First ever LaTeX Ninja workshop at Harvard: “Beyond TEI: Digital Editions with XPath and XSLT for the Web and in LaTeX”

It’s been awfully quiet on this blog but actually, there’s lots of Ninja activity going on right now: I’m excited to announce that I will give the first ever official LaTeX Ninja workshop, in person at Harvard in about two weeks! It’s called “Beyond TEI: Digital Editions with XPath and XSLT for the Web and in LaTeX”. (Apart from that, there’s a short book review coming up in TUGboat.)

Since there probably are a good number of people who would be interested in such a workshop but can’t attend in person, I will share the slides and teaching materials on Github later on. That way, they can be reused for self-study. This blogpost gives somewhat of an outline of the contents of the workshop and contains links to related posts on this blog. Participants might want to read some of them in preparation or as an additional resource.

[Get to the github repo with all the materials (`additional resources’ directory) and peruse the link list below! –> Github link will work as soon as its ready]

The workshop was organized by Jonas Hermann and Lydia Shahan and sponsored by the Medieval Graduate Interdisciplinary Workshop and the Committee on Medieval Studies.

Quick info for taking part in the workshop or using the materials for self-study

  • all you need is in the github repo with all the materials (`additional resources’ directory) –> Github link will work as soon as its ready!
  • maybe have a look at the link list below (optional)
  • create an account for the LaTeX web editor Overleaf
  • install Oxygen XML Editor (use a 30 day trial license – don’t do this too early on so you have enough time)
  • bring a laptop where you have admin privileges (i.e. can install something) and ideally your own XML/TEI data you’d like to process
  • otherwise, come as you are 😉

The Beyond TEI Workshop

This is what we said about the workshop in the abstract:

Across the humanities, the framework of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) for XML has become the gold standard for scholarly editions of texts. More and more scholars in the humanities are learning to transcribe and annotate their sources in TEI. But what happens after an edition is encoded in TEI? While it is an ideal format for archiving digital data, it is less than ideal for viewing and interacting with the edited text. The data transformation language XSLT allows editors to create multiple representations from their data encoded in XML, enabling the creation of both digital and print editions. Following the single source principle, we can use the same XML/TEI file to dynamically create both a website in HTML, allowing for interactive use of the edition, and a traditional print edition, beautifully typeset in LaTeX.

This workshop introduces its participants to:

  • Navigating XML documents (such as TEI encoded texts) using XPath
  • Transforming XML documents into HTML and LaTeX output formats using XSLT
  • Applying this knowledge to basic use cases of digital scholarly editing

For all those who can’t be there, I wanted to sum up what we will be doing. For my German readers, I have already shared my XSLT class on which Beyond TEI builds (and expands), for which I have all the materials on Github and a whole playlist on Youtube). The Harvard workshop will be, essentially, an updated version of this in English, and focusing a bit more on the concrete needs of the participants, introducing reledmac for LaTeX and so on.

For now, some of the plans are as follows:

  • provide subtitles for the Youtube videos (I hope to create a Youtube video class in English at some point but that might take a while) – so far, this is just an idea to make my video class reusable for English speakers. However, I’m not sure this will work particularly well. Would you be interested in this or think it makes sense?
  • make a summary of teaching materials here (actually, a number of blogposts on here bascially contain the same info, so I will list them all below)
  • translate my slides into English and adapt them to be a bit more workshop-like, as self-contained lessons of around two hours in lenght which each contain a lecture/theory part, a demonstration part and exercises (this is a format I’d like to adopt for all my teaching in the future)
  • I will also add some material to make the class a bit more well rounded and adapted to the needs of the audience at Harvard – if I can manage, I will follow up with short introductory blogposts on the web triad (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and on the reledmac package.

This is it for today’s post. I will expand this as the new resources are ready.

Happy learning!

the Ninja

(and here comes the list of resources)

List of related resources on this blog

  1. A shamelessly short intro to XML for DH beginners (includes TEI)
  2. Automating XML annotation: Get more done using RegEx Search&Replace and xsl:analyze-string
  3. Simple XML to LaTeX Transformation Tutorial
  4. Teaching Materials: A German intro class to XPath and XSLT
  5. LaTeX intro for Humanities: A Humanities’ seminar paper with LaTeX – in 10 minutes (it’s a follow-along self-explained LaTeX template on Overleaf)
  6. How to write (Ancient) Greek in LaTeX
  7. Typesetting Historical Print
  8. Typesetting Code in LaTeX

Now you’re hooked: Further reading/learning

  1. To get started with programming: Algorithms, Variables, Debugging? Intro to Programming Concepts
  2. Creating digital transcriptions
  3. The Learn DH Crashcourse category
  4. The DH Tools and techniques category
  5. The XML and Annotation category
  6. Intro to Machine Learning for the Humanities: A very short introduction and a not-so-short reflection

How to “become DH” or “get into the DH”

  1. Formulating Research Questions For Using DH Methods
  2. Looking at data with the eyes of a Humanist: How to apply digital skills to your Humanities research questions
  3. What are ‘real’ Digital Humanities and how to get started?
  4. The “Should I include Digital Humanities in my grant proposal?” Guide for Humanities people
  5. List of Resources for getting started with (teaching) digital methods
  6. Don’t call it a database!
  7. Transdisciplinary crossovers into the DH – The Don’ts and what can go wrong
  8. The DH for Non-DH category, the D and the H or the DH etiquette category

Other great DH teaching websites (small selection)

Of course, there are tons and tons of great resources for learning DH, so here are just a few names to get you started:

  1. The Programming Historian (with tutorials in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French!)
  2. Dariah Teach (MOOCs): XML and TEI, Digital Scholarly Editions (and TEI, a lot like my materials here), Intro to DH, Digitizing Dictionaries (from OCR to TEI)
  3. Data Sitters Club
  4. BERT for Humanists (machine learning, word2vec, i.e. processing language)
  5. Melanie Walsh, Introduction to Cultural Analytics & Python (winnter of the 2021 DH Awards)
  6. Python for DH course
  7. and many more, of course

Let’s hope that the pandemic or other unforeseen circumstances doesn’t stop this workshop from taking place!

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I like LaTeX, the Humanities and the Digital Humanities. Here I post tutorials and other adventures.

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