI should be thinking about.
There are other conferences closer to the boundaries of the markup
world, for example the O'Reilly Open Source conferences, the SVG
conference, etc. But I think you'll find similar cultural fault lines
If this is relevant to anything, however (sorry, I feel I've been
invoked in a conversation whose topic and objectives I don't know),
it's that a paper on, say, markup of Old English metrics, has a
doubly-high bar to reach in any venue. On the one hand, you have to
know something about (care about) markup; on the other, you have to
have a similar interest in accentual metrical forms. Given that, I
think you'd be surprised at how welcome such a paper would be at
Extreme. In fact one of the reasons industry geeks like to come to
Extreme at all is that they have half a chance of hearing such a
paper, and those who aren't among the surprising number who already
know obscure rules of prosody, will be surprisingly willing to learn.
Nevertheless, the real challenge, as always, is to make markup
technologies relevant and interesting to students of poetry, not just
assert to students of markup tech that poetic form is interesting.
Indeed, the latter is the easier task, since most thoughtful markup
geeks already know how interesting poetic form is, and see the
continuities between the disciplines without much prompting.
So fill me in: why are we talking about this?
Wendell Piez mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
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Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML