Talk:The Ballad of Reading Gaol

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Information about this edition
Edition: The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1904); Thomas B Mosher; Portland Maine
Source: Index:The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1904).djvu
Contributor(s): Initially transcribed by "Faith Knowles" for Project Gutenberg and uploaded to Wikisource by
In Febuary 2008, it was overhauled by Mjodonnell using pagescans.
Level of progress:
Proofreaders: John Vandenberg

citation request[edit]

Can someone add a citation to the edition of "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" entered here? I have a rather carefully compiled edition somewhat different from this one. But I don't want to enter changes if this is the correct text of a different edition.

--Mjodonnell 04:07, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I would bet my boots that it comes from Project Gutenberg which is quite a strange etext, even for Gutenberg's early standards. It contains two versions, which I have placed side by side, and manipulated so that the lines of each correlate (i.e. I have added blank lines on the left hand side): User:Jayvdb/The Ballad of Reading Gaol (gutenberg).

I cant see any textual differences, so the differences are the white space, and the fact that the first version neglects to note where section "III" begins.

So, our current version is absolute shite, based on a poor digital copy with no provenance data associated with it at all. This is not our best work.

In order to do a good job of fixing this, I have set up a proper transcription project at Index:The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1904).djvu, completing all the front and rear matter. There are 32 pages left to be done. Does that DJVU file match your edition? Do you want to take over from here and create the rest of the pages ? John Vandenberg (chat) 13:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I have found two differences between those two editions in the gutenberg text.
First edition Second edition
A reguiem that might have brought A requiem that might have brought
In which their convict lies. In which the convict lies.
A 1909 edition with a few images. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:16, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Have you done a comparison between the old text and this new text? If so, could you point out a few of the key differences? John Vandenberg (chat) 05:35, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I have compared the page text and the DJVU text [1] and found the following differences:

Gutenberg extext 301
(first of two transcriptions)
Went shuffling through the gloom Went shuffling through the gloom:
With a hangman close at hand? With a hangman close at hand.
corpse p.32 corse
And that man's face was grey, And that man's face was gray,
The memory of dreadful things p.40 The Memory of dreadful things
And terror crept behind. p.40 And Terror crept behind.
Christ brings his will to light, Christ brings His will to light,
In which their convict lies. in which their convict lies.

I havent yet compared this with the gutenberg text. John Vandenberg (chat) 15:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Having found a spelling mistake "reguiem" in the first of the two editions in the Project Gutenberg etext, which also appears in the initial upload to Wikisource, we can now say with 100% assurance that our etext came from that source. It is quite possible that the above differences actually appeared in print in a different edition that was used in the transcription for the Project Gutenberg etext; the only definitive answer to that will be if transcriber "Faith Knowles" knows which edition was used in 1995. John Vandenberg (chat) 16:00, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


Gutenberg also has an audio (Project Gutenberg) , but I am not sure we want to add that until we have worked out which editions of this work were published or exist as MS. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:09, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I'll do the transcription[edit]

My version is just from The Penguin English Library, which I generally trust. It looks like you dug up the first edition (it matches the "London, 1898" mentioned in my Penguin edition). The Penguin doesn't discuss how it edited the text, so I think the older publication is preferable.

I'd like to do this project. I transcribed the first two pages to get the idea. I haven't seen this transcription system before, and both WikiSource texts that I've looked at so far (this one, and Dies Irae) have been rather sloppy, so I didn't know how precise you were trying to be. I'm all for precise (does "anal retentive" need a hyphen?).

I didn't find a section in the Help pages on transcription projects. If you can point me to one, great.

I proofread your head matter, and corrected a couple of small things. I marked one of your blank pages "problematic," since I thought it might be a faded title page. But, having seen the whole front matter, I suspect it's a bleed across from a stack of pages before binding.

I also marked "problematic" the page of publication data, to question your use of "poem" markup on something that isn't at all a poem. (I corrected a typo in the Roman numeral date as well.)

I didn't mark anything "proofread" if I'd changed it, since that seems like bad security. Maybe it's OK for me to proofread it on a different day.

