Suda On Line

with Raphael Finkel, Bill Hutton, Catherine Roth, Ross Scaife, Elizabeth Vandiver, and David Whitehead, I am a member of the managing committee of the Suda On Line , a project to translate and annotate the 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedic lexicon known as the Suda or Souda (sometimes referenced in older scholarship as the author "Suidas"). The Suda is a rich source of information (and, bluntly, misinformation) about the classical Greek and Roman (and to some extent, Biblical) world, as well as an important milestone in early medieval European intellectual history.

The editorial methodology of the Suda On Line combines insights from traditional scholarly publishing, open source software development, and distributed collaboration [ 2018 edit: now called "crowd-sourcing" ]. SOL entries are translated, annotated, and edited in real time by volunteer translators on a publicly accessible web server. Volunteers are evaluated by the editorial board for their ability to understand and translate medieval Greek, and are assigned entries they have requested when available. If an editorially acceptable translation is not ready within a specified time, the entry is marked for reassignment. The initial process of translation and annotation is thus distributed among volunteers around the world.

Unedited entries are marked as "draft" to indicate their provisional status, while edited entries are marked with an evaluative editorial status, "low" for entries which while reliable as far as they go may in the opinion of their editors require more revision, and "high" for entries which should be considered as the equivalent of a published scholarly translation. Editors are selected from among volunteers who request editorial status (and from among other volunteers) by the managing committee on the basis of their scholarly qualifications and demonstrated scholarly capabilities. Any editor may edit any entry; and editors have immediate editorial access while browsing entries, motivating editors to make immediate improvements when they are deemed as necessary. Thus the process of vetting and editing translations and annotations (and of adding annotations) is both distributed and collaborative, engaging many editors from around the world in the gradual refinement of each entry.

This editorial process, of on-line realtime distributed and collaborative translation and annotation is perhaps the most striking innovation of the Suda On Line . Two other innovations, however, are of importance: the volunteer-driven nature of the project, which reflects the nature of open source development and Internet technologies, and the constantly evolving state of the project database, which while it will some day achieve the same degree of completion as any print publication, will always remain a changing, constantly refined document.

Unicode Polytonic Greek for the World Wide Web

[I had to abandon this project years ago because I no longer had the time to devote to finishing or maintaining it. There are still bits of it available on the web.]

This is a web book which I have been slowly developing over the past two or three years which describes abandoned, which was intended to describe, [ 2018 edit ] in often excruciating detail, how Unicode works and how to create Unicode-capable ancient Greek texts for publication on the World Wide Web. My ambition is to make this one part of a web-based book describing each of the standard technologies which may be used for the publication of materials for the classical humanities on the World Wide Web, especially XML, including both XHTML and TEIxLITE, as well as classics-specific technologies like EPIDOC, an XML vocabulary created by Tom Elliot and others for epigraphy which should also be adaptable to papyrology, and HEML, a markup language for historical events by Bruce Robertson, as well as demonstrating how customized XML vocabularies can be used in the structural analysis of classical texts using a demonstration vocabulary of my own design. This web book will include a number of sample texts: perhaps fragments from Greek tragedy, a inscription or two, a passage from Homer, etc. - all prepared in TEIxLITE or related vocabularies, XHTML, Unicode, and XSLT and CSS. It will also include a chapter on Web Publishing and Scholarly Standards, providing recommendations for the publication of scholarly works on the web which will enhance readers' ability to distinguish reliable from non-reliable works.