[Humanist] 26.518 critical text editor

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 25 10:07:38 CET 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 518.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 10:45:39 +0100
        From: Neven Jovanovic <filologanoga at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  26.513 novices? critical text editor?
        In-Reply-To: <20121124091240.A2D19609E at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Maurizio and other humanists,

my colleague Vlado Rezar (<vrezar at ffzg.hr>) at the Department of
Classical Philology here in Zagreb used CTE to prepare several quite
complicated critical editions for print. We have also exported XML
from CTE to include a text in a PhiloLogic database instance.

As far as I know, Stefan Hagel, who is the author of CTE, offers quite
reliable support for solving problems users may encounter. Main
obstacles in working with CTE seem to be its price and licensing
schemes (license is sold per machine, quite restrictively).

I myself have prepared a critical edition for print --- all the way to
the printing press --- using ednotes, a LaTeX package by Uwe Lueck
( http://www.webdesign-bu.de/uwe_lueck/critedltx.html ; a list of
texts prepared with ednotes can be found here:
 http://www.webdesign-bu.de/uwe_lueck/ednworks.html ). I had to work
with ca. 15 manuscript and print witnesses (luckily, the text itself
was short), and we had to include other LaTeX packages --- but this is
what LaTeX is good at.

Since Croatian tradition of printing critical editions is nowadays
non-existent, any tool which enables the editor to control the process
all the way from the first collation to the printer's press is
invaluable. Without it, you end up sitting beside the graphic designer
or the typesetter and practically hand-crafting a PDF for a book or an
article, and it is a once-only process --- next time, you start from
scratch again.

Of course, you have to invest serious time and patience to learn
either LaTeX or CTE (and something else again if you want to draw a
stemma codicum) --- I don't think it can be mastered in less than a
few months --- but time and patience are necessary requirements for
those who work with critical editions anyway.

Documentation support for LaTeX on the internet is great -- lots of
recipes and hints all over the place -- and personally I'd say that
LaTeX, as a more general (and freely available) tool, repays the
investment better than CTE.



Neven Jovanovic
Department of Classical Philology
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Zagreb
Hrvatska / Croatia

> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 15:15:31 +0100
>         From: maurizio lana <m.lana at lett.unipmn.it>
>         Subject: critical text editor: anyone who uses it?
> dear humanists,
> i would be interested in knowing who uses (or used) CTE critical text
> editor in order to produce printed critical editions of texts.
> but also in general i would like to know your general experience - if
> any - with computer tools for critical editions generations (pure LateX;
> CollateX; and so on): do they constitute a real advantage over previous
> methods mainly paper-and-pencil? do they have important drawback which
> must be known? etc.
> with thanks for your help.
> maurizio

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