There are some words that are hard to translate in every language. Giving a sense of the French “bof” is one of these tricky cases. Basically, it means something close to “so-so”, but it is better impersonated by the Comics figure of Achille Talon (there is a section of the English wikipedia article on Achille Talon dealing with his favourite quotes that tries to grasp the essence of “bof” as well). “Bof” is an attitude of indifference, disdain, not wanting to acknowledge reality. And “bof” has to do with the data journals session at the Prague DARIAH HaS Winter School I taught yesterday. Not with the attitude of the participants, at all – boy, were they enthusiastic. But it has to do with our discussion of peer review. Continue reading “Peer review says “bof””
So here goes, heading beack home (and already dreading the trip with the Deutsche Bahn)!
What I will remember of my first TEI conference:
1) Big projects and small projects do not really have the same workflow problems but in the end, we all end up trying to figure out a way to use the TEI-P5 guidelines without increasing their volume too much by adding this and that proposal for a complement because what we actually need is not described there yet. Which leads me back to the questions of what standards are actually there for. I can’t think of a definite answer to that. Do we need a communication basis or a completely unified system? The irritating part is of course that the guidelines will give you 3 ways to encode one thing and none to encode another and you have to make the best ot of that situation for your project.
2) Long time archiving is a problem for everybody. I suspected that before and I think that considering it is a general problem, it should not be the job of the project managers to find their own little solution, but a problem for larger infrastructures like DARIAH in Europe to take care of.
3) There are so many cool problems connected to encoding. As a project manager, I am very busy keeping everything working at all and do not really have time to think profoundly about the hermeneutical implications of each and every decision we make but somehow it still has to do with what the early 20th century scholars did when setting standards for critical editions. We are in the process of redefining philology – the problem is, we are so in it that it is difficult to reflect it. But if anything, that would be the one theoretical question that would interest me right now.
4) The <note> element is really a problem, not just for us. I will post on that later and I promise to do so on the Special Interest Group Manuscript list as well.
5) Posters are a cool way to get to present your project in a way that the person you are talking to gets the information he/she really wants. We should have more of those non-authoritative kind of scholarly communication in the traditional humanities. But it still is a challenge to stand next to James Cummings!
6) Würzburg reminds me too much of the city I grew up and got endlessly bored in as a teenager. I want to get back to Berlin!