Lou Burnard wrote:
> > Seems odd to me that we have
>> elements defined for things like epigraphs and notes, not to mention
>> paragraphs, but don't have elements for the more "gross" structure of a
>> book. There aren't that many, and they're well defined in such works as
>> the Chicago Manual of Style.
> This is a design decision that's been with us since the days of P1. The
> rationale for it is simple: although the gross structure of some kinds
> of work may be well defined by such manuals as the one you cite, not
> everyone follows the rules. Chapters are not particularly problematic,
> but in some works groups of chapters are called "sections", and in
> others they are called "books"; in yet other works, "sections" are
> subdivisions of "chapters", and "chapters" are grouped into "parts"...
> and so on. ...
Thank you for that lucid explanation. However, I'm sorry to say
I'm not (yet) convinced. While as you say, not everyone follows
"the rules" (more correctly, there are no rules, only
guidelines), I can see that many thousands of works, from
_Robinson Crusoe_ upt to the present day, do follow the same
basic structure. Yes there are exceptions -- someone on this
list recently mentioned _Tristram Shandy_, and I can think of
two works which are much worse: Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_
(a nightmare tangle of sections, books, chapters, etc.) and
Hakluyt's _Voyages_, which I started marking up last year and
eventually set aside from exhaustion. But I have also
successfully marked up hundreds of texts which do follow the
basic and obvious divisions.
Second, TEI already has a modular DTD design, and includes tag
sets for poetry and plays, among other things. So while, as you say:
> ... And that's just talking about ordinary print books! When you
> start thinking of other kinds of written material such as newspapers,
> manuscripts, pamphlets.... and then there is the historical dimension too.
not all works fit into the category of "book" as defined by the
CMS, I see no harm (and some benefit) in defining a tag set
specifically for books which conform to the well-known book
> As Sebastian points out, of course, if you wish to provide "syntactic
> sugar" for your div types, then you should. For the reasons given, this
> would simplify the task of data entry -- though it complicates slightly
> the job of data interchange.
Indeed. Others have suggested to me before now that I can "just"
modify the TEI DTD to provide the features I want. But that
seems to me to miss the point: I *want* to use TEI in order to
benefit from the use of a standard; if I start modifying things,
I'm immediately losing that benefit, in which case I might as
well have created my own DTD in the first place.
Anyhow, thanks for the explanation.
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