Portal talk:Ancient and Classical texts

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Portal review
Portal Ancient and Classical texts
Classification XE
Class X: Wikisource
Subclass E: Era
Classifier AdamBMorgan
Reviewer Clockery Fairfeld

I agree that Ancient and Classical texts have a place here, both in the original language and in translations into English and other languages. Still I would advise against making this a top level listing scheme. My own vision involves a single primary author/title listing. Taking it any further really depends on having an effective categorization scheme, and that is a software issue that dpends on other things than a grasp of content. Effective categorization would allow us automatically create such lists as and when needed. Eclecticology 21:02, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It seems to me the main page (top level listing) should include few specific titles and authors, or none at all. Instead, it should have a feature which, as you suggest, would allow browsing titles and/or authors, but in my opinion also subjects and categories. To accomplish that (especially in a very early stage where you don't have many titles anyway!) all you need is effective linking.

I think effective categories - even on the top page - would be:

  • Historical Eras (as I have tried to show here - what I did was meant as an example)
  • Subject areas
  • Original language
  • Special Types of Documents (such as Treaties, Declarations, Speeches, etc. as has already been done on the main page)

The main point is that categories on the top level should accomplish three purposes:

  • To help readers and contributors easily find what they are looking for
  • To help people who don't know what they are looking for browse with maximum satisfaction
  • To give a bird's-eye view of the kinds of texts that may be worked on here

To accomplish this, author/title is indispensible, but in my opinion categories and subjects also belong.

Zabek 04:31, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Ancient Scripts[edit]

How do we type in ancient scripts? Does the wiki support Unicode? --Spikey 19:40, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well, that's a stupid question. Obviously, or cyrillic and asian languages wouldn't work. I guess what I mean to ask is should we put up the original texts in original scripts? And should we open Ancient Greek and Egyptian areas of the site? Are the language sections on the Main Page intended as text languages or working languages? Once we start including ancient languages, it can't be both. Unless you want to hold discussions in Ancient Greek. --Spikey 19:52, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

OMHO, the languages of the main page are the languages of the interface, not of the texts themselves. Yann 21:15, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
If that were the case, shouldn't all non-English texts be linked from the English pages, as well ? (see http://sources.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carta_Democrática_Interamericana for an example of what is not linked but for in the Spanish index of wikisource); Logically, all English texts should then be linked to from the other interfaces as well. Not sure how to go about that if one doesn't know the language; should guidelines be developed for this? Eike 8:51, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Yann. This project is also Unicode compatible, but data entry in a foreign script is a function of your own user hardware. Unicode covers Ancient Greek, But Egyptian hieroglyphics are a notable exclusion from the code.
I agree too that the linkages which you describe should be there. Their absence on the specified page implies nothing about policy. Maybe that contributor didn't know about them or how to create them, or he found the task too tedious, or was otherwise preoccupied. Feel free to put them in. Eclecticology 09:15, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg[edit]

Is it "allowed" to transcribe Project Gutenberg renditions, of, say, Aristotle ? (transcribing in this case mean separating by chapter/book, including appropriate markup, etc.); the copyright and disclaimer messages in the files indicate for this to be allowed, any reference to PG should be removed; does this include a note to the tune of "The text shown herein is based on the PG version thereof" on the Talk-Page ? Case in point : http://www.gutenberg.net/etext05/8ethc10.txt would be one I'd try to include; it contains commentary, which will have to be clearly marked as such as to offset it from the main translation. [[User::Eike|Eike]] 8:51, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Although I have reservations about the utility of including readily available texts, such as are found on Project Gutenberg, I would not go so far as to say that they should be entirely forbidden.
While the PG texts are readily available on the net, I think some should also be included here (especially if they can be considered "classics" or in some other way important); Changes would of course include decent markup, but also possible additions, better translation, or even crosslinks from the original text to various different translations thereof. The texts may also later be used on wikibooks (as is the case with Shakespeare's works).
Finally, the mere name of wikisource suggests it's about sources; it contains the bill of rights, various constitutions, etc -- all of which are readily available on the net already, but easier to link from articles in other wiki*-projects for further reference without the fear that they may be removed at any time at the whim of some webmaster out there. Maybe it's too inclusionist, but on Wikisource, I think it appropriate ... [[User::Eike|Eike]] 4:24, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm aware of PG's fine print, and I would normally choose to strip it all out, but I would hesitate to "add back" that it was "based" on the PG text. Proper scholarship demands that the source of the text be attributed; there should also be adequate information to allow verification of the fact that a contributed text does not breach copyright. Aristotle's original Greek text is obviously in the public domain, but this may not be the case for the derivative work of a translation. The term "based on" (or something similar) is an important phrasing. It suggest that our text may vary in some way from the PG version, though it need not. The vatiation may be significant, or it may be a trivial typographic correction, but its details will to some extent remain unspecified. I suspect that PG's concern is in the nature of a disclaimer lest someone may take them to task for inaccuracies. It would be absolutely inappropriate to say that our text is an exact duplicate of the PG text. I can't see how PG could object to a "based on" attribution, and it is even more difficult to imagine what recourse they would have if they did object. Eclecticology 09:00, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)
As for the PD-ness (forgive the term) of the translation, I'd think the PG fine print would mention if the text's inclusion in their archive was due to a special exception to US Copyright Law or permission given by an author; Personally, I trust that they do thorough copyright-checking; that having been said, I'll go with the "based on" remark in the talk-page and a link to PG itself; The attribution is clear then and should not lead to either legal problems or disputed PD-ness :) [[User::Eike|Eike]] 4:24, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm confident that PG is cautious about copyright issues. The point is more in terms of mentioning sources. That way our reader can use the work with the confidence that he is dealing with something in the public domain. Eclecticology 08:36, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Linking translations passage-by-passage[edit]

The article expresses the aspiration to link translated texts to their originals passage-by-passage. I've had a go at that with Agricola - see what you think. --Nicknack009 09:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent! Dovi 10:03, 18 June 2006 (UTC)