BNC XML EDITION: now available for beta test


Staff member
BNC XML EDITION: now available for beta test

Work is nearly complete on the new XML edition of the British National
Corpus and we are now looking for beta-testers to give us feedback on an
online version, before we start distribution on DVD early in the new year.

If you or your institution already has a BNC licence, you're entitled to
participate in the beta test programme. Just send me a note expressing
your interest and I will send you a password and other details of how to
access the beta test server.

The trial online service will run until Dec 31st, but we would like to
have reports from users before then, so that we have time to act on
them. We're looking for information about things that can be improved in
either the corpus itself or the Xaira software, particularly if there
are aspects of either which seem to be definitely broken. We are not
expecting to get every error and spelling mistake out of the corpus --
after several months attempting to clean up the most conspicuous of
these we know that's a hopeless task -- but we do want to be reasonably
confident that we've made it good enough to satisfy most people's
requirements. And we're not expecting that Xaira can be made to do
everything that everyone wants optimally -- one of the main motivations
of going to XML is to make it easier for other software tools to be used
with the corpus -- but we would like to know that it performs well
enough to satisfy a substantial proportion of corpus users and doesn't
have too many bugs in it!

If you would like to help, you just need some experience of using
Windows (sorry, this trial is for Windows users only, though Xaira will
now run on other platforms) and you need to have a reliable internet
connexion. Some previous experience of Xaira is advantageous but not
essential. Unfortunately we can only provide access to the test for
current BNC licence holders.

While the testing proceeds, we'll be working on finalising the
documentation and packaging the corpus for release, hopefully in January.

Ylva, on behalf of the BNC team

Dr Ylva Berglund
British National Corpus
Oxford University Computing Service
13 Banbury Rd
Oxford OX2 6NN
Tel: 01865 283686