<unknown> [018]

Abstract

Use of the <unknown> element as a placeholder to flag textual features for which the correct encoding is uncertain

Discussion

The WWP uses a WWP-specific element called <unknown> for use in capturing textual elements about which there is some doubt which the encoder cannot immediately resolve. It can be used, for instance, in cases where it is not clear what element or attribute should be used, or in any other case of temporary uncertainty. It should not be used for problems of legibility, for which the TEI provides more specific elements like <unclear>.

If it is not clear what element should be used for a particular textual feature, the feature should be encoded with <unknown>; if the element is known but there is some other uncertainty, the <unknown> element should be used in addition to (and outside of) the appropriate tags for the element.

The desc= attribute is required and should contain a concise description by the encoder of the nature of the uncertainty, so that if necessary someone else can go back and resolve it.

This element can appear practically anywhere and can have almost any content. It replaces <what>, which was the WWP’s previous holding tank element for cases of uncertainty.

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