[tei-council] genetic draft -- from Brett, pt. 4

Brett Barney bbarney2 at unlnotes.unl.edu
Mon Aug 29 16:22:33 EDT 2011

I suspect that I should really just be sending these to Lou and not junking
everyone else's inboxes. So that's what I'll plan to do in the future,
unless someone objects.

Best regards,

> The @spanTo may be used to indicate the end

Should read "The @spanTo attribute may be used to indicate the end"

So <mod> can be either empty or not. Hmmm. Is there a reason for using a
different approach here than with <add> and <del>? That is, why don't we
two new elements, <mod> and <modSpan>? Alternatively, why don't we get rid
<addSpan> and <delSpan> in favor of <add spanTo> and <del spanTo>?

The camel-casing of <metaMark> is contrary to the rule implicit in other
camel-cased element names, I think. To remember whether an element is
camel-cased, I've always relied on a rule that goes something like "When
stand-alone words (or their abbreviations) are combined, the second begins
with a capital." As "meta" isn't a word on its own, shouldn't the element
name be all lower-case? At the very least, the prose should be consistent;
it's currently spelled "metamark," "meta-mark," and "metaMark" in various

The prose description of metamark makes good use of a distinction between
"text" and "document," but the <desc> of the element uses "text" for both
senses. Worse, it says that metamarks can be "textual" or "graphical,"
effectively cutting the pie yet another way.

> Unlike marginal notes or other additions to the text, meta-marks are used
> the writer to indicate a deliberate alteration of the writing itself,
such as
> ʻmove this passage over thereʼ.

Two things: 1) I don't see how one can claim that "additions to the text"
don't "indicate a deliberate alteration of the writing itself"; 2) plenty
marginal notes say things like "move this passage over there," so I don't
understand what distinction this bit is trying to shed light on.

> A metamark may contain text, or some other graphic which the encoder
> to preserve,

Should this be ". . . . which the encoder wishes to represent"? [I'm taking
issue, I guess, with the implication that transcription and/or encoding
preserve or destroy what's on the manuscript.]

I'm a *tiny* bit bothered by the lack of parallelism in the list of sample
values for @function. Namely, "used" is not like the others.

> The passage to which the metamark applies may be indicated in either of
> ways:

Without some sort of indication that the two methods cover different cases,
don't like having two ways of doing the same thing. I can see that @spanTo
couldn't accommodate teh example, but I'm not sure why @target couldn't
for everything. If indeed both are needed for different cases, I think
readers will appreciate something explicit about what the differences are.

Further against @spanTo here, I'm uneasy that it means something different
this element than it did on <mod>; here, it's not indicating the end of the
current element but the end of the current element's referent.

> A further sentence was then added, while at some later stage the text and
> also the metamark were deleted.

I'm unsure whether it was added to the text or to the metmark. Upon close
examination, I see that it's the former, in which case it dosen't seem
pertinent information, except to explain bits that show in the image. But
what about the multiple hash deletion marks or the other marginal tidbit
one preceded by the cross mark)?

I was a little bit surprised to the <lb>s in the example's <ab>.

> in section 1.4

Should presumably read, for now, "in section ??"

> Such cases should be distinguished from cases where the writer does not
> intend to suppress the content

I don't know why "should." I'm accustomed to statements that are less
jugdmental and more context-aware: "If it is thought that blah blah blah,
can etc. etc., but if instead it is thought that yakkity yak, one can this

> but these should be distinguished from the ʻdeletionʼ signalled by the
> cross,

2 things: 1) Here and in the next two paragraphs "cross" is used where I'd
have expected something like "X." Just checking that you really do mean to
say "cross." 2) If the whole point rests on the notion that this is
from a deletion, I hope there's a way to avoid describing it as one, even
surrounded by quote marks. What about something like "but these are
semantically different from the large cross/X/intersecting basically
lines, . . . "?

> instead the status of existing material changes

I think I see the meaning here, but I suspect that many will not. It might
easily be argued, in fact, that retracing is done precisely to *not* change
the status of the existing material.

> which is subsequently fixed,

At least where I am, "fixed" is seldom used in the sense intended here, and
the most common sense of the word is unfortunately almost opposite what's
intended. What about "confirmed" or something similar? If pressed I could
even make the case that "fixed" isn't really the right word anyway, since
can imagine cases in which the second act of inscription uses a more
ephemeral (but possibly brighter or bolder, etc.) medium.

> its @cause attribute may be used to distinguish them.

I have an ominous feeling that I may be unwittingly stepping into a
minefield, but here goes. Why not @reason?

> we can distinguish at least two attempts

I think this should read "we can distinguish at least *three* attempts"

> When metamarks and other markup-like strokes are inked over with the same
> purpose as the fixation or clarification of text passages, the redo
> described in the next section should be used in preference.

I'm not following this. In any case, it seems to contradict the definition
given for <redo>: "points to a marked-up intervention in a text which has
subsequently been marked for a second time *in a different way.*" Wait. I
think I get it, now that I look at the Faust example. "in a different way"
definitely misleading, I think. And so is "with the same purpose as the
fixation or clarification of text passages." How about just "When metamarks
are retraced, the redo element described in the next section should be used
in preference"?

> The element restore (??)

Not sure what the question marks here signify. Is the idea that maybe we
don't want/need <restore> at all?

> <line>This is <del layer="#s2" rend="overstrike"> <undo spanTo="#Xa"
> rend="dotted" layer="#s3"/>just some <anchor xml:id="Xa"/> sample <undo
> spanTo="#Xb" rend="dotted" layer="#s3"/>text, <anchor xml:id="Xb"/> we
> need</del> <add layer="#s2">not</add> a real example.</line>

Hmmm. OK, I know that this isn't the example you want to go to press with,
but it seems to make problematic the way <undo> and its attributes are
described a little earlier. Specifically, the <undo>s here don't actually
"point to the marked-up intervention," at least not in any way that the
I was expecting from the definitions. In the example, there aren't any
@target attributes at all; it would seem that the logic for knowing what's
being undone depends on parent/child relationships, right? But that isn't
ever explained. A bigger concern, which I'm just not smart enough right now
to try to answer, is whether that's even a water-tight system. Will it
be the parent that "names" the intervention?

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