EPT (Edition Production Technology)

A software suite based on Eclipse under development by the Electronic Boethius project. EPT allows the creation of image based editions, where images (for example of folios) are transcribed and marked up all through a cleverly designed interface. It is especially interesting in its ability to allow overlapping markup. This allows markup of both the textual structure (pages, folios, etc.) and the textual content (lines, paragraphs, etc.) that may overlap. It does so by using a start & end milestone technique. The editor allows a large number of customisations, and since it is based on eclipse, further plugins could be developed.

A message from Dot Porter to the Digital Medievalist mailing list provides further information:

The EPT enables an editor to:

  1. Create a project by importing digital images, transcript (which can be a pre-existing XML document, or a text document with no markup), and a DTD or set of DTDs. (Details on what I mean by “set of DTDs” – not TEI tagsets! – can be found by following the tutorial links on the demo site, see below).
  2. Insert markup into this project through user-friendly, completely configurable markup templates. In the EPT the editor views text & image side-by-side, and the markup software includes functionality for connecting pieces of text with the corresponding image sections.
  3. The full version of EPT includes additional tools for more advanced

editing – collation (tools for both types – comparing versions of the same text, and describing the structure of the physical object), statistical analysis, paleographic description, glossary development.

There are obvious start-up costs involved here – it’s not simple to get started. You’ll need to have your images and transcript (though it is possible to transcribe-as-you-go, if you import a blank text file into a new project). You’ll need to have your DTD, and if you’re concerned about overlapping markup you’ll need to divide that DTD into smaller, well-formed DTDs (the demo example projects come with such DTDs, based on TEI, which you’re welcome to use as-is and extend for your own projects). You’ll also need to do a fair amount of configuration. On top of this, you’ll need to learn to use the software, which has a fairly steep learning curve. Once the project is created and the software has been configured to suit the project, though, any editor comfortable with point-and-click technology should be able to create the electronic edition.

For a nifty article on using the EPT to help solve an editorial problem, see Kevin Kiernan’s article “The source of the Napier fragment of Alfred’s Boethius” in the inaugural issue of the Digital Medievalist journal (DOI: 10.16995/dm.7).

For the history of the EPT, and a discussion of the early aims & developments of the software and the relationship between eBo and ARCHway, see the article “The ARCHway Project: Architecture for Research in Computing for Humanities through Research, Teaching, and Learning” (Kiernan et al.), forthcoming in Literary and Linguistic Computing (abstract athttp://llc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/fqi018?ijkey=a2FHqg7XTTULMJz&keytype=ref – full text is available online if your library subscribes to LLC online). Note that this article is based on our presentations at ACH/ALLC 2003 so some of the specifics are out of date.

For a working demo, including text projects and tutorials for getting started with your own projects, visit http://beowulf.engl.uky.edu/~eft/EPPT-Demo.html

The source code for the EPT is being released in stages, corresponding with the finishing dates of the two supporting projects. The ARCHway Project finished at the end of January, and the source code for that project, the “Development EPT”, will be released very shortly. The Development EPT is a general version of the EPT. It lacks some of the editing functionality in the Stable EPT – it has the basic image-text linking, but lacks the more specialized tools described above in #3. The Development EPT is designed to be extended – if you have access to computer science support (an RA with experience coding JAVA, especially using the Eclipse development platform), you can extend the Development EPT to serve the particular needs of your individual project.


Further information