On your SGML browser problem: you shouldn't worry too much about that, I
think. They are useful tools, especially for SGML proofreading during
production, but they are not the ultimate presentation tool anyway.
(This is my personal opinion). One possible way of having more tools
available (also free ones), is to use XML tagging (or to use standard
SGML in a way that can easily be converted into XML). But you could
very probably find more comfortable tools than "Notepad.exe" also for
standard SGML. :-) Do you know the SGML/XML web site run by Robin Cover
? There is a lot of useful information, also on software.
On your problem of several related texts: this is really an interesting
issue. Actually, the encoding of even a single manuscript is
challenging enough, especially as a first experiment with SGML.
My (un-asked-for) advice would be: start out with one base text, or
maybe just part of it, and see how your plans and concepts hold in
reality; when this is finished and presentable, and with the experience
gained, you may find it more rewarding to work on the intertextual
relationships. (It may also be easier to find support for your work
when there is something to present).
A key decision will probably be whether/where you fully encode several
variants of a text in parallel, and document with tags how they
interrelate (this will probably be the approach for the chinese
translations), or whether/where you integrate variants into the base
text, marking them up as diversions from the main textual stream (this
will probably be the approach for a manuscript that differs only in
local variants from the base text). In the first case, the TEI box to
open would be "TEI.linking" (chapter 14 of the guidelines), in the
second case it would be "TEI.textcrit" (chapter 19 of the guidelines).
In any case, you might be interested in "TEI.transcr" (chapter 18).
I am rather interested in the issue of marking up textual variants and
also textual history in general; I have been working on this topic a
while ago, and I shall probably pick it up again some time this year.
If you like, I'd be interested to hear more details of your text
situation and to talk on how to deal with it in SGML, also beyond the
limits of what the TEI is currently proposing (we might do this off the
list, in case it gets to special).
With kind regards,
(_) Tobias Rischer
"===' [log in to unmask]