13.0278 markup & scholarly practices

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 17 Nov 1999 21:34:54 +0000

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 278.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

From: "Fotis Jannidis" <Fotis.Jannidis@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:29:18 +0100
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Subject: Re: 13.0270 markup & scholarly practices

> From: Patrick Durusau <pdurusau@emory.edu> (by way of Humanist
> <humanist@kcl.ac.uk>)
> I am not advocating that we simply adopt the open source model uncritically
> from the software development community but I would like to see a discussion
> of how such a model could be used to produce scholarly electronic texts for
> research and teaching.

At the moment I am looking into the possibilities of moving the production
of electronic
editions completely to the web using the work and decision flow tools
established by the
open source community. Tools like CVS (and the way they are used in o.s.)
could also
be used to open the production of electronic editions to a wider interested
community of
scholar without sacrificing the scholarly standards. Decisions about the
granularity of
markup could be voted on by the people who have to implement it and use it.
Does anybody know whether any projects already tried this?
Fotis Jannidis

Forum Computerphilologie
Dr. Fotis Jannidis


Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:33:34 -0500
From: Mark Wolff <WolffM0@hartwick.edu>
Subject: Re: 13.0270 markup & scholarly practices
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ARTFL and others have advocated an open source development model, but
with a focus on software and tools for data analysis. The problem with
"thick encoding" is not duplicating the efforts of others:
organizations like the Oxford Text Archive make their texts available to
other humanities computing projects as part of a collective endeavor.
The problem is finding ways to integrate texts from different projects
which encode documents in different ways. When I was working with ARTFL
one of my responsibilities was converting SGML-encoded documents to
ARTFL's local encoding scheme. Even an organization like
Chadwyck-Healey that has encoded tens of thousands of documents produces
inconsistencies from one database to another. ALthough the encoding of
each database can be validated, the agglomeration of multiple databases
into even larger databases forces the database manager into writing
ever-more complicated DTDs and parsing routines. This problem only gets
worse when one tries to integrate encoded texts from different sources.

Humanities computing scholars should seriously think about working
collaboratively on tools for text analysis. See Humanist 13.0015, "TEI,
gadfly and meta-gadfly," for Olsen's remarks on open source development.
At the end of the ACH/ALLC 1999 meeting Olsen was trying to organize a
"Hacker's Ball" to come up with a software initiative that would produce
useful tools and help humanities computing scholars figure out how to do
open source programming. The last I heard, there was some interest in
developing UNICODE utilities (e.g. a program that sorts strings). Is
anyone still interested in this?


Mark B. Wolff
Modern and Classical Languages
Center for Learning and Teaching with Technology
Hartwick College
Oneonta, NY  13820
(607) 431-4615