[tei-council] P5 source, modifying class atts at the base level.

James Cummings James.Cummings at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Fri Sep 30 06:03:59 EDT 2011

On 30/09/11 10:13, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> James and I met this last night again.
> look at<abbr>. instead of being a member of att.typed, it defines its own
> @type attribute, because it wants to supply a<valList>.  What one would like
> to do is say<attDef mode="change" ident="type">  inside the original source
> of P5. We can't do that now, because the processing does not support it at all,
> but in general, do people believe that it _should_ work?

I believe Sebastian knows my opinion about this but I will re-iterate it 
here. (I think I've mentioned it before ages ago when discussing how ODD 

When I look through the TEI's list of attributes and find multiple 
locally defined attributes of the same name I wonder to myself "Why 
aren't these in a class". In almost every case I could find it is 
because the <desc>, <remarks>, or <valList> is changed. e.g. @type on 
<list> suggests things like bulleted, gloss, whereas att.typed of course 
does no such thing. Having to define attributes locally to change a 
couple words of their description (to make them more specific to that 
particular element) is a failure of the class system. (Well, more 
accurately I think the class system allows us not to do this but our 
current processing doesn't.)

In my project ODD I can override whatever the attribute class provides 
me for any specific element.  I do not think this should be different 
for the base TEI ODD itself.

In that world the tei module would define, as it does, the att.typed 
class.  The elementSpec for list would say "I'm a member of att.typed" 
by which it would gain @type and @subtype.  Then it would delete 
@subtype (list doesn't have @subtype), and customise the valList of 
@type to suggest values like ordered/bulleted/gloss. This way the same 
customization mechanism that is used in project ODDs is used in the base 
TEI ODD itself.


Dr James Cummings, InfoDev
Oxford University Computing Services
University of Oxford

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