Dear list,

I am currently working on a digital edition based on two Arabic
manuscripts. I am using the multi-witness approach with app/rdg to
record differences between the manuscripts.

Except for minor, phrase-level variants, there are two parts with larger
differences: The title pages and the colophons.

Since rdg may now contain div, I can express the different colophons
using an app:

        <rdg wit="#alif">
          <div type="colophon">
        <rdg wit="#ba">
          <div type="colophon">

(Side note: I am using div with type="colophon" here. I understand that
the colophon element is only used in the catalogue-like context of
msDesc. It always struck me as odd that one cannot use similarly
expressive elements to record these distinctive phenomena in the actual
text transcription, but that is another topic and might be indicative of
my ignorance of editorial practices.)

However, this approach does not work for the title pages, since rdg may
not contain titlePage. I also cannot simply wrap the titlePage in a div,
since it’s not allowed in that position, either.

I now chose a strategy that uses @exclude like this:

      <titlePage xml:id="tp-alif" corresp="#alif" exclude="#tp-ba">
      <titlePage xml:id="tp-ba" corresp="#ba" exclude="#tp-alif">

However, it feels odd not to use the same mechanism here, plus
expressing the witness through the rather generic @corresp seems
inexact. The downside of this is also that generic tools for critical
editions won’t understand this construct.

Is there a better way to encode this? Or would it be sensible to allow
more block elements as children of rdg, including titlePage?

Dr. Frederik Elwert

Digital Humanities Coordinator
Center for Religious Studies
Ruhr-University Bochum

Universitätsstr. 90a
D-44780 Bochum

Phone +49(0)234 32-23024