Balisage Paper: TEI
In late Fall of 1990 Syd Bauman’s manager dropped a large spiral-bound volume onto his desk and said to take a look at it; it might prove useful. It was TEI P1.1, and it was more than useful; it was transformative: Syd has been a believer in TEI ever since. Syd served as the North American Editor from 2001 to 2007, and as such served ex officio on the Board of Directors, the Technical Council, and multiple work groups & task forces. He is now an elected member of the TEI Technical Council.
When not striving to teach TEI, answer TEI questions, push the limits of TEI, or improve TEI, Syd is a senior XML programmer/analyst at the Women Writers Project, part of Northeastern University’s Digital Scholarship Group. Most of his programming, however, is XSLT designed to read TEI. But regardless of language, Syd’s programs are always copylefted.
TEI, the Text Encoding Initiative, was founded in 1987 to develop guidelines for encoding machine-readable texts of interest to the humanities and social sciences. The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a text-centric community of practice in the academic field of digital humanities, operating continuously since the 1980s. The community currently runs a mailing list, meetings and conference series, and maintains an eponymous technical standard, a journal, a wiki, a GitHub repository and a toolchain. The TEI Guidelines, which collectively define an XML format, are the defining output of the community of practice. The format differs from other well-known open formats for text (such as HTML and OpenDocument) in that it’s primarily semantic rather than presentational.