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Subject: Re: [legaldocml] RE:[legaldocml] RE:[legaldocml] Two similar tags: alinea and intro

Dear Grant, 

> So do we have some confusion by having a tag also called <an:alinea> when the "paragraph" meaning from French is intended? How do we clarify this?

There is only one guideline applying for elements belonging to the legislative hierarchy (i.e., the hcontainer pattern): whenever describing a legislative structure, you should use the name that is the closest to what your local tradition uses for it. Therefore, if (FOR THE SAME STRUCTURE) civil law countries use the term "article" (articolo, articulo, artigo, article, artikel, etc.) whereas common law countries use "section", you SHOULD USE "article" when marking a civil law document, and "section" when marking a common law document. This implies, for instance, that "section" means a different kind of structure when describing a civil law document than a common law country, because they use the term differently. This is a design feature and not a design bug of Akoma Ntoso. 

> (Another interesting construct I see, which I have been arguing with my colleagues here within Xcential about in recent weeks, is the nesting of an <an:p> within an <an:paragraph>. To me it seems redundant and only adds weight to the markup. Fabio??)

Patterns, patterns, patterns. Combined with the fact that legislators all over the world like to use common terms for specialized purposes. So, a paragraph in legislation is NOT "a subdivision of a written composition that consists of one or more sentences, deals with one point or gives the words of one speaker, and begins on a new usually indented line" (Webster Dictionary). Rather, in the US, "the Code is divided into 51 titles. All titles have sections as their basic coherent units, and sections are numbered sequentially across the entire title. Sections are often divided into (from largest to smallest) subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, items, and subitems." (Wikipedia)

The term is the same, the concepts absolutely not. Therefore, in Akoma Ntoso, we have two separate elements for paragraphs a la Webster (<p>) and paragraph a la US Code (<paragraph>). They are different not only in meaning and use, but also and more importantly in the patterns they use: <paragraph> is an h-container, while <p> is a block. 

As a hcontainer, <paragraph> has content model of one or more heading elements (such as <header>, <num>, etc.) and EITHER sub-hierarchy elements, OR an element <content> that contains one or more block elements (e.g., <p> or <block>). Please note that this does NOT happen directly within the hierarchical element, but within the <content> element, which is the switch between the hcontainer and the block pattern. Therefore the nesting of p and paragraph is never direct. 

Hope this is clearer. 




Fabio Vitali                            Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Dept. of Computer Science        Man got to sit and wonder "Why, why, why?'
Univ. of Bologna  ITALY               Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
phone:  +39 051 2094872              Man got to tell himself he understand.
e-mail: fabio@cs.unibo.it         Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), "Cat's cradle"

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