Minutes for June 5, 2014 ALTO board teleconference


  1. Review action items [Frederick leads discussion]
  2. Review comments -- especially the comment about incompatibility between v2.0 and v2.1 schemas -- received about draft schema version 2.1. [Everyone]
  3. Discuss release of ALTO schema v2.2 with named types to accommodate ALTO dialects (discussed during last teleconference). [Everyone]
  4. Review ALTO poster for IFLA WLIC Aug 18-19 in Lyon France. [Jean Philippe and Frederick lead discussion]
  5. ALTO editorial board face-to-face meeting: Where will it be? Most likely at WLIC 2014 (http://conference.ifla.org/ifla80) in Lyon (Aug 16-22). Less likely at the JCDL/TPDL Joint Conference (http://www.dl2014.org/) in London (Sep 8-12)? least likely at the DLF Forum (http://www.diglib.org/forums/2014forum/) in Atlanta, Georgia (Oct 27-29)? [Frederick leads discussion]
  6. Review migration from PBWorks to Github (see Action 2014-02-20 below). Jukka may demonstrate how to migrate open proposals from PBWorks to Github. [Frederick harangues everyone. Jukka demonstrates migration.]
  7. Overview of ResCarta toolkit (http://www.rescarta.org/). [Brian leads discussion.]
  8. Discuss creation of an ALTO Github website. See http://altoxml.github.io. [Frederick leads discussion]
  9. Reminder to send URLs to digital collections which use ALTO XML to Nate so that he can update the ALTO use case examples at http://www.loc.gov/standards/alto/community/implementers.php [Frederick harangues everyone]

Action items

Attending members


Frederick mentions that Jean Philippe is keen to release schema version 2.2 incoprorating ALTO dialect changes because the BnF is about to begin a major digitization project for which dialects will be important.

Joachim summarized the reservation raised by Stefan Pletschacher who commented on schema version 2.1: There is no way to distinguish between version 2.0, 2.1, etc. (ALTO version 2.1 changes several Integers to Floats; this apparently has created a problem for Stefan in knowing which numbers should be Floats and which should be Integers for software which uses version 2.1. Change proposal is to add a version number to the schema. Nate suggest that it would be faster to retroactively add a version number to v2.1 rather than release a new schema version. Nate and Joachim both point out that METS and other library XML schemas do not have a version number. Nate suggests adding an attribute for the version number to schema version 2.2 is simple and effective. Markus agrees that the ALTO namespace should NOT be changed, that is, the ALTO version number should not be incorporated into the namespace. Joachim points out that transformations of XML files from one namespace to another namespace is difficult or impossible; therefore he favors NOT creating a new namespace for a new version but rather embedding the schema version as an attribute. There seems to be agreement that supporting 2 namespaces -- each for different ALTO versions -- is difficult for software which uses ALTO as well as XSL transformations of XML files. Joachim and Jukka propose adding an attribute to the ALTO schema which encodes the current schema version as well as explicitly listing the version as

In summary ALTO schema version 2.2 will have 2 changes: (1) Add a version attribute and (2) Add support for ALTO dialects with named types to support BnF's upcoming major digitization project. Joachim will comment on Stefan Pletschacher's comment saying that the ALTO board will NOT create a new namespace for each (minor) version of ALTO. By the next teleconference (July 3) there will be a ALTO schema draft version 2.2.

Draft of poster about new ALTO features for WLIC 2014. Five ALTO board members will be in Lyon for WLIC 2014: Siang Hock, Evelien, Jean Philippe, Frederick, (maybe) Joachim. Frederick reports that WLIC 2014 organizers cannot make a room available for an ALTO board meeting. Frederick will ask the JCDL/TPDL conference organizers for a meeting space. Markus, Jukka, Joachim, (maybe) Evelien will attend the London JCDL/TPDL conference.

Frederick reminds everyone to migrate the change proposals they championed in PBworks to Github. So far Jukka is the only person who has done this. Jukka says that the issue should be created by the champion so s/he is the "owner" of the Github issue.

Frederick says that it is possible to create an ALTO board "website" on Github (http://altoxml.github.io). Jukka suggests that ALTO meetings should be "milestones" in a Github repository and action items should become Github "issues". Frederick volunteers to do this (Jukka's proposal) before the next meeting.

Frederick reports that he has advertised for an ALTO board member on the Tesseract discussion boards. He suggests that the fellow who posted issue 12 (https://github.com/altoxml/schema/issues/12) be invited to join the ALTO board.