>I'd also argue against adding any more <floatingThing>s to TEI. It's
>never been clear to me what the definition of "floating" is in this
>context, and now we have at least one very robust way of describing the
>position and size of any block (CSS), I think it's less important to
>characterize things as floating or not by the use of tags.
Martin Holmes' comment on <floatingThings> doesn't quite catch what Paul
Schaffner had in mind, or so I think.
The "floating," which may or may not be a good name, has nothing to do
with the kind of floating that css supports, i.e. the precise positioning
of where on the screen a given element will appear. It has more to do
with the "place" of a particular text chunk in the "ordered hierarchy" of
the XML architecture. From another context, I remember an email in which
Paul used the metaphor of "raisins" in the oatmeal of the surrounding
Another metaphor would be that of a joker or wildcard in the hierarchy of
a pack of cards. Or one could think of Aristotle's discussion in the
Nicomachean Ethics of the "eikos" or "equitable" supplementing the
principle of justice.
From my encounter with many texts in the TCP collections, I sympathize
with the desire for such an element that on the one hand disrupts order
but on the other hand helps maintain order by encapsulating in its own
container stuff that cannot be readily expressed in the surrounding
The <floatingText> does something like this, if we follow the revised
definition that emerged from the discussions at the last Council meeting.
On the other hand, <floatingText> introduces more nesting or wrapping than
seems necessary in many simple cases.
I don't understand the interdependence of the TEI elements and modules
sufficiently clearly to judge whether a <floatingDiv> as a kind of
wildcard would in the end cause rather than contain trouble. Nor do I
quite know where one would draw a clear line between <floatingText> and
<floatingDiv> or whether drawing such a clear line would matter. But I can
think of quite a few cases where a "floating div" would be very useful,
especially if used in moderation.