Questions that already arise in my first two pages:

  • I put in the page numbers at the foot, but marked them with "noinclude". Right?
  • After some puzzlement, I entered the first word of the poem as "He", with capital "H" and lower case "e". It's given with a huge illuminated block "H", and what looks like a capital "E", but I take it to be a lower case "e" in small cap style. Not sure whether to mark up such format info. It's not really part of the poem text.
  • I made the line breaks and indentation that is part of the poem, but not the line breaks due to running over the right margin. They are not part of the poetry.
  • I used a somewhat arbitrary 3-space indentation.
  • I put in a textual note of the "flower icon" at the bottom of the second page of the poem (page number 4). I'm pretty sure that this is a subsectional divider in the poem. In my Penguin edition, there is an asterisk. I have another artsy printing, which has a woodblock picture here. No idea how to mark this properly.
  • I put opening and closing "poem" brackets on each page. But, structurally, it's all one poem.
  • I left the part number, and the flower separator, outside the "poem" brackets, but on second thought, they are really part of the poem.

Anal-retentively (it must have a hyphen in the adverbial form) yours,

--Mjodonnell 04:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

the flower[edit]

virginia is using the character "❧" for the flower, with HTML ❧ .

I think we should create an image of the flower that appears in the printed edition. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:21, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

flower vs. section mark[edit]

Hmmm. As a user of the poem, I would like a markup that indicates that it's a section break. Even Virginia's character is weak from that point of view, but maybe better than an image.

I'm a bit puzzled about the relation between the scanned edition, the transcription, and the final WikiSource product. The use of "noinclude" markup suggests some automatic processing into a version of the poem itself, as opposed to this particular printing. And the scanned images are available to those who want to see what it really looks like.

--Mike 05:34, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

To see it in action, take a look at Index:Rusk note of 1951 and Rusk note of 1951 (click edit on this page). John Vandenberg (chat) 05:53, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
The Wikisource software has the ability to display an image of the actual flower on the "Page:", but then display something else on the final rendition of the work.
The syntax to do that looks like:
 <noinclude>[[Image:Flower in The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1904).png]]</noinclude><includeonly>❧</includeonly> 
John Vandenberg (chat) 23:31, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I think I'm almost grokking noinclude and includeonly.

I think I can take a good copy of the flower image out of one of the page images with the GIMP. If you notice one that looks particularly clean, you can point me to it. Also, any advice on the format (I'm thinking png, with a transparent background), pixel size, ...

Still not convinced that Virginia's weird character belongs in the includeonly version, rather than a more abstract sectional markup.

--Mike 03:05, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Finished transcribing the text[edit]

I just finished transcribing the text. I'll break for tonight, then proofread your final pages tomorrow. I'll check over mine, but I think I shouldn't mark my own typing as proofread---seems to call for an independent eye.

I'll also work on pulling the flower image out. Not sure how much more I should do myself. I'm willing to try to finish it all the way, but not sure I've figured out all the issues in "transcluding."

  • I didn't mark the larger small-cap fonts at the beginnings of sections. The beginning of the first section is even bigger than the beginnings of II-VI (and illuminated).
  • I also didn't mark the line breaks that were not poetically meaningful.
  • I noticed that the centered section numbers and flower stubs formatted fine inside the poem markup, and that seems to be the logical way, since the divisions are part of the poetry.
  • Not sure whether the intermediate poem markers should be surrounded by noinclude. Not even sure whether this sort of bracketing a bracket is syntactically good. But it does seem that any abstraction of the poem text should get a single unbroken poem, not a sequence of short poems.
  • I noticed that the italic formatting stopped at the end of a line. So, I marked each italic line individually. But that's structurally wrong---there should be one unbroken italic sequence across lines.
  • Since we're grabbing the flower picture, how about the other designs? The vinish one at the very end is arguably the end marker of the poem. The others are more purely part of the book rather than the poem. But it should be easy to grab them with the GIMP (fingers crossed).

--Mike 03:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Proofread final matter[edit]

I proofread the final matter, which was almost all empty pages. I made a correction on the one nonempty page, so I didn't mark it "proofread."

--Mike O'D 01:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Uploaded flower icon[edit]

I GIMPed the first instance of the little flower icon used to separate subsections of the poem, from the 800-pixel version of the page image (which is the highest resolution I could find). I made the background transparent, and created a png:

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Mosher edition-flower icon.png

This is easy to fiddle with, if there is a better source, or some suggestion for improvement.

