We've had some discussion recently about the use of <label> for purposes 
not associated with lists, a usage which seems to be hinted at by some 
parts of the Guidelines, and by its general availability in a variety of 
locations, but which is not explicitly endorsed. Examples already in the 
Guidelines show it used in <application>, <etym>, and <postscript>, and 
I have another situation which I think is suitable for the use of <label>.

In many of our 17th- and 18th-century French texts, topic headings are 
often shown in the margin of the text, as if they were marginal 
annotations. These appear occasionally where a new paragraph brings a 
change of topic, but most often right in the middle of paragraphs, to 
signal the mention of something significant. Up to now, I've been using 
<argument> for these little headings, but that's rather unsatisfactory 
because its semantics aren't quite right, it can't appear inside 
paragraphs or other content elements without modifying the schema, and 
it requires an additional <p> or <ab> inside it before you can add text.

<label> seems to me to be exactly what these little marginal items are. 
They're not <note>s -- marginal notes also exist, and they're different. 
So I'm proposing to use <label> for them instead of <argument>.

Does anyone see any objection to this, or have any other suggestions? If 
this is a legitimate use of <label>, it's another point in favour of 
rewriting the description of <label> and providing some new examples of 
usages which don't relate to lists.

On a related note, I'd like to add @type to <label>, so I can 
distinguish between various usages of it. Any votes in favour of this?

Martin Holmes
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
([log in to unmask])