LINGUIST List 5.369

Mon 28 Mar 1994

Misc: Mosaic; Russian database software

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  1. Richard Wojcik, Re: Mosaic/WWW/html: a mostly negative review [Re: 5.301 Mosaic]
  2. , RE: 5.345 Qs: Database

Message 1: Re: Mosaic/WWW/html: a mostly negative review [Re: 5.301 Mosaic]

Date: Mon, 21 Mar 94 10:29:59 PSRe: Mosaic/WWW/html: a mostly negative review [Re: 5.301 Mosaic]
From: Richard Wojcik <>
Subject: Re: Mosaic/WWW/html: a mostly negative review [Re: 5.301 Mosaic]

Thanks to Lou Burnard for correcting my sloppy "superset" comment. Thanks
also for missing some of the other goofs I made. ;-) I enjoyed Stephen
Spackman's cranky critique of Mosaic and the Web. Just a couple of pointers
about using the Web. As he says, it is good for exploring, but not so
good for directed searches. The term "web" connotes loose, rather unorgan-
ized connections. (The metaphor doesn't really apply to real spider webs,
which are a lot tidier. :-) If you want to conduct serious research, then
you need to look at tools like WAIS, ARCHIE, VERONICA, etc. Even with those
tools, you will find that it is difficult to find what you want. The
internet is organizing itself and evolving constantly, so I expect things
to get better.

But maybe Stephen is not taking advantage of some of Mosaic's features.
If you find that the system is taking too long to access a link,
click on the little revolving world in the upper right corner of the screen.
That will stop the world from spinning and Mosaic from wasting your time. :-)
Moreover, it is not always the case, as he says, that "to follow a thread
through a hyperdocument, every single machine in that thread (and there can
be dozens, all over the world) has to be up, connected, and running its
server." If you know the address of a node beforehand, you can go there
directly. If you can't get through to a new address, you have to wait and
try later. Once you do get through, just add that "page" to your "hotlist",
and you will be able to go there without relying on intervening nodes in
the future.

Whether you use Lynx, Mosaic, or the CERN line browser, there are a small
number of good linguistically-oriented pages out in the Web. I like
Rice University's gopher page, for example. Lately, I have taken to writing
my own "pages" in HTML with direct links to those net pages that I want to
visit most frequently. Once you begin to master HTML, you don't need to
rely on other people's skills at organizing Web resources. You can create
your own view on cyberspace. All you need to know is how to create the
links in HTML. All you need to do is put the following on an html page
in your home directory and start it up with a -home <file> parameter.

 <A>; Linguistics from Rice U</A>
 <A>; US gov't Language and Lit Page</A>

BTW, anyone who puts up a public Web page with a linguistic theme ought to
advertise its existence to LINGUIST. Eventually, we will all be using this
kind of technology to display our wares. IMHO, of course.

 Rick Wojcik (
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Message 2: RE: 5.345 Qs: Database

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 94 18:17 GMT
Subject: RE: 5.345 Qs: Database

Armin Bassarak in posting 5-345 asks about a Windows database for Russian or
Arabic. I would have thought that any good windows database would handle the
Russian, it should just be a matter of acquiring a cyrillic font.

Arabic, because of cursor-reversal might be more of a problem.

I am Mac-based, and I have just checked out Filemaker Pro -- from Claris and
also available for Windows -- with Chinese, using the recently released
WorldScript 2, and apart from a needing to find a way of making sure that the
right Chinese font appears, i.e. a printer rather than a screen font, it seemed
to work OK.

We also have Arabic on some Macs, and I think there is one which has Filemaker
Pro on it, so I could try that. I doubt if it will work, as we use Nisus with
its extension for Arabic, and it is the program rather than the system that
handles the cursor-reversing, I think.

As for Arabic and Windows ... But installing a cyrillic font *should* solve the
Russian problem ... shouldn't it?

Mark R. Hilton
University of Westminster
School of Languages
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