Looking how to encode a translator, I came across “<editor> contains a secondary statement of responsibility for a bibliographic item, for example the name of an individual, institution or organization, (or of several such) acting as editor, compiler, translator, etc.” [22.214.171.124 Titles, Authors, and Editors]
Thus, editor is everybody. Then comes respStmt, not so much for other contributions to the text, because all contributors are editors, but because of a different syntax: “The respStmt element may also be used for editors, if it is desired to record the specific terms in which their role is described.” The semantic of respStmt is explicitly given as the shortcomings of the editor element! What is the use of a limited element, and another one because of the shortcomings of the former? Do I miss something? But phrases as “Translated by” are allowed in editor also. (editor @role=translator “Translated by” persName…) The only difference is that “Translated by” is then only a phrase, not a resp element. Then, why not allow resp in editor and keep respStmt for really special uses (in the TEI header maybe)?
One sees in many examples, not editor, but a respStmt containing a resp and a persName, because editor, the semantically normal candidate, was supposedly unusable. An typical example with both an editor and a respStmt is under 126.96.36.199 about Thaller Manfred, “A Draft Proposal for a Standard for the Coding of Machine Readable Sources”. The editor of the monograph is in an editor element. The editor of the series is in a respStmt element. This is obviously incoherent: for the logic and the beauty of the code, one would expect twice editor, or twice respStmt.