The Language Archive -
Management and Access Tools
The second pillar of TLA consists of tools that are developed and maintained.
• To manage the archive and integrate it with the emerging infrastructures.
• To create, search, access and enrich languages resources.
During the last decades the developers and archive managers created a bundle of state-of-the-art tools for these two main dimensions following open source principles. Almost all tools and components support open standards and best practices. See also the tools-page on TLA's own website.
In contrast to standardized formats and encoding principles, tools in general have a shorter life cycle. Nevertheless a continuity of major software components needs to be maintained to guarantee a proper functioning of the archive and the accessibility of its data. In contrast to other archiving software projects the software suite was designed as a set of loosely coupled components that allows easy replacements by new and improved modules. The major software engineering principle at TLA must be the continuation of a modular component based approach which is completely in line with what is currently described as service oriented architecture.
Special attention will also be given to integrate more advanced computational principles into the LAT software suite. Traditional methods are relying on manual annotation due to the nature of the field and experiment recordings, however, these do not scale and there is no way to easily test scientific hypothesis based on statistical evidence. Libraries with these new advanced components are currently being integrated into easy-to-use tools, such as ELAN, to allow researchers to operate with complex pattern recognition technologies. TLA will continue this line of work and look for collaborations with external projects and experts.
Of great relevance for the maintenance and further development of the LAT software suite is the continuation of participation in external projects at a high and competitive level. In particular the development of new functionalities needs to be preferably ensured in general via external funding sources as was done during the last decade. All such participations must be directed towards improving the infrastructure for data management or improved methods for data creation, access, analysis and enrichment.