10.0793 OCR? WordCluster? source?

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 09:42:11 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 793.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Nico Weenink <noki@worldonline.nl> (19)
Subject: Software O.C.R.

[2] From: Tom Horton <tom@cse.fau.edu> (34)
Subject: WordCluster text retrieval program

[3] From: "Paul [not \"Brian\"] Brians" (27)
Subject: Can you identify this story?

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 16:42:27 +0100
From: Nico Weenink <noki@worldonline.nl>
Subject: Software O.C.R.

Dear collegues,

I bought a Hewlett Packard HP 4P flatbed scanner a few weeks ago. After a
period of scanning and experimenting with pictures I would like change more
over to scanning text. I worked with OmniPage Pro for about a year or so
and I liked it a lot. But maybe there is other, better software available
for this. Can someone help me out? Any comments are very welcome. Thanks in



Nico Weenink
Student at the University of Utrecht
The Netherlands
Department of Literature
Department of Linguistics

Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 12:17:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Tom Horton <tom@cse.fau.edu>
Subject: WordCluster text retrieval program

Almost 5 years ago I wrote a small program called WordCluster, which
attempts to provide a means to find locations in a text where terms from a
set of categories are located "close" together. The program has been
distributed as shareware on the CD that accompanies the TACT publication
from MLA. A few people have used it (that I know of).

Request: If you've used the program and have any comments or complaints,
I'd like to hear about them.
Reason: This program is being introduced to a class of software
engineering students as a case study for problem and program
understanding, and software maintenance. The students are being asked to
find the two bugs/problems that I know are there. Perhaps you can
tell me about some more! (We'll distribute an update at the end of the
term, but don't expect more than bug fixes.) They may do more with the
program for a second project.

WordCluster was developed as a prototype to see if I could use an
algorithm to find what are known as "image clusters" in Shakespeare's
works. (The clusters must be known in advance.) It seemed effective to
me for this purpose, and also found small sections of texts (allusions).
It was fun to watch it find Old Testament passages that were referred to
in the Gospels at those points when they say, "And this fulfilled the
words of the prophet who said....") Without a significant update, I
wouldn't consider it a serious or significant tool for scholars.
(Just a command-line interface, I'm afraid.) But everytime I used
Altavista to search the Web for something complex, I think about it

Perhaps more signficant is that this is my first serious effort to
incorporate my interests in developing text software into the courses I
teach in software development. If this provides any results that might
benefit Humanists, I'll post them here.


Dr. Thomas B. Horton, Associate Professor
Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL 33431 USA Phone: 561/367-2674 FAX: 561/367-2800
Internet: tom@cse.fau.edu WWW: http://www.cse.fau.edu/~tom

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 09:38:45 -0500 (EST)
From: "Paul [not \"Brian\"] Brians" <brians@mail.wsu.edu>
Subject: Can you identify this story?

In Salman Rushdie's _The Satanic Verses_, p. 404, occurs the following passage:

"Title and author eluded him, but the story came back vividly. A man and a
woman had been intimate friends (never lovers) for all their adult lives.
On his twenty-first birthday (they were both poor at the time) she had
given him, as a joke, the most horrible, cheap glass vase she could find,
its' colours a garish parody of Venetian gaiety. Twenty yearws later, when
they were both successful and greying, she visited his home and quarrelled
with him over his treatment of a mutual friend. In the course of the
quarrel her eye fell upon the old vase, which he still kept in pride of
place on his sitting-room mantelpiece, and, without pausing in her tirade,
she swept it to the floor, smashing it beyond home of repair. He never
spoke to her again; when she died, half a century later, he refused to
visit her deathbed or attend her funeral, even though messengers were sent
to tell himthat these were her dearest wishes. 'Tell her,' he said, to the
emissaries, 'that she never knew how much I valued what she broke.' The
emissaries argued, pleaded, raged. If she had not known how much meaning he
had invested in the trifle, how could she in all fairness be blamed? And
had she not made countless attempts, over the years, to apologize and
atone? And she was dying, for heaven's sake; could not this ancient,
childish rift be healed at the last? They had lost a lifetime's friendship;
could they not even say goodbye? 'No,' said the unforgiving man. --'Really
because of the vase? Or are you concealing some other, darker matter?'
--'It was the vase,' he answered, 'the vase, and nothing but.'"

Can anyone identify this story?

Paul Brians, Department of English,Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-5020