--Mike O'D 01:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

To respond to an earlier query ... in a perfect world, where everyone has limitless time to spend on personal projects, we would want every single part of this edition to be broken down into re-usable components, for two reasons:
  1. to allow high quality reproductions of PD works to be distributed cheaply in print, and
  2. mining the public domain enlarges the pool of resources usable for new works to be created
There are some more decals worth grabbing on p19. The decorative "H" should be uploaded onto the Commons project, and categorised into commons:Category:H, where all the other decorative H are placed (yes, the commons project is a bit anal about categorising media).
OK, back in the real world: these decals are not going to end up in front of many eyeballs. Only people who are actually interested in the production of edition are going to care. And now for the rub - the people that will appreciate those decals are probably also the same people that would be motivated enough to extract them from the per-page view, so it could be left for a task for the next person who is motivated (for whatever reason) to help improve this particular work. near enough is often good enough - each page is a collaborative effort. But if you do want to go all the way, the work could end up being "featured" - see "Featured text candidates".
John Vandenberg (chat) 02:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's a draft of the block H[edit]

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Moseher edition-Block H red.png

(I already see from the preview how I could improve this a bit, but I'll wait for now.)

I did a similar version of the block H from the beginning of the poem. This one was harder, and not so obvious to what extent it should be a selected image vs. a simulation of the type block. I did an intuitive job of cutting out a lot of the obvious ink bleed, and presenting it roughly as the shape of the type block (with the ink color) on a transparent background.

I joined WikiMedia Commons, and started into the uploading process. But, I wasn't sure how to describe the permissions. I have a blanket license of all my own work as CC attribution-sharealike, but I'm willing to go even more liberal if you recommend it as making things more useful. I've always assumed that people will fudge the attribution part when things get too complicated to mention all sorts of tiny contributions, and I certainly won't sue anybody. Don't understand the exact provenance and license of the starting image, though. I assume that the original book has passed into public domain (but don't really know the UK rules, nor the attachment of copyright on typographers' decorations). Then, there's the photo by MicroSoft, which I suppose is licensed fairly freely or else you wouldn't have brought it onboard.

Anyway, for now I'll just post my pictures here on the discussion, in the spirit that they are drafts put up for critique. If you find any of them worth deploying better (particularly, posting in the WM Commons), go right ahead. I'll try to follow the process well enough to start doing it myself.

I find the GIMPing rather fun, so as long as the results look potentially useful, I'll do more. I can also adjust quite a bit to hints regarding the most useful form to provide. If the Commons posting is annotated well enough, then people can always trace back the original image, so I've assumed that I should add some value, and the best value to add seems to be a reasonable reverse engineering of the shape as carved or cast (in the sense of being able to redeploy the picture without the smear, not in the sense of studying the type block as an object, of course).

Yee hi!

--Mike O'D 04:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

but, the use seems odd[edit]

This sort of GIMPing is fun, and I can imagine the image being useful in some contexts. But, it seems odd to use this image in a version of the text that doesn't use the fonts of the original. The particular flower image seems to be essentially a special character added to a particular font. For the pure abstract text, it ought to be a structural markup of the subsectioning. For a particular display, it ought to be some character that's visually consistent with the rest of the font.

--Mike O'D 02:03, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Decorative header bar[edit]

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Mosher edition-Header bar.png

This one was pretty easy, due to the high contrast and small amount of ink bleed. I could clean up a bit of bleed, but it has a nice antiquey look as is.

Printer's mark: red anchor[edit]

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Mosher edition-Printers mark red anchor.png

I proofread the poem text[edit]

I just finished proofreading the poem text, and correcting a few typos. I found 0 errors on most pages, 1 on a few, never more than 1. I'm pretty confident in the poem text now.

I did not proofread the markup, and in fact it isn't final.

I did not mark any pages as proofread, since I think the proofreader should be a different person from the transcriber.

--Mike O'D 05:50, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Experimenting with robust markup on first poetry page[edit]

I spent the evening experimenting with the first page of the poem, trying to find a robust markup that would correspond verifiably to the page image, and be usable to produce natural transclusions.

I improved some minor points---used the "uc" function to preserve normal capitalization in the all-cap title, used ":" for indenting.

The main point was to turn the page code into a template with plenty of parameters that could be fine tuned, but that had sensible defaults.

I found the "<poem>...</poem>" incompatible with sensible uses of templates. There appears to be no decent way (There's probably a very complicated workaround) to introduce the poem markers so that they are interpreted at the right level of processing.

