12.0328 SGML-aware? WWW manipulations? Kazar?

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 10 Jan 1999 14:34:12 +0000 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 328.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> (42)
Subject: SGML browsers & market lobby

[2] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (26)
Subject: manipulations

[3] From: Raquel Wandelli <wandelli@cce.ufsc.br> (13)
Subject: help

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 15:42:41 -0500 (EST)
From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: SGML browsers & market lobby


I have often heard you and Susan Hockey urge humanists and scholars to
think about what type of software would best meet their pedagogical
and research needs. Plan for the future.

Somewhere soon there must be an alliance between a computing
department and a humanities discipline to produce sgml-aware software
for the reader. Of course, I will continue to address my plea to
commercial interests. Witness a copy of a letter I have sent to some
commercial software developers:=20

> I work for the John Evelyn Letters project at the University of
> Toronto. The project involves the creation of an electronic edition of
> a corpus of 17th century letters. We are ready to deliver a demo of
> a selection of the TEI conformant markup. However we have been having
> problems locating resouces for browsing sgml files via the Web. Looks
> like there has been little progress since 1996. Since Softquad sold
> its SGML section to Interleaf, users have not been able to easily obtain
> evaluation copies of Panorama plugins. Of course this doesn't help
> Macintosh users much since Softquad sold its SGML product line before
> Mac versions were launched.
> I was wondering given your investment in SGML if you had plans to
> market more products. The academic market is big and poised to adopt
> sgml authoring tools for the creation of scholary editions. The one
> stumbling block is the lack of a user base. More and more, academics
> are pointing to the multimedia industry where developers like Adobe
> and Macromedia give away their plugins for Acrobat and Shockwave
> respectively for free.
> There is the case of the Finnish product Multidoc which is being
> listed at 50$US. (Small price for the one time user but not cheap on a
> per machine basis).
> I urge to consider marketing plans for this underserviced sector.
> Thank you

There are larger issues here about ownership, stewardship and fair
remuneration for the building of infrastructures. There is also an
historical question: what has happened since the promising crest of
1996? Or was that crest mere illusion? Has the advent of XML slowed
development and deployment of sgml-aware software?

"cohorts become a matter of ecology"

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 11:54:03 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: manipulations=20

An attentive Humanist, attending a dinner-party recently, heard about a
technique by which clever people conspire to raise the probability that
Internet search-engines will place their pages at the top of the list for
any search on the relevant key-words. The example he gave was for "Darwin o=
evolution", which in the results of a Web crawler produced a list the first
dozen or so of which were references to creationists' pages. I just tried a
search on these terms in AltaVista and did not get the same results, but
this hardly matters for the point to be made. I would assume that the
technique in question is to use the META element to set multiple instances
of the relevant keywords in order to run up a high score on the number of
hits/page for these keywords. I've seen this done before.

A clever person certainly could get around any simple checks based on the
contents of the META element or proximity.=20

What are the implications for one's reliance on the Internet as a source of
information? It certainly doesn't take much of an imagination to see how an
unscrupulous person could in effect drown out a competing view of some
subject, such as evolution, by making sure that the first 100 hits would
always be to his or her own.

Is this a real worry? If so, what do we do about it?


Dr. Willard McCarty
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London / Strand / London WC2R 2LS
+44 (0)171 873 2784 voice; 873 5081 fax
maui gratia

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 16:43:05 -0600
From: Raquel Wandelli <wandelli@cce.ufsc.br>
Subject: help

I'm student of Literature from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina,
Florian=F3polis, Brasil. I'm making a research about hipertext and I would
like very much to seek works about Kazar Dictionary (Dicion=E1rio Kazar, in
portuguese). I have just found works in islamic languages. Please, could yo=
help me advising me how to find works about in french, portuguese, english
or spanish? I need also works or any kind of texts about the films "Before
of raining" and "Through of the Olive Trees" (Atrav=E9s das Oliveiras, in
portuguese) by director, Abbas Kiarostami. Sorry for my english. Thank you,
very much.=20
Happy new year!

Raquel Wandelli

Humanist Discussion Group=20
Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>