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Re: Electronic Texts?

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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 1 of 14 , Oct 1, 1997
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      On Tue, 30 sep 1997, Vincent Broman wrote (inter alia):

      >-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
      >
      >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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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