[tei-council] TEI Conformance

James Cummings James.Cummings at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Mon Dec 4 15:01:37 EST 2006

Conal Tuohy wrote:
>> In short, I think it's just infeasible to constrain the namespaces
> which
>> "conformant" TEI customisations may introduce (except that they must
> not
>> use the empty namespace or the TEI namespace). 

I was just thinking this in relation to David Sewell's Obfuscated Namespace 
teaser on TEI-L.  When he said don't worry about it not being Valid TEI, I said 
to myself "Assuming one added all the elements necessary to make it appear as 
TEI (teiHeader, etc.), would it be TEI Conformant?"  (How sad am I!)  The answer 
immediately being no, because there is an element not in a namespace.

So is it the case that in order to be TEI Conformant all elements and attributes 
must be namespaced?  Id est, all elements and attributes are either in the TEI 
namespace, the XML namespace, or some-other-namespace.

>> But these are different XML vocabularies, not user extensions of the
>> TEI?  
> Aren't they both? As I see it, they would (foreign) vocabularies which
> some user has used to extend the TEI vocabulary.

I might be splitting hairs here (better than splitting hares), but they are 
different in some respects.  In one a user has taken an existing vocabulary and 
decided that it works better than the TEI provision in this area.  In the other 
case they have decided that neither the TEI nor any other standard they know 
about handle this well enough and they must invent new elements.  So in the 
first they import an existing standard not intended for use with TEI documents 
and apply it (or part of it?) to some portion of an otherwise TEI document.  In 
the second they build out from the TEI and add new elements where the TEI 
doesn't have them.  Although I understand that they are both foreign 
vocabularies from a TEI perspective, they have got there through very different 

> I can think of cases where one would want to write one's own (TEI ODD)
> schema for an extension which uses another, pre-existing, namespace. For
> instance, one might define a TEI schema which includes some date
> elements from the Qualified Dublin Core namespace
> http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/, such as dateCopyrighted,
> dateSubmitted, or whatever, without wanting to import all the DC types,
> and while actually constraining those elements further than the
> Qualified DC schema
> http://dublincore.org/schemas/xmls/qdc/2006/01/06/dcterms.xsd does.

Do, or should, we have any recommendations concerning the use of other 
namespaces in this way?  Should we be saying that if you use another existing 
namespace you should use its schema as it intended? (I think the answer is No, 
we shouldn't say this).

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

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