[sword-devel] Project 'El'

Troy A. Griffitts sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 01 Jun 2001 23:07:53 -0700

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This forward is a message that I received from Patrick Durusau with
Project 'El'.  Thought some of you might be interested in this.  Patrick
has also recently subscribed to our developers' forum.  My reply is
forwarded in the next message.
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Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 13:10:20 -0400
From: Patrick Durusau <pdurusau@emory.edu>
Organization: Society of Biblical Literature
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To: scribe@crosswire.org
Subject: Java Applet?
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I am part of "Project eL" (http://www.leningradensis.org) which is an
effort to create a public domain version of the Leningrad Codex (oldest
complete Hebrew Bible). We have permission from the German Bible Society
to use what is known as the eBHS text as a starting point. The problem
with the eBHS text is that it "corrected" a number of errors in the text
and left out a good deal of the material found in the codex. For our
first pass, we want to focus on the base text (which is relatively
accurate) and then build upon that to add the material left out in the
eBHS text.

What I envision is a Unicode compliant Postgresql database backend with
a Java applet frontend that operates to allow:

1. Registration by users
2. Proofing/correction of the text by users
3. Presents the text stored in the database one verse at a time
4. Presents an interface for editing Hebrew without regard to the font
on a user's local machine

We will be converting the text once proofed into XML that preserves
line, column and page breaks as data. Each character will bear a unique
ID so that we can construct/reconstruct the text in any number of
structures (there are serious disagreements about word breaks, etc.).

Do you think some of your programmers would be interested in roughing
out such an interface? This is a completely volunteer project and the
base text will be freely available to anyone for any purpose when

What I envision is a relatively simple interface for registration as
well as editing the text. A user can select a book, chapter, verse
reference and the text displayed will be the most recent version saved
to the database.

Note that I do not need bidi support, just right-to-left since all the
editable text will be in Hebrew. 

Can you give me an idea of how much more detail you would need or
perhaps even a form that would guide me towards giving you enough

The basic aspects of it, accessing the database, registration, etc.,
could probably be done more quickly by someone other than me but I am
willing to give it a try. My basic stumbling block is the handling of
the Hebrew right-to-left and calling the font from a server. I may be
able to get an OpenType font for use in the interface if that would

Thanks for all your hard work on the OSIS project! I hope that you find
this project interesting as well or can at least point me towards
someone who might be able to help.

I would like to run out an alpha quality applet by mid-summer but
understand if that has to slip somewhat.

Hope you are having a great week!


Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature