[Fwd: SBL - American Bible Society Initiative!]

Jeffrey B. Gibson jgibson000 at home.com
Wed Aug 29 08:13:34 EDT 2001

Given the recent discussion on technology and Greek, I think this might
be of interest to many List Members. Apologies if it is not.


Jeffrey Gibson

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: SBL - American Bible Society Initiative!
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 06:34:44 -0400
From: "Patrick Durusau" <pdurusau at emory.edu>
Reply-To: pdurusau at emory.edu
To: "SBL-2" <pdurusau at emory.edu>


The Society of Biblical Literature and the American Bible Society have a
joint initiative called the Bible Technology Group, an effort to develop
a common XML format to meet the needs of anyone with an interest in the
bible or biblical studies. (This includes scholars, bible societies,
translators, publishers, software vendors, lay persons, etc.)

Details: http://www.bibletechnologies.org/

You can help!

To develop a set of requirements for a common format, we need "use
cases" to guide that work. "Use cases" is computer speak for "tell us in
detail what you need to do," without using computer terminology. We need
your professional knowledge about what you do so we can look at the
technical aspects of how to coax a computer into meeting your needs. I
have set forth a template, along with poor and better "use case"
examples below. (This is an ongoing process so respond early and often!)

OSIS: Open Scriptural Information Standard, is the formal name for the
first project of the Bible Technology Group and will be having a 2 day
meeting just prior to the AAR/SBL Annual Meeting in Denver, November
15-16, 2001. Registration for the OSIS meeting will open at the
www.bibletechnologies.org website on September 14, 2001. (No separate
registration fee, registration for the AAR/SBL AM covers this meeting.
Please register so we will know how many people are attending.)

The goal of the OSIS project is  "...Designing a common format for many
visions..." Looking forward to your responses and assistance!



****Use Case Template****

Primary Actor:

Every actor has a specific goal to accomplish. Who is that actor?

Who is interested in seeing the task succeed?


Describe the task as specifically and as completely as possible. If more
than one step, break it into separate use cases. 

What is the actor supposed to *do*?


What should be the *result* of that action?
Example: Citation of bible reference points user or computer to a
particular verse, translation, etc. (The more prose the better.)

****Poor Use Case Example****

Primary Actor: Student writing a research paper.

Task/Goal: All biblical references that may occur in any type of

Result: Automatic linking to all such references.

Note that this is too broad to even know where to begin. Compare with:

****Better Use Case Example****

Primary Actor: Student writing a research paper.

Task/Goal: Enter references to the KJV of the NT text.

Result: Professor, as well as computer software, can find the reference
and verify its content. 

Other use cases would cover citation of other traditions, translations,
etc., which would lead us to a requirement that our proposal must allow
multiple versions to be cited and understood by both Professor and
computer. That one is obvious but it illustrates the sort of detail we
need so we don't miss anything important. Having the use cases in "bite
size" pieces also helps us find common requirements that may not be

Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
pdurusau at emory.edu

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