WWP The Project Newsletter Archive Volume 3,Number 2 Conference Report: Tenth Anniversary of the TEI

Conference Report: Tenth Anniversary of the TEI

Julia Flanders

The Text Encoding Initiative celebrated its tenth anniversary with a conference this November at Brown University, which was a great success and a real credit to its organizers. In addition to providing an extremely illuminating benchmark of the work that is currently being done with the TEI, the conference gave an exciting sense of possibility about where the TEI is going in the future.

In particular, there was hopeful discussion of the advent of XML (Extensible Markup Language), which seems likely to revolutionize the delivery of electronic resources over the web. XML is a reworking of SGML which removes much of the unnecessary (and mostly unused) complexity that makes SGML difficult to implement, while retaining the power and flexibility which make SGML so valuable. If current hopes for XML are realized, it may replace HTML as the predominant format for the web, making it possible to deliver electronic texts far more cheaply, quickly, and effectively than before. For the WWP, this would represent a vast improvement over what is currently possible.

WWP staff presented three papers at the conference; two by Syd Bauman (on encoding names, and on encoding the physical structure of the book) and one by John Lavagnino (on "What Not to Tag"). The WWP also sponsored a workshop following the conference on modifications to the TEI, with the aim of encouraging discussion of the specialized needs that motivate such modifications. The workshop participants agreed to follow up the workshop with research on tag use within the TEI community. More information on this project will be forthcoming in the new year.

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