Hi Lou,

On 12 May 2005, at 18:06, Dot Porter wrote:

> Hello All,
> First, the descriptions of <note> in P4 pretty clearly identify it as
> something to be used to mark existing notes - marginal notes in a
> manuscript
> perhaps, or the aforementioned footnotes in a published document.

This is true, but it is also usable for notes added to material which
is born digital, which is arguably what your electronic edition is.  If
however the distinction is important to you, you could consider using
another element such as <span> or <interp> (see

DOT: I saw both <span> and <interp> when looking for approaches, but my
initial impression was that the system of short annotations just isn't
suitable to what we're doing. But I'll take another look.

> Second, I know that <note> has been used by electronic editors to mark
> their
> own thoughts, but for editorial reasons we are keen to keep the
> content of
> our document limited to the content of our source manuscript. Since
> <note>
> requires the note text to be included as content (ms text <note>here
> is the
> opinion of the electronic editor</note> more ms text), it violates this
> rule.

I don't understand this point. If you are saying that <note> has to be
used inline, then this is simply a misconception. You can put <note>
inline or out of line and there are examples of both usages in the
It's true that the out-of-line cases discussed (eg the Pope examples)
are all from pre-existing documents, but I don't think that invalidates
the general point that you can do out-of-line annotation using <note>
if you wish to.

DOT: Yes, out-of-line annotation is a possibility.

Thanks for your help!


> (Even disregarding our second point): Third, although <note> can
> associate
> the note with a span of text by including IDREFs in <note>'s target
> attribute, it requires that that span of text have other markup
> surrounding
> it. So, if the editor wants to comment on the first two letters in a
> word,
> the editor must place <c> markup around those letters only to act as
> references, not because the letters themselves warrant individual
> markup.
> Obviously, this can also be impractical when pointing a note to a large
> segment of text that contains a lot of markup.

The scope of a note (i.e. the thing annotated) has to be indicated
somehow, it's true. There are a numb er of ways of doing that discussed
in the section on linking.
But I don't think this problem has anything to do with whether you use
<note> or not -- the same problems would arise whatever tag you use to
mark the annotation.

> Enter our new element: <ednote>. The content of <ednote> is the
> manuscript
> text that the editor is commenting on; the editor's comments are
> included as
> the value of an attribute (say, noteContent). Using this system, the
> example
> from my Second point above would read:
> <ednote noteContent="here is the opinion of the electronic editor">ms
> text</ednote>
> Trying to anticipate some concerns:
> 1. We are not concerned with including markup in the editor's
> comments, so
> there is no issue with placing markup in that attribute value.

You will still fall foul of the other problem associated with using
text in an attribute value: namely, what happens if the language of the
attribute value is different from that  of the element content?

> 2. "But what you're saying is that that ms text is being described as
> an
> editorial note, right?" Well, right now we are calling the element
> <ednote>.
> But what if we call it something different, like <noteSub>, for the
> subject
> of the note?  And the attribute value is the note that describes the
> subject?

Well, that would be a less confusing name certainly. But it seems to me
to be inviting problems to require annotators to duplicate the text
they are annotating.

> <noteSub noteContent="here is the opinion of the electronic editor">ms
> text</noteSub>
> Are there other problems with approaching editorial notes in this way?
> Has
> anyone else dealt with this issue, and if so how did you work with it?

What's wrong with doing what it suggests in the Guidlines?

> Thanks,
> Dot
> **********************************
> Dorothy Carr Porter
> Program Coordinator, Research in Computing for Humanities
> 3-51/3-52 William T. Young Library
> University of Kentucky
> Lexington, KY  40391
> 859-257-9549            
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