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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 , a SourceForge 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; the semantics and interpretation of every tag and attribute are specified. Some 500 different textual components and concepts (word,sentence,character,glyph,person, etc.); each is grounded in one or more academic discipline and examples are given.
The standard is split into two parts, a discursive textual description with extended examples and discussion and set of tag-by-tag definitions. Schemata in most of the modern formats (DTD, RELAX NG and W3C Schema) are generated automatically from the tag-by-tag definitions. A number of tools support the production of the guidelines and the application of the guidelines to specific projects.
A number of special tags are used to circumvent restrictions imposed by the underlying Unicode; glyph to allow representation of characters that don't qualify for Unicode inclusion and choice to allow overcome the required strict linearity.
Most users of the format do not use the complete range of tags but produce a customisation, using a project-specific subset of the tags and attributes defined by the Guidelines. The TEI defines a sophisticated customization mechanism known as ODD for this purpose. In addition to documenting and describing each TEI tag, an ODD specification specifies its content model and other usage constraints, which may be expressed using schematron.
|British National Corpus||http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk||100 million word snapshot of current English|
|Oxford Text Archive||http://ota.ox.ac.uk/||>1 GB of Linguistic data and electronic texts in 25 languages|
|Perseus Project||http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/||Greek and Latin texts|
|EpiDoc||http://epidoc.sourceforge.net/||Epigraphy and Papyrology|
|Women Writers Project||http://www.wwp.northeastern.edu/||Early modern women writers (Margaret Cavendish, Eliza Haywood, etc.)|
|New Zealand Electronic Text Centre||http://www.nzetc.org/||New Zealand and Pacific Islands texts|
|The SWORD Project||http://www.crosswire.org/sword/||Bible software, dictionaries, Christian literature|
|Text Creation Partnership||http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp/||Early English and American books|
xml:idattributes from the W3C (these had previously been attributes in the TEI namespace), regularization of local pointing attributes to use the hash (as used in HTML) and unification of the ptr and xptr tags. Together these changes with many more new additions make P5 more regular and bring it closer to current xml practice as promoted by the W3C and as used by other XML variants. Maintenance and feature update versions of TEI P5 have been released at least twice a year since 2007.
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