[tei-council] how much can one customize and still have a TEI document?

David J Birnbaum djbpitt+tei at pitt.edu
Fri Jul 21 09:42:20 EDT 2006

Dear James (cc Council),

I like the idea of a formal statement because I'm fussy and nerdy, but 
I'm not sure whether it would have different practical consequences than 
the current nonformal wording.
Furthermore, given the degree of customization we wish to support 
(including the renaming of elements both in general and as required for 
internationalization), I'm not sure whether we could construct a 
satisfactory truly formal statement about modification. I also suspect 
that had the authors of P3 been able to formalize this requirement, they 
would have done so, but surely Lou can provide more information here.



James Cummings wrote:
> David J Birnbaum wrote:
>> Dear James (cc Council),
>>> I'm still curious as to whether, if I produce an ODD that allows me to
>>> rename
>>> all the elements I'm using to docbook-like elements whether that is a TEI
>>> document.  Does it matter if it is in the TEI namespace?  Or if I
>>> present the
>>> ODD with it?  The of course the question is what if I only rename 50%
>>> of the
>>> elements, but keep some TEI ones...is that document more a TEI document?
>> P3 addressed this with an informal prose admonition (29.1.4), which
>> survives in the current P5 materials:
>>> Radical revision is possible. It would be possible to remodel so that
>>> the <teiHeader> is not required, or that it is required but the
>>> minimal components described in chapter 5
>>> <http://www.tei-c.org/Vault/GL/P3/HD.htm> , are no longer required, or
>>> that no <text> element is required. In fact, the mechanism, if used in
>>> an extreme way, permits deletion of the entire set of TEI definitions
>>> and their replacement by an entirely different DTD! Such revisions
>>> would result in documents that are not TEI conformant in even the
>>> broadest sense, and it is not intended that encoders use the mechanism
>>> in this way.
>> Is a more formal definition achievable? Desirable? Necessary?
> Aha, I thought I had read something about it at some point in the distant past!
>  I think if we are able to come to an agreement of a more formal definition
> (given the increased encouragement to customise that P5/Roma/ODD suggests) then
> we should have a more formal definition.  I don't believe it is necessary
> however, and if it turns out that it is too difficult/problematic to reach an
> agreement on it, then we should just have a prose description like this.  If we
> had a formal definition that was both clear and not open to great abuse, then I
> can't see that being undesirable?  (Or, as is likely, am I missing something?)
> -James

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