Keith Alexander wrote:
> Martin Holmes wrote:
>> Personally, I could live with a lot more "Shut up and do it this way,
>> because we say so", rather than "It's up to you, the power is in the
>> flexibility". It would certainly make it easier to help new users get
>> started. So I guess I really do want TEI to be a standard.
> Does it necessarily have to be as hardline as a "Shut up and do it this
> way, because we say so" approach?
I was exaggerating to make the point, but still: it is pleasant to be
able to claim with confidence that your document is XHTML 1.1-compliant,
and to have a validator available to testify to it. I'm not absolutely
against flexibility, but I think there are some areas where there needs
to be conformity to make documents usefully portable at all. Libraries
and search engines, for instance, need to be able to find key
publication data using mechanical algorithms, and the flexibility of the
teiHeader makes it difficult for them to do that. Also, beginners like
clarity; they like to know how you're supposed to do things. Later, they
may appreciate the flexibility to make their own minds up, of course.
> What about the microformats approach
> with HTML (www.microformats.org)? - Document existing ways of doing
> common things in a wiki, and from that, hammer out some kind of
> consensus as to how to do it, and publish it.
> It doesn't need to be in the guidelines or decreed by the council, and
> not using the 'microformat' doesn't make you non-conformant, but using
> it does require less dilemmas for the new TEI user, and increases
I like this idea a lot. I also noticed that most of the microformats
seem to aspire to be formal standards -- this from the Rel-Licence page:
"This specification is (C) 2004-2006 by the authors. However, the
authors intend to submit this specification to a standards body with a
liberal copyright/licensing policy such as the GMPG (http://gmpg.org/),
IETF (http://ietf.org/), and/or W3C (http://w3.org). "
> So don't change the remit of the guidelines or the TEI 'standard', but
> do have unofficial mini-standards for common situations that people can
> follow if they want to.
Sounds good. Actually, if you look at individual projects, they tend to
spawn coding practices similar to microformats. The way I mark up
bibliographies and lists of references is highly structured, and lots of
output code depends on its being so; folks doing markup on one of these
projects don't get any freedom to decide how to encode (say) the date of
publication, or the author's name.
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
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