Elta Software Initiative
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 17:58:00 -0400 (EDT) From: Tom Horton <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Elta Software Initiative (text-analysis software development)
We wish to announce the establishment of the Elta Software Initiative.
Elta is a collaborative effort to encourage and support the development of software tools for the analysis, retrieval and manipulation of electronic texts. Our focus (at least initially) is on tools to support the needs of the humanities computing community, but we hope our results are useful for anyone interested in computer processing of texts marked up with SGML and XML.
We have organized Elta in response to continued interest and need for such software, most recently expressed at the birds-of-a-feather session at ALLC/ACH'98 in Debrecen. At this time Elta provides Web resources and an email list to support those interested in the Initiative's goals for promoting software development.
The initiative is open to all, and participants become involved by:
subscribing to the email discussion list;
describing their interests and activities in the text software area on the Web site's discussion forums;
and by attempting to collaborate and/or cooperate with others in this area in order to produce better software more quickly.
Anyone (software developer or not) is welcome to visit the site and leave a message describing user needs for text analysis software in the "user requirements" area.
"Elta" stands for "encoded literary text analysis", and is the Old Norse word meaning "to knead" or "to work".
We hope that Elta will contribute to those developing a set of modern tools with similar capabilities to past and existing text analysis tools, such as OCP (The Oxford Concordance Program), Tustep, TACT, and similar tools. A number of needs for modern versions of such tools have been discussed: sharing common user and data interfaces; support for SGML, XML and TEI standards for text mark-up; use of modern windowed operating systems (like Windows); and, when appropriate support of client-server and distributed models of interaction (like the Web).
If you're interested, please visit the Web site, and consider joining the email list. Any suggestions about the project and its goals may be posted at the Web site or emailed to John or me (see below). We will make occasional reports to Humanist on the project's progress.
Dr. Tom Horton
Florida Atlantic University
King's College London
P.S. Bruce Robertson and John Dawson recently posted a proposal on the Humanist discussion list, 12.0225, calling for a "text software handling working group". The Elta Software Initiative is basically the same kind of idea, and in fact was planned and developed over the last few months with John's proposal in mind. We saw it at the ALLC/ACH'98 conference in July. John Dawson has reviewed the Elta Web site and states that Elta "will be a perfectly good way of achieving what I proposed."
Humanist Discussion Group Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/> <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.