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I've also been watching this discussion with interest. We identified 
exactly the same need when thinking about how the xaira indexer should 
store information it needs to maintain in a corpus header. The present 
solution (see http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/rts/xaira/Doc/indexing.xml for 
full gruesome detail) is a very messy one -- I started from the 
assumption that I didn't want to add any new elements, and rapidly 
descended to rank tag abuse): until Martin's very neat solution came 
along, we had been thinking we'd just have to use a separate namespace, 
but now I think this kind of <appInfo> element offers something a lot 
better.

What it doesn't help with is the unfortunate fact that sometimes an 
application wants to use information which is already catered for by 
some other TEI element. Some of the earlier discussion about the 
tradeoff between what goes into the revisionDescription and what goes 
into <appInfo> is one manifestation of this problem. In the case of 
Xaira,  for example, the indexing app needs to know (and potentially 
update) information about what elements are present in the file and what 
human-readable gloss is provided for them: the "natural" TEI place for 
that info is, of course, the <tagUsage> element. But xaira needs that 
data to be structured in a specific way, which (in general) the TEI 
doesn't and cannot mandate. So either you have to duplicate it in the 
appinfo place, or you have to restrict the user's ability to mess with 
the <tagUsage>, neither of which is very appealing.

I do not understand the purpose of  a global "tools" attribute. Could 
someone give a specific use case? (and apologies if I've overlooked it 
in the previous discussion)

Lou