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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: July ::
Shakespeare's Words Website
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0399  Monday, 14 July 2008

From:       Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:       Monday, July 14, 2008
Subject:    Shakespeare's Words Website

I just logged on to the website for David and Ben Crystal's book _Shakespeare's 
Words_ to discover that there is now no charge for individuals to use the 
powerful search engines. Below is information from the publisher:

******
When David and Ben Crystal devised the website of Shakespeare's Words in 2004, 
they passed the management over to the division of a company, Crystal Reference, 
which was handling the production of all David's encyclopedia publications. This 
division ceased to trade this year, so they have had to institute an alternative 
management system to ensure continuity with those using the Shakespeare's Words 
site.

Apart from the new look, they have completely rebuilt the engine that drives the 
site, in the light of their own usage of it over the past four years, and taking 
into account comments and suggestions they had received from other users. It is 
now faster and more user-friendly, and several new functions have been added:

*You will now be able to search the entire database at the same time -- that is, 
the A-Z section, the various panels, the thematic lists of proper names at the 
end of the book, and the other additional material (such as the preface and 
dramatis personae). Previously, these elements were held separately on the 
website and had to be searched separately. A new style of presentation clearly 
distinguishes results belonging to these different elements.

*You will be able to do range searching in individual plays in Advanced Search. 
For example, if you want to find whether 'good' is used in the vicinity of 
'lord' in Hamlet, you can now find this combination within 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 lines.

*In addition to searching within individual plays, poems, or groups of plays and 
poems, you will be able to search separately for usage within individual 
characters, within all male vs female characters, within scene directions, and 
within prologues and epilogues.

*Sonnets can also be searched in any combination.

*There is greater search flexibility in the Special Features tables.

The biggest change is that they have decided to eliminate the subscription for 
individual users, so there will no longer be a log-in requirement. This has been 
a 'fingers-crossed' decision. The new site was quite expensive to build, and 
there will be annual maintenance costs, so they hope that individual users who 
find the site valuable and who use it regularly will wish to make an occasional 
donation to ensure that the site stays live, using the Paypal system.
*******

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