[tei-council] FW: first stab at Google > TEI

stuart yeates stuart.yeates at vuw.ac.nz
Thu Jun 23 00:14:07 EDT 2011

On 23/06/11 08:20, stuart yeates wrote:
>> PS: Apologies if my choice of book to test on was poor. :) It was a purely
>> random selection. If you have suggestions of alternate public domain books
>> I'm happy to try and convert them and send their TEI files over.
> By picking a linear fiction work you made your life easier.
> Picking a formally-structured non-fiction work (cyclopaedia, almanac,
> etc) will provide a challenge. Linear non-fiction (histories,
> biographies, etc) with footnotes provide a separate set of challenges
> (footnotes, references, etc).
> If you're looking for insights into the English / Western assumptions
> you're making, I suggest that you do something in Chinese, Japanese or
> Korean. Thai is also interesting, because it sits somewhere between
> English and C/J/K in terms of conventions. It may be easier to start
> with a non-English language that term members read/write.

Reflection suggests that my previous answer may not have answered the 
underlying issue.

Your choice of book may or may not have been poor, depending on your 
purposes in choosing it. As test of the 'first draft' of a technical 
solution it was probably a good choice.

At some point you have to make some decisions about trade-offs between 
the completeness of coverage of the solution and other technical factors 
(quality, speed, price, etc). The placement of those trade-offs makes 
sense only after you've sat down and worked exactly what it is you're 
trying to do and what you're priorities are. Those trade-offs may lead 
you to choosing further books to test.

If you are entirely focused on the kinds of linear popular fiction 
(novels and serialised novel-like works) which have been consumed 
en-mass in the west for the last 300 years then your current test book 
(and/or other similar ones) may be all you need. You can now focus on 
quality, speed, price, etc

The TEI community takes a considerably wider, longer and deeper view, 
however, and the TEI standards are a product of that view. Sebastian, 
Martin and myself all made suggestions pointing to larger universe of 
documents, but I think it's fair to say that most members of the TEI 
community have personal examples of documents which are substantially 
further from Gulliver's travels than any of the examples given so far.

The question to answer is not "Is this a poor test case?" but "How big a 
universe of documents matter to me?"

Stuart Yeates
Library Technology Services http://www.victoria.ac.nz/library/

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