[tei-council] date-stamping <desc>

James Cummings James.Cummings at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Wed Oct 11 04:44:17 EDT 2006

Christian Wittern wrote:
> James Cummings <James.Cummings at oucs.ox.ac.uk> writes:
>> Isn't it always going to be the case that the @version on the desc
>> with xml:lang='en' will be the base text being translated?  A question
>> then is whether all original versions for which there are translated
>> equivalents should be present?  I.e. if I have a translation that
>> points to version="5" and another that points to version="3" should
>> both 3 and 5 versions of the original text still be recorded in the
>> file?  What happens when I want to see what my version 3 translation
>> is in the original?
> This is what version control is for, so you could ask svn to give it
> to you.  For this to work, there needs to be a way to find out what
> svn version this is in, which could be in the commit message.  We will
> need to have a good policy on commit messages then.

I recognise that, but it seems like we're trying to reimplement version control
in the markup, and then that would be the thing that is missing.  It also seems
quite difficult.  If the file has a version2 translation to chinese, I think it
should be reasonable to see the original version of that.  Is there anything
stopping us having multiple desc elements for the original language, and then
only displaying the one with the highest version number?  Then when all
languages for a particular element have reached a particular version number,
then and only then their previous versions are removed from the file. (But of
course still accessible through the external version control system,
subversion.)  So this would look like:

 <desc xml:lang="en" version="3">Fooble fibble</desc>
 <desc xml:lang="en" version="2">Fooble fibble!</desc>
 <desc xml:lang="en" version="1">Fooble fibble</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="zh-tw" version="2">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="fr" version="2">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="zh-tw" version="1">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="fr" version="1">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="de" version="1">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="is" version="1">...</desc>

And when those Germans and Icelanders finally pull their finger out and
translate the desc to version 2, it looks like:

 <desc xml:lang="en" version="3">Fooble fibble</desc>
 <desc xml:lang="en" version="2">Fooble fibble!</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="zh-tw" version="2">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="fr" version="2">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="de" version="2">...</desc>
  <desc xml:lang="is" version="2">...</desc>

(of course they could have just jumped to version 3).

This is because I don't trust people to leave sensible commit messages in
subversion. ;-)

Dr James Cummings, Oxford Text Archive, University of Oxford
James dot Cummings at oucs dot ox dot ac dot uk

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