LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for TEI-L Archives


TEI-L Archives

TEI-L Archives


TEI-L@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

TEI-L Home

TEI-L Home

TEI-L  January 2007

TEI-L January 2007

Subject:

Re: how to remove numbered divs properly?

From:

Wendell Piez <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Wendell Piez <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 3 Jan 2007 18:29:03 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (267 lines)

Dear Sebastian,

At 07:04 AM 1/3/2007, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>>As for not delivering on the promise of "making their documents 
>>usable by others", I submit that it has not been demonstrated that 
>>ODD will ensure this any more than the older, less formal methods did.
>Indeed. I don't recall saying it would. I am not interested in defending ODD
>_per se_ here, I am interested in a much more formal definition of 
>conformance,
>to enable _some_ aspects of it to be checked by machine.

Fine, but that's exactly what I'm cautioning about -- where exactly 
do you draw the line around "some".

>>So, I think you're attacking a straw man with a broom. To my mind, 
>>the TEI is wonderful for achieving a very important kind of 
>>interchange that machines just aren't very good at
>the TEI gives us a vocabulary, yes. That's great.

It's more than great. And it's more than just the vocabulary -- it's 
also this list, plus many other invaluable resources. It's the 
important 95%. (And I also understand you're the guy most often 
tasked with the impossible 5%.)

>>... and the history of HTML shows us what the other kind of 
>>interchange is good for (not very much beyond display).
>and remember back before we had that. good gracious, would you
>like to go back to _pre_ HTML, when you consider the truly staggering advances
>of the last 15 years??? TEI is a speck of sand in the desert compared to what
>HTML has achieved.

That's a very good point: and one of the most important insights of 
these fifteen years has been that the markup language suitable for a 
display vocabulary is not (beyond details of syntax that are actually 
hugely important for tools development) actually much like the markup 
language suitable for other kinds of processing (esp. 
search/retrieval and analysis) promised by generic markup. These are 
on different layers and each layer benefits tremendously from being 
able to distinguish itself and direct its design to its own long- and 
short-term requirements. Indeed, without artificial intelligence (in 
this case specifically, an automated capability to detect and 
register higher-order semantics from presentational features in 
something like the way human beings do), discriminating the layers 
like this is the *only practical way* we have found, I submit, to get 
computers, on a broad scale, to do more than simply emulate and 
automate other media technologies -- the "glorified typewriter", if 
you like, or "home linotype". Not that glorified typewriters are a 
bad thing, mind you. But in combination with lower layers of truly 
descriptive markup, standardized display technologies are something 
else entirely and something far better and more powerful.

Yet what we then find is that at layers of greater semantic richness, 
"universal" languages take away as much as they offer. 
Standardization comes at the price of expressive power. This is an 
old lesson and can be studied in a wide range of different realms of 
culture and media studies.

I think where we differ is in what kind of expectations we have for 
standardization at the different layers. My focus is on a language, 
if you will, that allows great freedom, local expressiveness and 
variation. I take it for granted that individual projects and 
"subcultures" within TEI should have their own stylesheets in order 
to achieve their own goals and application requirements -- on the 
basis of strong standards in markup syntax, validation technologies 
and methods, and so forth (the critically important laws that enable 
freedom). Whereas you are in the position of arguing, it seems to me, 
that where the tradeoff is between local expressiveness and 
generalized processing, generalized processing should win -- to serve 
the abstract goal of "interchange".

Yet I also believe that my view of it is more in keeping with the 
Poughkeepsie goals of 1987 than yours. In fact, I feel that the 
battle the TEI formed itself to fight has been won -- with P3/P4, the 
wealth of TEI projects that have resulted from it, with XML and XSLT. 
Just look at what TEI set out to achieve back then, and this becomes 
clear: TEI is now *the* gold standard for scholarly text encoding. 
Even projects that don't use TEI tagging benefit tremendously from 
its methods and from the examples set by TEI projects. But beyond 
markup syntax, platform-independent character sets and standards for 
metadata (the important requirements of the 1980s), which enable me 
to do useful work with your data (a different thing from running your 
input through my stylesheets unaltered), it seems to me that further 
advances in the direction of unifying practice go quite beyond TEI's 
original mandate, and run the risk of compromising exactly what makes 
TEI so good -- the range of variation and promotion of *scholarly* 
(not technical) goals it allows. Aiming for completely transparent 
interchange across arbitrary and open-ended applications seems to me 
like setting out, once one has successfully colonized a new 
continent, to conscript its inhabitants and conquer the moon. Why not 
develop the continent we have found? Why not encourage local cultures 
to flourish on it -- even, where useful and meaningful, to draw 
boundaries among themselves and trade across them?

