4.0744 A Report from AAR/SBL (1/47)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Fri, 23 Nov 90 23:55:24 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0744. Friday, 23 Nov 1990.

From: Tzvee Zahavy
Subject: AAR/SBL
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 90 11:10:33 EST

I've just returned from New Orleans, site of the annual meeting of the
American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. Here
is some news.

First on the commercial front, new versions of MLS and NB word
processors are coming out. MLS has a Windows-like interface with pull
down menus and fantastic graphical capabilities. Linda Brandt
demonstrated how you could even change the menu language to hieroglyphic
if you so desired. NB will be the fastest and most flexible integrated
multi-language processor. With its IBID bibliography program, look out
journals! Here come the articles with really extensive footnotes! And
you never have to retype an entry. You just push a few keys and my
word... there is the citation in your manuscript.

CAI software has progressed too. Most of the products demonstrated were
authored by professors as "hobbys". In one panel presentation and
discussion the participants spoke honestly and openly about the
strengths and weaknesses of their efforts. The tools divided evenly
between Mac and IBM. The investment costs for development ranged from
$1.50 for one Mac program to $90,000 for a four program IBM based series
of CAI tools.

On the research side, some projects appear to be stalled. Others are
making nice progress. A report was compiled by J. Allan Groves of
Westminster TS on the following (perhaps he will make it available on an
e-server): CDWord; Archaeological Data Base Management; Comprehensive
Aramaic Lexicon; CATSS; Rock inscriptions and graffiti project; Project
CONSTRUE; DEBORA, Centre informatique et Bible; Oxford text archives;
Hebrew lexicon; Qumran machine-readable non-biblical text; Gramcord;
Gramcord Peshitta; TLG; Classics computing (Santa Barbara); Hebrew and
Jewish inscription projects (Cambridge); Dictionary of classical Hebrew
(Sheffield); Werkgroep Informatical; CATAB; Westminster computer project;
Bible research associates (Wooster); Leiden Jerusalem Armenian Data base;
CATSS Base; CCAT and CATSS (Penn.); Lbase; BHt.

The general mood of the computer types was mixed. Some people showed the
frayed edges of the fast paced world of technology change. It seems
unlikely that hobbyist types will be able to keep up much longer. The
involvement in serious projects requires more than full-time
commitments. Many new faces surfaced at meetings of the computer
oriented content. That bodes well for future growth and momentum.