I tried using "BeginPoem" and "EndPoem" templates to delay the parser's view of the poem markup, but then the beginning markup had no visible effect (and disappeared).

I am pondering whether to abandon "<poem>...</poem>", since it appears to be a rather crudely implemented layout markup, unsuitable for semantic markup. But, it is unfortunate not to have a well disseminated standard for poetry.

CLEANUP NEEDED: I created templates "PageOfPoem", "BeginPoem", and "EndPoem" to test their effects. They should probably be deleted, so that those nice names aren't used up. But I didn't see how to delete.

IDEA: I'll try just blanking the contents.

--Mike O'D 05:11, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that templates dont work within <poem>...</poem>" ? John Vandenberg (chat) 05:30, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Parsing of <poem>...</poem> is deeply peculiar[edit]

It appears that the opening <poem> bracket takes effect immediately during the parsing of the text. If it appears in the default for a parameter, it causes the parameter definition (without the "<poem>" itself) to appear in the final presentation. Even the part of the parameter definition textually to the left of the "<poem>" mark becomes part of the poem layout. Presumably, it is on some sort of parsing stack, which gets output literally.

Trying the converse approach, and introducing the <poem>...</poem> brackets within a template definition (that's what I tried in the "PageOfPoem" template), a parameter expression within the brackets does not get expanded.

I've taught compiler construction, and implemented a programming language, and this is the sort of thing that happens when a language definition piles up gradually, without a clear concept of its structure. The same thing happens with Mathematica, BTW.

So, I've tried the first page with a hand-coded poetry markup. The main structural problem is that default values seem to apply to only one instance of a parameter. This invites confusion when changing things later.

--Mike O'D 06:11, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

The parser and the lexicon are not 100% defined, in part because the language is expanded by extensions to the core MediaWiki software, and also because the language has always been "whatever the code said it was". There was an attempt at writing a proper grammar [2], but it isnt the same as is in effect in the software - as far as I know that codebase is now stale.
Mixing extension tags (i.e. <poem>..</poem>) and templates is not a good idea. I still dont see what problem it is that you are attempting to solve, but feel free to keep experimenting. p.s. just now, I have proof-read a few pages. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Marking a poem[edit]

Not sure what "extension" tag means. Is <poem> an extension of regular HTML? Presumably it's important to put other sorts of HTML markup in templates.

Here's the example that I should have given before:

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Mobius band was divine,

Source code:

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Mobius band was divine,

I remember the "{{{BeginPoem|" showing up before, but maybe I hallucinated, or typed something else wrong, or maybe it depends on context.

This is the style in which I cooked up structural markup for an online journal published in LaTeX source. It was nasty, but doable, in LaTeX---seems undoable in this style if I use <poem>. It works with <center>.

What am I trying to accomplish? Partly, I'm feeling that out as I go. But, I think that this book should turn into a template (or set of templates) that is/are easy to compare against the scanned page images, and from which I can extract the pure poem text. "Pure poem text" is not completely well defined, but it certainly indicates the breaks between poetic lines and verses, but not between pages.

Regarding the "<poem>...</poem>" markup, in order to use it on the individual pages, it needs to bracket the poem fragment on each page. But, in a presentation of the pure poem text, there should be only one bracketing of the entire poem. Hence my desire to include vs. not include the brackets depending on parameter values.

OK, I was sure that <noinclude> would be no better, but:

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Mobius band was divine,

Source code:

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Mobius band was divine,

But I'm not sold on <noinclude>, <includeonly>. They seem to cater to precisely two forms of a text fragment, while I easily imagine many more than two.


--Mike O'D 07:12, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

<poem> is not HTML. It is a special tag that is provided by a MediaWiki extension, called "Poem" which can be found on Special:Version#Installed_extensions. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:25, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah. I think I see the "issue" now. <poem>..</poem> is not intended to be a semantic designation of where a poem begins and ends — it is simply intended to designate area's of text that should be processed before they are emitted, so that leading spaces are replaced with   which is a HTML tag that forces a space (by default HTML collapses consecutive whitespace). John Vandenberg (chat) 07:31, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Test page template[edit]

This is a brief test of what I think a page template should be good for. It's as much for my own recorded understanding as for discussion, but ideas welcome of course.

I had to copy the page to a new "TestPageTemplate", because I couldn't figure out its proper name.

