[tei-council] 'fw' element part of model.milestoneLike?

Syd Bauman Syd_Bauman at Brown.edu
Thu Apr 20 09:55:35 EDT 2006

> Susan and I also noticed this. One could argue that it's
> milestone-like in the sense that a running head or catchword can
> function as a reference point between sections or pages, but it
> does seem odd that fw is the only milestone element that isn't
> empty.

I think there is an argument for claiming that <fw> is very like a
milestone, but is not a milestone, because it is not empty. If we buy
this argument, then the question remains whether we want to

a) restrict 'model.milestoneLike' so that it may obtain only things
   that are actually milestones,

b) permit things that are like milestones, but aren't empty, in class
   'model.milestoneLike' (after all, that's what the "Like" is for
   :-), or 

c) rename 'model.milestoneLike' to something else

But I don't think this analysis really goes deep enough. Even though
the content of <fw> may serve as a reference system, I don't think it
*is* a reference system the same way a milestone element is.
Milestones definitionally divide a span into smaller pieces. Each
smaller piece has a milestone in front of it (except perhaps the
first such piece) and a milestone after it (except perhaps the last
such piece). This is not necessarily true of formeworkes. Imagine,
e.g., the printed work of an odd typographer who removed the running
heads, etc., from his forme for prime numbered pages.

The things a formeworke held happened to be directly associated with
the milestones of the printed page. But that, it seems to me, is
somewhat due to an accident of printing history, more than an
intrinsic feature of formeworkes. But then again, I don't know a
whole lot about it.

Thus, I'm arguing that <fw> should not be in 'model.milestoneLike'
not because it has content, but because it's not a milestone.

On the other hand, putting <fw> in 'model.milestoneLike' gets that
element to appear exactly where we want it. I.e., pragmatically
speaking, this is where it belongs.

> On the other hand, must all empty element necessarily be
> milestones?

I think you've asked the question backwards, as the answer to the
question as written is obviously not -- there are many many empty
elements that are not milestones (and are not even milestone-like).
<anchor> and <index> jump to mind. But the reverse question -- "must
all milestone elements necessarily be empty?" is, IMHO, a really
interesting question. I think the short answer is something like "no,
but it can't contain the same stuff of which the larger span of text
that is being divided into small pieces is made".

E.g., if you are transcribing a long-winded speech by a boring
politician, you might well have milestone elements to indicate the
spots in your transcription where one audio cassette ends and the
next begins. These milestone elements might, in theory, have content
used to describe the cassette tape, e.g.:
   <tapeBreak n="3">
     <length>43 m</length>
     <label hand="wc">tap <foreign lang="es">tres</foreign></label>
But they could not contain content that is transcription of the
politician's speech.

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