[NTG-context] Critical Editions?

hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de
Mon Jan 3 10:43:17 CET 2022

Dear Bruce and Hans,

thanks for you responses and I apologize for the lengthy post, which  
is just to give you an
impression of the current practice in my field (Sanskrit Studies, Indology).

For the last two decades edmac and its further developments (now  
reledmac) have become the standard
for critical editions. In my experience the basic requirements for  
typesetting critical editions
were and are:

- footnotes have to be formatted in paragraphs
- multiple footnotes layers stacked below the critical text must be possible
- automatic reference to linenumbers
- or: manual references to verse numbers
- language specific requirements (more complicated, see below)

In the last years new requirements have been added:

- some funding institutions in the academic world practically enforce  
online editions
- data have to be made available in TEI xml format

This is where a new (LuaTeX) package called ekdosis, currently being  
developed by Robert Alessi,
comes in. It produces a printed version and in the same TeX run an xml  
file. In an ongoing
editorial project we are using this method and it works very well.  
While the system is ingenious
and a great relief (for we do not have to work with xml directly), I  
am also critical about these
new demands, because they force us to use a fairly complex system for  
sometimes quite simple tasks.
I am a Sanskritist, we do not have huge budgets or a large staff, so  
efficiency is an issue. We
also do not have the resources for the long-term care for data such as  
online editions, but this is
another problem.

In a previous project, a large edition (30000 verses, 15 years), I  
tried to use the easiest
method. It turned out that edmac was not even necessary and not using  
it made the main file from
which we are working very readable and greatly simplified daily work.  
Just to give you an
impression from our input file: The first two lines in the next  
paragraph are the Sanskrit text in
transcription, \var produces a variant with reference to the verse  
number and verse quarter
(a-d). So no line numbering was even necessary. The \lem produces the  
sign that divides the
critical text and its witnesses from the variants, usually "]", the  
rest are sigla, like S1, S3

mumukṣuvyavahāroktimayāt prakaraṇād anu   \danda
athotpattiprakaraṇaṃ mayedaṃ parikathyate  \sloka{1.5}
    \var{5b}{anu \Sseven \Sft \lem \emph{param} \Sone \Sthree \Snine  
\Ntwelve \Ntw}

I used pdflatex and memoir, which has paragraphed footnotes. Here is  
the relevant section from the

\addtolength{\skip\footins}{2mm plus 1mm}
\leftskip=.2cm            % indent of the verses
\def\var#1#2{\footnoteP{#1 #2}}  % footnotes

This is what I compiled from different examples (I am not a  
programmer), but it worked -- the
edition has produced quite a few volumes and is almost finished!

Working with this file was easy, because one could easily read the  
text.  The usual edmac code
would have required us to identify an lemma with \edtext and then  
write the variant directly into
the text. This may not matter in the case of few variants, but with  
many variants the text is
quickly rendered unreadable -- even with all tricks to make footnotes  
invisible (I use folding in
emacs). The following would be a single example verse (32 syllables,  
same size as the one quoted
above), encoded in ekdosis and with lots of manuscripts:

      \rdg[type=stemmaerror,wit={B2}]{\unm śrīmanthāna} % stemma error
\rdg[type=stemmapoint,wit={B1,B3,C2,C3,C4pc,C6,N1,J10,J13,J17,N6,N10,N13,N17,Tü,V4,V11,V22,V26}]{śuddha} %stemma  
      \rdg[wit={C1,V5}]{yogī} %s
      \rdg[wit={J2}]{tudhiś ca}
      \rdg[wit={C7}]{pādaś ca}
ca}%stemma point
      \rdg[wit={N22}]{nudhaś ca}
      \rdg[wit={N24}]{cuddhaś ca}
      \rdg[wit={J17,N6,N17,N22,V4,V11}]{kandalī} %
\app{\lem[wit={ceteri}]{pauraṇṭakaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={N5}]{pauraṃṭhakaḥ } % group according to alphabetical order?
      \rdg[wit={B1,N1,N10,V6}]{pauraṇḍakaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={V11}]{pauraṇḍakaṃ }
      \rdg[wit={N16,N24}]{kauraṇṭakaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={J14,V26}]{kauraṇḍakaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={J4,N21,N23}]{koraṃtakaḥ }
      \rdg[type=stemmapoint,wit={C6,N13,Tü,V22,Vu}]{koraṃṭakaḥ }% stemma point?
      \rdg[wit={N2}]{koraṇṭīkaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={M1}]{ghoraṃṭakaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={V8}]{\unm kāhapauraṇṭaka}
      \rdg[wit={V2}]{kauraṃḍīkaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={N20}]{paura...kaḥ } %illeg
}\app{\lem[wit={ceteri}]{surānandaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={N24}]{śurānaṃdaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={J4}]{sarānandaḥ }
      \rdg[wit={N22}]{{\supplied{\gap{reason=lost,unit=word, quantity=1}}}}}
%\note*{1.6cd is omitted in C1,J3,L1,N11,V5,V19.}