First I'll produce something closer to the look of the photographed page image:

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Mosher edition-Header bar.png

The Ballad of Reading Gaol


He did not wear his scarlet coat,

For blood and wine are red,

And blood and wine were on his hands

When they found him with the dead,

The poor dead woman whom he loved,

And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men

In a suit of shabby gray;

A cricket cap was on his head,

And his step seemed light and gay;

But I never saw a man who looked

So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked

With such a wistful eye



Other adjustments can be fiddled by changing other parameters.

Now the verse fragment alone:

The Ballad of Reading Gaol


He did not wear his scarlet coat,

For blood and wine are red,

And blood and wine were on his hands

When they found him with the dead,

The poor dead woman whom he loved,

And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men

In a suit of shabby gray;

A cricket cap was on his head,

And his step seemed light and gay;

But I never saw a man who looked

So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked

With such a wistful eye



That was a bust, and I should have guessed that the <noinclude> wouldn't take effect in that way.

On the other hand, changing the presentation of the lines (as one of my printed editions does):

The Ballad of Reading Gaol


He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby gray;
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step seemed light and gay;
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye



--Mike O'D 07:51, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Remaining problems with TBoRG[edit]

I'm trying to learn the realistic possibilities for a project here, and scale accordingly. Two points that I think are important, and a third that snuck in because I thought it was part of number 2, but I was wrong:

  1. As a user of the poem text, I really need to know about the subsections. (I have direct personal experience on this one, as I've been studying the poem and noticing the poetic function of the sections.) You (User:Jayvdb) seem to have <noinclude>ed the section marks, given as flower pictures, except for one place, where I assume you just overlooked it. As a minimum, I think that transcluded versions need some indication of the segmenting. I'll provide the picture as <noinclude>, and an asterisk (used in my Penguin edition) as <includeonly>, unless somebody proposes something better soon.
  2. The transcluding page has section numbers on the transcluding page, and transcludes the individual poem pages for each section. That works for this particular edition, but we can't count on all section breaks coming between pages. I think I'll re-engineer those to be transcluded from the pages.
  3. I think that the <poem> extension is just not robust enough, and should be replaced by <br> for line breaks and : for indentation. I will wait a while before trying this, since it involves substantial text on each page. But it will be fairly easy to do with my editor. I think that I saw this point raised in a discussion somewhere, when I was trying to learn the ropes. But, I can't put my finger on it any more.

It also occurs to me that I don't know what to do about the "proofread" mark if I change something on a page.

--Mike O'D 23:48, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Quickly replying out of order,

1. yes, section markers of some sort need to be emitted, however as the previous "gutenberg" version of the page did not have them, I didn't bother reconstructing trying to work out "the" solution for this - i.e. I left this creative choice to you.
3. We are moving away from using <br>/: for a few reasons, the most important being that <Poem> allows the contributors to use simpler "markup", resulting in fewer hurdles for non-technically minded contributors. The issue that we are having with <poem> is easily resolved using the makeshift solution described at WS:S#Poems that flow across multiple pages, but maybe there is a better solution.
2. We have another extension called Labeled Section Transclusion (LST) which allows for more complex transclusion, however this complexity should be avoided unless it is a necessity. And, the LST extension does not interact well with the <Poem> extension, so the developers are going to have to fix that.

John Vandenberg (chat) 00:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

The recent changes you have made, with "includeonly" section headers on the pages, is unnecessary. i.e. [3] [4] It makes the "wikitext" more complex than is necessary. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

thought I was carrying out number 2 above[edit]

I thought that I was carrying out number 2 above, and I probably confounded your reply to number 1 with my number 2. That is, the section numbers should be emitted by the individual pages, since there is no necessity for each page to be in a single section. Perhaps they should be given in one form for both the page version (<noinclude>) and the transcluded version (<nowkiki><includeonly></nowiki), in which case there is no need for the include/noinclude markup. But you had them hidden in the header portion, which is noincluded (more on that in your usertalk).

--Mike O'D 03:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, in my "1", I should have said "yes, subsection markers..".
--John Vandenberg (chat) 04:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

meaning markup[edit]

The discussion so far has been about the presentation markup, which is usually the least of our worries. One of the primary benefit of Wikisource is to provide readers with 'meaning', such as telling them what a wikt:demirep is, however we also allow annotations. Are you happy with the wikt: links that I have added so far?

