[tei-council] genetic draft -- from Brett, pt. 6

Lou Burnard lou.burnard at retired.ox.ac.uk
Sun Sep 4 19:17:11 EDT 2011

On 02/09/11 17:41, Brett Barney wrote:

>> The use of elements such as del and add necessarily implies that the
>> modifications they indicate were made at some time after the original
>> writing. An exception to this is where a false start or ʻinstantʼ
>> correction has been identified: the author starts to write, and then
>> immediately corrects what has been written.
> I know that this will probably seem like hair-splitting, though I don't
> think it is. "at some time after the the original writing" is really
> nebulous--it could be four hundred years or it could be a nanosecond. The
> real problem, I think, is not with "some time" but with "the original
> writing," which could be interpreted as the first of a particular set of
> alternant words/letters/phrases or as the entire output of a writing stint.
> The second sentence of this paragraph implies that the second is the
> intended meaning, though I don't see anything in the way<del>  and<add>
> are discussed/defined that would make them inappropriate for
> nanasecond-scale changes. At any rate, if it's thought that we want/need to
> provide a way to create separate classes for revisions made during a single
> stint and those made in another stint, we'll both need to be explicit and
> clear here that that's what we're doing and to go back and spruce up the
> discussion of<add>  and<del>, etc. As I'm sure is apparent, I have my
> doubts about the whole enterprise, but if others think it's both possible
> and worthwhile I don't have principled qualms about providing a protocol
> for doing it.

I am not sure how to improve on the wording here. I share your 
skepticism about the reliability with which people may make the 
distinction, but it is one which they clearly wish to make. (Hey, how 
about "stint" as an alternative to "<notLayer>"?)

>> When the value of @instant is set to true, the addition or deletion is
>> considered to belong to the same layer as its parent element, while false
>> means some layer later than that of its parent.
>> to indicate both that one or more of such phenomena preceded or followed
>> another
> In both of these places, the conception of<notLayer>  is narrower than the
> one that emerged from our discussions in Chicago. There, it was explained
> to me that the element/attribute could be used to corral not only revisions
> that were made during a particular stint but also edits that had some sort
> of other commonality (e.g., proofreading as opposed to substantive
> revisions).

well, but you could regard all proof reading as a single stint, surely?

>> or (for preference) by pointing from the element concerned to the layer
>> element by means of its @layer attribute
> I'm not familiar with this use of "for preference." Could well be a sign of
> educational inadequacy, of course.

sorry, (it's a bit of germlish I think) : changed to "preferably"

>> then textual alterations and acts of writing are associated with.
> Should read: then textual alterations and acts of writing are associated
> with *them*.

tx, fixed

>> once from a documentary perspective, and once from a textual one
> I paused over this way of naming the two views, as it seems that elsewhere
> in this draft you've tried to get away from shorthand terms that invoke
> whole schools of thought. For example, I don't recall seeing reference here
> to diplomatic transcription or genetic editing. And the heads to sections
> to 1.2 and 1.3 don't use that kind of cue, either. Of course, just after
> the example that the above phrase introduces is a paragraph that outlines
> the two "perspectives" in a straightforward way, so maybe the issue is
> placement? The more I think about it, the more generalized anxiety I feel
> about that last paragraph. If I were reading all of this for the first
> time, I think I would find it strange that such a fundamental assumption,
> one that would seem to have implications for everything else in this draft,
> isn't revealed until the end, leaving me to go back and try to puzzle out
> what sorts of implications it has for those earlier sections.

Is your recommendation to strike this para (plus the example 
presumably), or to move the para to the place earlier where we try to 
explain what this is all about -- the section headed "Transcribing the 

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