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

Lou Burnard lou.burnard at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Fri Jul 21 10:54:10 EDT 2006

David J Birnbaum wrote:
> 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.

The TEI editors' best attempt at this is currently the chapter on 
conformance. This states, as already noted in this thread, that you are 
not allowed to remove the TEI Header, and furthermore specifies three 
topics (identification, publication, source) that your header must 
address in some way.

The "nonformal wording" David refers to was introduced (probably by me) 
to alert people to the technical possibility of using the extension 
mechanisms to do some dangerous/illegal/ill-advised things, not to 
licence such madness!

Questions I think we need answers to:

(a) what mechanisms beyond a more formal statement of the limits of 
modifiability are feasible?

(b) and what, beyond what's already on the table, should those limits be?

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