Methods and Technologies
For Electronic Indological & Humanities Research

Revised site note 2/1/10: This page is still formatted as it was originally with minor modifications to the font for ease of reading, and the links have been substantially updated. The new vedavid is available here. Navigation links throughout this page still follow the original old pathways through the site. The original page "as-is" after 12 years since the last update, is still here, and the earliest is here.

Fonts, Access & Coding Issues

There used to be a lot of information (see links to old versions of this page in preface note above) on this page about "IBM"--AKA Windows--systems, Mac, and the fonts and such for display of non-Roman-script languages. Times have changed this somewhat, and it was long-awaited and anticipated. As of now (2010 and earlier), there are improving standards for multiple scripts on the net, UTF-8 has done wonders (finally!), along with other similar encodings. A beautiful example is the Brown University Sanskrit library, linked below.

For this site, I've left it as it was originally intended - still readable in plain-text browsers, for the most part, and even by Lynx, if you're lucky enough to have a commandline. If not, there's a handy viewer you can use to check my point. For instance, here's a view of this page, Lynx-style (sans commandline window ... ).

I did this--and still maintain that now--because, back when first created and uploaded vedavid in 1995-1996, most of India was still on dial-up modems, and many were confined to Lynx for browsing. The notions of accessibility hadn't even begun to be heard (but now also advanced by the UN), but I was thinking ahead toward that as well. It is only fitting that this rework of the site not fully break with that tradition. So the site can still be navigated by the old paths, and without the new javascript/frames interface, to preserve that accessibility and durability. Sure, it could be flashier and prettier, but in respect to the earliest "recording" of the vedas --the memory of the reciters-- and the earliest writings, palm leaves tied by threads, sutras, this site is constructed.

Electronic Texts & Citation Rules

As you might expect, the protocol folks haven't left cyberia un-fenced with citation protocol, find out some of how much there is in "e-protocol" with the following links :

Electronic Texts

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Electronic Journal Resources

There are more electronic journals available online these days than is practical to canvass in this site. However, some specific links provided by supporters and contributors to this site bear inclusion. And I will include those submitted to me which bear academic scrutiny. Please contact me with your suggestions.

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Saga of this Site

Thanks to some valuable support (my sister's family for tracking down SiteMill, my Mother and Father for various support, my friends, University of Iowa Research Grant, Donations from Interzone, Inc., generous permissions from Barend Van Nooten, Gary Holland, Madhav Deshpande, and the Harvard Oriental Series, the encouragement of the University of Iowa President (then Mary Sue Coleman, now of UMich, and UIowa Graduate Dean (then Leslie Sims, a brief bio of him is here), and others, on this otherwise previously-unprecedented dissertation path), I got a good leg-up on this project. Some scrounging on the net and on shareware CD's (usually available at university libraries and computing centers), some sweat, and coffee-numb persistence made this possible. I used a lot of shareware, and you can find it easy enough with a simple wordsearch, using the names below, those which are highlighted take you to a search engine.

[May, 1998-- now days, I do all coding by hand. This section describes how the first third of the site was built. All else uses BBEdit which is great.]

See the section above on Electronic Texts those are the canvass or raw materials. I used a simple e-Rig Veda (want one free? click here [go to online archive of e-texts once you do] to get the one I edited/used-- soon we'll have accent and diacritics, but then compatibility issues will become more complex--this one is fine for IBM or Mac, and check your browser's "preferences" to see where it puts it when you download) to read line-by-line in PageMill (before I got SiteMill), linking each word as I found it with page anchors. This means drag-n-drop creation of anchors, making note of them, and then linking the previous occasion of the given word to the newly found one (using those notes you carefully take--never think the #1 word-processor of all formats and ages should or can be replaced).

Each hymn with a key word was then "photographed" from Van Nooten/Holland's e-Rig Veda, transliterated with accent, Aufrecht version. I used a TOTALLY free (not even a request for registration) shareware gem called PICTify. It resides in RAM on boot-up and enables sizing, specific naming, and placements of screen-captured images in two formats. Anything you get on your screen, you can put on the web as an image with this and Page/SiteMill. NETSCAPE FREEZE-UPS GOT YOU DOWN? Click on PICTify and get "Defrost" from the same place.

The screen-captured images then were converted into GIF HTML pages (one-by-one: I deeply urge the Standards folks to come up with a solution to the "non-roman-script-&-HTML-on-the-Web" issue!) so the accents and diacritics could be viewed. Ultimately, folks are working on this--well, at least on coding issues like ASCII, ISO 8859, and other things--check them out.

If size and file type is an issue, I strongly recommend another vital tool, also shareware, called GraphicConverter [click that link and do a search on that name]. You name a format, it'll read and convert it. It also does nice size, color, hue, contrast, and even dithering and enhancements.

I also used the university's Information Arcade to scan in images. If their size wasn't right, I'd use GraphicConverter then PICTify to save--right off the GraphicConverter screen, the image once it was right--even a good file converter can't be flawless. Besides, the PICTify route trims unneeded memory bloating from an image. Page/SiteMill will then make a tidy GIF when you call it up into a page.

For non-standard fonts, I selected, manipulated (color, etc.), and arranged them with borders and such right in my wordprocessor (Corel's Wordperfect 3.5- AWESOME, simple, fast--makes MS Word 6.0 look like the memory-hungry kluge it is--and, it doesn't even have HTML for all that bulk--or fun things like voice-reading). Then good old PICTify made them ready for Page/SiteMill.

Critical crisis--you can do linkages with graphic images of text, but it must be image-mapped. PageSiteMill enables you to take an image (like the map page--here's what the "map" of the map looks like), create regions in it- then link those regions to almost anything.


DO NOT even begin doing this until you properly configure your image-mapping for your server. The web builder must set text for an IBM, Mac, or UNIX server, the location of the scripting instructions, and so forth. You must work this out with your server first--sadly, every server is different on this. Otherwise, you get all your painstaking work done, upload it, and get all these damn "Server Error" or "File not Found" faux pas in your site.

And, of course, I offer you my own best resource--my persistence and enjoyment of problem-solving--for your free

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