Live from Würzburg: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Black Dariah

In the first session (birds singing and sun shining outside), Armin Volkmann and Christof Schöch presented DARIAH and some of its subprojects. The beauty of European projects is in general the complexity of the structure they develop in order to involve the different partners – and the acronyms they use. DARIAH does makes not exception – the bubbles and arrows showing the whole structure are colorful and complex – an administrative wonder if there ever was one.

One first big project they mentioned is the one working on standardizing metadata. In the course of the discussion, it turned out to be still pretty virtual, but it really is the kind of things that one can only hope will not remain virtual.

Quoting from Martin Müller’s letter, they presented several DARIAH projects working on developing TEI-aware tools. Christof mentioned to me later interesting projects like MONK and TXM textométrie that work in that sense.

On the question of community building (one of the aims of DARIAH), they suggested creating a Wikipedia portal. Although I am not sure which kind of crowd you can actually gather this way, it will surely reach a wider range of people.

Discussion also revolved around the question of the format of membership to the TEI-consortium. Although Martin Müller is not here, obviously his letter and the issues it raises are quite present.

Live from Würzburg: forget about smoked bacon chocolate!

After hours of not coming forward with the delightful Deutsche Bahn between Berlin and Würzburg, it was just awesome to reach Würzburg at last in spite of the pouring rain. It was in fact pouring digital humanists in the small Poppular Hotel and the receptionist welcomed us with a “What is digital philology anyway?” – I am very grateful to Sabine to have answered this not so easy question – and probably the whole DTA waiting right after us to get the keys to their rooms was just as grateful – what a delight to be in Würzburg at last AND to be asked just the right questions!

It was an even bigger delight to attend – just on time – the keynote by Edward Vanhoutte. There was a chocolate degustation involved, but it is not the only reason why the talk was a delight. In fact, if you haven’t done it yet, don’t eat the 4th of the chocolates. I for myself obediently consumed all 5 when advised to, which caused a subsequent lasting ebriety since you are, after 5 pieces of chocolate, so desperately thirsty that you just have to taste the wine you are being offered… Apart from the chocolate for the palate, it was music to my ears, too, to hear him plead in favor of an extensive teaching of XML after the TEI-guidelines. That’s just what we do! – and, if I may add, the students are absolutely receptive for it, and not at all reluctant to put into it all the necessary effort (though I suspect it is just not so much of an overwhelming effort to them that to us people over 30 years of age just used to traditional philology).

More thoughts on that when reason has overcome Riesling… In the meantime, you can consult Edward Vanhoutte’s blog.