I did successfully download the package and after poking around a little
figured out that I should move the unzipped 'tei' directory into the
'frameworks' directory of the 'oxygen' directory in the 'Applications'
directory of my Mac. This is of course obvious to those to whom it is
obvious. It may not be obvious to a graduate student in English who has
heard about TEI and wants to dip her toes into it because she thinks it
may be a better way of putting on the Web some 17th century poems she has
transcribed from a manuscript. This graduate student may also have heard
that the TEI stylesheets are a really cool way of converting TEI into
Webbable content, but she has no idea of how to go about it.
Where does she go for help? Where in the TEI universe is the level of
ubiquitous Grade I support? This graduate student --composite version of
students I have recently talked to a lot at my university -- is the key to
the future success of the TEI. We need to speak to her in a language she
can understand, and we can't assume that she and her peers of various
genders will take the time or have the patience to become familiar with
the technical language and environment that is presupposed by most TEI
discourse. Learning that language and environment takes months or years.
Folks who have dipped their toes in the water and find it appealing will
slowly figure it out. But for beginners you need something really simple,
really obvious, and really available.
So what can I do with Sebastian's stylesheets and where do I find first
help? It's a question I might ask for myself because I have never used
XSLT, finding it impossibly verbose and much too scary to experiment with.
Some might say, "Read the oXygen manual." Yes and no. oXygen is a great
program, and I use it every day. But as it has become more feature-laden,
it has lost some of its original intuitive appeal, and while the program
clearly deserves an A on most counts, its documentation is somewhere
between C+ and B-, especially if you look at it from the perspective of my
modal graduate student, for whom many of its sections might as well be in
Perhaps we should tell this graduate student "come back to us when you've
learned enough about computing environment to understand how we work and
talk." But then she'll never come back. Konrad Adenauer is supposed to
have said "Man muss die Menschen nehmen, wie sie kommen, denn es gibt
keine anderen"(you have to take people as they come, for there are no
others). So if we want people to come to us we need to take them as they
are and talk to them in ways they can understand.
In the eighties, when I was chair of the English department at
Northwestern, I spent a lot of time interviewing job candidates. This was
the era of T-shirts with "Yale Deconstruction Company" on them. For
several years running, all the Yale PhD students printed out their
dissertation on the Yale main frame and the process learned the
non-trivial text processing skills required to baby-sit a complex document
as it went through a main frame of the eighties. Why did they endure this
torture? Because the main frame automatically renumbered their footnotes.
For this they would do anything, and the pain of manipulating a mainframe
paled before the terror of discovering that you had forgotten about the
second footnotes in your longest chapter.
One can speculate wistfully about a world in which today's graduate
students all had the understanding of text processing that came with baby
sitting a dissertation on an 80's main frame. But that is not our world. I
like to speculate, probably equally wistfully, about a world in which for
two years everybody in the TEI community spent all of his or energy and
passion not on further refining or improving the TEI but on improving and
simplifying the ways in which it can be used by newcomers. Shakespeare's
first editors dedicated the First Folio "to the great variety of readers,
from the most able to him that can but spell."
Focusing for a while on "him (and her) that can but spell" would be a
great thing to do. It would, however, be quite hard, rather tedious, and
decidedly unglamorous. On the other hand, presenting a friendlier face to
people as they are might pay off handsomely in building a wider user
community. And the TEI needs a wider user community and much more buy-in
from folks doing simple projects.
On 1/18/13 7:08 AM, "Sebastian Rahtz" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Alongside P5 2.3.0 there is a new set of our XSLT library, containing the
>round of enhancements for various formats and fixes. Thanks to people who
>bug reports on Sourceforge, which have helped hugely.
>The reason for this message, however, is to point out that the XSL now
>the whitespace handling described at
>(with a lot of interesting extra detail at
>In the vast majority of cases, making HTML, you won't see any difference,
>but bear this change
>in mind if you use the stylesheets and something now looks different.
>(thanks to John McCaskey for help with this area)
>Director (Research Support) of Academic IT Services
>University of Oxford IT Services
>13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431