From Transcription Software to the CBGM: HANDOUT

This is supplementary information intended to accompany a conference presentation.

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Tendon: A Suite of Tools for Integrating Various NTTC Software Packages

Tendon has grown out of my doctoral research needs. It currently includes modules for performing the following: (1) Convert plain text transcriptions to JSON files for use in the Collation Editor (see below); (2) Compile the text from multiple single-verse JSON files into one plain text document; (3) Convert a Markdown-like encoded transcription to TEI; (4) Convert TEI transcription into JSON files for use in the Collation Editor; (5) Combine the single verse collation output files of the Collation Editor into chapter and book length files; (6) Reformat the Collation Editor output to be compatible with the open-cbgm; (7) View TEI encoded transcriptions using the IGNTP stylesheet; (8) Provide a simple interface for configuring the Collation Editor; (9) Provide a user-friendly interface for the open-cbgm; (10) Export the output of the Collation Editor as a fully formatted DOCX critical apparatus suitable for publication.
Tutorial and installation instructions

TEI-Formatted Transcriptions

The IGNTP has adopted and adapted TEI.

IGNTP Guidelines for XML Transcriptions of New Testament Manuscripts Using the TEI


This is a module included with Tendon for producing TEI transcriptions with a limited and simplified set of Markdown encodings.

The Online Transcription Editor (OTE)

The OTE is a browser-based WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) word processor that enables a user to create TEI formatted transcriptions in an environment more like Microsoft Word than a code text editor.

Access the OTE

Instructions and IGNTP Guidelines

Computer-aided Collation


A powerful tool for identifying and visualizing multiple texts. While it can output an apparatus encoded in JSON or XML, it is most useful for ad hoc comparisons. It is not suitable for large text critical projects on its own.


Limited version sufficient for simple textual comparisons

A Python Port of CollateX

The Collation Editor (CE)

The CE is both a graphical interface and extension of CollateX. The CE uses CollateX to produce initial text alignment, but the CE then enables the user to edit the collation. The CE produces an XML collation file. Input transcription files must be JSON formatted.

Documentation and Download

"TEI to JSON" Module from Tendon

This is an app that takes TEI transcriptions that were created with the OTE or with "MarkdownTEI" and converts them to JSON transcription files that are compatible with the CE.

Computer-aided Analysis

Apparatus Explorer

This is a browser-based web app. After a user uploads a collation file output of the CE, Apparatus Explorer visualizes the collation as an ECM-style apparatus. The app also enables the user to edit genealogical relationships between readings. This is an ideal midway step between collation and the open-cbgm.

Read the Tutorial

Check out an example collation


Gerd Mink developed the first implementation. Initially unavailable outside of ECM-related work, the data and interface are now available for anyone to edit.

Greg Paulson’s tutorial and download links

Info on the Mark data and CBGM

The open-cbgm

The open-cbgm was developed by Joey McCollum to be a “Fast, compact, open-source, TEI-compliant C++ implementation of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method.” It performs the same functions as Gerd Mink’s implementation, but with additional flexibility. It is also the only implementation that is readily available and in which anyone can input their own collation data. The collation output files of the CE work well in the open-cbgm (after they have been cleaned up using either the Apparatus Explorer or Tendon).

Instructions and Download for the CLI

Instructions for accessing the open-cbgm with Tendon as the interface

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apparatus explorer online transcription editor cbgm tendon collation editor