I think that's rather an extreme position. The system as it stands has a
lot of flexibility; there are shorthand/syntactic sugar elements such as
<placeName> that are useful to lots of people, and which also help
newcomers get started without too much difficulty, and there are more
general options such as name/@type and [log in to unmask] You could even use <seg
corresp="#joe_bloggs">, which could point at something which defines its
type with great precision. <ref> can also be used to point to an
internal or external real-world entities, assuming URIs can find them.
Feature structures, while extremely powerful in some contexts -- I've
used them in a linguistic dictionary project, where they were really
essential -- are overkill for many projects.
I agree with Lou that this is really an issue for project documentation.
Which of the many alternative methods any project chooses for management
of names and referring strings will depend on the nature and goals of
the project, and as long as the tags aren't abused and the documentation
is clear, I think the existing system works well.
Richard Light wrote:
> In message <[log in to unmask]>, Lou Burnard
> <[log in to unmask]> writes
>> It's true that TEI currently has nothing for <ship>s and requires you
>> to use <org> (<orgName>, <rs type="org">) for families, institutions,
>> peoples, or collectives. Though obviously generic elements like <name>
>> and <rs> can be used for them.
> The discussion on this topic possibly points up the lack of a coherent
> ontology of things-referred-to. Ships, for example, can be seen (at
> least in one sense) as a sub-class of objects. The CIDOC CRM springs to
> mind as a potential organising principle. This is possibly an area that
> the Ontologies SIG could look into?
> Having started by asserting that <placeName> etc. should be allowed to
> contain anonymous names, I'm now starting to think the opposite: that we
> should abandon all the "naming" elements (including <rs>) to their
> original purpose and think about having an element whose sole purpose is
> to link out to external real-world entities of relevance to the text.
> I would argue that even <rs> is compromised for this purpose, since it
> is constrained to contain "a general purpose name or referring string".
> What if a whole paragraph is about a specific person? What if there is
> no particular phrase on which you can hang your external link, and you
> want to put it in as a "milestone"? Lou has already commented on the
> ambiguity of what the <rs> "type" attribute is meant to be typing.
> Should we be simply switching to the use of feature structures for this
> type of external reference? (That's what we have done at the Wordsworth
> Trust, as we will be mentioning in our talk on Friday.)