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TEI-L  February 2014

TEI-L February 2014

Subject:

Re: Line endings

From:

Syd Bauman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 15 Feb 2014 22:06:56 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (148 lines)

And I'll just note (as Kevin knew I would) that this method is a bad
idea. It presumes a specific processing model (the one Paul described
-- "retrieve text [only] by the <div>"). Even if I liked that
processing model, I would suggest that to curtail other processing
models for such a small gain is a bad idea. Besides, I think it makes
even that processing model harder in some cases.

Let's presume the main question you want to ask of any given element
is "what page am I on?". Let's also presume (to make the discussion
simpler) a pretty simple encoding, e.g., notes are encoded where they
lie (as opposed to at the point of attachment), the value of @n is
always an integer, etc.

If you encode each page break faithfully as a <pb> element where the
page break occurs in the text, then the answer is always the same,
and quite easy:
   preceding::pb[1]/@n 
(presuming the page number is on @n). If (as Lou and Peter have
discussed in an earlier portion of this thread) you *start* with a
<pb>, you don't have to special-case anything.[1]

But if you move the <pb> to *inside* a division that starts on that
page, you have two problems.

1) Now the algorithm fails for that <div>. But it doesn't fail for
   all <div>s, only those that start at the top of a page and had the
   <pb> moved inside. So now you have to know which case of a <div>
   you have in order to find out what page it's on.
   case a) large, starts at top of page, we moved the <pb>: use
           child::pb[1]/@n, I guess; could also use
           preceding::pb[1]/@n +1, I suppose.
   case b) small, started in the middle of a page: like any other
           element, preceding::pb[1][log in to unmask]
   I don't know how you would differentiate these cases, unless you
   are completely draconian and the <pb> that has been moved in is
   always in the exact same position. (Say, 1st child.)

2) If there are any elements between the start of the <div> and the
   <pb> (say a <gap>), you don't know what page they were on. Again,
   being draconian can solve this problem.

These problems arise because you have asserted something that is
untrue. To demonstrate this, here is an encoding of the end of
chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4 of _The 13 Clocks_ by James
Thurber.[2]

      <div type="chapter" n="3">
        <gap unit="pages" quantity="13"/>
        <pb n="51"/>
        <gap unit="lines" quantity="4"/>
        <p>
          <said>The Blob will glup him</said>, said the guard.
          <lb/><said>It's an agent of the devil, sent to punish evil-
          <lb break="no"/>doers for having done less evil than they should.
          <lb/>I talk too much. come on. The Duke is waiting.</said>
        </p>
      </div>
      <pb n="52"/>
      <div type="chapter" n="4">
        <head>IV</head>
        <p><hi rendition="#ODIC">T</hi><hi style="text-transform:uppercase;">he Duke</hi>
          sat at one end of
        <lb/>a black oak table in the black
        <lb/>oak room, lighted by flaming
        <lb/>torches that threw red gleams
        <lb/>on shields and lances. The
        <lb/>Duke's gloves sparkled when
        <lb/>he moved his hands. He stared moodily through
        <lb/>his monocle at young Prince Zorn. The Duke
        <lb/>sneered, which made him even colder. <said>So you
        <lb/>would hunt the Boar</said>, he said, <said>or travel thrice
        <lb/>around the moon, or turn November into June.</said>
        <lb/>He laughed, and a torch went out. <said>Saralinda in
        <lb/>November turns November into June. A cow can
        <lb/>travel thrice around the moon, or even more. And
        <pb n="53"/><emph>anyone</emph> can merely <emph>hunt</emph> the Boar.
          I have another
        <lb/>plan for you. I thought it up myself last night,
        <lb/>while I was killing mice. I'll send you out to find
        <lb/>a thousand jewels and bring them back.</said>
        </p>
        <gap unit="lines" quantity="18"/>
        <pb n="54"/>
        <gap unit="pages" quantity="8"/>
      </div>

(I really like this example because it also demonstrates the
short-coming in TEI encoding of end-of-line hyphens: is the word
after "punish" supposed to be re-constituted as "evil-doers" or
"evildoers"? Many encoders or projects may not wish to commit to one
or the other, but if you do, TEI does not give you a standard way to
differentiate. But I'm getting side-tracked ...)

Note that the <pb> element lies where it is in the book -- *between*
the two chapters. This encoding asserts that chapter 3 ends on page
51 and chapter 4 starts on page 52. I think that matches most
people's intuition.

Using this encoding, from any element, from any word, you can ask the
question "what page am I on?" by asking for preceding::pb[1][log in to unmask] Try
it. From the word "more" you get "52". From the word "anyone" you get
"53". 

If we follow P. Schaffner TEI-in-Libraries method (apparently
inherited from M. Popham), we would move the <pb> thus:

          <lb/>I talk too much. come on. The Duke is waiting.</said>
        </p>
      </div>
      <div type="chapter" n="4">
        <pb n="52"/>
        <head>IV</head>

This clearly asserts that chapter 4 starts on page 51. Which is why,
when we ask "what page am I on?" using preceding::pb[1]/@n from the
<div> we get the wrong answer ("51").

But the Paul Schaffner's of the world may say "but I want the page
number *after* I've retrieved the <div> -- I no longer have the
preceding stuff". I hear you cry. In this case what you end up with
is a fragment that (in this respect) is like a complete text in which
there is no <pb> at the start. So the general rule [1] should apply.
I think one would be hard-pressed to find a real extant document for
which, when encoded with page breaks where they lie, it doesn't work:
  if (preceding::pb)
    then preceding::pb[1]/@n
    else (following::pb|descendant::pb)[1]/@n -1

So fidelity in encoding the page break position does make it a little
harder to code "what page am I on?" from an extracted <div>. But it's
no big deal, and it makes coding it for the general case a lot
easier.

Notes
-----
[1] If you didn't start with a <pb>, you need to first check that
    there is a preceding::pb, and if not, subtract one from
    (descendant::pb|following::pb)[1][log in to unmask] I admit that's less than
    ideal.

[2] If you have not read _The 13 Clocks_, stop reading TEI-L
    immediately and do not rest until you have obtained a copy
    and read it.

> I'll just note that the Michael Popham recommendation made it into
> the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries:
>   http://www.tei-c.org/SIG/Libraries/teiinlibraries/main-driver.html#index.xml-body.1_div.3_div.6

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