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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: June ::
www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0403  Friday, 22 June 2007

[1] 	From: 	Norm Hinton <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:40:08 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

[2] 	From: 	Al Magary <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:34:39 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

[3] 	From: 	Philip Weller <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:04:13 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Norm Hinton <
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Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:40:08 -0500
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

 >Speaking of superiority, we actually feel we have a superior system
 >than anything on the internet for reading Shakespeare's texts. The
 >reader merely rolls over the word they don't understand and the
 >glossary appears.

There is really nothing particularly new about "mouseover".  The New 
York Times offers the same feature every day in its on-line version, for 
every news story.  And I have seen the technique in Web sites at least 
since the 90s.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Al Magary <
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Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:34:39 -0700
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

PlayShakespeare says (http://www.playshakespeare.com/About+Us/):

     "As electronic editions of Shakespeare's plays proliferate, the 
need for
     'through line numbers' (Charleton Hinman's system from the Norton First
     Folio) vanishes due to the flexibility of systems for viewing and 
printing;
     not to mention the conflicts between the various editions of a 
single play
     (of which none are considered 'correct') so they have been removed 
from our
     texts. Therefore, the traditional method for actors and directors 
to find
     their place within a scene will more than suffice (act, scene, 
number of
     lines from beginning, etc.). If you really feel the need to have line
     numbers in your texts, most word processing programs can easily and
     automatically add the numbers for you."

I think this policy is entirely backwards and reminds me of, say, a 
bank's policy being supposedly "for the customer's convenience."  The 
proliferation of electronic editions of Shakespeare is, by itself, 
welcome, but the absence of line numbering in texts at otherwise useful 
websites is an inconvenience if one has limited computer resources (eg, 
small screen, not enough RAM, browser without tabs), is also using 
printed editions, or in the end has to generate a proper citation to 
play, act, scene, line number-in *some* standard edition.  A line number 
need not be gospel to be useful.

I'm wrestling with this very problem with my edition of Hall's 
Chronicle.  In original printed edition (1548, 1550), it has about 
55,000 lines in nine chapters with very irregular pagination (the serial 
count is more than 1,300 pages) and line numbers every 10 lines.  The 
standard edition of Hall (ed.  Ellis, 1809) is 868 closely printed pages 
without any line numbering.  Such bulk would be intimidating without 
editorial help.  Webbing the chronicle will add a lot of utility-and so 
will line numbers and serial page/facsimile image numbers (Penn's online 
facsimile of the 1550 edition is high quality) along with pointers to 
the equivalent page(s) in Ellis' edition.

Meanwhile, back at PlayShakespeare, the glosses that (will) appear with 
mouse rollover sound like a nice, non-intrusive mechanism and I look 
forward to full implementation because a webbed Hall's Chronicle, too, 
could use considerable glossing.

Cheers,
Al Magary

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Philip Weller <
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Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:04:13 -0700
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

 >But once development is
 >complete (another week or two), we aim to have upwards of 5000+ items
 >over the coming weeks, at which time more variations on existing items
 >will be added.

I opened up my Riverside Shakespeare and counted 46 notes on the first 
two pages, which hold 125 lines.  At that rate, there should be about 
931 notes for all of Macbeth.  "5000+ items" for Shakespeare's complete 
works is going to be inadequate.

Putting "more variations on existing items" is not going to be useful 
unless the variations are appropriate to the context. The gloss of 
"chops" as "a person resembling a piece of meat," is, given the context, 
disinformation, not information.

 >Speaking of superiority, we actually feel we have a superior system than
 >anything on the internet for reading Shakespeare's texts.

Please compare to my Macbeth: <http://clicknotes.com/macbeth/T11.html>

 >No line numbers.

This is fine if you consider line numbers to be a serious distraction. 
But there are many situations, including the situation of actors working 
on a text, in which line numbers are highly useful.

 >it's unobtrusive to the reader.

When I visited, each of the glossed words was underlined with dashes. 
It's not terribly obtrusive, but does send the message that some 
important information might be missed if the visitor does not roll over 
the text.

     --Philip Weller

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