ODD, it seems to me, would be a fine basis for this, were it not 
being treated as the last word on the topic of modeling.

Which brings me back to another important, though subtle point. 
However much we enjoy dramatizing our differences here, we're not 
actually all that far apart. You concede at least, I take it, that 
bugs are bugs and should be fixed. I concede that ODD is a worthy 
touchstone even if not the last word. Where we differ is most of all 
in the rhetorical stress we attach to ODD. I would like to see it 
recommended as a tool, perhaps the best available at least for the 
neophyte -- but no more. Others want it to be more (I'll resist the 
impulse to caricature the position again).

>  In practice, TEI documents are not _even_ interchangeable
>for display. Think back on the last time you tried to combine TEI docs from
>several sources - aargh. I can't even straightforwardly combine documents
>for display written by myself, Lou and James from the same building, 
>because they each have their own dialect of TEI.

Which is a great and important lesson, it seems to me. Perhaps the 
three of you could standardize your own local dialect and then give a 
conference paper presenting your work and offering your 
quality-checking methods and stylesheets for others to assess and build on.

>>Indeed. But I've been arguing preemptively and hypothetically, 
>>since I think it would be a mistake for the Technical Council to 
>>rule, without offering any alternatives, "it's ODD or bust" -- 
>>which, I imagine, would probably lead to more occasions of "bust" 
>>than they'd like to see
>I think you're scare mongering, to be honest. My expectation of ever 
>more formal
>conformance rules is that an increasing number of people use the TEI.

Unfortunately there will be no way to tell. One hopes there will be 
an increasing number of TEI users, but why they do will always be 
debatable. Yet more importantly, I think there is a difference here 
between "formal" and "formal". I am in favor of clearly documented 
processes, procedures, checklists, explicit criteria for when 
variances are welcome and when they are gratuitous and unwelcome, 
indications of what users and projects can expect when making choices 
between tradeoffs in the design process. I am not, however, in favor 
of appointing a machine to be the final arbiter, however useful it is 
as a diagnostic device. You yourself have admitted that we do not 
have that machine.

>>-- or perhaps more to the point, of potential TEI users and allies 
>>just deciding to jump on other bandwagons.
>It's not an "either or" thing. Since you raise the analogy of taking 
>your football
>away, what I am interested in is not banning whatever sport you want to play
>in the local park, but in being clear what the games are. If I come upon your
>game with bat and ball, I want a clear sign saying "we are playing to the
>rules of american baseball", otherwise I'll think its proper rounders and may
>want to join in. If you want to invent a new game, to distinguish 
>yourself for a tenure
>committee, then that's great, but it's only fair to everyone if you 
>write out those
>rules in a simple, standard, way. Yes, you can define your game by 
>just drawing
>diagrams with stick people, but why raise the artificial barrier when everyone
>else uses words?
>
><sound-of-analogy-running-out-of-control/>

Indeed. It kind of lost me. Analogies aside, ODD (or its current 
implementation, as you prefer) breaks when an expert user tries to 
drop numbered divs from his model (a simple, straightforward and 
easily defensible requirement) and generate a DTD -- but this expert 
user is not allowed to say "okay, I'll write my rules without ODD" 
and remain in conformance. There's a problem there.

>>(It would be a different thing altogether for them to rule "we much 
>>prefer and recommend ODD, but if there are reasons you can't use 
>>it, technically or practically, we need to learn from these too".)
>it's a fine idea. but I haven't heard the technical or practical
>arguments which make use ODD to express your customization
>_impossible_, just sentiment.

