I would say that Desmond Schmidt's approach is worth serious
consideration. How you choose to encode the texts is up to you, but you
will need to get the texts into the computer and to indicate where they
are subject to vagaries such as missing or illegible pieces. You can
just go for plain text and ... if you like, or use your own form of
markup, or use something like TEI that already has many of the
components you require.
No matter how you encode the texts, you will need a processing step that
gets them ready for input into the multiversion docs machine. (I don't
suppose the plain text and ... approach would need processing, but
the ...s would play havoc with the MVD, I imagine.) One reasonable
approach is to use TEI to encode as much as you need then transform the
transcriptions into a form capable of feeding into MVD using XSLT or
XQuery. Unfortunately, all of these technologies require significant
effort to learn and use.
In the end, it all depends on whether you want the texts you prepare to
have half a chance of reuse. I spent five years transcribing texts using
a non-TEI system and am sadly aware that the transcriptions are rarely
if ever used by others. This might have been different if I had used
TEI. (To put it another way, I would have used TEI if I knew what I know
This might interest you:
Karen Desmond wrote:
> I am completing a very small project using TEI. An edition of a short medieval
> technical text that appears in various states of completion and variation in
> several medieval manuscripts. And I am frustrated at the workarounds I have
> to do (such as how to represent lines of manuscript - or page breaks - or
> lacunae - that overlap with document elements -such as paragraphs or divs -
> or even readings in the various sources).
> I'm also concerned about the level of markup I am including with my
> transcriptions and prefer the method of making the best diplomatic
> transcriptions I can of each text and then running it through an automatic
> collation software like Juxta. Ideally this would be how I would best like to
> present this edition - and then include annotations that would overlay this -
> with my critical commentary.
> Will TEI be moving in this direction?
> I note in the presentation given at the summer school in Oxford on digital
> editing gives the reference to Multi-version documents
> Having read up on this last night this would seem much more like I would like to
> do - but is such an approach likely to become mainstream?
> Grateful for any discussion of this topic,