Lynx Line Indexer
The Lynx Digital Scholarship Wiki
Digital Scholarship comes in three forms. The first is the quantitative analysis of scientific and mathematical problems. The second is the electronic formatting and compilation of existing texts, whether Classic, scientific or Humanistic. The third is the search, summary and analysis of online (e-formatted) texts, with the intent of assisting in and encouraging their readership.
This site is concerned with the third form of digital scholarship, and will teach and provide the means for scholars to summarize, index and reference works of literature using a line-indexing program. The results will be a publicly accessible database composed of text-linked summaries, indexes, references and notes, of use to students, teachers and writers who need a fast and infallible way to peruse weighty volumes.
The texts themselves will be downloadable, and useful as e-note binders, personal concordance builders and indexing tools. It is important to note at this point that not all browsers display the tables and anchor points properly. Though IE (Internet Explorer) is not unique in this regard, it is the first that comes to mind. Opera might be useful as well, and, if I remember correctly, enlarges the tables and text proportionately for those seeking large type text.
Here is an example of a Lynx line-indexed text: The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
Here also is an example of a Lynx index in the process of being created. Index to Shakespeare
And finally, here Lynx has been used to create an editable concordance (line-by-line dictionary and paraphraser), such as with the Hamlet Concordance.
Line-links can be gathered, organized and categorized into useful and indexes, and used as supporting evidence.
Sounds useful and interesting? Well, here's how to proceed.
Organizing your Study Project
Organization is important. You might say even that it is of primary importance. Nothing can be gained, and everything can be lost in a moment of frustration if things cannot be found.
So, where does the prudent scholar start? Usually, the TOC or Table of Contents is the starting place for reader, writer and editor. It is here that the intent of the work is most evident, along with the main chapters (subject matter), indexes, etc.
Once you've established a TOC, consider creating index pages along the lines of your work. If you are studying plays, plot summary pages will be essential. These may be created by simply naming the page and putting doubled square brackets around the page name. The plot summary pages may be listed along with the plays' names for easy reference, and listed by themselves on a plot summary index page, as well. Other index pages might include great lines, various virtues and vices, characters, etc.
The most important feature of line-indexed text is the ease with which one may quote, excerpt, refer, prove and otherwise cite lines within a given work.
And of the few line-indexing systems extant, only the Lynx EC Line-Indexer uses trouble-free HTML, is downloadable, and allows for the speedy and certain retrieveal of any link to any line, no matter how long the work.
That is because every line is anchored to a partner point, and by clicking on the hyper-linked asterisk at the head of the line after you locate it, you are immediately taken to that point which appears at the top of the partner, or "index" page. By clicking on that hyper-linked number, you will return to the page from which you are retrieving the line-link, however, the line you are linking to will now be at the top of the page, and it's URL will be displayed in the web browser's active field, which displays the address of the current page/anchor. From there, you may copy it onto your clipboard, and then paste it into your text. If you are editing a Wikia website, you will use the formula [the URL from the browser box + a space + The text you choose]. This will create a highlighted word or phrase linked to the line you have gathered the link from. For example a link to the Google search engine will look like this (right-facing square bracket)http://www.google.com/ Google search engine(left-facing square bracket). HTML links are made with the "<A HREF=...>hyperlinked text</A> closing notation.
Though this tutorial is primarily concerned with gathering links from Lynx line-linked text, you will also need to be able to easily gather links from Wikia pages to succeed at being a digital scholar. The main thing to remember is to first click on the heading or sub-heading entry in the table of contents at the top of the page to bring up the name of the page/anchor in the Wikia pages browser. Copy that. Do not try to puzzle out the name of the page and anchor using the formula given in Wikipedia help. Nine times out of ten, you won't get it right the first time.
Also, when using Wiki-text, you may write double-square brackets on either side of a page name to create a link to that page. However, you must copy the page name from the browser's active field, after clicking on the entry in the table of contents of the page to make sure you have the correct formatting of the name.
