RE: Kris Kiesling's proposal to remove the requirement for a <did> element
in item-level <c> elements while still allowing the use of the <unit...>

Sorry this is so delayed...

Yes, it's always a good idea to reduce wasteful, unnecessary markup when
it will save keying effort without losing clarity. However, I'm not sure
this is such a case.

As Rich Higgins pointed out, the EAD defines a clear structural hierarchy
for finding aids: that component elements (<c>s) contain bundled
descriptive information about themselves (<did>s), which in turn contain
the actual descriptive elements (<unit...>s). So if this hierarchy
doesn't adequately describe the structure of finding aids at both the
collection and item level, or if it's overly complicated, then we should
reconsider keeping the <did> at all, but not just throw it out in one
possible context. That kind of exception confuses all the processing
software that relies on the hierarchy, and makes the DTD even more
complicated than it already is.

In general, SGML doesn't like fuzzy hierarchies and lots of exceptions.
I think it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to change the EAD so
that it correctly enforced this proposal.

MacKenzie Smith                                   [log in to unmask]
Digital Library Projects Manager                  phone: (617)495-3724
Office for Information Systems                    fax:   (617)495-0491
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