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I'm not 100% sure this is the right forum for this question, and I seem
totally unable to access the TEI-L archive to check if the question has
been asked before.  But I figure this will be my best chance to find an
expert.
 
As some of you know, I'm trying to put diplomatic transcriptions of
various manuscripts of Caedmon's Hymn into critical form at the moment.
And I am trying to do it virtually -- i.e. drawing the readings directly
from the transcribed witnesses in my archive, rather than by typing or
cutting and pasting readings out of the diplomatic transcriptions into
the 'critical' texts and apparatus.  A schema for what I'm up to can be
found at the following URL:
http://www.uleth.ca/~daniel.odonnell/caedmon-job.html
 
The method I have been considering using has been to construct my
critical texts as TEI documents with no text between the tags.  Instead
each reading would be identified by an id number pointing to the
relevant witness and word/line and my processing software (which I'm
getting ready to write) would go and get the relevant readings from the
witness archive.  I.e. <w id=crit.1 copyOf=ld.1></w> should, if I
understand the P3 guidelines correctly, be able to instruct processing
software to get the reading identified elsewhere in the file as <w
id=ld.1>Nu</w>.
 
I'm beginning to suspect that what I'm actually trying to do is
construct my edition from what is in effect a relational database: I
currently have separate files for each manuscript.  But it is possible
also to see each file, with MS name and readings as a row in a larger
database table.  I.e. where I currently have something like
File1     File2     File3
MS1       MS2       MS3
Word1a    Word1b    Word1c
Word2a    Word2b    Word2c
 
I could also see this data as a table in a single (database)file
MSName  Word1   Word2
------  -----   -----
MS1     Word1a  Word2a
MS2     Word1b  Word2b
MS3     Word1c  Word2c
 
My critical editions would then be simple views of this data arranged in
non-tabular form, perhaps even eliminating the need for the dummy texts
with the 'copyOf' attributes I mention above.
 
Anyway, this is a long preamble to my question, which is: has anybody
tried encoding multiple views of a TEI edition or text in this way?  Has
anybody tried constructing text-data tables from marked-up text files?
or tried pulling data from a table and presenting it in non-tabular
ways?  Is it necessary to physically construct a table?  or can you use
the 'id' attributes to construct a virtual table?
 
I'm sure I'm not being as clear as I could, and this is a developing
idea of mine.  But I'd appreciate any advice that people can offer!
Even if it is for a better forum to ask.
 
--
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
Department of English
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge AB T1K 3M4
Canada
 
Tel (403) 329-2377
Fax (403) 3382-7191
[log in to unmask]
http://home.leth.ca/~daniel.odonnell