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Re: Electronic Texts?

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  • Vincent Broman
    ... The existence of the files is discussed in Aland s Text of the NT and in articles written by Muensteraner such as Gerd Mink, and it is demonstrated for
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 30, 1997
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      me:
      >> The IfNTTF in Muenster evidently has substantial files of
      >> that sort, but they treat them as commercially valuable secrets.

      schmiul@...:
      > Where did you get this information from?

      The existence of the files is discussed in Aland's "Text of the NT" and
      in articles written by Muensteraner such as Gerd Mink, and it is demonstrated
      for sample points of variation by the printouts in "Text und Textwert"
      and for complete texts of the Epistle of James by the first installment
      of the editio critica maior.

      The motivation ascribed to them is my own conjecture, based on the observations
      that those guys avoided answering direct questions about access to the files,
      that late in 1997 no public electronic access to the files is provided,
      despite obvious public interest, and on my own projected image of
      sponsors not wanting to sow the effort of keyboarding without reaping the
      expected harvest of publications (ahead of the competition).


      Vincent Broman Email: broman@...,broman@... = o
      2224 33d St. Phone: +1 619 284 3775 = _ /- _
      San Diego, CA 92104-5605 Starship: 32d42m22s N 117d14m13s W = (_)> (_)
      ___ PGP protected mail preferred. For public key finger broman@... ___

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    • U. Schmid
      ... Let s clear up just one point, Vincent. What do you mean by the files ? ... As far as I understand this question, it refers to files of individual
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 1, 1997
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        On Tue, 30 sep 1997, Vincent Broman wrote (inter alia):

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        >
        >me:
        >>> The IfNTTF in Muenster evidently has substantial files of
        >>> that sort, but they treat them as commercially valuable secrets.
        >
        >schmiul@...:
        >> Where did you get this information from?
        >
        >The existence of the files is discussed in Aland's "Text of the NT" and
        >in articles written by Muensteraner such as Gerd Mink, and it is demonstrated
        >for sample points of variation by the printouts in "Text und Textwert"
        >and for complete texts of the Epistle of James by the first installment
        >of the editio critica maior.

        Let's clear up just one point, Vincent. What do you mean by "the files"?
        Your initial reply referred to the following question (no name attached):

        > I would like to know if there are already text or
        > database files available of individual manuscripts?

        As far as I understand this question, it refers to files of individual
        _manuscripts_. The "Text und Textwert" volumes give "Teststellen" of
        individual manuscripts but not individual _manuscripts_. The first
        installment of the editio critica maior gives the text of individual
        manuscripts _of the Epistle of James_. Apart from very few fragments which
        contain only text of James, there is no such thing as "files available of
        individual manuscripts".




        Ulrich Schmid,
        Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies
      • Robert B. Waltz
        On Wed, 01 Oct 1997, Klaus Wachtel wrote, in part: [ ... ] ... It s no surprise that the programs won t run. Very few mainframes can
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 1, 1997
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          On Wed, 01 Oct 1997, Klaus Wachtel <wachtel@...> wrote,
          in part:

          [ ... ]

          >The files and programms Aland refers to on pp.270sq in TNT were on a
          >mainframe computer at the Computer Center of Muenster University which
          >recently was replaced by a new one. Believe it or not: the programms
          >which generated those files don't run on the new computer. So not even
          >members of the INTF have access to those electronic treasures anymore,
          >- the price of progress.

          It's no surprise that the programs won't run. Very few mainframes
          can run each others' software without modification.

          On the other hand, it should not be hard to "port" the software.
          I've written similar software that, with a couple of changes
          that are documented in the software itself, should run on any
          IBM PC, Macintosh, or UNIX machine that has a Pascal compiler.
          Or that can easily be converted to C. (I should have written
          it in C, but it's difficult to run generic C on a Macintosh....)
          What's more, the software is quite fast; on my slow machine,
          with no code optimization, it can check 900 readings in
          50 manuscripts (or 50 readings in 900 manuscripts) in about
          two minutes.

