NEWS from Thailand/ENGLAND on the TIPITAKA

Wed Nov 3 19:28:46 UTC 1993

 The Dhammakaya Foundation has asked me to transmit the
 following message to you with regard to te message of Mr.
 K. R. Norman, president of PTS, of Oct. 25 to members of
 this list:

"We have been trying to reach Mr. Norman who is out of town
 now but we have not been successful so far. In the
 meantime, we want to clarify some of the points raised in
 Mr. Norman's message.

 1. The Dhammakaya Foundation is indeed planning to issue a
 CD-ROM containing the complete Pali canon, free of charge.
 However, this is not identical with the PTS version but it
 will be based on other versions as well. 

 The disk will have DOS (IBM), MacIntosh, or NEC front ends
 (retrieval systems for quick searches, etc.). The code used
 will be the international one used by this network. We
 will, however, include a simple program that will allow you
 to change the data into your own preferred transcription 
 2. We have received a large number of requests for the CD-
 ROM from all over the world. This encourages us to proceed 
 with our further preparations.  

 3. Indeed, we have been negotiating with the PTS in good
 faith about possible distribution of their materials, and
 we want to work together with them and other organisations
 in preparing increasingly reliable and complete versions of
 the Pali texts (including, eventually, all known versions).
 Negotiations with PTS are nearly completed. 

 4. We have not proposed and indeed will not distribute
 without permission a CD-ROM with material belonging to
 others. Therefore, some of the statements in Mr. Norman's
 letter are not correct, such as "the [PTS] material which
 the  Dhammakaya Foundation has put on CD-ROM" (indeed, we 
 have not), and that we are "abus[ing]" "the rights of

 5. If the PTS choses to disallow the use of their material,
 we will distribute whatever versions we have put in now,
 but the complete elimination of PTS materials from the
 database will take a long time again. The texts have been
 keyed in through the the voluntary efforts of hundreds of
 Thai lay people, representing many years of dedicated 
 service to the Dhamma. Changing our database now would
 further delay the accessibility of the Canon in electronic
 form. In fact, it was Mr. Norman himself, who in 1987 had
 persuaded us to include the PTS version of the Pali texts
 instead of simply keying in the Thai version.

 6. Finally, we are encouraged by the response of the
 international scholarly community and we look forward to 
 be able to serve all of you soon. As  for the future, we
 plan to publish a complete word concordance, with
 surrounding phrases, of the Vinaya, to be followed by the 
 Sutta and Abhidamma sections.

 7. Please, send any further comments to us or to Mr. K. R.
 Norman (c/o INDINST at = Indian Institute,
 Oxford University, Oxford, UK or: 6, Huttles Green,
 Shepreth, Royston, Herts., SG8 6PR, England, UK).  

 Our Address is as given last time: 
 Nicolas C. Wood, c/o Dattajivo Bhikkhu, The Dhammakaya
 Foundation, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand -- or by e-mail
 c/o Witzel at 
                            The Dhammakaya Foundation "

 I think this message speaks for itself. -- I hope the above
 also answers some of the questions asked on this list about
 the nature of the proposed CD-ROM. Any questions directed
 to me personally will be answered by general e-mail on this
 net, or individually as soon as time allows. 

 We are in the midst of the semester and of two searches
 (Tibetan and Sanskrit). -- A Sanskrit lecturership which is
 the result of the resignation of James Benson 10 days ago,
 will cover the academic year July 1994-June 1995, and is to
 be announced soon. 

 Sorry for not answering to the Vedic geography question in
 time. My thanks to C. Minkowski for doing so!
                                           --- M. Witzel.  

 Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard
 University Church Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA 
 phones 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571, e-mail
 witzel at

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