University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections

In Transition: Selected Poems
by the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Versioning Machine alterations

The changes made to the Versioning Machine (Version 4.0) in this iteration are best exemplified with examples taken from the poem "Xray" by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Essentially, these alterations fall into two categories:

  1. Line comparison
    While VM 4.0 allows for comparison within the same line across versions, this iteration allows the user to compare changes between disparate lines of a poem. For example, a word, phrase, or complete line that appears in the first line of one version may be compared with the same structure in a subsequent line of a different version (for an example, see "Poeple [sic] polish" in one version of "Xray" versus "Cosmic hands polish" in another). Alternatively, if a phrase comprises one line in the first version and is broken across three lines of the next version, all parts of the phrase, in multiple lines, may be highlighted across both versions. This facility is accomplished by using the 'loc' attribute in the <app> tag to associate <app> elements across and within versions of a text.
  2. Textual Alternatives
    The second change incorporated in this version of the Versioning Machine facilitates an editor's ability to classify and visualize textual alternatives. For instance, in the third version of "Xray," readings ("Suns [sic] radioinfused soil," "Radio's soil secret," "Radio's sun message," and "Radio's sunimpregnated soil") may be understood as alternative readings for the same point in a line of text because of their spatial arrangement on the manuscript page, all constellating around the word "soil." This is accomplished wihtin the XML since the editor is able to express alternative readings for a given phrase or word by using the <rdgGrp> element to group nested "children" <rdg> elements within a given "parent" <rdg> element for a particular witness. In this way, the <rdgGrp> element is rendered by the presence of a dotted line under the phrase "Suns [sic] radioinfused". This line indicates that a mouseover will reveal the alternative readings.