          If someone wants to send me the source code and data files,
          (not likely, I realize...), I would be happy to look at it.
          I suspect conversion to a form that will run on personal computers
          would not be difficult. And if I'm right, I would even be
          willing to do the conversion.

          Bob Waltz
          waltzmn@...

          "The one thing we learn from history --
          is that no one ever learns from history."
        • Klaus Wachtel
          ... That s nothing but rumor. ... The files and programms Aland refers to on pp.270sq in TNT were on a mainframe computer at the Computer Center of Muenster
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 1, 1997
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            Vincent Broman wrote:
            > me:
            > >> The IfNTTF in Muenster evidently has substantial files of
            > >> that sort, but they treat them as commercially valuable secrets.

            That's nothing but rumor.

            >
            > schmiul@...:
            > > Where did you get this information from?
            >
            > The existence of the files is discussed in Aland's "Text of the NT" and
            > in articles written by Muensteraner such as Gerd Mink, and it is demonstrated
            > for sample points of variation by the printouts in "Text und Textwert"
            > and for complete texts of the Epistle of James by the first installment
            > of the editio critica maior.

            The files and programms Aland refers to on pp.270sq in TNT were on a
            mainframe computer at the Computer Center of Muenster University which
            recently was replaced by a new one. Believe it or not: the programms
            which generated those files don't run on the new computer. So not even
            members of the INTF have access to those electronic treasures anymore,
            - the price of progress.

            The Mark volume of "Text and Textwert" we are currently preparing for
            printing and the first installment of the ECM are in formats that can
            in principle be made available online. But the INTF hasn't even got a
            homepage yet. I know that rumor also has it that we have infinite
            resources of funding and manpower, but in fact there is noone at the
            institute who has the time _and_ the knowledge to publish the results
            of our work online. I'm sure that we will sooner or later, but before
            that a lot of problems have to be solved, among them the problem of
            copyright which normally is not the institute's once a work is
            published.

            >
            > The motivation ascribed to them is my own conjecture, based on the observations
            > that those guys avoided answering direct questions about access to the files,
            > that late in 1997 no public electronic access to the files is provided,
            > despite obvious public interest, and on my own projected image of
            > sponsors not wanting to sow the effort of keyboarding without reaping the
            > expected harvest of publications (ahead of the competition).

            Who of us guys did you contact, Vincent?

            Klaus Wachtel, INTF
          • Vincent Broman
            ... I am flabbergasted. The magnitude of such a pratfall can scarcely be believed. After investing the effort to collate and keyboard, the data is just
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 1, 1997
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              wachtel@... said:
              > Believe it or not: the programms
              > which generated those files don't run on the new computer. So not even
              > members of the INTF have access to those electronic treasures anymore,
              > - the price of progress.

              I am flabbergasted. The magnitude of such a pratfall can scarcely be believed.
              After investing the effort to collate and keyboard, the data is just discarded?
              Did no one keep a backup tape? Can't the programs (the source code)
              be compiled on another machine? If you still have the data somewhere,
              _I_ could port the software, for heaven's sake.

              > But the INTF hasn't even got a homepage yet.

              The http://www.uni-muenster.de/EvangelischeTheologie/Seminare.HTML#NTF
              was not too hard to find. I just checked and ftp://ftp.uni-muenster.de
              and http://www.uni-muenster.de both appeared fully functional to me.

              > there is noone at the
              > institute who has the time _and_ the knowledge to publish the results
              > of our work online.

              Perhaps people have inflated ideas of the effort required.
              All you have to do is copy some files to some directory accessible
              by an FTP server, announce the location to some people,
              and you're published. The ENTMP (or I personally) can provide
              technical expertise on making things comprehensible or usable.

