A Progress Update

Thanks to many hours of volunteer work by our chief technical person, Dr. Joel Uckelman, the Dictionary is one step closer to having a working public website and now has a working private website where the editors can log in to enter new citations and new header names. The webform allows us to not have to worry about editing XML by hand (which is where far and away the most errors creep in). It validates the files against a custom-made schema (also created by Joel), ensures that the header forms being entered actually exist, and cross-checks the bibliographic keys against the bibliographic database. The forms will allow us to proceed with the entering of data at a much faster rate than previously, meaning that our goal of having an initial version of the Dictionary with basic searches available by the end of September is still a reasonable one!

One of the hardest things about getting a project like this up and running is manpower and funding. Many people who may be interested in contributing can only do so if their time is being recompensed; and yet, funding agencies are often loath to provide funding for “unproven” projects. We are extremely grateful to Joel for taking time out of his own projects to build this infrastructure for us, and getting us out of this Catch-22!


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