|РВБ: О проекте: Вокруг РВБ||01.12.2009|
Abstract: The paper covers basic aspects of functioning of Russian Virtual Library and application of conventional mark-up languages for demonstration of intrinsic text structure.
Russian Virtual Library (http://www.rvb.ru/) is an Internet resource that was developed to satisfy the needs of a wide range of users studying Russian literature (from scholars to high school students). Critical editions of Russian literature texts are the major part of the site content.
Two major problems are solved within the site development:
All texts are marked-up in HTML 4.0, thus author of the text, title and brief reference to reproduced edition are written into the <title> element of each file. While the reader browses along the text, he sees numbers of pages and full bibliographic description is given in the footer of each text and in navigation pages (index of the author).
Basic assumption in text mark-up is the following: formats of text presentation developed within the traditional publishing industry implicitly include vast information about text structure. These templates of text presentation deserve adequate explication in terms of text theory and recording in text mark-up language.
Major intention of SGML (XML) languages, that is unification of the artistic text itself and metadata (encoded in mark-up language elements) in marked-up text is implemented within RVL project using HTML 4.0 language , and visualization of this mark-up is governed by CSS 2.1 rules .
Values of this margin may be varied, but mutual position of the poems written in different meters is preserved as in printed books and thus text visualization becomes meaningful for the reader. All verse meters, their variants and other meaningful text elements are defined in a similar way. On one hand this makes perception of the text more easy and on another hand simplifies text processing in view of making the indexes of verse forms and/or concordances. When the text is marked up this way, it can be easily converted to other formats to be given to the reader. Major tool for such markup is Xmarkup utility (Russian description is given at http://www.rvb.ru/soft/xmarkup/xmarkup_170.htm)
Examples of the text marked-up this way may be found, for instance, following the links from the Karamzin's (Russian writer of 18th century): http://www.rvb.ru/18vek/karamzin/1bp/toc.htm
The second aspect of texts visualization within our project is visualization of hyperlinks between the text and comments to it.
In printed books there are several ways of links to the comments:
Several operations is performed to visualize such implicit hypertext, and the first operation is assigning unique alphanumerical identifiers to segments of the comments. At the next stage we define which segments of the text are commented and links are semi-automatically generated to the comment file and IDs.
For example in the novels of Fedor Dostoevskiy: «Crime and Punishment» ca. 200 links to comment items, «The Possessed» ca. 300 links, «Karamazov Brothers» ca. 600 links.
Links are assigned the appearance traditional for web-resources (in CSS 2.0 rules) and when the reader sees the text highlighted in blue color, he realizes that there is a hyperlink and when he clicks, he sees the needed comment.
Hypertext links between text and the reference data (indexes of various kinds) are visualized in a similar way.
We use quite conventional (even traditional) visualization mechanisms (HTML 4.0 + CSS 2.0) for text visualization within our approach applied to traditional material (text of literature), however we visualize not only the text itself but also a metatext (description of text structure) and hypertext (system including text, comments to it and other reference data). This allows development of more advanced visualization mechanisms at the next stages of project development. Most probably visualization of phonetic structure of poetic texts will be the next stage of applied technology development.
1. Text Encoding Initiative. The XML Version of the TEI Guidelines http://www.tei-c.org/P4X/
2. HTML 4.01 Specification http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/
3. Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 revision 1. CSS 2.1 Specification http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/
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