Issues in the creation and dissemination of Sanskrit e-texts

Tue Jun 1 01:04:06 UTC 1993

The topic concerning the 'level of perfection of e-texts' which
was just posted by Dominik is quite significant.
First of all he pointed out the difference of nature between
e-texts and traditionally printed texts.  All the e-texts will
never attain their real perfection, being, as it were, always
on the way to perfection.  Thus it is the level of accuracy that
In his discussion of the 'level of perfection', however, Dominik
seems to have put more weight to quantitative aspect of the
'level' than to qualitative aspect. By mentioning 'seriousness'
of erros, he has touched the qualitatie aspect, but this is not
enough.  We should consider the 'quality' of e-texts more widely.
And it is not easy to measure the quality.  It is different
according to the texts as well as according to the purpose of
those who use e-texts.
Since I am not good at writing English quickly, Let me give
my own example.
    When I typed the Brihandsamhita --- the text now open for
general use is far from being perfect.  After I publicized it
my students found hundreds of errors.  I am preparing a better
version ---- my main purpose was to register all the nouns in
the text, because the text is encyclopedic and full of information
on Indian culture. But I did not care much about verb. Thus my
text will not have very high quality to those who are interested
in verbal forms.  If one wants to know the use of verbs in the
same text one must read the  text carefullty and put some flugs
to all the verbs.
    The one who has typed an e-text or who takes pains of proof-
reading is the best user of the text. One of my students who
carefully proof-read the e-text of the Brihatsamhita wrote a
MA thesis on the Utpala's glosses on the text.  More than 5000
Sanskrit words with glosses have been registered by her as e-text.
It really helps when we read the Brihatsamhita with Utpala's
    So if the same text are input two times or three times by
different scholars with different purposes, it would not be a
sheer loss of time.
Michio YANO

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list