Hi Mark,

Could you explain what you mean by "nesting order" in the below?

Your argument seems to suggest that the encoder has a choice of what level
of numbered div to place inside another, whereas the DTD mandates that
inside a div1 can only be a div2, inside a div2 can only be a div3 etc.
Given this constraint, an XPath //div1 (in a document where there is no
div0) is nothing more than //div[count(ancestor-or-self::div)=1] in a
"plain div" model. In other words, given the constraints of the DTD, there
is no semantic content whatsoever in the X in "divX" that cannot be equally
well derived from inspecting the nesting in the instance.

In other words, it's nothing but syntax sugar. To back this claim up, I'd
be willing to take a shot at transforming any valid TEI numbered-div
structure you want to throw at me into an otherwise-identical TEI with an
unnumbered-div structure *and back again*, using plain old XSLT 1.0 and
*not* a "level" flag (following David's not unreasonable suggestion). You
only need to tell me whether you want the result of the final document to
start with a div0 or a div1 (another TEI distinction without a semantic

Please explain to me what I'm missing! or show me a numbered-div document
where the numbering in the div names provides a semantic otherwise
impossible (or even difficult) to derive. I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Heck, I think I'll write those stylesheets right now....


At 11:20 AM 2/13/2004, you wrote:
>Numbered divs are an easy way for the *encoder* to provide the
>desired object nesting for indexing/searching, contextualization,
>and object display independent of the content of a type attribute.
>This is particularly useful if you are implementing a collection,
>or any group of collections, that can be made up of any number of
>different kinds of divs that require distinct nesting orders.
>Unnumbered divs leave it to the implementor to either guess, on
>a case by case basis, the best nesting order, or simply to assume
>that all divs are equal.  IMHO, having the encoder explicitly
>identify the nesting order that s/he considers most appropriate
>for a particular document outweighs the implementation problems
>that numbered divs might cause.

Wendell Piez                            mailto:[log in to unmask]
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