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Humanist Archives: April 13, 2019, 4:37 a.m. Humanist 32.608 - the Chicago Homer

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 608.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-04-12 19:25:36+00:00
        From: Wendell Piez 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.604: the fate of the Chicago Homer?

Dear Martin,

The hardest thing for me, trying to learn to read Greek, was to go
forward, to march. I can't read a line without wondering about
everything there is to know about every word. So I learned a lot about
certain peculiar flowers along the way, but I never covered much
territory. Alas, what this means for me is that the Chicago Homer is
less something that I use with any regularity (were I teaching Greek
for a living, understand that would be a different matter: I'm not),
than it is an emotional crutch. Something I look at from time to time
(too seldom) with a wistful sense of guilt mixed with pleasure,
stealing half an hour for it but not getting very far.

To this day it is a brilliant example. It is not perfect, but it is
functional and spare and does what it needs to with grace and
elegance. I would like to see it ported to something more long-term
viable. I would hate to see it disappear. Indeed I would like every
student of (so-called) hypertext to take a look, along with the
information as to its date of design and creation. Maybe they don't
have enough Classicist in them to appreciate it. Let them who have
eyes, see.

In particular, linking lexical information is difficult -- especially
for those like me who are inclined to stop and look at flowers. This
user interface lightens the load by showing only grammar (or not even
that) for a word in the source text - if I need to be reminded that
"algos" can be translated as "pain", I have to click on "pain" before
I can confirm it. This is a fantastic approach for learners, it seems
to me. It makes me wonder if it couldn't even teach me to speed up.

The other feature that stands out to me is being able to switch out
the running translation for German (two drills at once!), and I wonder
if more options might be added. Plus I like how everything can be
turned off.

So, those are thoughts for your sponsors and developers. Having no
data as to whether anyone even knows it's there (consult the logs),
personally I think it's a monument that has stood well for its 20
years. Only a few more, and it will be a year for every century since
those poems first became known. Still young!

Regards, Wendell

On Tue, Apr 9, 2019 at 1:12 AM Humanist  wrote:
>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 604.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                    Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>                        www.dhhumanist.org
>                 Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>         Date: 2019-04-09 04:56:24+00:00
>         From: Martin Mueller 
>         Subject: Do you use the Chicago Homer?
> Dear Colleague,
> The Chicago Homer (http://homer.library.northwestern.edu/ ) has been
> humming away on an Oracle server in the Northwestern Library for close
> to 20 years without any change. It is likely to  be moved to a Postgres
> database, which may or may not be a problem. It's a good time to think
> about its future and ask what could or should be done to it. Its
> underlying technologies are long in the tooth, although it may still be
> the best tool for finding out stuff about repetitions.
> Would you be upset if it went away?  Are there features that you would
> like to see included in a revision? Our library's enthusiasm for doing
> more than the minimum about it is pretty much a linear function of the
> emphasis with which users say that they use it regularly and it does
> something that other tools do not.
> With thanks in advance for any feedback, however quick and casual
> Martin Mueller
> -----
> Martin Mueller Professor emeritus of English and Classics
> Northwestern University

...Wendell Piez... ...wendell -at- nist -dot- gov...
...wendellpiez.com... ...pellucidliterature.org... ...pausepress.org...
...github.com/wendellpiez... ...gitlab.coko.foundation/wendell...

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