Gloria McMillan's request for an introductory guide to the TEI scheme,
complete with examples of how to use it in real life, is one we have
been working on ways of satisfying for a while. Michael and I have both
been giving introductory tutorials (both separately and jointly) at
various venues using the same simplified version of the full TEI dtd
for the last year or so... We're getting to the point where we're
reasonably sure of the subset of the TEI dtd which such tutorials
should define (though we're less certain what to call it
-- current candidates are "TEI-Lite" and the "TEI Starter Set") . But
the document we're currently working on so far has very little
description of how to run sgml parsers, what sgml software does etc.,
and certainly no 'step-by-step' instructions of the kind Gloria seems
to be asking for.
Partly, that's because we try to provide such instruction as part of
the live hands-on section of the Workshops where we've been using the
document -- it's a lot easier to do that kind of instruction in person!
Also, it's quite difficult to produce step by step instructions for a
generic tutorial: one thing we have learned is that people learn a lot
quicker if applications and examples are drawn from a field they are
familiar with, and feel to be of importance and interest to them. This
makes the general all-purpose document hard to write.
It would be very useful to hear from readers of this list what kind of
content they'd expect/desire to find in an introductory tutorial. Is
there a general expectation that it should discuss matters like how to
run an SGML parser, what kinds of applications exist, instructions on
how to run some of them (and if so, which?) etc?
If you'd like to check the current draft (bearing in mind that it is
only a preliminary draft) TEI document TEIU5 is available from the
usual places and we'd welcome comments on it from anyone who has time
to read it, either directly or to the list.
> Partly, that's because we try to provide such instruction as part of
> the live hands-on section of the Workshops where we've been using the
> document -- it's a lot easier to do that kind of instruction in person!
> Also, it's quite difficult to produce step by step instructions for a
> generic tutorial: one thing we have learned is that people learn a lot
> quicker if applications and examples are drawn from a field they are
> familiar with, and feel to be of importance and interest to them. This
> makes the general all-purpose document hard to write.
I think a step by step introduction should only be a short general
prelude to more specialised introductions, nevertheless they certainly
are necessary, IMHO for two reasons:
1. It seems that many people, who get attracted by TEI are new to
SGML as well. It would certainly help to have a guided and safe
way for the first few steps.
2. TEI is a rather complex SGML application, which requires some adaption
of generic SGML tools. One example for this is the NAMELEN, on which
my version of SGMSL still chokes. (I believe it can be adapted, but
don't know how: This is exactly what I would like to read in a
Gently Introduction to using TEI.