Questions from readings for Monday

The Renear reading included many familiar concepts from computer science; for instance, “macros,” (a term drawn from assembly language programming,) which are abbreviations that refer to a long string of commands. In Java, you do basically the same thing with “methods,” which allow you to designate some lines of code into a reusable command; I’ve also heard them referred to as subroutines, functions, and procedures.

The need for these abbreviations is clear; you’d rather tell someone to pass you something (full method) than tell them which of their muscles to individually extend and contract (individual commands). These methods also have the advantage that, when you change the original instructions, it applies to all instances of that method/macro/subroutine, so you don’t have to change everything. Super simple stuff, but super important.

I wasn’t sure what to make of SGML, as I hadn’t heard of it before. What is its function as a “meta-language?” Also, is XML strictly better than HTML (from what I’ve heard, XML is phasing out HTML at least in webpage design.)

I was also glad to read more about TEI. My favorite quote was “One might say that the TEI is an agreement about how to express disagreement.” Because there are so many different ways to approach text encoding, one method of standardization might not be to say “everyone do it this way,” but to say “how do we reconcile all these different ways?”

In the Kerby-Fulton reading, I immediately noticed how the Eets edition capitalized “Godd,” “Fader,” “Crist,” “Sun,” and “Loeurd” when they weren’t capitalized in the manuscript. This distinction was immediately addressed: an edition optimizes for ease of readibility for the modern reader, and conforms to the style of the times, whereas a transcription intends to be as faithful to the original text as possible. Both have their place, but the Arundel example in particular showcases the importance of accurate transcription.


29 January 2017