11.381 Concordances

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 15:27:26 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 381.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 16:19:23 GMT
From: Nelson Hilton <nhilton@english.uga.edu>
Subject: Can These Bones Live? -and- Concordances

[Forwarded with thanks to Dr. Nelson Hilton from H-CLC]:

Dear H-CLC reader--

A growing number of inactive lists, it seems, have folded their tents and
disappeared into the electronic night after a ritual call into the void
met with resounding stillness. Perhaps it is a sign of advanced maturity
in the medium --novelty has long worn off and we return to work at hand.
If a list speaks to that work, we pause and read, perhaps respond
--otherwise, quite rightly, why bother? As the very call for discussion
about the rationale of a list's existence seems post-mortem, I refrain
--but it does look like H-CLC is at critical juncture, having been
flatlined now for many weeks.

One of the reasons for my own not posting anything of late is a seeming
mountain of labor to bring forth two mousy little Perl scripts for an
on-line concordance to Blake (www.english.uga.edu/Blake_Concordance).
Very primitive stuff--just string look up and an option for three lines of
context (which takes forever)--but the experience has prompted some
questions about concordancing on the web and the state of concordance

Is anyone working on a new version of something like TACT? or is the
discussion on other lists about running TACT on NT mean that that's the
current goal? While very impressed by what TACT can produce, I have not
used it to any proficiency, being wearied at each outset by all the
various DOS screens (though I'm still willing to be converted!). Has
anyone be able to get HUM to work on a Solaris 2.x system? if so I'd very
much like to hear particulars about that. How about the new Windows
WordCruncher? the demo is wonderfully fast though, the free library is
awfully weak. I'd still prefer to see texts and engines up on the web for
all to use with a minimum of fuss and expense; not to mention some
elementary tutorials to help students make sense of what can be done.
Perhaps H-CLC should produce such a site...

Reports of what's in progress or just being dreamed of would be most

Cheers, Nelson Hilton

"... the historical moment is ideal for initiating computer activity in
the field of literary studies." B.H. Rudall and T. N. Corns, _Computers
and Literature_. Cambridge, MA: Abacus Press, 1986 [!]

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