This paper focuses on the often perceived “text-centric” perspective of most Scholarly Digital Editions in their content creation process, where the source text flows from paper to a digital text with annotations (XML), and then to HTML via XSLT. There, the tree structure laid on the text bears the whole data universe. This is consistent with some typical usages of TEI, essentially oriented to the “reconstruction of documents”. Yet, in some cases, especially with the outgrow of data provided by new types of analysis and/or when handling very complex documents, this may not be the most efficient paradigm for creating content. The case of digital lexicography from the perspective of the evolution of dictionaries as a practical tool may illustrate this point, focused on the requirement of higher levels of data structuring and abstraction. The evolution towards the “semantic web” provides a relevant parallel case, moving the focus from hypertexts presenting a content to the content itself, directly published for machine consumption. While the lexicographic example is a sort of a “corner case” with regards to the role of text, things are different when this is right the object of a digital edition. Yet, here too a paradigm shift might be beneficial in the creation process, when dealing with highly complex content, making TEI the final outcome of a more articulated production flow. The case of critical apparatus in TEI provides an example. The causes of the practical issues which may emerge in such contexts are essentially to be found in the single data structure, laid on the source text. In this context, XML does not always provide the best scalability, nor it provides the best editing experience, especially where a modern content editing infrastructure is a requirement. As a sample, the architecture of a generic-purpose editing framework is shown, illustrating the principles behind its concrete implementation.

Sailing for a Second Navigation: Paradigms in Producing Digital Content

Daniele Fusi
2018

Abstract

This paper focuses on the often perceived “text-centric” perspective of most Scholarly Digital Editions in their content creation process, where the source text flows from paper to a digital text with annotations (XML), and then to HTML via XSLT. There, the tree structure laid on the text bears the whole data universe. This is consistent with some typical usages of TEI, essentially oriented to the “reconstruction of documents”. Yet, in some cases, especially with the outgrow of data provided by new types of analysis and/or when handling very complex documents, this may not be the most efficient paradigm for creating content. The case of digital lexicography from the perspective of the evolution of dictionaries as a practical tool may illustrate this point, focused on the requirement of higher levels of data structuring and abstraction. The evolution towards the “semantic web” provides a relevant parallel case, moving the focus from hypertexts presenting a content to the content itself, directly published for machine consumption. While the lexicographic example is a sort of a “corner case” with regards to the role of text, things are different when this is right the object of a digital edition. Yet, here too a paradigm shift might be beneficial in the creation process, when dealing with highly complex content, making TEI the final outcome of a more articulated production flow. The case of critical apparatus in TEI provides an example. The causes of the practical issues which may emerge in such contexts are essentially to be found in the single data structure, laid on the source text. In this context, XML does not always provide the best scalability, nor it provides the best editing experience, especially where a modern content editing infrastructure is a requirement. As a sample, the architecture of a generic-purpose editing framework is shown, illustrating the principles behind its concrete implementation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3725622
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