[tei-council] signed/list

James Cummings James.Cummings at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Sun Nov 20 11:37:24 EST 2011

On 20/11/11 12:51, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> I dont think we're actually disagreeing much. the issue is whether
> <signed>  is limited to one name at a time. If its NOT, then we arguably need
> things like<list>  in it. If its essentially limited to being a  single name,
> then its<name role="signed">?

In rereading this thread, looking at the examples in the Guidelines and 
elsewhere I believe that the intention of <signed> is to function both 
as a phrase and as a block level element. In this way it is very much 
like <list> itself, which can be inline in a pararaph, or a sibling to a 
paragraph.  <signed> can be a sibling to a paragraph (at the bottom of a 
div) and is joined in model.divBottom with <trailer>, <closer>, and 
<postscript>. <signed> can I was surprised to see that neither <trailer> 
nor <closer> allow a <list> child either, but that <postscript> does. 
This is because <postscript> is sort of like a <div> in that it can 
contain paragraphs (and thus things like <list> which appear between 
paragraphs) whereas the others are like things which appear inside 
<div>s. I realise I'm repeating the obvious here.

The current content models, ignoring attribute classes, are:

signed: macro.phraseSeq
trailer: macro.phraseSeq
closer: (text|model.gLike|model.phrase|model.global|signed|dateline|salute)*
postscript: ((model.common)|(model.global))*

So <closer> is exactly the same as <signed> or <trailer> except that we 
have specifically added <signed>, <dateline>, and <salute> to this to 
allow it to group them. This, and the examples, encourages me in my 
conclusion that we have intended <signed> to function either as 
surrounding a single signature or as a signature block containing the 
closing salutation text as well as the signature. Partly because of 
this, and partly because of the examples given, I find the argument for 
including list (or model.listLike) generally persuasive.

Although I'm loathe to recommend further opening the floodgates of 
bizarre stuff that is allowed in inappropriate places, the only 
difference between the content model of a paragraph, and that of 
<signed> and <trailer> (and arguably <closer>) is that a paragraph also 
allows model.inter (which has elements which appear either within or 
between paragraphs, like lists).


If we changed <signed> and <trailer>'s content model to 
macro.ParaContent this would allow <list> there, and have no 
backwards-compatibility implications. We could change <closer> to be the 
same but with signed|dateline|salute as it currently has. I'd recommend 
changing both <signed> and <trailer> in tandem for consistency between 
elements in model.divBottom but I could be argued out of that.

However, I'd suggest that we explain that <signed> can be used both as a 
single signature and as a block containing salutation text and 
signature(s), but that the better encoding is to use <closer> with 
<salute> for the salutation text if possible. Both its description and 
discussion in the prose of the Guidelines should make this clear.

My two pence,


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

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