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   Re: Gutenberg Project <longish>

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  • From: THOMAS PASSIN <tpassin@idsonline.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 09:24:10 -0500

After reading a lot of the postings in this thread, no one except the GP
itself seem to be looking at the key issue namely, ***who will be creating
the markup, and how can they do  a lot of it?***.  As far as I can see, it
is likely to be volunteers who don't know much or care about markup and
DTDs.  I imagine that they will want to:

1) Get on with the job with a minimum of things to learn up front and
2) Be able to know how to write their markup by looking at a few samples,
3) Have the markup make sense at first or second glance,
4) Minimize their typing,
5) Easily see the results of their work, probably as they go along.
6) Know that mistakes they make will not cause disasters.
7) Use some helpful software as long as it is simple, easy to understand,
and faster to use than plain typing.

Any document design you come up with needs to meet these points ***first***
because otherwise you won't get much markup produced nor many people to do
it.  It looks like the GP people have already found this out.

As to configurable DTDs for widespread interchange, this looks like a great
place for keeping everything as close as possible to a single standard
version, or at least a ***very*** few variations.  This would support
non-paid volunteers, and public-domain software development, as well as the
development and interchangable use of readers.

Ideally, the document design would also lend itself to more advanced
processing and conversion to other DTDs, but without following the numbered
points, there probably won't be much of a project anyway.

I don't know much about TEI, but the only way it could work would be 1) you
can really simpify it, and 2) you can rename elements to be evocative than
<div type="...">.  Preferably you want the element name to do the work, not
an attribute (attributes like "type" go against points 1 and 4).  TEI people
can speak to this, I don't know enough.


Tom Passin

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