>Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 14:36:39 CDT
>From: Gregory Murphy <[log in to unmask]>
>TEI Lite includes the elements XPTR and XREF, used for creating pointers
>to material outside the document. Is there any plan to make the TEI or
>its lite version or both compliant with the eventual W3C
>reccommendations for Linking and Pointing?
Let me turn the question around. Should there be? And on what
I believe we can usefully start by taking the following as likely,
though not guaranteed:
(a) XLink and XPointer will be fairly widely adopted.
(b) Once XLink and XPointer are out, new implementations of the
existing TEI extended-pointer notation (EPN) will become less likely,
since implementors will be more interested in Xpointer than in TEI
EPN; we will thus be left with the existing partial implementations in
DynaText and in Panorama.
(c) XPointer may reproduce only a subset of TEI EPN functionality
(in particular, the SPACE, FOREIGN, HYQ, and REF keywords have never
appeared in any Xpointer draft, and I'm not sure whether HERE is
still around, either).
(d) The syntax of Xpointer will be different enough to allow
processors to distinguish Xpointers from TEI EPN expressions.
(e) Some EPN expressions can almost certainly be translated
automatically into Xpointer expressions with nothing much more
elaborate than an editor macro; a fully automatic translation is,
however, virtually guaranteed to be impossible, so we can assume
that complex Xpointer expressions may need hand work.
In making the decision, the TEI technical review committee needs
some information from TEI users:
- Does anyone actually use the SPACE, FOREIGN, HYQ, or REF keywords?
- Does anyone actually use any keywords except ID? (I know at
least two projects where ID is the *only* keyword allowed.)
- What keywords *do* you use? How often do you use them?
- How much trouble would changing to a new extended-pointer notation
(e.g. that of Xpointer) be?
- Which is more important for users of TEI and of TEI extended
pointers? Access to the Xpointer-based software we hope will be
built when Xpointer is finished, or backward compatibility with
- How do people feel about changing the attribute names (currently
'doc', 'from', and 'to') to match those defined by Xlink?
(Personally, I *hate* the name 'href', but I'm willing to be in the
minority, and I might have to learn to live with it in any case.)
>Any interest in discussing this further?
There is certainly interest here. I hope there's interest among
users of TEI.
If no one answers these inquiries, I will report to the technical
review committee that
1 No one is actually using extended pointers in production systems
except the Model Editions Partnership, the University of Illinois at
Chicago, and me (I used them in my slide presentations).
2 Most current production uses of extended pointers use only the
ID keyword (MEP and UIC); other uses are negligeable (my slides
are not that important).
3 As a consequence, backward compatibility is not an issue, and
as soon as Xlink and Xpointer are done, a TEI work group should be
formed to align the chapter on Linking, Segmentation, and Alignment
4 A working paper showing how to translate from TEI P3 extended
pointer to the new form would be interesting, but strictly optional.
If these statements are not true, say so now!
-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Senior Research Programmer, University of Illinois at Chicago
Editor, ACH/ACL/ALLC Text Encoding Initiative
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