Dominik Wujastyk dom at
Tue Feb 7 21:56:22 UTC 1995

People keep telling me that the Poona Dictionary team are at last
thinking seriously about computerization.

I should qualify that: the idea of computerizing the project is not new:
I was present at a round-table session at Deccan College in 1982 with
Ghatge in the chair when *all* the foreign participants urged
computerization.  And the idea -- as a serious issue -- was certainly
thought about, but rejected for reasons that were not articulated.

I gather that the level of urgency about computerization at Poona has
grown dramatically with the realization that the unpublished paper slips
are deteriorating rapidly, and that the material *has* to be
retranscribed somehow.

As you can imagine, there are many, many issues involved here, of
planning, personnel, finance, prestige, and so forth and so on.  It is
almost too much to contemplate.

But I just *hope* that whatever is done in the way of computerization at
Poona is done with full consultation and collaboration with the OUP and
especially the people at the University of Waterloo in Canada who
created the software and design of the hugely successful Oxford English
Dictionary (OED) 2nd edition CDROM and printed edition.

This team used SGML to define a tagging scheme for all the structural
elements of the OED, and wrote extremely impressive software for
searching and displaying data from the dictionary database.  This
project has been widely praised for the excellence of its conception and
execution, and the OED 2nd ed. on disk and in print is a marvel.

Much of the design and software technology that went into the OED
project is directly transferable to the Poona Dictionary project.

It would be very regrettable indeed to proceed with computerizing any
project of the size of the Poona dictionary without such consultative

I am saying this publicly in this forum in the hope that the idea will
be "in the air", and may somehow bear on decisions made in Poona.


Dr Dominik Wujastyk          |            Email:   dom at
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