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Humanist Archives: Oct. 29, 2019, 6:44 a.m. Humanist 33.353 - software: CATMA, version 6

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 353.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-10-28 21:39:31+00:00
        From: Jan Christoph Meister 
        Subject: CATMA: version 6 of the web application for collaborative, hermeneutic text annotation and analysis launched

We’re happy to announce the launch of CATMA 6, a major new release of
our free open source web application for text annotation and analysis.
For more information please visit https://catma.de

CATMA  currently supports the work of some 9.500 individual researchers
and over 100 projects worldwide who use CATMA for the study of texts
across a broad variety of languages, including right-to-left written
ones. Over the past ten years CATMA's development and maintenance has
been supported by grants from various agencies and donors, including DFG
(German Research Foundation), BMBF (German Ministry of Science and
Research), Google Inc., Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the
University of Hamburg.

CATMA 6 now comes with a completely new UI design (based on Google's
'Material Design' theme) and a list of features that set it apart
conceptually from any other annotation tool:

  1. 'Undogmatic' annotation concept: CATMA is designed to support
     declarative (taxonomy driven) as well as interpretive, i.e.
     bottom-up hermeneutic annotation practices. CATMA uses external
     stand-off markup and can handle structured as well as unstructured
     annotation, overlapping and discontinuous structures,
     meta-annotation and qualitative ‘fuzzy’ attributions, and an
     unlimited depth of annotation variants.
  2. Collaboration functionality: in CATMA 6 you can create project teams
     and work collaboratively on texts, corpora, annotations and markup
  3. Hermeneutic workflow model: the system seamlessly integrates
     annotation, analysis, and visualization. This functional integration
     emulates the often explorative, iterative and cyclical workflow
     routines that characterise humanistic research practice.
  4. Technology:the new CATMA 6 backend system architecture combines a
     graph data base for the processing of source texts and their related
     JSON encoded markup, with a Gitlab version and user management
     component. Our CATMA servers are hosted at the Universität Hamburg
     in Germany; European data privacy legislation applies.

In 2008 when we set out to develop CATMA (Computer Assisted Text Markup
and Analysis) our initial goal was to re-implement TACT (Textual
Analysis Computing Tools), the pioneer 1980s desktop tool championed by
Ian Lancashire and programmed by John Bradley. The functionality of
CATMA 6 may long have surpassed that of its famous predecessor, but the
intellectual motivation has remained: we still believe that "text markup
is currently the best tool at our disposal for ensuring that the
hermeneutic circle continues to turn (...)", as Lou Burnard succinctly
put it in his 1998 article "On the hermeneutic implications of text
encoding" (see http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lou/wip/herman.htm). For HUMANIST
readers interested in keeping the wheel turning and in an
un-'dog'-matic, hermeneutic approach to text annotation and analysis
CATMA 6 might therefore be worth a try. Visit us at https://catma.de - meow!



Dr. Jan Christoph Meister
Universitätsprofessor für Digital Humanities
Schwerpunkt Deutsche Literatur und Textanalyse
Institut für Germanistik
Universität Hamburg
Überseering 35
22 297 Hamburg
+49  40 42838 2972
+49 172 40865 41

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Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
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