It is obvious that it is not possible to read the text anymore, a  
single verse does not even fit the screen. For
editing and selecting the variants one has to produce a formatted pdf version.


Another disadvantage of the edmac style approach is that it expects  
European languages. Scripts are
no more the main problem, but the interaction of different scripts,  
word divisions and other minute
details make daily life of the editor complicated.

I hope the next example is more or less intelligible.
We have a Sanskrit text passage that reads in transcription as:


The word consists of two elements, samyag and gomaya, but in the  
Indian script that we use for the
critical text the "ggo" is a ligature. So in giving variants for both  
words, we cannot just
separate samyag and gomaya, for then the ligature gg is not printed  
correctly. We also want to
quote the correct word samyag in the apparatus (which is in roman!).  
Now, to make things more
complicated the xml text should contain the correct word division, so  
we have to split samyag and
gomaya. Thus, we now have to write the first "g" twice, first as  
\skp{g}, which explains to the xml
converter that this is the logical position of the g (in the word  
samyag), and \skm{g}, which tells
TeX to print this together with the next g as the ligature gg. Because  
of this mess, we need a
modified lemma, "alt={gomaya}" so that the apparatus comes out correctly.

\app{\lem[wit={ceteri}, alt={gomaya}]{\skm{g-}gomaya}

Please ignore the details, but perhaps you get my point. It is all  
becoming very ingenious and it
is a great relief that all this can be automatized. But it is also  
increasingly complicated to work
with and slowing down editing considerably.

This is why I was curious to see about the status of critical edition  
in ConTeXt. I was hoping for
something that can be kept simple.

> The only real question I have to those who produce critical editions  
> for real: are the examples I've linked to useful and appropriate to  
> be copied?

Absolutely. It would be great to see a Context solution for this.


----- Nachricht von Bruce Horrocks via ntg-context  
<ntg-context at ntg.nl> ---------
      Datum: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 16:39:12 +0000
        Von: Bruce Horrocks via ntg-context <ntg-context at ntg.nl>
Antwort an: mailing list for ConTeXt users <ntg-context at ntg.nl>
    Betreff: Re: [NTG-context] Critical Editions?
         An: mailing list for ConTeXt users <ntg-context at ntg.nl>
         Cc: Bruce Horrocks <ntg at scorecrow.com>, Idris Samawi Hamid  
<ishamid at colostate.edu>

>> On 24 Dec 2021, at 12:07, Hans Hagen via ntg-context  
>> <ntg-context at ntg.nl> wrote:
>> a lot related to numbering, referencing and notes and much of that  
>> is present
>> so if you can team up with other critical edition users ... i  
>> suppose that Idris can send you his onthology-so-far
> I'm not a user but was intrigued by Juergen's original post. In an  
> effort to educate myself I found this page  
> <https://www.djdekker.net/ledmac/examples.html> and thought about  
> how those examples might be set using ConTeXt instead. It didn't  
> take long to realise that Juergen pretty much has it exactly right  
> with his sample code.
> If it would help I could have a go at setting one or two of those  
> examples and put it onto the Wiki somewhere?
> The only real question I have to those who produce critical editions  
> for real: are the examples I've linked to useful and appropriate to  
> be copied?
>> Bruce Horrocks
> Hampshire, UK
> ___________________________________________________________________________________
> If your question is of interest to others as well, please add an  
> entry to the Wiki!
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----- Ende der Nachricht von Bruce Horrocks via ntg-context  
<ntg-context at ntg.nl> -----


Prof. Dr. Juergen Hanneder
Philipps-Universitaet Marburg
FG Indologie u. Tibetologie
35032 Marburg
Tel. 0049-6421-28-24930
hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de

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