[NTG-context] Critical Editions?

Thomas A. Schmitz thomas.schmitz at uni-bonn.de
Tue Jan 4 13:38:57 CET 2022

> On 3. Jan 2022, at 10:43, hanneder--- via ntg-context <ntg-context at ntg.nl> wrote:
> 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. 

Just for what it’s worth: I don’t see any future in developing a ConTeXt input format for critical editions, for the following reasons:

1. Producing a print-only version (i.e. printed book) makes no sense in 2022. This is not sustainable because no-one will be able to take your edition and continue to work on it. You have to provide a digital edition as research data.

2. This digital edition has to be in a standard format that is sustainable at least for some time so it can be processed with various types of software. TEI xml has become the de facto standard.

3. ConTeXt is not stable enough to provide such a standard format: it is in development; what you code today may not be compilable in 2 (or 5 or 50) years. 

4. However, ConTeXt is wonderful for processing xml. 

Hence: keep the input source and the processing separate. Code in TEI xml (or a subset of it) and develop a ConTeXt stylesheet to process it. 


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