To create the hyperlinked text in a URL created with double-brackets, you must use the vertical dash, which many keyboards don't have. I simply copy-paste it from other places on the site to where it belongs between URL and hyperlinked text.
Lesson Three - Reading a line-indexed text with the intent of studying it
After you have created your TOC, and are ready to proceed with the study of the text, you should open three or four windows. In one will be the text, such as Hamlet. In the second will be a concordance page made from a template. In the third will be a plot summary page (click here for an example), and your study session might include an index page, such as a Great Lines index page.
Remember, when setting up your templates, indexes, etc, include copious return links to the Table of Contents. That's what makes Digital Scholarship so fast: that is, the ability to stay mentally organized by returning and referring to your home point, namely the TOC.
Lesson Four - How to Create Concordances
Using a concordance
Using a Lynx concordance is as simple as reading down the text, and clicking on the asterisk at the head of the line when you don't understand a word, or need help in comprehending the meaning of the sentence. If the text has been thoroughly annotated, nearly every word will be translated into colloquial, modern English, and every dubious meaning clarified through paraphrasing.
Building a concordance
To build a concordance, the text must be read line-by-line, and then words which may have meanings other than those the ordinary reader might understand should be noted. Paraphrases may be written expanding upon these with additional comments added as needed.
All readers of the Hamlet text which accompanies this concordance are welcome to make notes on the corresponding concordance pages and next to the appropriate line numbers, which may be reached by clicking on the second asterisk at the head of each text line.
The names and links to the text and concordance pages along with a summary of the action on the page are listed below.
The definitions used in the note pages are simply the closest approximations I can manage to the meanings that we believe Shakespeare to have intended. Where we think that Shakespeare intended a double or triple meaning, a double entendre, or pun, that is indicated.
Where we believe that the word should be more grandly illustrated, there may also be a few more meanings, however, for the sake of speed, we are not linking the word to dictionary pages, or giving it a full dictionary description.
For example, the word "draw" is used by Claudius to describe what he fears Laertes might do to those he believes guilty of his father's death. In any and every dictionary, the meaning of the word draw does not come close to anything that can be made to sound sensical in the sentence. Thus, I have reached into the ether, and posed the word as part of the phrase, "draw and quarter," which means execute. Now the sentence makes sense, for Laertes certainly will execute or murder those he suspects of murdering his father.
Our style of definition writing is thus: If it is a single word that might be defined, it is highlighted in bold, and the definition that makes the of Shakespeare intelligible to the modern ear follows.
If it is a phrase that needs translation, the phrase is placed in italics, and followed by a paraphrase. Almost always, there will be an unknown word within this phrase, and this is placed in bold-character, thus it is italicized and bold-character. Then, in the following plain character translation, the word used in translation is placed in italics.
For example: Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen, - Will so place ourselves, so that we may watch without being seen.
bestow -to place.
My lord, he's going to his mother's closet:
Behind the arras I'll convey myself,
To hear the process; and warrant she'll tax him home:
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege:
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.
Paraphrase: My lord, he's on his way to his mother's bedroom. I'll hide myself behind the screen and so be in the position of overhearing the conversation and guaranteeing that she force Hamlet to admit what is bothering him. As you stated before, it's fit and proper that someone else than his mother (since nature makes mothers partial to their children), should overhear the conversation, so that some advantage may be had from it. Farewell, my lord: I'll see you before you retire and inform you as to the outcome of their meeting, and what I have learned.
closet - private quarters
arras - decorative screen
warrant - guarantee
tax him home - force Hamlet to admit to what is bothering: him. forcibly bring something home to someone:
'Tis meet - It's fit and proper
vantage - To use a circumstance, situation, etc in such a way as to get some benefit from it
liege - lord
Paraphrasing is the process by which we take a perfectly good, but quite unintelligible passage from one of Shakespeare's plays, and turn it to American Colloquial English. Are we committing a crime in doing so? We hope not. I'm a reviewed author, and believe I can turn a phrase as neatly as most. However, if hearing approximations of Shakespearian English makes you sick, ignore the paraphrasing and just use the definitions.
