11.0582 announcements

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 20:10:07 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 582.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu> (80)
Subject: XML 1.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation

[2] From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu> (49)
Subject: Deadline for Applications to NEH (Preservation and

[3] From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> (12)
Subject: Yenta

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 15:43:57 -0500 (EST)
From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu>
Subject: XML 1.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation

>> From: C M Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@tigger.cc.uic.edu>

Subscribers to Humanist will be interested, I hope, in this news about
the World Wide Web Consortium and XML. XML has the potential to bring
support for generic SGML to the average user's desktop, and thus to make
the use of the Text Encoding Initiative's Guidelines much easier and
much more common. Please repost as appropriate. -CMSMcQ


XML 1.0 Is Official

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the publication of
the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a W3C Recommendation (text of
press release at http://www.w3.org/Press/1998/XML10-REC). The Text
Encoding Initiative greets this development as a major milestone in
the development of a network infrastructure usable for literary,
linguistic, historical, and other text-based research.

XML is a simplified subset of the Standard Generalized Markup Language
(SGML), the international standard on which the TEI's encoding scheme
is based. XML is simpler than SGML, which means that it will be
easier to develop tools to support XML than to support full SGML. For
all practical purposes, however, XML has the same expressive power as
SGML. This means that texts encoded according to the TEI Guidelines
can be used readily, after a simple mechanical process of
normalization, in an XML environment.

With XML and the related standards XLL and XSL (now being developed by
W3C work groups), the World Wide Web will gain the flexibility long
known to users of SGML: the ability to use different tag sets for
different purposes or different kinds of material. At the same time,
XML preserves the simplicity of design and implementation which has
done so much to ensure the success of the Web.

A great deal of the interest in XML is commercial in nature, and many
believe that XML will play a key role in making Web-based electronic
commerce feasible. But that is not its only importance. Susan
Hockey, a member of the TEI's steering committee and the former
secretary of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing,
commented that "XML will be extremely important not only for
commercial exploitation of the Internet, but for research at all
levels and in all fields: personal, educational, and professional.
Everyone interested in the digital preservation and use of knowledge
will find, in XML, a powerful new tool."

Allen Renear, the new President of the Association for Computers and
the Humanities (and the head of the Scholarly Technology Group at
Brown University) summarized the importance of XML to the humanities
very bluntly: "XML will make digital libraries possible."

The TEI--and thus, indirectly, also the TEI's major funding agency,
the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal
agency--has provided significant support for the development of XML:
its North American editor (the poster of this message), serves as a
co-editor of the XML specification, together with Tim Bray of
Textuality and Jean Paoli of Microsoft. And the TEI's European
editor, Lou Burnard, serves as a member of the XML Special Interest
Group, which is responsible for clarifying the technical issues before
action is taken by the XML Working Group. The TEI is currently
preparing for the possible revision of the TEI markup scheme to make
it formally XML compliant; some TEI users have already begun
experimenting with XML versions of the TEI document type definitions.

"The wide adoption of XML by existing SGML vendors, Web software
providers, and academic software developers will make the use of TEI
encoding significantly easier: TEI users will have more and easier
access to off-the-shelf tools for multilingual data preparation,
linguistic annotation, and network distribution," said Judith Klavans,
the Director of the Center for Research on Information Access at
Columbia University, who represents the Association for Computational
Linguistics on the TEI steering committee.

Most important, we expect TEI users to be among the first and most
enthusiastic adopters of this new W3C Recommendation. David Chesnutt,
the coordinator of the Model Editions Partnership and a long-time TEI
participant and user, said recently that XML is important because it
will let scholarly audiences have different views of the same
document, on the Web. Julia Flanders, Textbase Editor at the Brown
University Women Writers Project, said in response to a query, "XML is
the answer to every academic text encoder's prayers."

XML is a great step forward for everyone interested in the digital
preservation of our cultural heritage or in computer-assisted
research into human language and human texts. The TEI is
happy to be part of it.

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Senior Research Programmer, University of Illinois at Chicago
Editor, ACH/ACL/ALLC Text Encoding Initiative
Co-coordinator, Model Editions Partnership

cmsmcq@uic.edu, tei@uic.edu
+1 (312) 413-0317, fax +1 (312) 996-6834

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 16:44:51 -0500 (EST)
From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu>
Subject: Deadline for Applications to NEH (Preservation and Access)

>> From: "Aguera, Helen" <HAguera@neh.gov>

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is a grant-making
agency of the U.S. federal government that support projects in the
humanities. Eligible applicants are: U.S. nonprofit associations,
institutions, and organizations, as well as U.S. citizens and foreign
nationals who have been legal residents in the United States for a
period of at least the three years immediately preceding the
submission of the application.

NEH's Division of Preservation and Access supports projects that
will create, preserve and increase the availability of resources
important for research, education, and public programming in the
humanities. Support may be sought to preserve the intellectual content
and aid bibliographic control of collections; to compile
bibliographies, descriptive catalogs, and guides to cultural holdings;
to create dictionaries, encyclopedias, databases, and other types of
research tools and reference works; and to stabilize material culture
collections through the appropriate housing and storing of objects,
improved environmental control, and the installation of security,
lighting, and fire-prevention systems. Applications may also be
submitted for national and regional education and training projects,
regional preservation field service programs, and research and
demonstration projects that are intended to enhance institutional
practice and the use of technology for preservation and access.

Projects may encompass collections of books, journals,
newspapers, manuscript and archival materials, maps, still and moving
images, sound recordings, and objects of material culture held by
libraries, archives, museums, historical organizations, and other

The Division has a single, annual DEADLINE for applications, JULY
1. Final decisions will be announced the following March.
Guidelines and instructions can be downloaded from the NEH Web site:


A list of recent awards is also available at that site under
"What's New". To obtain a print version of the Guidelines or to
address a question to the NEH staff, e-mail us at preservation@neh.gov

Postal address:

Division of Preservation and Access
NEH, Room 411
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20506

Telephone: 202/606-8570

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 23:11:10 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: Yenta

Humanists, who are incurable communicators, will undoubtedly be interested
in Yenta (how does one translate this Yiddish word?), a software system
"that will provide privacy-protected, distributed, automatic generation of
clusters of users who are interested in similar topics: a sort of
coalition-building or matchmaking system." See

Oi veh es mir!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk

Humanist Discussion Group
Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>