I am pleased to say that with a lot of work on a lot of people’s part, there is now a live demo of the Digital Mishnah Project. The demo is just that: a demonstration of possible functionalities.This post will outline some of the features that were always meant to be temporary and some new planned or desired features, and then invite comments.
What will be changed
- The selection of witnesses. Entering numerals is unwieldy. Ideally, users should be able to slide text “icons” around (as one does with a pivot table in Excel, for instance)
- Output in browse functions. A single chapter was used for the demo version. Future versions will allow users to select specific chapters and/or specific ms pages and progress by page or chapter. Metadata should perhaps be hideable.
- Output in collate functions. The demo groups output together; these are actually alternative functions.
Additional basic functionalities
- Ability to download or print results.
- Ability to compare longer texts (whole chapters)
- Improved collation–and/or the ability to select alternative collation methods
- Statistical tools, such as multi-dimensional scaling and clustering, to group manuscripts and display results
- Since there will inevitably be errors in collation, ability to correct alignment and re-run various operations
- Dynamic synoptic view, in which two or more witnesses can be viewed in parallel columns, with the ability to highlight textual differences or other features.
Hayim Lapin is Robert H. Smith Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland. He currently is completing a faculty fellowship at MITH. This post originally appeared at Digital Mishnah on August 30, 2012.