My theory in paraphrasing is that Middle English, the language Shakespeare wrote in, is about half as close again to American Colloquial English as Fresian Dutch. That makes it just a hair short of being a foreign language. I doubt if any native English reader can read Shakespeare fluently, but if you need to "go like hell," and must convince your English teacher that you really have read the play, feel free to use my paraphrasing. It is probably one-hundred percent accurate, and I have changed imagery on very few occasions. For example, instead of having Laertes say, as for my "vows, to the blackest devil!," I write, "my vows can be writ where the devil does shit." Thus, I believe, I hold to the spirit of the piece, while making the sentence a little more understandable to the average reader.
FAQ's, "Wikid Tricks," etc
1. Who owns the Lynx Line-Indexer?
It is the intellectual property of John DeGrazia, however it contains no new programming, only the combination of several existing programs in an ingenious way, along with templates he has written.
If you want to try your hand at line-indexing, just use one of the existing Lynx pages as a template, and to make your text fit within the table size specified by the template (this cannot be changed), use either Windows MS Works word processor from Windows 98, or a newer version of Front Page Express. These will adjust the length of the line under the Format option, and MS Works 98 will automatically place a break "br" after each line. These may be converted to paragraphs "P's." Front Page should be saved as HTML, and then opened in any preview editor, to obtain the text with markup. To get it to display "P's" or "BR's," and not "div's," copy the text first into Wordpad, and then copy it into a Frontpage Express new page from there. That should work, but you might have to juggle and experiment a little.
Better, contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will do his best to line-index your text.
2. Why has this not been done before?
John was actually very fast in realizing the possibilities of line-indexing, however it could not be done with anything less than a Pentium II, due to crashes caused by holding three programs open at the same time, a necessity in making the line-indexed texts.
So, as soon as Pentium II came along, he sat down and made the program. It actually took over six months of hard work to pound out all the details, and even now, a page will now and again mysteriously dissappear due to the "ghosts in the machine." However, that's happening everywhere, with all computer programs.
3. How far will line-indexing go? Is it worth learning?
That's anybody's guess. If it's picked up by just one large university as a teaching tool, it could be the future as far as secondary and higher education goes. Try the Hamlet line-linked plot summary, and compare the results to any plot summary you have ever tried to use before. You be the judge. Are you learning the play faster than before? A lot faster? Somewhat faster?
Of course, there's also a small possibility that line-indexing will be picked up by those who make legal and administrative transcripts. But that's a very small market, driven by very conservative interests.
Note(Note: Though some browsers (Mozilla) have deprecated the anchor system in favor of CSS, IE (Internet Explorer) will probably continue to support this "deprecated" hypertext language indefinitely. For those who wish to commit entirely to CSS, you will be writing instead of the leading paragraph notation
<P ID=The name of your line>This, the name following "ID=", then appeares at the end of your URL, just like an anchor, with the hash mark in front of it.) The
<A NAME=The anchor number of your line>notation to indicate a URL down-the-page destination, is no longer needed.
Here is a cite from a CSS tutorial, http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/tables.html:
If you are using Internet Explorer 6, you should be able to use this wizard with only minor limitations. This page does not work with Opera 8 or IE 5 on Mac. Internet Explorer 6 does not support the border-spacing CSS2 table property. It also does not support any Netscape-specific CSS properties that are prefixed with -moz, and has limited support for the cursor property. This means you will not see all the effects in this wizard unless you use a browser like Firefox.
As you can see, it is a question not only of browser technology and compatability, but who operates the server site which you are connected to (AOL, etc.) Our library's server is extremely good at operating IE, but ignores Mozilla and other browswers, irregardless of their merits.