[tei-council] date-stamping <desc>

Syd Bauman Syd_Bauman at Brown.edu
Sun Oct 8 09:34:46 EDT 2006

> I'd like to add an attribute like "lastUpdated" to every <desc> and
> <gloss>, so that we can get a handle on when translations become
> suspect because the English has changed. Who would support me on
> this?

While I'm not against the idea, I'm not convinced, either. One
thought that strikes me is even if such an attribute were properly
used, the results would likely not be specific enough (although
probably very sensitive).

That is, lots of times the canonical (aka English) <desc> will be
updated, but a change in the translations will not be required.

Also can lead to confusion unless all updates are committed right
away. Let's say on 2007-03-08 Joe checks out the 2007-03-06 version
of P5 and starts creating translations into Serbian. Lou improves the
wording of a <desc> on 2007-03-10. Joe sends in his translation on
2007-03-12. Sebastian sucks Joe's translations into the P5 source on
2007-03-14. What's the last update date on the <desc xml:lang="sr">?
If it's 03-12 or 03-14, we have a mis-match.

This thought experiment makes me think that what we need is not an
indication of the date last updated, but an indication of the date
the source element was last updated.

In any case, would a non-TEI person think we're nuts to put this in
the encoding, rather than have an external database of this kind of

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