My feeling is that it's much too late for a major change such as this in
P5. The rend attribute, along with the n attribute, is a commonly-used
recourse when we try to encode data which doesn't quite fit into the
existing guidelines without customizing the schema. I'd guess that the
majority of existing P5 projects make use it; certainly all of my P4 and
P5 projects do. I like the idea that it might be tightened up, and the
proposal below looks excellent, but I think the disruption caused by
making this change to P5 at this stage will be excessive. We'll all have
to refactor all of our P5 code.
How about moving this change to P6? Perhaps P5 could be given a new
attribute, "style", which connects to rendition elements as shown below?
Then the old rend attribute could be quietly retired in P6.
John A. Walsh wrote:
> Dear TEI-L Members,
> The TEI Council is considering a change in P5 to TEI's global rend
> attribute. Currently (in P5, P4, and earlier) the rend attribute can
> contain any string of characters. Some prose in the Guidelines
> describes this content as follows:
> The contents of the rend attribute are free text. In any
> given project, encoders are advised to settle on a standard vocabulary
> with which to describe typographic or manuscript rendition of the text,
> and to document their usage of that vocabulary in the <rendition>
> element of the TEI header.
> In part to formalize and strengthen the relationship between the rend
> attribute and the <rendition> element in the TEI Header, the Council is
> considering changing the rend attributes dataytype to a pointer to one
> or more <rendition> elements in the header. The <rendition> elements in
> the header would provide a clear and precise rendition vocabulary that
> could be specified in an existing standard language such as CSS or
> XSL-FO, another language/standard, or a system of the user's own invention.
> Thus, the TEI Header might contain a series of rendition elements such
> as the following:
> <rendition xml:id="i" n="italic">font-style: italic;</rendition>
> <rendition xml:id="u" n="underline">text-decoration: underline;</rendition>
> <rendition xml:id="b" n="bold">font-weight: bold;</rendition>
> <rendition xml:id="sc" n="small caps">font-variant: small-caps;</rendition>
> <rendition xml:id="strike" n="strike through">text-decoration:
> <rendition xml:id="center" n="center">text-align: center;</rendition>
> <rendition xml:id="right" n="right" >text-align: right;</rendition>
> The rend attributes elsewhere in the document would refer to this list.
> For example:
> <head rend="#center #b">
> <l n="1">
> <hi rend="#sc">
> life is bitter with thy love; thine eyes
> <l n="2">
> Blind me, thy tresses burn me, thy sharp sighs
> <l n="3">
> Divide my flesh and spirit with soft sound,
> <l n="4">
> And my blood strengthens, and my veins abound.
> Some perceived advantages of this approach include:
> * formalizing the explicilty stated relationship between <rendition> and
> * encouraging more accurate and precise definitions of rendition
> for TEI documents.
> * avoiding loose encoding practices which allow, for instance,
> rend="italic", rend="italics", rend="italicize", etc. all in a single
> The major disadvantage of this approach is that it is not consistent
> with some existing practices and existing rend content. Of course, the
> issue of "breaking" existing documents/practice exists for many other
> changes in P5. The TEI rend attribute is a widely-used global attribute,
> and the Council would like feedback from TEI-L and the TEI community on
> this proposed change.
> Please post your comments to the list.
> | John A. Walsh
> | Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science
> | Indiana University, 1320 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
> | www: <http://www.slis.indiana.edu/faculty/jawalsh/>
> | Voice:812-856-0707 Fax:812-856-2062 <mailto:[log in to unmask]>