On 5 August 2015 at 20:58, Amy Mack <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

One of the issues causing me some confusion when comparing TEI with XHTML is that if XHTML is (for want of a better description) an XML version/extension of HTML and can be used to describe both document structure using div elements with the @class attribute, and document metadata, are there any specific advantages to using either schema over the other?

To my mind the big difference between TEI and XHTML is a pragmatic one: it's about how they support a critical attitude to the text.

XHTML is for publication of a text by its author. You know what you want to say; go ahead and say it. Whereas TEI is for critical analysis and re-presentation of a text, by a critic.

XHTML is not designed to be a language for critical encoding of text at all, and hence it can afford to take a naive approach to the text; saying "here is the text ... this is its hierarchical structure ... this is what it means".

TEI, by contrast, says "here is the text; and here is alternative view of the text ... this is its hierarchical structure, this is the process by which the author(s) actually composed it, this is its thematic structure, this is how it relates to these other texts, this is what I think of this or that part of it; this is what some other critic said about this part of the text; this is what we know about the author of the text and who they wrote the text for; this part is borrowed from this other text; this is an ambiguity; this is an error; this is what the author was trying to say; etc. etc. etc."

Conal Tuohy