              > a lot of problems have to be solved, among them the problem of
              > copyright

              What many people are interested in is MS transcriptions or collations.
              An ancient MS text cannot be copyrighted. What you copyright
              when you publish something like Text und Textwert is your original
              arrangement of the data, with your original analysis and commentary.
              Software used is generally not published with the book, so
              you never sell the rights to that. Besides, you can produce
              whatever kind of reports or dumps of the TuT data that you want, oder?

              > Who of us guys did you contact, Vincent?

              My memory is cloudy, but I wrote to Aland a couple of times and got
              one response from a Mitarbeiter delegated to write back.


              Vincent Broman Email: broman@...,broman@... = o
              2224 33d St. Phone: +1 619 284 3775 = _ /- _
              San Diego, CA 92104-5605 Starship: 32d42m22s N 117d14m13s W = (_)> (_)
              ___ PGP protected mail preferred. For public key finger broman@... ___

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            • Klaus Wachtel
              ... Don t worry, Vincent, the files still exist. But what do you expect them to contain? Full collations? Text und Textwert is designed for determining the
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 2, 1997
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                Vincent Broman wrote:
                > wachtel@... said:
                > > Believe it or not: the programms
                > > which generated those files don't run on the new computer. So not even
                > > members of the INTF have access to those electronic treasures anymore,
                > > - the price of progress.
                >
                > I am flabbergasted. The magnitude of such a pratfall can scarcely be believed.
                > After investing the effort to collate and keyboard, the data is just discarded?
                > Did no one keep a backup tape?

                Don't worry, Vincent, the files still exist. But what do you expect them
                to contain? Full collations? "Text und Textwert" is designed for
                determining the manuscripts which should be collated in full.

                > Can't the programs (the source code)
                > be compiled on another machine?

                Probably this is possible, but we didn't care for it so far, because the
                files served their purpose: Those volumes of "Text and Textwert" (Catholic
                Letters, Pauline Letters, Acts) are published, although only on paper, and
                we learned or will learn from them, which manuscripts to select for full
                collation.

                >If you still have the data somewhere,
                > _I_ could port the software, for heaven's sake.

                Thanks for the offer, I'll think about that.

                > > But the INTF hasn't even got a homepage yet.
                >
                > The http://www.uni-muenster.de/EvangelischeTheologie/Seminare.HTML#NTF
                > was not too hard to find. I just checked and ftp://ftp.uni-muenster.de
                > and http://www.uni-muenster.de both appeared fully functional to me.

                I wouldn't call our address a homepage.

                > > there is noone at the
                > > institute who has the time _and_ the knowledge to publish the results
                > > of our work online.
                >
                > Perhaps people have inflated ideas of the effort required.
                > All you have to do is copy some files to some directory accessible
                > by an FTP server, announce the location to some people,
                > and you're published. The ENTMP (or I personally) can provide
                > technical expertise on making things comprehensible or usable.

                Thank you, but I think you overestimate the technical aspect of
                publishing. Texts have to be written, information has to be kept up to
                date, comments and questions have to be answered. And I think, not many
                would be happy with databases published as a mere matrices. So programs
                have to be written which enable people to search them.

                >
                > > a lot of problems have to be solved, among them the problem of
                > > copyright
                > What you copyright
                > when you publish something like Text und Textwert is your original
                > arrangement of the data, with your original analysis and commentary.
                > Software used is generally not published with the book, so
                > you never sell the rights to that. Besides, you can produce
                > whatever kind of reports or dumps of the TuT data that you want, oder?

                Partly right, although publishers, in case of TuT deGruyter, may be of a
                different opinion in this respect.


                Klaus Wachtel, INTF
              • Vincent Broman
                ... Their only purpose? The initial crude analysis printed in T.u.T. is a start, but a satisfactory profile analysis and MS classification effort will need to
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 3, 1997
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                  wachtel@... wrote:
                  > the files served their purpose: ...
                  > we learned or will learn from them, which manuscripts to select for full
                  > collation.

                  Their only purpose? The initial crude analysis printed in T.u.T. is
                  a start, but a satisfactory profile analysis and MS classification effort
                  will need to revisit that data in an electronic form, because the dead-tree
                  edition is poorly suited for large-scale processing.

