I don't know if we are still trying the micro grants, but my own feeling
is that the only way of encouraging this development is to offer small
incentives for people to provide the final finish to tools and scripts
that "work for them" but are not necessarily ready for general publication.
The hardest part in addressing a beginning audience is creating that
finish: especially with custom tools and scripts developed for
individual research projects, finishing things off and sharing them can
be seen as a distraction from the main work unless there are funds to
justify it (not saying that it is a good thing, just that it is a thing).
On 13-01-18 10:21 AM, Martin Mueller wrote:
> I just want to make it absolutely clear that I did not in any way intend
> my remarks as particular criticism of Sebastian, about whom I cannot think
> or speak without genuflection. As my children would say, he is awesome. I
> picked this moment, more or less at random, to repeat a point I have made
> often and will continue to make as long as I have anything to do with the
> TEI: we are very good at speaking to the "most learned" and pretty bad at
> speaking to those "who can but spell." But 'we' (a sort of TEI
> institutional 'we') have not spent much time, imagination, energy, money,
> patience, or passion on doing a better job with that critical task.
> A tiny quibble with Sebastian's "Frankly, if Jane is just 'putting on the
> Web some 17th century poems she has
> transcribed from a manuscript' she can use Wordpress and be home in time
> for tea." It would be better to have a simple and robust "TEI to
> Wordpress" plugin that lets her and others get their feet wet. There
> appear to be such things as MIT and Oxford. I have no idea how well they
> work or whether in fact they really do just 'plug in.'
> Martin Mueller
> Professor of English and Classics
> Northwestern University
> On 1/18/13 11:00 AM, "Martin Holmes" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Martin's points are well made, but most people will get their update to
>> the framework (schemas, examples and stylesheets) as part of the next
>> Oxygen release, automatically. Grabbing the oxygen-tei package would
>> most likely be something only keeners would do. Regular Debian users
>> with the TEI packages installed will get their updates that way.
>> On 13-01-18 07:54 AM, Martin Mueller wrote:
>>> 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
>>> transcribed from a manuscript. This graduate student may also have
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> modal graduate student, for whom many of its sections might as well be
>>> Perhaps we should tell this graduate student "come back to us when
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> as it went through a main frame of the eighties. Why did they endure
>>> torture? Because the main frame automatically renumbered their
>>> For this they would do anything, and the pain of manipulating a
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> simplifying the ways in which it can be used by newcomers. Shakespeare's
>>> first editors dedicated the First Folio "to the great variety of
>>> 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
>>> 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]>
>>>> Alongside P5 2.3.0 there is a new set of our XSLT library, containing
>>>> usual endless
>>>> round of enhancements for various formats and fixes. Thanks to people
>>>> 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
>>>> 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)
>>>> Sebastian Rahtz
>>>> Director (Research Support) of Academic IT Services
>>>> University of Oxford IT Services
>>>> 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431
>> Martin Holmes
>> University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
>> ([log in to unmask])
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
Professor of English
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
+1 403 393-2539