The TLG and copyright

This window comes up when you search for a word or browse a text on the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae website. I haven’t visited the site for a while, so I can’t really tell when this was introduced. I am just wondering if it is technically possible to disallow copying of the text while browsing the TLG. Colleagues have reported that the TLG suspended their access to the site due to suspicious browsing behavior but I have no picture about how the mechanisms work or if they really exist in the first place.

My issue is this: Maybe I am wrong, but the introduction of this pop-up window shows that users do try to copy the texts digitised by the TLG for their own use and that the TLG-Project is trying to secure its rights to the electronic texts it makes available. It would be interesting to know why users try to do this. If it is because they want to use other digital tools that the TLG doesn’t offer, why not let them do so? If it’s a cost-related issue, why not introduce a download fee or something similar? Or do a user survey and try to build the tools users really want. Why not allow users to pass the text to other concordancers available on the net, like the Voyeur tools? There must be a way to combine the sustainability of the TLG-project with the actual needs of the user community… What do you think?

Run the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae as a separate application with Prism

I am using the TLG on a daily basis for my research. I ‘ve bookmarked the entry URL on my browser (Safari for Mac OS X) and normally have one or more tabs or windows simultaneously open. My issue with this: I tend to close down tabs or windows while browsing the web, following URL’s from other sites, checking my gmail account, or (yes, I am doomed to distraction) peeking through to Facebook and Twitter.

What I ‘ve decided to do in order to manage my use of the TLG better is to give Prism from Mozilla Labs a try. Prism is available as a Firefox Extension or a separate application for you to download. What it does is quite simple and ingenious: a browser that runs one and only one specified URL. This is what the only window of the application looks like after downloading it, copying to your hard disk and running it:

Prism - Mozilla Labs
Put your bookmarked TLG URL in the URL box, give it a name in the field below, decide whether the application that will be created will behave like a webpage or not and, finally, tell Prism where to put your TLG application. I decided to have it placed on my desktop. Once I run the newly created «TLG.app», log myself in and go to the TLG’s «Simple Search», it looks like this:

Search : 0
Notice that apart from the minimal toolbar (which you can hide in the Prism main window) the TLG looks and feels as always. There is now a TLG.app icon on my dock:

dock
I chose to keep this on my dock; now every time a click the TLG icon, the TLG.app starts and I can use the TLG without a hassle.

Note that you (of course) still need to be connected to the Internet for the TLG.app to work. Prism simply creates an application around an existing webpage. No internet connection, no TLG.app.

There is of course one (potentially serious) downturn to this approach. You can’t have multiple TLG windows open (but pop-up windows will work) nor have you access to the usual menus of your browser (but you can copy text via the right mouse button, if you have one, or the usual command-X keyboard shortcut). You can tweak the font used by the TLG.app (my preference is Gentium) by choosing the Preferences (click on the wheel at the lower left corner of the TLG.app window). This solution is thought as a boost to productivity; the TLG.app is actually crisper on my MacBook Pro than the original Firefox browser. Maybe because it doesn’t have to handle History, Bookmarks, Extensions and the rest but concentrates on one thing: Bringing the power of the web (or the TLG in this case) to your desktop.

Mac OS X users have an alternative to Prism: Fluid has the same functionality but uses WebKit (i.e. Safari) to create the web-specific app you require.


Tools for converting Beta code to Unicode

Betacode description:

http://www.tlg.uci.edu/BetaCode.html

 Online tools:

1. Sean Redmond’s Greek Font to Unicode converter: http://www.jiffycomp.com/smr/unicode/

CGI based conversion tool, supports cut&paste.

2. Cental (Centre du traitement automatique du langage) Beta Code to Unicode Converter: http://130.104.253.20/beta2uni/

Lets you upload and convert whole files from the TLG CD ROM to Unicode.

3. Michael Neuhold’s greekconverter: http://members.aon.at/neuhold/antike/grkconv.html (inactive?)

Java-Applets and downloadable Java-Classes for converting between beata code and other encodings.

Applications, JAVA-Classes usw.

1. Epidoc collaborative: Transcoder: http://sourceforge.net/projects/epidoc

Java based converter for plain text files.

2. Lucius Hartmann’s BetaCodeConverter bzw. GreekKeysConverter (Mac OS): http://www.lucius-hartmann.ch/programme/

MacOs applicaton, converts RTF and TXT files from and to many encodings.

3. Antioch classical languages utility von Ralph Hancock: http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~hancock/antioch.htm

VBA based conversion utility.

4. Burkhard Meißner’s View and Find: http://www2.hsu-hh.de/hisalt/projects/viewfind.htm

View & Find is a MS-DOS program to interact with, decode, extract, search and automatically index the beta code files on the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae E and Packard Humanities Institute #5.3 and #7 CD ROMs. (thanks to B. Meißner for the info)

5. betautf8 – a fast, flexible beta code to unicode (utf8) file converter: http://www2.hsu-hh.de/hisalt/projects/betautf8.htm (thanks to B. Meißner for the info)

TLG and PHI search engines supporting Unicode

1. Diogenes: http://www.dur.ac.uk/p.j.heslin/Software/Diogenes/index.php

Perl based, cross platform search engine for the PHI and TLG CD Roms.

2. Workplace Pack vom SilverMountain Software: http://www.silvermountainsoftware.com/workpack.html

Unicode aware search engine program for the TLG CD ROM.