Numbering: general [079]


Use of the n= attribute and handling of line numbering


The WWP encodes n= values on all elements for which the text provides a number, and uses these values for an idealized version of the numbering system used by the text.

We generate line numbers in poetry automatically, restarting the count at the beginning of every <lg> element with type=“”. Any poetry with anomalous line numbering (for instance, numbering in the original which starts or restarts somewhere other than at the beginning of an <lg type="">) should have n=1 encoded on the first line. We will check texts for which a canonical edition already exists, and use their line numbering system if appropriate.

We do not number metrical or prose lines in drama, because references can more conveniently be made to page numbers in the original.

We use common sense to handle cases where different numbering sequences follow and confuse one another, as in the following examples (<head> elements and other details omitted for clarity):

<div type=essay n=1>1. On Stoats [essay]</div>

<div type=essay n=2>2. On Ferrets [essay]</div>

<div type=essay n=3>3. On Ermines [essay]</div>

<div type=essay n=4>On Weasels [essay]</div>

<div type=poem>To a Flower [poem]</div>

<div type=poem>To a Bird [poem]</div>

<div type=poem>To all Bad Poets</div>

<div type=section>Poems on Insufficient Occasion

     <div type=poem n=1>1. On receiving a pot of wilted marigolds</div>

     <div type=poem n=2>2. On writing a poem about wilted marigolds</div>

     <div type=poem n=3>3. On failing to write a poem</div>

     <div type=poem n=4>4. On suspecting one’s own deficiencies</div>


Presumably if the Weasel essay looks profoundly similar to the three foregoing essays, we wouldn’t be going far wrong to add the n=4. Also presumably if the Weasel essay looks profoundly different (for instance, it’s a translation of an essay by Li Hua, or it’s written in meter, or it’s much shorter or longer, or it’s really an allegorical religious satire) then we might not want to include the n=4.

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