Indology Research desk

Robin Kornman rkornman at pucc.Princeton.EDU
Sat Feb 25 05:39:51 UTC 1995

>        I am currently writing a proposal to make a research platform which
>an indologist can use for the research and related activities.
>I would like to know from the list members  what all this piece of software
>should have and can optionally have. All suggestions and criticisms are most

Multi-lingual word-processing with the possibility of alphabetization in the
alphabetical order of each language. Global searches by word in any
alphabet. A spell-checker keyed to a specific alphabet. Whizz-bang
multi-lingual indexing. It should be equiped with Big 5 and whatever other
systems are necessary in order to receive Chinese character announcements
off of Chinese Bulletin Boards.  Why Chinese?  Because of research in
Chinese which will become relevant in coming years.  Separating your South
Asian platform from the needs of Inner Asian studies is not a good idea. For
example, I am a specialist in Inner Asian texts, but do a lot with Indic
sources as well. 

You will find one major problem: Sanskrit conjuncts. To computer input the
Tibetan Buddhist canon we need Tibetan versions of all Sanskrit conjuncts,
but are having trouble finding a complete list. 

Your platform must be Worldscript compatible or else it will not be useful
to Mackintosh users such as myself. For example, I would like to get the
Chinese Language Kit for Mackintosh. But I use Microsoft Word as my
word-processor. The CLK is based on a Mackintosh font-manager utility in the
operating system called Worldscript.  But Microsoft Word has decided not to
be Worldscript compatible in its new versions. The result is that you do not
get the benefits of variable spacing that are so vital if you are using a
complicated non-roman alphabet or character system. Eventually I am going to
have to abandon Microsoft Word, even though I have spent several years
learning to use it. I will have to abandon it simply because it is not
perfectly compatible with the font-managers designed by the Mackintosh
operating system. 

Your platform will have to be able to accept and correctly interpret the
General Markup System some people use to drive postscript fonts. 

Just a few ideas. I hope this is helpful. 

RObin Kornman

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