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   Re: eBook Publishing DTD -- Preconceptual musings

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  • From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
  • To: noring@netcom.com
  • Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 11:45:02 +0000 (GMT)

Jon Noring writes:
 > This e-book DTD, although structurally-oriented, would essentially identify
 > the structure that is important for presentational purposes, and not for
 > "scholarly" and other non-presentational purposes (although means to allow
 > non-presentational structuring in a universally recognized way must be
 > included as part of the "spec".)
 > I envision this DTD to easily allow, as I mentioned above, modular DTD
 > "plug-ins" (which themselves are hopefully standardized), for more complex
 > structuring for specialized applications. 

at the risk of going on and on, this is what the TEI does....

 > I mention high-level structure since my perusal of TEI, DocBook and ISO
 > 12083 shows they take quite different approaches to high level structure.
 > TEI actually uses a fairly simple one using generic "div" for the various
 > levels of the higher level structure. 

perhaps you should give examples of what you are getting at
here. while the TEI does indeed have a generic <div> element, it has a 
lot else besides. And its extensibility features allow for creation of 
(possibly syntactically sugaring) elements of the same class as
<div>. Discussion of the TEI cannot be divorced from its complex
architecture of element and attribute classes.

 > For e-book presentation, if one uses the TEI "div" approach in the e-book
 > publishing DTD, one will have to predefine a few allowable values of the
 > "type" attribute (for the front, body and back matter) so we can make it

I am sorry, but I think you have not read far enough in the TEI
Guidelines if you think front, body and backmatter material is
distinguished by type attributes on <div>.

I am all in favour of nice authoring/markup DTDs for
gutenberg/ebook/whatever, which may look nothing like any existing DTD 
in their element names. But I do think it is a good idea for anyone
proposing a DTD which tags existing literary texts to demonstrate how
their elements map to TEI ones.

Perhaps one should also suggest that DTDs are dying? in favour of some 
brighter future of schema languages? Should you not be considering a
system in which you propose a very high-level set of elements, inside
which one can plunge into the TEI namespace _ad lib_?


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