13.0260 new on WWW: list-based searching

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 00:18:17 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 260.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Fri, 05 Nov 1999 10:46:18 -0500
From: Peter Batke <batke@princeton.edu>
Subject: List Based Searching

Dear Willard and Humanists;

Although the site is still and ever a work in progress,
[the plumber are still in the building, checking all the
links] the "List Based Searching" web is ready for its first
visitors. The front door is still lacking its flash movie,
but come on in anyway:

List Based Searching
A Web of Examples, Theory and Practice in Using Lists
as Input for Search Algorithms

The chief idea is to differentiate key-word
searching from searching based on a
list of the vocabulary of a text. While
key-words work for libraries and
dictionaries, they do not work for
running texts.

A secondary idea is to give the user
a "query staging area" - where queries
can be composed from the wordlist
before they are sent off the the engine.

This work resulted from some specific
problems with Judeo-Arabic documents
that would not work with commercial
searching programs. More on this at:


There is a 20 page explanatory essay with
links and illustrations:


as well as three working examples:


and a dip into the history of humanities computing
the reprint an essay by Stephen M. Parrish:


and some work from my own electronical
workbench which can be reached from
the "Site Map."

I would welcome comments at

I would also welcome anyone who
would like to use some of these techniques
with their own texts. The perl scripts
and the list making scripts are published
on the site, and I would love to become
involved in some collaborations.

Since I have taken pains to offend a large part
of the text searching establishment in my review
of the existing offerings, I would also submit
to a public discussion of my ideas, although
I cannot promise to be very active I my

With kind regards,

Peter Batke
Humanities Specialist, CIT
Princeton University

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