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VMs: Re: VMS Transcriptions

From: Bruce Grant <bgrant@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
A transcription file can help in two ways:
1.    By capturing as much detail as possible from the written
manuscript in a format which can easily be copied and disseminated (I
think of this as a "variorum edition" since it may need to contain
multiple interpretations of ambiguous features.)
2.    By providing a version which can be processed with programs in the
attempt to develop and test various hypotheses about the VMS.

To me, these should not be expected to be the same file. To allow
testing of a particular hypotheses (e.g. that "cc" is a single
character), it is necessary to create a test transcription file using
this assumption and then perform analysis on it. To try to do such
analysis from a transcription which expresses all possibilities seems
pretty impractical.

Not being a computer wizard I've stayed out of this thread, but I think Bruce has put his finger on something. I think that Glen is doing valuable work and if a group collaboration can help I want to be part of it, but I too think that various conflicting requirements are being bounced around.

1. The transcription alphabet. Glen has drawn attention to the
neglected topic of infrequent characters and seemingly significant
variants of frequent characters. This work depends on the use of a
stroke-based transcription: but proposals for collaborative input
to a file seem to involve the EVA scheme used by most of us.

2. The master file. If various different individuals are going to
input their personal readings of disputed text on a Wiki principle,
there is a danger of the master file or master database getting
horribly complicated. I would want to be able to extract a running
text using fairly simple scripts much as I can now extract e.g. the
Takehashi version of each line. I also do not want to be restricted
to custom scripts: I do quite a lot of work with Python scripts of
my own devising. I have no strong opinions about XML and its rivals,
but please keep it fairly simple.

3. The word divisions. I think that any word division is better than
none, but I don't see an easy way to hold variant divisions of a line
in a file or database in a way which could be modified collaboratively.

Philip Neal

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