Your provocative web April 1 argument (no fooling!) lays several problems out very well. Regarding what you call Layer A versus Layer B: are you intending to promote a model where both layers can be captured in the same XML document, or to let each layer inhabit separate but interlinked (say, through word IDs) TEI-compliant files?
Would you be interested in doing your experimentation on your edition through T-Pen, where others from the Digital Classicist List could join you and look over your shoulder, perhaps even help?
I have experimented with T-Pen a bit, and find it helpful; it is under development, and the staff is responsive to the needs and desires of its users. T-Pen has also made me realize that when one transcribes a manuscript, one needs to make a number of decisions about how to use TEI or the like, and there doesn't seem to be a mechanism in place to notify a reader (esp. a computer trying to include your text in a heterogenous corpus search) what transcription decisions have been made. For example, Byzantine MSS—my special interest—frequently employ an overbar to represent suspended letters. How do I communicate to a reader whether I've chosen to use U+0305 (or U+035E), a special attribute, or both? How do I declare whether I have observed breathing marks strictly, or if I have regularized them?
I don't think anyone should expect all transcribers to follow the same rules. But why shouldn't we expect them to declare what rules they have followed? The challenge, it seems, is less in technology and more in consensus, requiring discussion, meetings, and experimentation (as you note in your piece, currently lacking). One would think the way forward would be through the TEI Manuscripts SIG…
…but their documentation is cryptic and lacunose. And I suspect that the number of transcription decisions one would need to declare is large and perplexing.
I look forward to thoughts from others on the list, and more movement toward the model you advocate.
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On 2 April 2012 13:37, Paolo Monella <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
As I am a strong supporter of digital scholarly editions, I wrote a little provocation on the question "Why are there no digital scholarly editions of 'classical' texts?" in
(short link: http://goo.gl/GQ2JC)
Here is an abstract of what I wrote (*paragraph title* / summary):
* Starting point: we have a problem. Yes, we do *
Where I argue that there are no digital scholarly edition of a classical text with a multi-testimonial tradition (and I explain what I mean by that).
* Point 1: We don't have classical digital scholarly editions because classicists just don't feel they need them *
The title says it all.
* Point 2: They don't feel so because of the "canonisation" of the classical corpus *
Where I argue that classical texts are quite well preserved after all (due to "canonisation", in a specific sense that I explain), and that classicists don't feel they need digital scholarly editions because they consider the textual variance not too meaningful and they are more focussed on the "Text" than on "documents".
* Point 3. The missing link: is there also a modelling flaw? *
Where I notice that we have digital editions of "Texts" and digital editions of "documents", but no editions that link them (digital scholarly editions), and suspect that may be a flaw in our modelling of textual primary sources.
All comments and reactions are most welcome.
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