You are browsing the archive for Open Knowledge International.

Creating an “Open Shakespeare Edition”

- February 26, 2009 in News

Jokey Hamlet

We’ve been thinking for a while that it would be a nice addition to the [Open Shakespeare project]( to produce an “Open Shakespeare Edition” of the Bard’s works.

By an ‘Edition’ we meant something designed as a book and suitable for printing: so an elegant title page, relevant front-matter, properly typeset text etc. This could then be downloaded by users and printed or even offered in dead-tree version directly using print-on-demand.

Recently, we’ve made a [start][1] on this endeavour using the moby XML sources, xsl and latex. An example of the results can be seen at:

As a cursory look at that will show, while the body of the play doesn’t look too bad, the front-page could do with improvement (and the front-matter generally needs some planning). So, questions for readers:

1. Anyone out there with design skills or suggestions who could help us out?
* Would it make sense to run a design competition?

2. What kind of general look should we go for? For example, should we go for:
* Ultra traditional (but perhaps with some mods e.g. replacing the standard
‘copyright’ section with something about open knowledge)
* Something irreverent, for example along the lines of the sketch on

Any ideas or suggestions post a comment or drop us a line we’d love to know what you think.


Shakespeare v0.6 Released

- October 29, 2008 in News, Releases

See which includes full installation instructions. We’ve also reorganized the sites so that the news/blog is here at and the Shakespeare package web interface is at .

Main changes include:

* Major refactoring of internal code to be cleaner and simpler
* A new cleaner and reorganized web interface
* Search support via Xapian:
* Statistical analysis and graphing
* By word:
* By text:
* Start on Open Milton

More Text Up from Shakespeare’s Entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition

- June 1, 2008 in Uncategorized

Another 3 pages (4600 words) are up from the EB 11 Entry on Shakespeare covering most of Shakespeare’s plays in chronological order. Current material can be found on:

[Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition page](/eb11)

Source version (plain text in subversion) can be found at:

Open Shakespeare / Milton Mini Hackathon and Planning Session

- April 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

After a fairly quiet period over the last 6 months development will be hotting up again thanks to discussion at [Open Knowledge 2008]( and the involvement of Iain Emsley (who will be focusing especially on a sister Milton project). To kick this off we’re planning a mini-hackathon:

* Wiki page: (sign up here)
* When: Saturday 26th of April. Start at 1400 and run until ~ 1900
* How long: Whatever time you can spare. Be it an hour or the whole afternoon.
* How to join in: log in to the irc channel, announce yourself, and then just crack on with one of the work items (see below)
* irc channel: #okfn on
* What: plan and work on Open Shakespeare / Milton
* trac:
* Current tickets:
* For those not inclined to coding there’s plenty else to do. In particular we need to finish off proof editing Britannica entry, see

First Text Up from Shakespeare’s Entry in 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica

- October 13, 2007 in Uncategorized

We’ve completed the proofing and correcting of the first 5 pages of Shakespeare’s Entry from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. This is quite a bit of material (those EB pages are **big**) and includes full biography and a listing of plays. We’re posting this material on this site on [Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition page](/eb11) and will add to it as more material gets processed.

Proof-Editing Shakespeare Entry from Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition

- September 19, 2007 in Texts

Since the previous post we’ve succeeded in using tesseract and
we now have a nice plain text version of the EB entry on shakespeare:

What we now need to do is ‘proof’ this to correct the OCR errors. **This
kind of think is perfect for distributed volunteers so if you’d like to
help out just step up and starting correcting with one of the sections**. To make it especially easy for people to make edits the text has in a temporary location on the Open Knowledge Foundation wiki (only the first five pages for the time being):

OCRing Shakespeare Entry from Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition

- August 14, 2007 in Technical, Texts

One of next things we want to do for open shakespeare is provide an open
introduction for to his works. The obvious idea for this was to use the
Shakespeare entry in the 11th ed of the Encyclopaedia Britannica as
detailed in this ticket:

We’ve now written code to grab the relevant tiffs off wikimedia:

You can also find them online (28 pages) starting at:

Next step is to then OCR this stuff (after that we can move on to
proofing whether by ourselves or via When we first had
a stab at this back in April we tried using gocr. Unfortunately the
results were so bad that they were unusable. Recently an old ocr engine
of HP’s has been released as open source under the name of tesseract:

We’re going to have a go using this — though if there is anyone out there with access to an alternative system we’d love to hear about it.

v0.4 of Open Shakespeare Released

- April 16, 2007 in News, Releases

A new version of open shakespeare is out. Get it via the code page:

### Changelog

* Annotation of texts (js-based in browser) (ticket:20, ticket:21)
* Switch to unicode for internal string handling (resolves ticket:23: some
texts breaking the viewer)
* Add functional tests for the web interface (ticket:11)
* Substantial improvements to speed of concordance (ticket:22)
* Switch to genshi templates from kid
* Switch to plain WSGI from cherrypy

#### Outstanding Issues

* Annotation cannot handle long texts because of javascript performance

### About Open Shakespeare ###

A full open set of Shakespeare’s works along with anciallary material, a
variety of tools and a python API.

For more information see the about page:

Get involved:

Mailing list:

Annotation is Working!

- April 10, 2007 in News, Technical

After another push over the last few days I’ve got the web annotation system for Open Shakespeare operational (we’ve been hacking on this on and off since back in December).

To see the system in action visit:

Quite a bit of effort has been made to decouple the annotation system from Open Shakespeare so that it can be easily reused elsewhere. You can find the code for the annotation system (nicknamed annotater) here:

There are still some substantial issues with the Open Shakespeare implementation the most obvious of which are:

a) large texts bring the javascript to its knees ((The Phoenix and the Turtle is the shortest of Shakespeare’s works which is why I’m using it).

b) security/user authentication for annotation adding/editing/deleting

But the basic system **is** working.

Porting Marginalia Annotation to Python

- February 3, 2007 in News

Adding [annotation support]( to the texts in Open Shakespeare is the main item for the next 0.4 release. This is a rather large undertaking and the last 2 months has seen substantial work on the first stage in the form of porting Geof Glass’ [marginalia]( into a standalone [python package named annotater]( that can then in turn be easily reused in Open Shakespeare.

The main work in porting annotater was twofold:

1. To create and independent annotation store web application which reproduced the restful web interface needed by the marginalia javascript (we’ve also improved this by giving it a normal human-usable CRUD web interface in addition to the restful one)
2. Plugging this together (aka debugging/hacking around) with the existing marginalia javascript (for example the paste-based WSGI store web app just would *not* process posts sent using x-www-form-urlencoded!)

Annotater is now fully functioning and we can entirely reproduce the [basic demo]( in the original marginalia though with the major difference that our version has a proper store backend so all creation/deletion updates of annotations get persisted to a real db and aren’t just in memory (to try this out just start the demo wsgi app via $ python

The next step after this is to integrate annotater into open shakespeare along with doing any polishing up of the package that is needed to achieve this.