[tei-council] One Licence Does it all

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Tue Aug 10 17:29:26 EDT 2010

On 10 Aug 2010, at 21:55, O'Donnell, Dan wrote:

> The same is true of Tite and Apex. They can't be expected to use the 
> bleeding edge version to train their keyboarders (were Tite part of our 
> regular revision programme, which it isn't yet--though thankfully that's 
> about to change). They need to have a temporarily fixed schema that 
> nails down some decisions for a reasonable period of time.

Sure. And we want to say what that schema is, not them.

> introduced in the meantime. So we should always expect that there will 
> be differences between the most recent TEI ODD and the version used by a 
> project or programme like AccessTEI,

We expect there will be differences between the current Tite (stable for, say,
3 years) and the current P5 (on a thrice-yearly update cycle), agreed. We do not
expect the schema used by Apex to differ from what is created by
running the Tite ODD at any point during those 3 years, as the ODD will be tied
to a release.

> The second thing to keep in mind is that the Canonicalisation of Tite is 
> in fact something like a reverse fork: Perry developed Tite on the basis 
> of schemas used by major libraries for their digitisation projects which 
> were in turn developed from the TEI. And he built it as a customisation. 
> As the TEI takes over on-going development and maintenance, the main 
> task is naturally going to involve discovering and reconciling the bits 
> where the forking happened.

Eh? There was no forking involved. Perry created the Tite customization
of TEI based on paper examination of the library DTDs, yes.  It was discussed in detail
in Berlin, and we got it conformant and nice and all. There isn't any reconciling or anything
to do that I know of. At Berlin we agreed the Council was responsible for it.

> A second implication of this reverse forking is that Perry, and Apex, 
> have been working without the usual support mechanisms and workflows 

I can't imagine why they would think this. Since Berlin, Tite has been delvered
as a TEI exemplar ODD, maintained like all the rest. We have made changes
to it every year to keep it in sync and valid.

>  When they needed to do things--for example, like adjust 
> documentation so that it didn't include examples and text that referred 
> to other things not in Tite--it made reasonable sense to handle this 
> in-house rather than wait for the TEI to establish a maintenance 
> mechanism for it.

sorry, but this is nonsensical. The mechanism for adding their own examples,
suppressing existing ones, changing text etc is all inherent in the ODD setup.
Apex may have chosen to ignore that and go their own way in a Word file, but not for lack
of any type of support or help from us.

> I think it is a very positive reflection on the people 
> involved that much of this work was in fact done in ways that maintained 
> the connection to the Guidelines and the ODD mechanism more generally. 

as opposed to what, though? yes, its good that Tite is a TEI customization rather
than a free-standing schema... if it wasn't. we would not be worried about it.

> Many 
> other users of the TEI do similar reviews and evaluations and make 
> similar changes in far less responsible ways even when they have access 
> to the established ticket system we use for our other ODDs. And these 
> guys were working under commercial pressure--including from us--to get 
> the work done.

you puzzle me. You talk as if Apex, and Perry, came up with this on their own,
and beavered away without help from the TEI. Unless my brain is entirely addled.
the TEIC had a grant from Mellon which was used to pay Perry to develop
Tite. When It was complete, we then asked suppliers to  tender for doing digitisation work
against the schema, and Apex came in. What work did their folks do? did you ask
them to do something extra?

> Rather than concentrating on what's wrong or what we would have done 
> differently if Tite had been designed as an official project and run 
> from the beginning within our workflows and processes

It was, though. I really think you are rewriting history in saying otherwise.

> We claim we want to encourage people to develop customisations; 
> we also claim that we are interested in having commercial and 
> quasi-commercial instances take up the ODD the TEI and develop 
> appropriate task-oriented customisations. Tite has been a leader in this 
> area, and, like any pathfinder, has discovered all the bumps and detours 
> in the road that we'll be able to smooth out for others.

I simply don't recognize this as bearing a relation to reality as I have lived
it over the last however-many-years Tite has been touted around....

>  This is 
> perhaps especially true of our ability to work with commercial entities 
> like Apex. They really don't deserve some of the acrimony they have been 
> shown, both here and when they were in Michigan.
I don't feel acrimony against Apex, what was the beef in Michigan? 
but I don't understand why you're so defensive about them. 
You and John and whoever came to a nice commercial deal with them to do
digitisation against a limited TEI subset which we developed, which deal
is all well and nice. Where's the issue? we didn't ask them to develop a schema,
or documentation, or anything.

I would have been entirely happy if Tite had a been a community-maintained customization
like Epidoc, entirely outside the remit of this Council. But it was decided that the
TEIC would own it, and try to use it as a member benefit and so on, and that the
Council should oversee its integrity. My complaint all along is about the failure to involve
the Council in the decisions about Tite, yet giving them the ownership of it.

Are we having fun yet? I do wonder if this whole discussion is yet another example
of cultural differences across the Atlantic :-}
Sebastian Rahtz      
Information Manager, Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

Sólo le pido a Dios
que el futuro no me sea indiferente

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