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I don't understand the objection, to be honest. I can't really imagine a
case where leaving out a rdg entirely could be taken to mark an omission in
a specific witness. I think to do so would be a mistake (a bad one), and we
should recommend against it. The more plausible example of using a rdg
containing only a note is not what I'd call a best practice, but should be
unambiguous to someone attempting a later conversion.

Notably, I haven't seen any non-theoretical objections to this change. If
using an empty rdg to mark an omission is indeed a best practice, then
"SHOULD" as it is defined in the TCW is the right language.

Full disclosure. I *think* I'm the author of this bit of verbiage, and I
think I was wrong to use "may".

Hugh

On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 9:09 AM James Cummings <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
>
> If I can just play devil's advocate for a moment and note that the
> conversation here has focussed primarily on active digital editing for the
> creation of new digital editions whereas the TEI Guidelines for text
> critical apparatus are intended to cover a wider range of representation of
> critical editions in digital form. The entire reason for the existence of
> some of the recommendations in that chapter (as obviously in need of
> revision as it is) is not just for the creation of new digital editions
> where the <app>s are being created by a loving and caring editor, but also
> for the retrospective conversion of existing print editions (and related
> materials) or legacy data migration in all sorts of forms and formats.
>
>
> I've been thinking a lot about the use of modal verbs in the TEI
> Guidelines because I've been getting around to issue #1175 and going
> through and checking these. (I've mostly been focussing on when we say
> 'should' and double checking that this is not something that is in fact
> required by the TEI and should say 'must'.) The TEI Guidelines have said
> that you 'may' do this which you'll note in the Style Guide
> http://teic.github.io/TCW/tcw24.html means that it is entirely optional
> whether you do it or not.
>
>
> ===
>
> MUST
> This word, or the terms "REQUIRED" or "SHALL", mean that this is an
> absolute requirement of the TEI Guidelines for production of a TEI
> conformant file.
>
> MUST NOT
> This phrase, or the phrase "SHALL NOT", mean that this is an absolute
> prohibition of the TEI Guidelines for production of a TEI conformant file.
>
> SHOULD
> This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there may exist valid
> reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular recommendation,
> but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before
> choosing a different course.
>
> SHOULD NOT
> This phrase, or the phrase "NOT RECOMMENDED" mean that there may exist
> valid reasons in particular circumstances when the particular behavior is
> acceptable or even useful, but the full implications should be understood
> and the case carefully weighed before implementing any behavior so
> described.
>
> MAY
> This word, or the adjective "OPTIONAL", mean that a recommendation is
> truly optional. One user may choose to follow the recommendation because a
> particular project requires it or feels that it enhances their work while
> another project may choose to not follow this recommendation.
> ===
>
>
> Changing this to 'should' or 'recommended' means that while a project may
> ignore this they are doing so in full knowledge that we recommend against
> it. My central worry is that I fear projects have used the 'empty <rdg>
> means this witness is silent at this point' while others that have used the
> 'not having an <rdg> for that witness means it does not have this bit of
> text'. Changing this to a 'should' kick those projects out of the fold of
> doing things 'properly'.  Moreover, suggesting that the way to do this is
> to have an empty element rules out other methods that may have resulted
> from retrospective conversion or legacy data migration. For example, those
> where <rdg> elements whose only content was a <note> element detailing some
> information about this witness having omitted this bit of text or something
> similar.
>
>
> For the record, I agree that in creating a new scholarly digital edition
> that I personally would use an empty <rdg/> (and would also not use a
> <lem>) but before making this change I'd spare a thought for those who have
> taken the TEI at its word that this behaviour is entirely optional, or
> those doing some form of conversion in the future who may not be able to
> determine whether a witness is missing or not from an <app> because of the
> nature of their source media or format.
>
>
> Your friendly neighbourhood devil's advocate,
>
> James
>
>
> --
>
> Dr James Cummings, [log in to unmask]
>
> School of English Literature, Language, and Linguistics, Newcastle
> University
> ------------------------------
> *From:* TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list <
> [log in to unmask]> on behalf of Elisa <[log in to unmask]>
> *Sent:* 19 August 2018 20:51:42
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: empty <rdg> elements vs omission of <rdg> elements
>
> Thanks, Marjorie—and your chapter is really helpful for concisely
> summarizing the distinct approaches we have been discussing, and explaining
> that neutral position with respect to potentially equivalent witnesses.
