Dear TEI-L Members,

The TEI Council is considering a change in P5 to TEI's global rend  
attribute.  Currently (in P5, P4, and earlier) the rend attribute can  
contain any string of characters.  Some prose in the Guidelines  
describes this content as follows:

The contents of the rend attribute are free text.  In any
given project, encoders are advised to settle on a standard vocabulary
with which to describe typographic or manuscript rendition of the text,
and to document their usage of that vocabulary in the <rendition>
element of the TEI header.

In part to formalize and strengthen the relationship between the rend  
attribute and the <rendition> element in the TEI Header, the Council  
is considering changing the rend attributes dataytype to a pointer to  
one or more <rendition> elements in the header.  The <rendition>  
elements in the header would provide a clear and precise rendition  
vocabulary that could be specified in an existing standard language  
such as CSS or XSL-FO, another language/standard, or a system of the  
user's own invention.

Thus, the TEI Header might contain a series of rendition elements  
such as the following:

<rendition xml:id="i" n="italic">font-style: italic;</rendition>
<rendition xml:id="u" n="underline">text-decoration: underline;</ 
<rendition xml:id="b" n="bold">font-weight: bold;</rendition>
<rendition xml:id="sc" n="small caps">font-variant: small-caps;</ 
<rendition xml:id="strike" n="strike through">text-decoration: line- 
<rendition xml:id="center" n="center">text-align: center;</rendition>
<rendition xml:id="right"  n="right" >text-align: right;</rendition>

The rend attributes elsewhere in the document would refer to this  
list.  For example:

   <head rend="#center #b">
	<l n="1">
		<hi rend="#sc">
		life is bitter with thy love; thine eyes
	<l n="2">
		Blind me, thy tresses burn me, thy sharp sighs
	<l n="3">
		Divide my flesh and spirit with soft sound,
	<l n="4">
		And my blood strengthens, and my veins abound.

Some perceived advantages of this approach include:

* formalizing the explicilty stated relationship between <rendition>  
and rend
* encouraging more accurate and precise definitions of rendition  
   for TEI documents.
* avoiding loose encoding practices which allow, for instance,
   rend="italic", rend="italics", rend="italicize", etc. all in a  
single document.
The major disadvantage of this approach is that it is not consistent  
with some existing practices and existing rend content.  Of course,  
the issue of "breaking" existing documents/practice exists for many  
other changes in P5. The TEI rend attribute is a widely-used global  
attribute, and the Council would like feedback from TEI-L and the TEI  
community on this proposed change.

Please post your comments to the list.

| John A. Walsh
| Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science
| Indiana University, 1320 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
| www: <>
| Voice:812-856-0707 Fax:812-856-2062 <mailto:[log in to unmask]>