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Feedback on the XML files in production

The need for error checking at the repositories

The process by which formatted HTML pages are produced from the XML finding aids has been refined through suggestions by the participating repositories and those errors caught by the technical staff in Austin while processing the finished XML files . Most of the progress to be gained from this approach has already been made. Further improvements to the way files are formatted and displayed to users will increasingly rely on the involvement of the repositories in error checking their own finding aids.

Why is this? One reason is that in order to maintain the integrity of the data, the staff in Austin WILL NOT edit the XML files submitted by the repositories. Any consistency in the display of the finding aids has been achieved by scripting the TARO XSL file to correct for tagging errors and stylistic choices, made by the contracted encoders and the individual repositories, in the XML files. Many display problems cannot be resolved through the XSL file used to process these materials into HTML and require changes to be made in the XML itself. Since the Austin staff cannot edit the XML finding aids, this requires the participation of the individual repositories in the process.

Another reason further improvements to the archive will require more activity at the repository level goes to the nature of the project itself. The XML finding aid is an electronic representation of materials which the staff in Austin do not possess--the paper originals. The errors of comission are easy to spot and they have been corrected. Errors of omission--XML content which the style sheet does not explicitly address and therefore does not display--are difficult for the staff in Austin to locate since we do not have the original finding aid with which to do a comparison.

How to report errors or suggestions

When you have an error to report or a suggestion to make, please do so through the TARO technical contact for your repository. Each repository was asked to designate a contact in January 2002. The new TARO 2 repositories will be asked to designate a technical contact at the workshop/meeting in October. If your repository has not selected a person to be your technical contact for the project, please submit this information to Minnie Rangel.

 

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