>
> I, for, one agree with Hugh that the proposed change to recommend empty
> rdg elements is an uncontroversial tiny edit for the Guidelines, but
> likely connected with more edits to come. I just opened a ticket now  and
> maybe that will help us connect some related tasks:
> https://github.com/TEIC/TEI/issues/1801
>
> Best,
> Elisa
> --
> Elisa Beshero-Bondar, PhD
> Director, Center for the Digital Text
> Associate Professor of English
> University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
> 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601 USA
> E-mail: [log in to unmask] | Development site: http://newtfire.org
>
> Typeset by hand on my iPad
>
> On Aug 19, 2018, at 1:27 PM, Marjorie Burghart <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> Hi Elisa!
>
> Yes, that is what I mean by "neutral recording". Without a lemma, you do
> not choose one witness or branch of the tradition over the other(s), that
> is what I call "neutral", but you still record the variance of the text.
> And I do use empty lem elements when there is an addition in one or more
> witnesses - with the same logic as for omissions. I've elaborated at
> greater length on that in chapter 4 of this online textbook:
> https://www.digitalmanuscripts.eu/digital-editing-of-medieval-texts-a-textbook/
> (and also in the online course). Feedback welcome :)
>
> All this indeed depends on the textual scholarship tradition from which
> you depend. Some people will never use the notion of lemma, other will
> consider that an edition without a lemma simply cannot be called
> "critical". I think it is best for the TEI to cater for the needs of each
> school (as it does), rather than choose one and recommend practices in this
> department.
>
> Best,
> Marjorie
>
>
>
>
> ----- Mail original -----
> De: "Elisa Beshero-Bondar" <[log in to unmask]>
> À: "Marjorie Burghart" <[log in to unmask]>
> Cc: [log in to unmask]
> Envoyé: Dimanche 19 Août 2018 14:20:33
> Objet: Re: empty <rdg> elements vs omission of <rdg> elements
>
> Hi Marjorie,
> Just to be sure I understand “neutral”, do you mean that when there is no
> use of lem, the absence of a rdg for a specific witness means something
> more like, “at this moment this rdg has no material while the others do”,
> as opposed to, “at this moment, the rdg omits the material in the lem”?
>
> I work without a base text in most of my projects, because there isn’t now
> a single agreed-on standard witness and wasn’t at the time of writing. But
> even so, I see witnesses actively striking out passages (active omission)
> in copies of previous rdgs. And I also simply see absence of the other
> witnesses at a point where one late witness has diverged because it has
> added, say, a whole paragraph of prose. That doesn’t mean the other earlier
> witnesses actively omitted this material, so I think that might be an
> example of the more neutral interpretation of an empty rdg. Am I right in
> that thinking, or are there other cases not to do with “material absent at
> this point” that might account for an empty rdg element?
>
> Could we imagine an empty lem element? I think we could, depending on why
> the witness was chosen to be the lem—if it is, for example, a standard
> canonical text that is a revision of an earlier draft, or a more complete
> version where others are fragmentary. I don’t work much with lem,
> though—and I wonder if people tend to use it for the earliest / original
> witness. I suspect here we may find variations in thinking about what
> constitutes a lem?
>
> Elisa
>
>
>
> --
> Elisa Beshero-Bondar, PhD
> Director, Center for the Digital Text
> Associate Professor of English
> University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
> 150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601 USA
> E-mail: [log in to unmask] | Development site: http://newtfire.org
>
> Typeset by hand on my iPad
>
> On Aug 19, 2018, at 7:15 AM, Marjorie Burghart <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>
> Hi Franz!
>
>
> Good point! I woukd say that the exact meaning of an empty rdg is
> determined by the structure of its app container:
>
> - if the app contains a lem, then it means the empty rdg is an omission;
>
> - if there are only rdgs in the app, then it is not an omission but a
> neutral revording of the textual tradition.
>
> Best, Marjorie
>
>
>
>
> ----- Mail d'origine -----
>
> De: Franz Fischer <[log in to unmask]>
>
> À: Marjorie Burghart <[log in to unmask]>,
> [log in to unmask]
>
> Envoyé: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:32:44 +0200 (CEST)
>
> Objet: Re: empty <rdg> elements vs omission of <rdg> elements
>
>
> I generally agree, too.
>
>
> I should just like to point out that om. (omisit/omiserunt) means a
>
> reading has been omitted that previously (in some original version) used
>
> to be there or is supposed to be there.
