[XeTeX] index' proofmode and ledmac (OT)

Florian Grammel grammel at gmx.net
Sun Jul 5 20:09:09 CEST 2009

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences, John!

> I haven't been following this thread, but if you are reporting a  
> manuscript which regularly has extended passages which for some  
> reason you don't want to be seen as part of the main text, one  
> option which sometimes works is to put these extended sequences in  
> the text after all, but in smaller type, possibly surrounded by  
> double square brackets [[ ]] (these should be a single character,  
> not the two brackets I have typed here).  The textual note would  
> just be e.g.:
> Haec . . . fuerunt _only in B_
> (Or if this is a frequent occurrence, just state in the preamble to  
> the edition that small-type passages are found only in MS B.)   TeX  
> copes well with the oscillation between say 10/12pt and 9/11pt text  
> and readers interested only in the 'main' text can simply skip over  
> small-type sequences.

The occurrence of the extended passages is unfortunately neither  
regular nor always in the same manuscript, but maybe we should  
consider your idea for some of them. My main problem though, are  
passages where a rather long passage is *replaced* by a completely  
different text (rewritten or from another unknown source).

> I don't know if this would work in your case, but certainly all  
> options should be tried before deciding that you have no choice but  
> to inflict page-long footnotes on the long-suffering reader!  That  
> is not making the information easiliy available but rather  
> _awkwardly_ available.  I've often typeset books with giant  
> footnotes leaving just one or two lines of main text (a disease that  
> afflicts philosophers in particular), but it's not a pretty sight  
> and the reader's patience must often be sorely tried.

I suppose, that all readers of such an edition will have to bring a  
more-than-usual amount of patience anyway ;)
Honestly: This type of text is more aimed at being not so much read,  
but consulted, don't you think?

>  In the case of app. crit. I think an editor can give hrself the  
> amount of laxity that is appropriate to the job in hand - if you  
> have formulated a principle of presenting the textual evidence and  
> you find that that leads to visually awkward results, then you have  
> the option of coming up with a different principle that works for  
> the particular text that you are editing.  (Hope this doesn't sound  
> too much like Groucho Marx...)

I've tried to talk to the editor about this without too much success...

> If giant notes are absolutely unavoidable it may be necessary to  
> abandon the convenience (which lies at the heart of TeX) of throwing  
> all the information at the program and leaving it to get on with  
> pagination.   You would then have to decide where the page-break  
> would work, force the pagination at that point (\eject), and give  
> the second part of the rogue footnote manually as a separate  
> footnote on the next page: for this you would need to invent a new  
> category of uncued footnote that doesn't advance numbered (or  
> lettered) cues but just appears at the start of the footnote area on  
> the page, just like a run-over note in any ordinary text.   I've  
> been forced to do that with facing-page editions where I have to  
> distribute the annotation manually between the left-hand text and  
> right-hand translation pages, but it's a slow and tedious operation  
> (try it with a thousand pages of medieval theology - I have!), and  
> if you alter anything earlier in the text it could completely mess  
> up your manual page-breaks.  So very much a last resort, I would say.

This is more or less this tedious manual work I'd love to have hints  
on avoiding or doing more smoothly:
Ledmac does handle a lot of the special requirements of critical  
apparatuses automatically (and actually it's brother ledpar does a  
fine job on bilingual editions -- you might want to give it a try when  
you have job like this again), but it has the downside of disabling  
many standard ways to do things. \eject and others don't work as  
expected and make manual page-breaks even more of a hassle.

Kind regards

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