Dear Martin (cc TEI-L),
We had a discussion along these lines on the TEI Council list, as well,
where Lou pointed out that when you have a born-digital document, the
rendering information you encode with @rend *is* the rendering
information for the source document (which is the document you are in
the process of creating). For what it's worth, though, I would never use
@rend in a born-digital document for precisely the reason you cite: in
our own documents we know (if we don't, we aren't thinking deeply
enough) the semantics of what we are encoding, and descriptive markup is
easily converted to presentational markup for rendering but it isn't as
easy to convert presentational markup to descriptive for data mining
(for example), so there is much to gain but nothing to lose by using
truly descriptive markup.
Martin Holmes wrote:
> David J Birnbaum wrote: when the <rendition> element contains
>> CSSor FO, it is still intended to record how the text was rendered
>> in the original document that served as input to the electronic text.
>> That is, it is not intended to record how the element should be
>> rendered when the electronic text is eventually transformed into HTML
>> or PDF or some other final form. CSS and FO are ways of formalizing
>> the appearance of documents, but in this usage they would be
>> formalizing the appearance of the input source, and not the output.
>> Of course a user might with to have the output look like the input;
>> this is often sensible, it is easy to do with this type of markup,
>> but it is not inherent in the markup.
> Some of us use TEI for authoring too; in that case, @rend might well
> be used to signify intended output, since there's actually no source.
> Of course, it could be argued that when you're creating the document,
> you don't need @rend because you can definitively characterize any
> usage semantically (<emph> rather than @rend="italic", for instance),
> because you're the author, or at least have access to the author and
> can ask. Would that be the general view -- that in straight-to-TEI
> documents, @rend is not needed at all?