>
>
> An empty reading element just says a reading is not present. It might
>
> turn out that this reading is actually a later addition in other
>
> witness(es). In order to convey the full semantics of "om." one might
>
> add @cause, @type or @ana="omission".
>
>
> Franz
>
>
>
>
> Am 18.08.2018 um 19:29 schrieb Marjorie Burghart:
>
> I agree, it ought to say "should", and needs fixing.
>
> Best, Marjorie
>
>
>
>
> ----- Mail d'origine -----
>
> De: Hugh Cayless <[log in to unmask]>
>
> À: [log in to unmask]
>
> Envoyé: Sat, 18 Aug 2018 19:16:38 +0200 (CEST)
>
> Objet: Re: empty <rdg> elements vs omission of <rdg> elements
>
>
> Dear David,
>
>
> I would say it ought to say *should* (and I may just go ahead and fix it
> unless there are objections). That chapter is in dire need of a makeover
> precisely with a view to elaborating best practices that have emerged over
> the last few years. I would say that <rdg wit=“A”/> means the same thing as
> “lemma] om. A” in a print apparatus. As you rightly point out, there might
> be other reasons for leaving out a witness reading, including simply that
> the editor doesn’t think it’s worth recording. For cases where a witness
> doesn’t apply because it’s missing part of the work, I might fool around
> with <witStart/> and <witEnd/>, though I’m not sure how useful they are as
> currently defined.
>
>
> Hugh
>
>
> Sent from my phone.
>
>
> On Aug 18, 2018, at 07:03, Birnbaum, David J <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> Dear TEI-L,
>
>
> The Guidelines, at
> http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/TC.html#index-body.1_div.12_div.4,
> say that:
>
>
> An omission in one witness may be encoded using an empty rdg,
>
>
> The use of “may” leaves me uncertain about whether an empty <rdg> is
> consisted Best Practice, and I don’t find any discussion of whether an
> empty <rdg> elements is preferable to omitting a <rdg> element for a
> particular witness at a particular location, or about whether the two
> treatments are supposed to indicate different semantics.
>
>
> In the absence of explicit semantics or Best-Practice guidelines, it’s
> tempting to use both methods and invent and impose a difference. For
> example, in some editions a witness may be used only in certain places, but
> not throughout the entire collation. Perhaps, for example, Witness B is not
> usually included because it is secondary to Witness A, but Witness A is
> missing pages, and Witness B is used as a surrogate for Witness A at those
> locations. In that case we might use an empty <rdg> in places where Witness
> A has been included in our collation within a specific <app> and it omits a
> reading there, while the absence of a <rdg> that points to Witness A would
> indicate that Witness A has not been part of the collation in  that <app>.
> That treatment would be specific to a particular edition, and could be
> documented in the header. I don’t see anything in the Guidelines that
> either recommends or discourages this approach.
>
>
> The temptation to include an empty <rdg>, instead of omitting a <rdg> for
> a particular witness, looks as if it may have been motivated by tabular
> output. Specifically, in a table where rows are witnesses and columns are
> locations in the continuous tradition, every witness intersects every
> moment, and if the witness is silent in one place, the table nonetheless
> must have a cell. (Whether the cell should be empty or should say something
> like “omitted” is a separate question.) But TEI parallel segmentation isn’t
> a table; for example, it combines shared readings in a single <rdg>
> element, and the combinations may be different inside different <app>
> wrappers.
>
>
> My reservation about local semantics and the absence of explicit
> Best-Practice recommendations arises because I’m looking at the moment at
> the automated export of TEI output from a collation tool. The collation
> tool knows which witnesses have readings at which locations, but it will
> not have access to information about possible different reasons for the
> absence of a reading suggested in the hypothetical local practice described
> above. When I transform the collation information into TEI parallel
> segmentation, then, either I can omit a <rdg> where a witness otherwise in
> the collation is not attested within a particular <app> or I can include an
> empty <rdg>. The Guidelines, at the location cited above, say that the
> empty <rdg> is permitted (“may”), but not that it is recommended, and I see
> nothing that prohibits, or even discourages, the alternative of omitting
> the <rdg> for that witness entirely. Users who have implemented one or the
> other behavior can transform either output into the other automatically, so
> from an engineering perspective the choice in this context may be
> arbitrary. But before I flip a coin, I would be grateful for guidance from
> the Community about whether one or the other representation should be
> considered Best Practice.
>
>
> Best,
>
>
> David
>
>
>
>
>