Text Encoding Initiative
The XML Version of the TEI Guidelines
Introductory Note (March 2002)
The primary goal of this revision has been to make available a new and corrected version of the TEI Guidelines which:
A second major design goal of this revision has been to ensure that the DTD fragments generated would not break existing documents: in other words, that any document conforming to the original TEI P3 SGML DTD would also conform to the new XML version of it. Although full backwards compatibility cannot be guaranteed, we believe our implementation is consistent with that goal.
In most respects, the TEI Guidelines have stood the test of time remarkably well. The present edition makes no substantial attempt to rewrite those few parts of them which have now been rendered obsolete by changes since their first publication, though an indication is given in the text of where such rewriting is now considered necessary. Neither does the present version attempt to address any of the many possible new areas of digital activity in which the TEI approach to standardization may have something to offer. Both these tasks require the existence of an informed and active TEI Council to direct and validate such extension and maintenance work, in response to the changing needs and priorities of the TEI user community.
Two exceptions to the above principles may be cited: firstly, the chapter which originally provided a `Gentle Introduction' to SGML has been completely rewritten to provide a similarly gentle introduction to XML; secondly the chapter on character sets has been completely revised in light of the close connexion between Unicode and XML. The editors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the ad hoc workgroup chaired by Christian Wittern, which undertook to provide expert advice and correction at very short notice, in the latter task.
The preparation of this new version relied extensively on preliminary work carried out by the former North American editor of the TEI Guidelines, C.M. Sperberg-McQueen. In a TEI working paper written in 19991 he sketched out a precise blueprint for the conversion of the TEI from SGML to XML, which we have implemented, with only slight modification.
The Editors would also like to express thanks to the team of volunteers from the TEI community who helped us with the task of proof reading the first draft during the summer of 2001; and to Sebastian Rahtz of Oxford University Computing Services, without whose skill and enthusiasm this new edition would not have been possible.
A substantial proportion of the work of preparing this new edition was funded with the assistance of a grant from the US National Endowment for the Humanities, whose continued support of the TEI has also been crucial to the effort of setting up the TEI Consortium.
Finally, we would like to thank all our colleagues on the interim management board of the TEI Consortium, in particular its Chairman John Unsworth, for their continued support of the TEI's work, and their willingness to devote effort to the difficult task of overseeing its transition to a new organizational infrastructure.
Summary details of the changes made in the present and previous editions are given in their Prefatory Notes, all of which are now reproduced in an Appendix to the present edition: see Appendix C Prefatory Notes.
Lou Burnard and Syd Bauman (TEI Editors) Oxford and Providence, March 2002.