[crm-sig] TEI and CRM

Christian-Emil Ore c.e.s.ore at muspro.uio.no
Wed May 19 12:20:08 EEST 2004


Dear all,

I don't know how many of you who read the TEI-list. There seems to be not 
too much communication between the TEI (text encoding initiative) and the 
museum communities. But I cannot see any scholarly/scientific reason for 
this other than tradition. TEI is good on encoding texts (form, structure 
and bibliographical information), but it is incomplete and unsystematic 
with respect to encoding and the extraction of semantic content. However, 
Franco Niccolucci, Nick Ryan, Jon Holmen and I have worked on how to extend 
TEI with the CRM-ontology to mark up older archaeological texts.

At the end of this email I have attached two postings from the TEI-list. In 
my opinion it is important to inform the TEI-community why we have chosen 
to make CRM into an ISO standard and which (if any) limitations this may have.

I think it would be a good idea if Nick Croft or Martin Dörr could send an 
explaining answer to the TEI-list.

Best,
Christian-Emil Ore

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Reply-To: Richard Light <richard at LIGHT.DEMON.CO.UK>
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From: Richard Light <richard at LIGHT.DEMON.CO.UK>
Subject:      Re: TEI policy [was: Re: Prosopographic tags: where should they
               be?]
Comments: To: Dieter Köhler <service at PHILO.DE>
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In message <5.2.1.1.0.20040512130036.00bb22e0 at pop3.philo.de>, Dieter
Köhler <service at PHILO.DE> writes

>According to the "Introduction" on the CIDOC web-site, it is planed to turn
>the Conceptual Reference Model into an ISO standard.  Recalling the recent
>thread about ISO's policy regarding language identifiers, I wonder what
>legal and practical implications this has for adopting and using (parts of)
>their ontology for TEI.  I have the impression that such issues are getting
>more and more important, as creating ontologies and markup schemes becomes
>a business that makes money.
>
>Personally I would prefer that best practice for academic text encoding
>discourages the use of such proprietary standards wherever possible, even
>if it is then necessary to develop alternatives for already existing
>standards.  The cumulated costs of proprietary standards and their negative
>effect on free information exchange are, in my opinion, too high.

I would strongly support this sentiment myself, and I am somewhat
dismayed to see the CIDOC CRM branded as a "proprietary standard",
simply because it is being put forward as an International Standard.

It is certainly, in practice, being developed by dedicated members of
the museums community for the common good.  Whatever policies ISO might
be pursuing, I am sure that CIDOC itself has no intention to license or
otherwise restrict the use of the CRM.  (I will certainly be raising
this issue with CIDOC.)

Come to that, where does this line of argument leave the TEI's use of
SGML (ISO 8879-1986) ??

Richard Light

--
Richard Light
SGML/XML and Museum Information Consultancy
richard at light.demon.co.uk

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>X-From_: owner-tei-l at listserv.brown.edu Wed May 12 05:44:25 2004
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>Sender: "TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list"
>               <TEI-L at LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU>
>From: Dieter Köhler <service at PHILO.DE>
>Subject:      TEI policy [was: Re: Prosopographic tags: where should they be?]
>To: TEI-L at LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU
>X-MIME-Autoconverted: from 8bit to quoted-printable by listserv.brown.edu 
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>
>>The museum community has created a high-level framework - the Conceptual
>>Reference Model (http://cidoc.ics.forth.gr/) which describes the types
>>of classes which we might be interested in, and their properties, in a
>>high-level abstract model.  Could be useful.
>
>According to the "Introduction" on the CIDOC web-site, it is planed to turn
>the Conceptual Reference Model into an ISO standard.  Recalling the recent
>thread about ISO's policy regarding language identifiers, I wonder what
>legal and practical implications this has for adopting and using (parts of)
>their ontology for TEI.  I have the impression that such issues are getting
>more and more important, as creating ontologies and markup schemes becomes
>a business that makes money.
>
>The first fundamental principle of the TEI Consortium, according to its
>charter, is: "The TEI guidelines, other documentation, and DTD should be
>free to users".  As encouraging this statement in principle is, it is very
>vague, though.  And I wonder whether there exists really a consensus among
>the TEI Consortium members what this statement implies in detail.
>
>One important lesson to be learned from the open source movement may be
>that it is essential to get the legal framework right and clear.  Applied
>to the TEI, this means that further efforts are needed to clarify the TEI
>Consortium's policy for areas such as:
>
>1. Use of an ontology or markup scheme for data encoding
>2. Implementation of an ontology or markup scheme into software
>3. Adoption of ideas by other ontologies or markup schemes
>4. Accessibility of the specification
>5. Republication of the specification (completely or in part)
>
>These issues are not only vital for the TEI DTDs and the guidelines
>themselves, but of similar importance for the standards referred to in the
>guidelines as "normative", or only as "best practice" or
>"recommended".  For example, the current guidelines recommend ISO 8601 as
>the format for the "value" attribute of tags from the temporal expression
>class (see P4, sec. 20.4).  However, the latest version of this 30 pages
>specification, ISO 8601:2000, is not freely available on the Internet, but
>only for CHF 110.00 from the ISO shop
>("http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/prods-services/CatalogueDetailPage.CatalogueDetail?CSNUMBER=26780&ICS1=1&ICS2=140&ICS3=30").
>
>Personally I would prefer that best practice for academic text encoding
>discourages the use of such proprietary standards wherever possible, even
>if it is then necessary to develop alternatives for already existing
>standards.  The cumulated costs of proprietary standards and their negative
>effect on free information exchange are, in my opinion, too high.
>
>Dieter Köhler





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