I grant that TEI mark-up is essentially delimiting. I certainly see all
my coding work on the Electronic Caedmon's Hymn as essentially database
work: I normalised my information before I began, in order to work out
what went where, and I make lots of use of hierarchical DBase models for
processing apparatus files in my style sheets.
But, the syllabus Wendy's talking about really is a relational database,
and a table is the best format for that, I'd guess. It's certainly the
best supported, with lots of commerically available, of the shelf,
search programmes. That's why I'm going to start storing my
bibliography that way. The TEI markup is fine, and, with grep and other
utilities, I can do a pretty good job analysing my data. But for real
searching the key criteria is the relationship of units to each other,
not necessarily their description. It is more important that I relate
subject descriptors to article titles than that I tag the descriptors
And about syllabi and invoices... you haven't seen our local harware:
"item: about a pound of nails."
Thanks for the links Sebastian.