Digital Indological Dream?

kellner at kellner at
Tue Oct 17 16:46:12 UTC 1995

In response to "what do we want to have", it would be reasonable to specify
who is likely to use what for which purpose and in what format. 

What I, being mostly interested in texts and manuscripts, would want: 

e-texts, e-texts and even more e-texts, in an easily accessible format. 
That is to say: NOT a format which requires special searching tools that
have to be bought separately (if they're included, I don't mind), and NOT a
format where you can admire the beautiful graphical representation without
copy-pasting text into your usual word-processor. ACIP issued a Tibetan
script-viewer together with their texts, for instance, which is all very
nice - but it only allows you to view, and not to write or copy. 

This pretty much makes it ASCII with some sort of easily understandable
diacritics-transcription, where you once write a macro for your
word-processor, and that's it. 

>From the manuscript-perspective, I would like to have CDROMs which show me
what individual manuscripts actually look like (sample transliterations,
maybe even aks.ara-lists). I think palaeography could benefit a lot from
cleverly produced CDROMs. Right now, I am compiling an aks.ara-list (all
aks.aras and their variants) from one single text, which covers about eight
folios - doing this by hand is a wonderful pastime (read: time passes
incredibly fast), but not very effective. 

Dictionaries, of course - aside from the ones already mentioned, esp. the
Petersburg Dictionary. 

I think the manufacturers esp. of CDROMs should carefully consider what
market they produce for. I, for once, can easily live without fancy graphics
which only take lots of time being loaded, without the appropriate tune
accompanying my steps through this or that legendary manuscript-collection etc. 

The two main requirements, thus, for the "textual people": speed and
multiple compatibility. 

Birgit Kellner
Institute for Indian Philosophy
University of Hiroshima


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