[tei-council] on conformance document (was "Re: New discussion document on 1.0 release priorities")

Syd Bauman Syd_Bauman at Brown.edu
Mon Jul 24 22:17:47 EDT 2006

> I have taken account of that in a revision of my
> levels proposal, now available for editing at
> http://www.tei-c.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Conformance
> (not linked to from anywhere!)

While I think it has been very useful to have Sebastian and James
kicking around ideas about conformance, and I appreciate the effort
that Sebastian has put into this document, I wanted to say something
about this just in case anyone was thinking that silence means

While it may be useful to have some distinctions of degrees of
conformance, I think the levels that Sebastian has outlined are
outright dangerous. One of the main tenets of TEI is that the scheme
is customizable. A document that validates against a vanilla schema
is *not* more conformant than one that conforms to a heavily
customized schema (so long as the customizations are made in the
right way -- including leaving alone certain sacrosanct elements, are
properly documented, etc.). Giving the impression that it is by
calling it a different level will undoubtedly lead to problems,
including tag abuse by those who require special encoding, but for
some reason feel it necessary to stick to the highest level of

Nor am I convinced that it is a good idea for TEI to establish a
mechanism for storing metadata somewhere other than the TEI header. 

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