Let me offer a little background regarding this matter.
1. The label attribute is used with the linking elements that Mark identifies in exactly the way that it is intended within the XLink spec. Its use and the choice of terminology was part of a careful and deliberate effort to embed XLink as closely as possible within EAD. It would not be appropriate for us to rename the attribute.
2. Perhaps it would have been better to try to explain the attribute in a definition in the list of attributes for linking elements. However, anyone who has read the documentation for XLink knows that it is extremely dense and complex. Rather than trying to summarize that which cannot be readily summarized and getting it wrong, the Tag Library instead points the reader to the full XLink specification for a description of all the attributes and how they work, inviting the reader to study that official text as the basis for interpreting the use of the attributes. The reference to the XLink spec is included in the entry for all the linking elements that relate to XLink.
3. Readers should be aware, in any case, that in several circumstances, the meaning of an attribute varies with the element with which it is associated. Type is a good example. Label is another. Label is used in different ways because this particular word was suggested by prior and different uses in different contexts. To wit, the use of the term label for one purpose in XLink and for another in TEI from which EAD derived a number of models, including much of the header.
4. The data context for <date> which is generic and <unitdate> which has a very specific meaning are very different. With <unitdate>, label is used as the word suggests- for the specification of a display constant that precedes the text. <date> does not "stand alone" in the same way but is typically embedded in other text and does not usually have any need for such a print constant. If some display is needed, the type attribute may be employed.
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 12:38 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Inconsistent use of the "label" attribute
Maybe they should rename the attribute for linking purposes.
If suggestions are being taken about @LABEL inconsistencies in the
DTD, I would like @LABEL to become an attribute of DATE.
The reason is that sometimes dates are part of titles. UNITDATE is
not allowed as a child of TITLE. When you want to separate the
UNITTITLE information distinguishing TITLE from other parts, it seems
only logical to have the same @* available for DATE and UNITDATE to
@LABEL is the only attribute that is different between UNITDATE and
Library of Congress
--- Mark Carlson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In linking elements <extptrloc>, <extrefloc>, etc. available within
> <daogrp> and <linkgrp>, there is a "label" attribute that,
> according to
> the XLink Specifications (http://www.w3.org/TR/xlink/) "...provides
> a way
> for an arc-type element (<arc> in EAD) to refer to it in creating a
> traversal arc".
> In EAD, the "label" attribute is defined as a "...display label
> ... when
> a meaningful label cannot be derived by the style sheet from the
> name or when a heading element <head> is not available".
> This seems to be an inconsistent use of this attribute and it is
> included under "linking attributes" although it clearly has that
> Should these attributes have different names in a future release of
> EAD DTD to distinguish the two usages?
> Mark Carlson
> Computer Support Analyst
> Special Collections
> University of Washington Libraries
> BOX 352900
> Seattle, WA, 98195
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