This is the Editors' Introduction to the results of the EC LRE EAGLES (Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards) project, which ran from February 1993 to May 1996.
As EAGLES was a highly distributed project involving numerous experts in the construction of many documents of various types, yielding different results, the main aims of this introduction are to:
Taken together, the set of documents is referred to as the EAGLES Guidelines. They represent the efforts of a wide scientific and industrial community to make recommendations for best practice in a number of core areas of Language Engineering and, where this has been possible, to propose standards in areas where broad consensus has been achieved. We emphasise that the standards described here are the first step in a long-term process: they represent the consensual view of the community on several issues and are to be seen as providing a basis on which further work can proceed.
The Editors thank all who have contributed to the EAGLES initiative. There have been many kinds of contributions, all of which played an important part. All documents in the EAGLES Guidelines have been planned, composed, discussed, revised and edited by teams of experts over three years, managed by the EAGLES Working Groups and their Group Editors and coordinated by the Project Coordinator and the Editorial Board, thus it is invidious to mention individuals by name. Each document contains a list of those who contributed to it. Furthermore, the wider community has been involved in commenting on preliminary drafts of those documents that were ready at the end of the first phase of EAGLES activity.
This Introduction is structured as follows. Firstly, we give a broad overview of the EAGLES initiative, its motivations and its aims. We then briefly describe the EAGLES methodology of work and interaction with other projects. The general structure of EAGLES is then outlined in terms of its various groups, bodies and officers, and the organisation of the work within EAGLES is briefly described. Next, a description of the overall structure of the EAGLES Guidelines is provided. This lists the different types of documents which all together constitute the Guidelines, classifying them according to their current status. Interested parties may contribute to the initiative by submitting comments and other types of feedback. Such feedback from the wider community is crucial to the success of EAGLES, given its standardising mission which ultimately relies on widespread consensus. Lastly, we give details of how to obtain material from the EAGLES WWWW and ftp sites or in paper form.