[tei-council] TEI Conformance

James Cummings James.Cummings at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Wed Nov 22 06:41:42 EST 2006

Conal Tuohy wrote:
> James Cummings wrote:
>> And if people were to add their entirely new elements in a different
>> namespace, then it also makes sense for TEI to suggest a namespace for this
>> (rather than every user come up with one).
> I beg to differ. It seems to me that just because user A and user B having
> chosen the same name for a new element they have each defined, we are not
> entitled to assume that the 2 elements are related, which I think would be
> implied by qualifying them in a generic "TEI Extension" namespace. I think
> that new elements should always be qualified by namespace URIs belonging to
> the user defining the elements.

I recognise that worry and I'm not entirely sure it is misplaced.

However, I was thinking about the tei-ext namespace as similar to the Unicode
Private Use area.  If I create a new element tei-ext:article, then I use this
because it is not docbook:article, and I want to say this is a TEI-like element
rather than another one.  If you create an element tei-ext:article you are in no
way saying it is the same semantically to my tei-ext:article.  We would have to
say in big letters that tei-ext does not guarantee or in any way indicate
anything about the uniqueness of the elements defined in it.  While I think we
shouldn't pollute the TEI namespace, I don't think it is wrong to have a
separate namespace that we encourage people to pollute as long as we are very
clear that it shouldn't be understood by applications as anything more than that.

Another option is for a 3fold system:

- TEI namespace for TEI elements and their equivalents
- TEI Extension namespace for elements being 'incubated' as possible contenders
to be TEI elements submitted by members/SIGs/etc As part of a concerted and
documented proposal
- MyPersonalNamespace -- user defined namespaces for specific new elements which
they don't think should become part of TEI


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

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