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

Lou Burnard lou.burnard at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Tue Jul 25 05:11:06 EDT 2006

Syd Bauman wrote:
>>I have taken account of that in a revision of my
>>levels proposal, now available for editing at
>>(not linked to from anywhere!)

Syd -- any objection to my moving your comments to the wiki?

> 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
> agreement. 
> 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

What is 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.).

I don't think anyone is making that claim. The intention is to
distinguish what most of us would intuitively define as kosher TEI
modifications (level 1) from a schema which adds completely new elements
(level 2) and one which changes the class system or which adds elements
from other namespaces (level 3).

  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
> conformance. 

I think this is a misreading of the meaning of the word "level" here:
it's not meant to be evaluative in the way you suggest. This is always a
problem with this word, mind you: we need another one! any suggestions?

> 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. 

I agree: there seems to be little point in making the Header mandatory
if you don't actually use it!

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