The EAD Working Group is currently working on the revision of EAD version
1.0 based on change suggestions submitted by the EAD user community earlier
this year. The WG is currently considering revising the EAD <table>. Before
doing making this revision, the WG would like to invite EAD users to
respond to the proposed change in order to assess the impact.

Proposed change: OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured
Information Standards, formerly SGML-OPEN), an international organization
of SGML and XML vendors that develops interoperable industry
specifications, developed the table specification (CALS Table Model) in
1993. The EAD version 1.0 <table> is based on the CALS table. EAD <table>
lacks some of the features in CALS. Since the release of EAD 1.0, OASIS has
developed the XML Exchange Table Model DTD (XTBL). Because many vendors did
not support many of the features in the CALS model, or implemented them
differently, OASIS polled its members to identify those features of CALS
that most vendors supported, or were likely to support, and to identify
among these those features where implementations needed to be harmonized.
The XTBL Model is the result of that process.

There are clear benefits to replacing the CALS-based EAD <table> with the
XTBL. <table> is perhaps the most complex element in EAD. It is challenging
to create and display <table> correctly. Since XTBL represents broad vendor
agreement, several XML editors provide tools for creating and editing the
XTBL. In addition, XSL stylesheets are available for the XTBL that could be
adapted for use by EAD users.

A comparsion between the existing EAD <table> and the XTBL indicates the
following differences:

<tfoot> not available in XTBL.

<spanspec> not available in XTBL.

<entry> does not have the following attributes: ROTATE, SPANNAME

<table> does not have the following attributes: ORIENT, SHORTENTRY,

<tgroup> does not have the following attributes: CHAR, CHAROFF, TGROUPSTYLE

Since elements and attributes would be eliminated by this revision, it
presents migration issues. And so the key questions have to do with current
use of the EAD <table>, and specifically use of the elements and attributes
listed above.

In particular we would like to hear from projects and programs that have
used <table>, and in particular sites that have made wide use of it.

Since "wide" is relative, those responding to this request should supply
number of EAD instances created at your site, and, within these, number (or
approximate number) of uses of <table>.

Of those sites that have made wide use of <table>, how many have made wide
use of the elements and attributes listed above?

If you have made wide use of the elements and attributes listed above, what
is your assessment of the effort that would be required to migrate to the

Would the advantages associated with migrating to XTBL justify the effort?

I would also appreciate one or two volunteers to go over the XTBL and the
EAD <table> to make sure that I am not overlooking anything. If you contact
me directly, I will send you an XTBL tag library. The tag library does not
have definitions, but does have the categories for each element: "may
contain," "may occur within," and "attributes." These can then be compared
with the exising elements in the EAD Tag Library.

Please contact me at [log in to unmask] with the subject heading EAD TABLE.

The WG will, of course, inform the list of both the responses and the final

Daniel Pitti