There are a few parts of this work that are not clear to me; two that stand out as being "interesting":

  1. "The Regulations Act" - is this referring to a specific act? if so, which one.
  2. "The man in red who reads the Law" - does this refer to a man of the cloth? or an executioner?

John Vandenberg (chat) 00:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

reply to meaning markup[edit]

Jayvdb: The discussion so far has been about the presentation markup, which is usually the least of our worries.

  • Hmmm. I'm mostly interested in structural, or syntactic, markup—the beginning and end of an individual poem, the structure of lines and verses. I think that a lot of confusion with Wiki markup, and HTML, and other SGML instances, and LaTeX, and MS DOC format, and pretty much everything related, comes from the fuzzy boundary between internal structure and presentation.--Mike O'D 02:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Jayvdb: Are you happy with the wikt: links that I have added so far?

  • Probably. Hadn't thought about this so far. I think that "wikt" just points to the dictionary? I'm pretty bad at guessing who needs which words defined. Thought that should be a browser-controlled thing, rather than coded into the Wiki/HTML.--Mike O'D 02:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Jayvdb: There are a few parts of this work that are not clear to me; two that stand out as being "interesting":

  • I have conjectures on which I would bet money. But, I think that these sorts of things should be worked out carefully with someone who has real knowledge of Wilde and his wild times (not me, alas).
  1. I bet that "The Regulations Act" is a specific act of parliament.
  2. I bet that "The man in red who reads the Law" is the judge who sentences the convicted criminal (neither of your alternatives).--Mike O'D 02:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

semantic/poetic markup[edit]

When I think of marking up the "meaning" of something like TBoRG, I think of the stuff that a literary critique would get into:

  • The references to specific items/events in the crucifixion:
  1. the sponge soaked in vinegar;
  2. Judas, "the coward," killing Jesus "with a kiss";
  3. Anonymous soldier, "the brave man," killing Jesus "with a sword" to shorten his agony (an act subject to many different interpretations, but I think this is Wilde's).
  • The indications that Wilde ranks coarseness as worse than passionate violence: emphasis on the lowly details, such as the executioner's "gardener's gloves."

Don't know where/how to stop.

--Mike O'D 02:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

uploaded last image[edit]

Ballad of Reading Gaol-Mosher edition-End mark.png

This is the graphic image centered at the bottom of page 50, the last page of poetry. It seems to function as an end-of-poem mark.

I think that this is the last image worth importing. The next two candidates seem to be

  1. the numeral "1" as written by the printer to number the copy,
  2. the printer's signature.

I'm not sure of the ethics of moving around copies of a signature (and I flagged a question about the printer's mark, shape of an anchor, also), and doubt the utility of these as images.

I intend to improve the sharpness of the two red images (initial block "H" and printer's mark), but not in a rush—if anyone has ideas about the way these might be used and how I can make them most valuable, I'll try to act on comments. I am happy with the black images so far, and doubt that I will change them.

I think that these images should be included into the page-by-page version of the document as transcribed in dejavu, and also attached as an appendix to the main page on the text. I'll leave that alone for now, since I expect that Jayvdb will move the images to the appropriate place in WikiMedia, and perhaps there is some conventional form for the appendix of images.

I found the GIMPing easy and fun, so if anyone wants to point me to other images that ought to be imported, I'll give them a shot.

--Mike O'D 04:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

That last offer to do GIMP work should be made at WS:S, where I am sure you will be inundated with people willing to dump unfinished work on you. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:44, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

marked initial words in poem sections as small-cap[edit]

I figured out how to use HTML style (with <span>) to mark the initial words in the 6 poem sections as "font-variation:small-caps", with the underlying text using normal capitalization. This doesn't change the look of either the transcribed or transcluded layout. But, if one cuts and pastes from the Web browser, one now gets the correct capitalization of the text. I think it matters to have the underlying text just right as raw text, with all formatting and layout easily removable.--Mike O'D 02:42, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

worked three images into page-transcription markup[edit]

I worked in the three images that appear in the poem text:

  1. Decorative header on the first page;
  2. Red block capital H in the first word;
  3. Decorative footer on the last page.

They appear only on the transcribed pages, not in the transclusion (i.e., they are noincluded).

I sized them by sloppy eyeballing with trial and error. I'm not sure what the right sizing strategy is: sizing in pixels seems very unrobust if, e.g., a reader changes the font size (I'm very sensitive to accessibility for vision-impaired readers, although I don't know much what to do about it).