                  > not many
                  > would be happy with databases published as a mere matrices. So programs
                  > have to be written which enable people to search them.

                  Programs exist. Programs can be written by others. E.g. ego.
                  The collation and keyboarding needed to obtain the matrices is the hard part.
                  (Well, thinking clearly about what to do with them is the other hard part,
                  but that doesn't require as much time/money.)

                  The T.u.T. collations, even if only samples, are important achievements
                  of the Institute, but I have a hard time time imagining that no one has
                  transcribed/collated e.g. the sinaitic syriac, P46, or Vaticanus completely.
                  The obstacle to the eventual public release of the machine-readable _data_
                  underlying the T.u.T., the NA26/27, the UBS3/4, the SQE, the syriac NT
                  materials, the Kurzgefasste Liste, etc. is mainly their status as
                  income-producing property, not the minor technical problems in copying files
                  to a server.


                  Vincent Broman San Diego, California, USA
                  Email: broman at sd.znet.com (home) or spawar.navy.mil or nosc.mil (work)
                  Phone: +1 619 284 3775 Starship: 32d42m22s N 117d14m13s W
                  === PGP protected mail preferred. For public key finger me at np.nosc.mil ===

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                • Robert B. Waltz
                  ... Or even large-scale use. Try, just try, to find the closest relative of, say, 1611 across the entire Pauline corpus. You ll have to look through a dozen or
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 3, 1997
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                    On 3 Oct 1997, Vincent Broman <broman@...> wrote:

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                    >wachtel@... wrote:
                    >> the files served their purpose: ...
                    >> we learned or will learn from them, which manuscripts to select for full
                    >> collation.
                    >
                    >Their only purpose? The initial crude analysis printed in T.u.T. is
                    >a start, but a satisfactory profile analysis and MS classification effort
                    >will need to revisit that data in an electronic form, because the dead-tree
                    >edition is poorly suited for large-scale processing.

                    Or even large-scale use. Try, just try, to find the closest relative
                    of, say, 1611 across the entire Pauline corpus. You'll have to look
                    through a dozen or so lists, and you can't even look at just the first
                    two or three items in the lists, because they'll all be fragments....

                    >> not many
                    >> would be happy with databases published as a mere matrices. So programs
                    >> have to be written which enable people to search them.
                    >
                    >Programs exist. Programs can be written by others. E.g. ego.
                    >The collation and keyboarding needed to obtain the matrices is the hard part.
                    >(Well, thinking clearly about what to do with them is the other hard part,
                    >but that doesn't require as much time/money.)

                    I can confirm this from personal observation. I have databases of my
                    own, and have written various programs to interpret them. I have
                    massively rewritten those programs at least four times now. Even so,
                    I have spent roughly five times as long entering the data as I have
                    spent writing the code.

                    And that's when using someone else's collations. If I'd had to collate
                    the data myself, I'd still be working on it....

                    >The T.u.T. collations, even if only samples, are important achievements
                    >of the Institute, but I have a hard time time imagining that no one has
                    >transcribed/collated e.g. the sinaitic syriac, P46, or Vaticanus completely.
                    >The obstacle to the eventual public release of the machine-readable _data_
                    >underlying the T.u.T., the NA26/27, the UBS3/4, the SQE, the syriac NT
                    >materials, the Kurzgefasste Liste, etc. is mainly their status as
                    >income-producing property, not the minor technical problems in copying files
                    >to a server.

                    I can understand using the information to generate revenue. I don't
                    *like* it, but I realize that checking all those manuscripts was a
                    very large job. But I have to agree with Vincent Broman: The information
                    ought to be available electronically. If the Institute staff doesn't
                    want to give it away, *sell* it. That way we can get the information
                    we need, and no trees wasted. :-)

                    Bob Waltz
                    waltzmn@...

                    "The one thing we learn from history --
                    is that no one ever learns from history."
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