On 8/22/2011 1:32 PM, Doug Reside wrote:
> Martin Holmes writes:


> As to John Walsh's argument that XML is human readable--I certainly
> wouldn't want to have to read raw XML as my primary way of engaging
> with a text. And clearly style-sheets exist because few others want to
> either.
> There may be a very few edge cases where XML encoding is in fact the
> best way to interpret a text, but I think these are very few (and
> actually vanishingly few as better annotation software provides much
> of the same functionality that you get from non-interoperable XML).
> Moreover, I really can't believe granting agencies and member
> institutions fund the organization so that a few scholars (maybe 50 or
> so) can conduct their close readings in a tongue even more obscure
> than Latin.   If the TEI actually wants this to be the primary use
> case for its standard, then I strongly encourage the leadership to
> continue to say this, and say it even louder, more clearly, and more
> publicly.  I suspect if those who control the purse strings at
> supporting organizations understand what is meant by this claim, it
> will mean a rapid drying up of funding for the TEI, but at least, it
> will be an honest death.
I would not mind such a declaration but suspect people using TEI for 
non-obscure languages would. ;-)

What is missing from this discussion is a realization that XML markup, 
even TEI XML markup has a semantic. The semantic of people who use TEI 
XML markup. Either from the Guidelines or training courses or TEI 
meetings and the mailing list, users of TEI XML markup have a loosely 
consistent way of using it in general cases. It has dialects if you will 
for particular cases, which non-users of those dialects understood 
poorly, if at all.

There are a wide range of uses for TEI markup, from encoding for 
linguistic analysis possibly obscure texts such as Sumerian (by Steve 
Tinney), to the Brown Women's Writer's Project, which works with 
possibly less obscure texts.

I think Lou's point that texts are "interchangeable" is spot on and that 
facile "interoperability" for display purposes is a chimera. Not that 
you can't use TEI for texts that are automatically processed to have 
some display and in some cases quite good display. If that is your goal. 
The point being that TEI can help you towards your goal, but won't force 
your goal on anyone else.

BTW, funding agencies routinely sponsor projects that deal with 
"obscure" languages. You have to ask, of course. But when there is an 
interest in not asking, it isn't done.

Hope you are having a great day!


> Doug

Patrick Durusau
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Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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Twitter: patrickDurusau