I also expect that the images will move to Wikimedia Commons at some point, but I haven't figured out how to describe their provenance/permissions so as to do the move myself.

Cheers--Mike O'D 02:46, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

All of the images have been moved to commons. Commons has its own standards and documentation about copyright and trademark, and they have volunteers who can help you if you want clarification. Please upload any further images there to avoid double handling :-) John Vandenberg (chat) 03:27, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

added categories: question Category:Ballads[edit]

I added a number of categories, most of which I think are obvious hits.

I included Category:Books, because this is a transcription of a book, but that may not be helpful.

I question the previously included Category:Ballads. I think that TBoRG is a poem with "Ballad" in the title, but not a ballad. On the other hand, I noticed that Category:Ballads seemed to include all sorts of things with "Ballad" in the title, so I've left it for now.

--Mike O'D 03:12, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Removing "Category:Ballads" makes sense. I have removed Category:British authors and Category:Writers, as those are used to describe authors, rather than works. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:52, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

added appendix with index of images[edit]

I added an appendix with an index of the five images that I extracted from the page images. The image references need to be redirected to Wikimedia Commons. The appendix should probably be moved to a separate Wiki page. The page references are from the Dejavu presentation—the printed page numbers should be provided as well. There should be links to the Dejavu pages.--Mike O'D 03:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

appendix disappeared[edit]

My appendix has disappeared from the page. I think that this was the accidental result of interleaved work by me and Jayvdb, since the history page doesn't show an undo. I have never seen any locking against simultaneous access, so I conjecture that when I start an edit, you start before I SAVE, then the last SAVE wipes out the earlier result.

I'll wait in case there is some discussion (I suspect that the appendix should be moved to a less prominent location, but I think it has value somewhere), and then grab the appendix text from the old version and restore it.--Mike O'D 04:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

added more specific edition information[edit]

I added the printer's name and location, from the title page of the printed edition, to the "edition" field in the "textinfo" header on the discussion page.

I couldn't find any HELP information regarding the standards for the "textinfo" header, so I'm not sure whether the publishing info belongs here. But I want to be very thorough about documenting provenance, and the 1904 publication date is certainly not sufficient. I actually believe there is at least one other 1904 edition of this poem, but haven't searched it out. In any case, the year is surely not enough in general.

I suspect that Jayvdb just hasn't gotten around to this, so maybe it will appear. I looked in the Dejavu section, but couldn't find the detailed provenance there.

I also wonder why "textinfo" sits at the top of the discussion page. If this is an established convention, so be it, but it seems to me that editors' notes form a third category, different from the text itself and from the dynamic discussion. I would probably choose to group my image appendix with the provenance information in some special "editors' notes on the text," or something like that.

--Mike O'D 04:14, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

See {{textinfo}}.
A lot of practises on wikisource are due to established convention; we do whatever works, rather than trying to define the right thing to do. Over time, quality and practises improve due to discussion on the Scriptorium. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:51, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Links back to page images[edit]

I'd like to implement links from the transcluded text back to the page images.

I prototyped the idea crudely for the first three pages of TBoRG. I put a little box in the right margin with the link.

I used a quick invention of "→pg" to name the link, but a nice small icon might be better.

I wanted to use class="infobox", but it appears not to be known in this context. So I just copied its definition into a <div> mark.

I put the links at the end of the text corresponding to the page. I'd rather have them at the beginning, or centered vertically. When I tried the beginning, the first one floated all the way up into the table of contents.

I would like to make this sort of feature a part of the "Page" template, but it seems prudent to think hard before changing a template that is probably used very widely. I would control the feature with a variable, so it will be turned off by default (leaving existing uses of the template unchanged if I don't blow the editing).

Particular worries:

  1. Display space is valuable, and the Wiki already eats up a lot from the left. In a book with longer lines, the right margin might not be a good choice, especially if there are marginal notes in the underlying text. Options, allowing a variety of placements, would be good in the long run.
  2. The mark on the link shouldn't be confused with the text itself.

Good time to stop and sleep on it.--Mike O'D 05:40, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

This invention is already in place, so I have reverted your work. Over on the left hand side menu of this text, you will see "links to scanned pages", which toggles the links on/off. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:54, 22 February 2008 (UTC)