I'm really saying nothing more than that I suspect this is a 
significant indicator that an escape clause allowing for conformance 
without an ODD needs to be entertained ... and frankly, at least 
until you fix the little bug, I see little reason to dismiss my own 
suspicions. (Little bugs are innumerable, but are only fixed one at a time.)

>>Many projects have picked up TEI only to let it drop again -- or 
>>have twisted it to the point where they don't want to show their 
>>work in what they think of as polite (or over-polite) society. TEI 
>>could learn a great deal if it could see into this blind spot. 
>>Indeed, TEI is good work precisely to the extent that its 
>>developers and proselytes have said "it's not finished yet; we have 
>>more to learn".
>No disagreement there, but what does this have to do with the 
>(separate!) arguments
>about conformance or ODD?

The burdens of "TEI conformance" in view of the perceived stresses 
(sometimes more perceived than genuine) between TEI practice and 
local processing requirements is the driving factor behind losing 
these potential constituents.

In fact, as I understood it, this was a problem that ODD was designed 
to address, not to exacerbate. (I guess this goes to show again that 
purpose can't be built into a tool.)

>>   While Ron doesn't have one of those, he has something even 
>> worse: one impossible to express in the TEI DTD architecture as it 
>> stands due to the expansion of its parameter entities.
>parameter entities in DTDs are a technical detail of the implementation, note.
>>This implies that in order to support conformant ODD fully, an ODD 
>>implementation would have to work around the XML modeling 
>>architecture it is based on.
>I think you're twisting things here. The TEI sources express themselves in
>RELAXNG notation and in the class system. Anything Ron does in his 
>customization
>will come out into a RELAXNG scheme and work (I hope). The small technical
>problem lies in converting RELAXNG schemas to DTD (and W3C schema) without
>making the result invalid. The formal amongst you (Syd, we need you!) can tell
>me whether it is technically impossible to convert any arbitrary 
>RELAXNG schema
>to DTD;

It depends on whether you are allowed to relax your RelaxNG 
constraints. If by "convert" you mean "express the same or somewhat 
looser models" the answer is, you always can. If you mean "express 
the same models", you can't.

Here's a model in RelaxNG (a useful one) impossible to express in DTD syntax:

element name { text?,
                element index { text },
                text? }

(meaning a "name" element is text mixed with one and exactly one 
"index" element)

The closest you can get to this in DTD is to give the "name" element 
mixed content and allow the "index" element to appear inside it zero 
or more times.

If a project had to use a DTD and needed this model, I'd advise them 
to validate their constraint on uses of "index" inside "name" (to 
single occurrences) in a separate layer (Schematron or other).

>if it is not, then we just have to program it; if it is, then we'll have to
>drop DTD. After all, we're not the only people in this bind.

By that, I take it you mean the bind of supporting both DTD and RNG. 
(If so, you're quite right.)

But the requirement to drop numbered divs from the model -- Ron's 
case -- doesn't fall into this category. DTDs can express that model 
just fine, and have. Indeed that's exactly what Ron has done outside ODD.

A further irony is that allowing div0, div1 and div2 etc. at all in 
P5, alongside unnumbered divs with exactly equivalent tagging 
semantics, while  simultaneously urging conformity of tagging 
practice in the name of standardizing an application profile, is in 
itself a concession to local idiosyncracy that boggles the mind.

Cheers,
Wendell



======================================================================
Wendell Piez                            mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
----------------------------------------------------------------------
   Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML
======================================================================

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995
April 1995
March 1995
February 1995
January 1995
December 1994
November 1994
October 1994
September 1994
August 1994
July 1994
June 1994
May 1994
April 1994
March 1994
February 1994
January 1994
December 1993
November 1993
October 1993
September 1993
August 1993
July 1993
June 1993
May 1993
April 1993
March 1993
February 1993
January 1993
December 1992
November 1992
October 1992
September 1992
August 1992
July 1992
June 1992
May 1992
April 1992
March 1992
February 1992
January 1992
December 1991
November 1991
October 1991
September 1991
August 1991
July 1991
June 1991
May 1991
April 1991
March 1991
February 1991
January 1991
December 1990
November 1990
October 1990
September 1990
August 1990
July 1990
June 1990
April 1990
March 1990
February 1990
January 1990

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager