Demo Feeback Page

1 Jan 2014

Notes on Version 0.0.3 Thank you for visiting the feedback page for the Digital Mishnah Project Demo. Please use the comments area on this page to provide feedback on the project and the demo. Some basic versioning information: For reference purposes I am calling this version 0.0.3. When we can introduce some statistical tools, and customizable output, we can start numbering versions 0.1.0, etc., and we’ll be moving from demo to alpha development phase. This version of the demo adds some styling changes, changes to the interface where witnesses are accessed for comparison/collation, and one major output change: the ability

New Version of Demo

23 Feb 2013

We have released a new version of the demo. Much of the change is in styling and branding, but there are new texts added, some new views, and a new naming convention. New texts. Gradually, I am replacing the sample files with just Bava Metsi’a Ch. 2 with transcriptions covering all of tractate Neziqin (the Bavot). Currently, this applies to the Maimonides autograph, Paris BNF Héb. 328-329, and the Naples editio princeps (with the marginalia from the copy in the National Library of Israel.) Work is ongoing on other witnesses. Some new Genizah fragments have been added, and, in the

Answering the Mail

13 Nov 2012

I had promised to respond to comments on the demo, so, at long last, here goes. Request for greater highlighting of collation options (Tim Finney). In fact, CollateX has several alignment methods built into libraries that can be utilized. This is outside of what I feel comfortable talking about (I don’t really read Java … yet) but there is no reason we can’t allow users to select methods and see what yields the best results. Don’t build unnecessary mechanisms (Desmond Schmidt). Well taken. As a non-programmer, I’m not always the best judge of what is difficult or simple to build.

Drowning in Texts

20 Oct 2012

The comments on the demo deserve a full response (although the short response is: thank you and, in almost all cases, I agree). However, for this post I want to report on progress in getting and identifying texts for the extended demo. We have made the decision to build out from the sample chapter in Bava Metsi’a to all of tractate Neziqin (the “Bavot”), a 30-chapter and 13-14,000-word base text to work with. Michael Krupp has generously provided transcriptions of 4 orders for three manuscripts (Kaufmann, Parma de Rossi 138, and Cambridge Add. 470.1). The first is now available in

Finally, a live demo

30 Aug 2012

I am please 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

Midsummer Update

10 Jul 2012

In addition to getting the demo ready to go live–it’s ready to go!–this summer’s agenda has been to add texts and add reference material. We now have two sets of reference data ready to implement. The heavy lifting for this was done by Atara Siegel, an undergraduate at Stern College, who worked for me for several weeks this summer. Atara prepared the lists, and, for the newly expanded sample text (tractates Bava Qamma, Bava Metsi’a and Bava Batra) also linked the relevant words in the reference text to the names list. Personal Names. This list is based on the list

Almost Ready for Prime Time

24 May 2012

We now have two versions of a demos up and ready to run. Both allow a user to pull data from the witness files, containing manuscript transcriptions, select texts to compare, run the texts through a version of Collatex, then present the results as an alignment table (a “synopsis” in or “partitur” in some text-critical dialects), and as a text with apparatus. The second of these is still buggy (and the cause of both a couple of late nights night and the lateness of this post (for which I apologize heartily to the nice people at MITH)), but it does


26 Apr 2012

This Site I’ve now updated the “Examples of Work” page to include viewable samples. Thanks to Kirsten Keister for setting up the light box format to view the samples. The examples include two samples of work that processes more than one text (collation, synopsis) and a number of examples of manuscripts. The Project I’ve been working on two issues. One is pointing. I now have a complete set of pointers from the reference file (ref.xml) to the witness files for locating spans of damaged text and page and fragment beginnings and ends for fragmentary texts. Of course, because nothing is

Progress, real but in small steps.

15 Mar 2012

[Originally published on March 11, 2012 at] I had been holding out for my next post for a new Digital Mishnah website, courtesy of MITH, and a new collation demo hosted on it, but, that will be for my next post, deo volente. Since my last confession, I have: Submitted a paper that details methods and progress to date. It’s for a Festschrift, and I’ve been asked not to state the venue openly, but can share a draft. Thought a lot about (and only partly understand) multivariate statistics. Completed the first round of markup for all the Genizah fragments

Thinking about the end product

25 Jan 2012

Since my last post, I have been working on a grant application. This has afforded the opportunity of some stock taking. I’ve also had some very helpful conversations with scholars in the field: Juan Garcés and Matt Munson in Hebrew Biblical Studies, Tim Finney in New Testament and Desmond Schmidt in textual computing and classics. 1. Collation. Based on very simple normalization and tokenization and a few samples, CollateX will remain error prone, unless the algorithm changes significantly. Examples: (1) In a Mishnah section with repeated words, slight differences in spelling resulted in pushing a whole clause off to the