4.1013 OFFLINE 32 (1/246)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 12 Feb 91 15:53:23 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1013. Tuesday, 12 Feb 1991.

Date: Monday, 11 February 1991 2057-EST
Subject: OFFLINE 32 Release

[Attached is the new OFFLINE issue, with apologies for
the delay. RAK]

<<O F F L I N E 3 2>>
coordinated by Robert Kraft
[11 February 1991 Draft, copyright Robert Kraft]
[HUMANIST and IOUDAIOS, 11 February 1991]
[Religious Studies News 6.2 (March 1991)]
[CSSR Bulletin 20.2 (April 1991)]

Deadlines overtake and harass with increasing regularity. What would
we do without them?! I had intended, or at least planned, to use some
of the space in this column to provide some updated addresses and
bibliographical references to assist readers in finding their way in
this ever increasingly complex electronic world. It is much too large
a task for this small space, but some beginnings are possible.

Some of the "old" standby sources are still very valuable, such
as John J. Hughes' _Bits, Bytes & Biblical Studies: A Resource Guide
for the Use of Computers in Biblical and Classical Studies_
(Zondervan, 1987), including its extensive bibliographies and related
information. And There are various periodic publications to help keep
the interested current. The American based Association for Computing
in the Humanities publishes a quarterly Newsletter as well as its
bimonthly journal _Computers and the Humanities_ (CHum), and can be
contacted c/o Dr. Joe Rudman, English Department, Carnegie-Mellon
University, Pittsburgh PA 15213. The British based sister organization
is the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, with its
quarterly journal, for which the contact person is currently Dr.
Thomas Corns, Department of English, University College of North
Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG, Wales. Some of the more traditional
professional societies also offer specific types of assistance with
computer technology and tools, such as the American Philological
Association or the Modern Languages Association (check the respective
journals for current addresses).

The aforementioned sources and others like them often can provide
pointers to the availability and utility of electronic data and
software. Probably the most comprehensive catalogue of electronic data
currently available is produced by the Oxford Text Archive, 13 Banbury
Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, England (ARCHIVE@VAX.OX.AC.UK). From the same
address, a free (at least for the moment) newsletter on _Computers in
Literature_ is also available through Dr. Marilyn Deegan, CTI Centre,
Oxford University Computing Service. Academic distribution services
for software products of various types and with a wide range of prices
(including "freeware") also may be of interest: North Carolina State
University has amassed a gigantic collection, although easiest access
to it seems to be through the electronic networks. Duke University
produces a catalogue of available software that it has collected.
"WiscWare" is the name for educational software generated in
connection with IBM grants, and is available through from that office
at 1210 West Dayton Street, Madison WI 53706
(WISCWARE@WISCMACC.bitnet). Apple Macintosh software with similar
pedigree has been publicized in Apple's _Wheels for the Mind_ magazine
and was also available through Kinko's Academic Courseware Exchange
until recently; apparently new arrangements are underway.

Much else could be said along these lines but I am running out of
time and energy. Indeed, suggestions from readers regarding what
centers and services you have found most helpful are invited. OFFLINE
will be pleased to pass the information along! The remainder of this
column provides some corrections and updates on computer assisted
research relating (mostly) to ancient texts and tools, with
contributions from the wider group of OFFLINE collaborators.

<Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project Update, by Alan Groves>

The section on the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon project by Steve
Kaufman in the 1990 CARG Reports distributed at New Orleans was
inadvertently a repeat of the 1989 report rather than the revised 1990
material he had submitted. Anyone desiring a copy of the updated
version should request it from me at the following address. My
apologies to Steve!

Those interested in a copy of the full reports should send $2.50
and specify whether you want the electronic or the printed version.
If you desire both include a total of $3.50. The reports will be made
available on an electronic file server soon (HUMANIST and/or IOUDAIOS)
and can be accessed that way if so desired.

Alan Groves
Westminster Seminary
Philadelphia, PA 19118


<Towards Universal Transcription Coding Standards, by James O'Donnell>

A consortium including but not limited to Apple, IBM, NeXT, Xerox,
Sun, Microsoft, and the Research Libraries Group is developing a new
standard for electronic transcription of written materials in various
languages. It is called "Unicode," and is intended to replace the
extant ASCII standard. Unicode will offer distinct representations
for approximately 25,000 characters, including those of every writing
system I have ever heard of (all the way to China and Japan) and
several more besides.

It deals only with the electronic transcription code: not the
display or the printing font. It is up to the software to teach the
hardware how to display those correctly on screen and on paper.

This is the future. I have found the Unicode mavens most eager
to discuss what they are doing and fascinating besides. To express
interest and get a copy of the proposal, address
MICROSOFT!ASMUSF@UUNET.UU.NET. The material you receive will say how
to communicate suggestions, etc. There is a rough deadline of 15
February, 1991, for making views known to Unicode for inclusion in the
version that is due for release this spring, but I would not be offput
by that: further versions will be forthcoming and the people involved
will continue to revise, expand, and discuss. The most useful thing I
learned from them is that the best available legend for the creation
of the high-ASCII character set goes back to sources inside IBM
itself, viz., that the extra 128 characters whose randomness has so
charmed us all really were picked out by two guys on an overnight
flight to London for a meeting the next morning.

