[tei-council] Disambiguation of <ident> and <idno> (and also <gi>)

Martin Holmes mholmes at uvic.ca
Wed Nov 23 15:53:15 EST 2011

Hi there,

On 11-11-23 12:15 PM, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> On 23 Nov 2011, at 00:16, Martin Holmes wrote:
>> My initial impulse is to supplement these descriptions with something
>> along these lines:
>> -------
>> <ident>  should be used for tokens such as variable names, class names,
>> type names, function names etc. in formal programming languages. (It
>> should not be used for element and attribute names in XML, for which the
>> special elements<gi>  and<att>  are provided.)
>> <idno>  should be used for labels which uniquely identify an object or
>> concept in a formal cataloguing system such as a database or an RDF
>> store, or in a distributed system such as the World Wide Web.
> yes, I like the word "uniquely" there.<ident>  is to label something
> as an identifier in a passive sort of way,<idno>  is a much more
> positive claim, and (critically) has a _context_, of thing it is identifying.

I like this idea of context, but it suggests that the context must be 
supplied. In other words, this is OK:

<idno type="isbn">978-1-4051-4864-1</idno>

but this alone would not be:


However, the obvious (recursive) issue is how the context is 
contextualized. What if "isbn" means nothing to me? Do I have to define 
it too, in the context of something else, and on and on until finally we 
arrive at a URL?

And since we've been talking elsewhere about deprecating @key in favour 
of custom protocols, wouldn't this do just as well?

<ref target="isbn:978-1-4051-4864-1"/>

The more I look at this stuff, the more of a mess it seems.

You're definitely right that <q> should be <ident> below. I missed that one.


> so
>     <p>  variable<ident>name</ident>  is declared here</p>
> makes sense, but
>    <p>  variable<idno>name</idno>  is declared here</p>
> means ??? supplies an ID for this para? anyway, wrong.
>> 1. Do you think that my explanatory text is accurate and helpful enough
>> to do the job of disambiguating these two elements?
> its good. do you think my ideas about context fly?
>> 2. Does our usage of the tags in the Guidelines comply with what we
>> believe to be the use-cases of the elements? (Ignoring for the moment
>> the case of the questionable uses of<ident>  below.)
> yes, from your list.
>> ...
>> Here the same text has been classified as of categories<val>b.a4</val>  and
>> <val>b.d2</val>  within the Brown classification scheme (presumed to be
>> available from<ident
>> type="file">http://www.example.com/browncorpus</ident>), and as of category
>> <q>A45</q>  within the SUC classification scheme documented at the URL
>> given.</p>
> I think I might use<ptr>  there :-} the<q>  should be<ident>, though?
> --
> Stormageddon Rahtz
> Head of Information and Support Group, Oxford University Computing Services
> 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431
> Sólo le pido a Dios
> que el futuro no me sea indiferente
> .

Martin Holmes
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
(mholmes at uvic.ca)

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