The Text Encoding Initiative is pleased to announce that, with the help
of funding from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, we
intend to embark on a new round of technical work on the Guidelines, in
which the current TEI encoding scheme can be extended and improved.
A critical step in this new round of work will come with the meeting of
the TEI Technical Review Committee in Bergen at the ALLC/ACH '96
conference later this month. The Technical Review Committee will be
responsible for considering possible topics for new or renewed work, and
recommending the formation of appropriate work groups.
Here is where the subscribers to this list come in.
As users of the TEI encoding scheme -- or perhaps as potential users who
have stayed away from the TEI so far because it doesn't include the tags
you need for what you want to do -- you are in the best of all possible
situations to advise the Technical Review Committee on what areas most
need new work and a new TEI tag set, or further work and the refinement
of an existing TEI tag set.
So: tell us what you think most needs to be done. Tell us privately,
with notes to the TEI editors, or tell us publicly, with postings on
TEI-L. Tell us briefly, with telegraphic phrasing; tell us at length
with well reasoned explanations of what is needed and who will benefit.
Tell us what will benefit you or your project; tell us what you think
might benefit others.
But above all, TELL us.
The TEI is a cooperative project based on the voluntary efforts of
members of the research community. It is intended to serve the needs of
that community; we rely on you to help us see that it does.
Bear in mind that there are far more potential areas of work than
resources will permit us to undertake right away; we will have to choose
carefully to husband limited resources, and much of the work may need to
be self-supporting. But the fuller the public discussion of possible
opportunities for further work, the better the TRC will be able to
choose wisely what to do first and what to hold back until later.
We append a slightly more formal description of what we mean by 'new
work items' and so on; if you have questions, feel free to contact us
directly or through TEI-L.
-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Suggesting New Work Items for TEI Work Groups
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) intends to revise and extend its
Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange from time to
time, to reflect experience in their use and to adjust to changes in the
scholarly and technical context. Care will be taken, in such revisions
and extensions, to protect the work of current users of the TEI encoding
scheme. As the Guidelines say in chapter 1:
The encoding recommended by this document may be used without
fear that future versions of the TEI scheme will be inconsistent
with it in fundamental ways. The TEI will be sensitive, in
revising these Guidelines, to the possible problems which
revision might pose for those who are already using this draft.
Wherever consistent with the long-term goals of the project,
consistency with this version will be preserved in future
Any individual, project, or institution may propose topics for technical
work within the framework of the TEI, whether or not they are a
participant in the TEI or a user of the TEI Guidelines. New work items
may involve work of any description, but will typically involve:
* drafting a new chapter or section of the TEI Guidelines, defining a
new tag set or extending an existing tag set
* revising an existing chapter or section, modifying the tag set
* defining standard writing system declarations, feature-set librar-
ies, or encoding declarations describing specific conventions for
the use of TEI tags for particular purposes
* harmonizing the TEI scheme with some other scheme or standard (e.g.
MARC, ISO 12083, ICADD). Harmonization involves the definition of
equivalences between the schemes, the specification of transforma-
tions which translate material from one scheme to the other with or
without information loss, or the development of modifications and
extensions to one or both schemes to make them more easily inter-
* preparing a report on a specific problem, without preparation of a
draft for inclusion in the Guidelines
* technical liaison with other organizations
Proposals for new work items can be submitted to the editors of the TEI
by email, in ASCII or TEI-encoded form. An ideal description of a new
work item will make clear what activity is being proposed, why it is
necessary or desirable, what qualifications should be possessed by the
members of the work group, and what concrete results (e.g. what types
of documents or other visible work products) should be expected.
Proposals need not be ideal to be useful, however.
Proposals for new work items will be posted on the TEI's WWW server and
may be examined by the public; proposals will be at
Members of the public may comment on proposals using the TEI listserv
[log in to unmask]
For further information, contact the editors of the TEI:
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, [log in to unmask]
Lou Burnard, [log in to unmask]