The greatest benefit of all will be that it will be possible to
transfer texts in a variety of gaudy language systems from an IBM to
an Apple to a NeXT, traveling over various unfriendly mainframes in
the process, with all the characters coming through as accurately as
low ASCII come through now. This will make the world a better place.

<New CD-ROM Releases from PHI, by Don Westblade>

Provided that all has gone according to January plans, by the time
you are reading this the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) expects to
have made license agreements available for a major new release of
ancient texts on compact disks to replace its earlier demonstration
disks (#1) of Latin and CCAT materials and (#2) of documentary papyri.

Pending final negotiations by the copyright lawyers, look for the
following text bases to be available on CD-ROM about mid-February:

(1) The Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (TLL), which has now been coded
and corrected through the end of the second century CE, with some 362
authors ready for distribution by PHI (directed by David Packard and
Stephen Waite). This constitutes a major expansion and updating of the
Latin materials on PHI CD-ROM #1 that appeared at the end of 1987 and
has been "out of print" for the past several months.
(2) The Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri (from the project
directed by John Oates and William Willis), which first appeared on
PHI CD-ROM #2 in 1988 and has now been much enlarged and more
carefully formatted.
(3) The Cornell Inscription Project (directed by Kevin Clinton),
including materials from Attica, Delos, Peloponnese, Central Greece,
Delphi, Crete, Ionia and Icaria -- an earlier form of some of these
texts was included on the PHI CD-ROM #1.
(4) The Nag Hammadi Coptic texts (complete) encoded at the
Claremont Institute under the direction of James Robinson, with
Sterling Bjorndahl -- an earlier form of these materials was present
on the original TLG CD-ROM in 1985.
(5) The Coptic (Sahidic) New Testament (complete), based on
Horner's edition as encoded by CCAT but revised and edited by David
Brakke under the direction of Bentley Layton (Yale).

Arrangement of these data bases on disk had not been finally
determined as of press time, but plans currently call for a division of
the material into two disks in order to reduce license fees for those
who have no need to work with every set of texts. An annual license fee
will be assessed for each collection, but as in the past the Packard
Humanities Institute remains dedicated to maintaining fees at nominal

Those already working under license agreements with PHI disks #1 or
#2 should automatically be sent a proposed license for the new disks as
soon as the disks are produced. Other prospective users may write to
the Packard Humanities Institute (300 Second Street, Los Altos, CA
94022) to request a license agreement.

Incidentally, PHI is also involved with publishers of the papers
of Franklin and Washington, encoding those historical American
collections for a CD-ROM distribution tentatively set for later this

<Experimental Biblical CD-ROM from the American Bible Society>

The original PHI CD-ROM #1 also included a number of biblical and
related texts as well as a miscellany of other materials (see OFFLINE
17) collected and/or prepared by the Center for Computer Analysis of
Texts (CCAT) at the University of Pennsylvania. Some of the more
widely used texts from this gouping will be carried over onto the new
PHI disks described above, and an expanded and updated version will
probably appear separately in the near future. In the meantime, the
American Bible Society (ABS, representing also the United Bible
Societies = UBS) has purchased rights to the CD-ROM data and search
sofware previously marketed by the Foundation for Advanced Biblical
Studies (FABS) and has issued a limited edition, experimental biblical
CD-ROM that includes some of the texts available from CCAT. ABS and
CCAT expect to continue to cooperate in future electronic publication
and distribution of such materials on CD-ROM. The contents of the
experimental "ABS Reference Bible" CD-ROM are as follows (available
from ABS, 1865 Broadway, NY NY 10023 for $195, which includes the
Innotech FindIt search software):

Ancient Bible Texts & Tools
Hebrew BHS (Elliger-Rudolph/UBS)
Morphologically tagged Hebrew BHS (Westminster, provisional)
Hebrew-English Lexicon (Davidson)
Hebrew-English Terms
Hebrew Harmony of Samuel-Kings & Chronicles (FABS)
Greek LXX (Rahlfs/UBS)
Morphologically tagged Greek LXX (CATSS/CCAT)
Greek NT (Aland et al/UBS3)
Morphologically tagged Greek NT (Gramcord)
Greek-English Lexicon (Newman/UBS)
Greek Harmony of the Gospels (FABS)
Strong's Concordance Numbers (linked to some texts)
Latin Vulgate (Fischer et al/UBS)
English Bible Versions and Tools
Authorized (King James) Version
New King James Version
New American Standard
Revised Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
Today's English Version
English Translation of Greek LXX (Brenton)
English Harmony of Samuel-Kings & Chronicles (FABS)
English Harmony of the Gospels (FABS)
Other Texts and Tools
Reina Valera Spanish (1960 revision)
Luther German Bible and Apocrypha (1984 edition)
English Translation of Josephus (Whiston with Loeb tags)
English Translation of Apostolic Fathers (Lightfoot-Harmer)
Abingdon's Dictionary of Bible and Religion


Please send information, suggestions or queries concerning
OFFLINE to Robert A. Kraft, Box 36 College Hall, University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104-6303. Telephone (215) 898-
5827. BITNET address: KRAFT@PENNDRLS (for INTERNET add
.UPENN.EDU). To request printed information or materials from
OFFLINE, please supply an appropriately sized, self-addressed
envelope or an address label. A complete electronic file of
OFFLINE columns is available upon request (for IBM/DOS, Mac, or
IBYCUS; please send formatted diskettes to hold 450K of text), or from
the HUMANIST discussion group FileServer (BROWNVM.BITNET).