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This text explains some of the administrative routines used by the editors of Project Runeberg. If you want to help the project as a volunteer, this information can be very useful to you. Even if you are only reading or using the editions that we publish, this text will give you a better understanding of how some things are organized.

Electronic Editions

Project Runeberg publishes "electronic text" for free over the Internet. This mostly means books that we have scanned and converted to HTML format. Books are easy to understand, they have a title and an author and a number of pages. Books are the "unit" of traditional publishing. You can tell how large a library is by counting the number of books in it.

Sometimes we publish works of art or some material that did not originally appear as a single book. Our unit of publishing is an "electronic edition". Each edition has an author, a title, and some other properties. You can tell how large our project is by counting the number of electronic editions that we have published. By the beginning of 1996 we have published just over 100 editions.

We define the following properties for each electronic edition. We use "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige" by Selma Lagerlöf as an example.

INDEX = nilsholg
A short name that identifies the edition from all other electronic editions published by Project Runeberg. We use this index in filenames, directories, and URLs. The index name consists of lower case letters of the English alphabet (a - z) and digits. There cannot be more than eight (8) characters in an index name. This allows us to use them as directory names even in the most primitive of all operating systems: MS DOS. We try to use clever abbreviations of the full title when we invent new index names, so they are easy to remember.
TITLE = "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige"
The full printable and readable title of the edition. If the original material was a book, this is the title of the book.
AUTHOR = lagerlof
This is a short name, just like the index name, of the author or creator of the published material. If it is a set of paintings, it is the painter, and so on. The author is not necessarily the sole copyright owner. Translators have copyright together with the original author, and therefore they are also mentioned as authors.

There can be more than one author to an edition, and then this is a list of them. Some works have no author or an anonymous author, and then this property has the value value none.

For each edition, we register the language that it was written in. For this we use two letter codes defined by ISO, the international standards organization. Just like authors, some editions have more than one language, and then this property is a list of these codes..
FILES = index.html 01.html 02.html ...
This is a list of files that are part of the edition. This is getting just a bit too technical, but we want to show that there is not only authors and titles to an edtions, but also a content.

There are some special editions, that have their own index names, but that are not really e-texts. This text is part of the "admin" edition, used for administrative purposes and general information about the Project. Another special edition is our list of "authors". Authors are explained in the next section.

One special thing about these special editions is that their language is English, while all other editions are in Nordic languages. English is the working language of the project.

Nordic Authors

As was mentioned in the previous section, each edition has one or more authors, but only a short name was recorded for each author. To find the full name of the author, a database lookup has to be performed. This information is kept in our index of Nordic Authors, which is treated as an edition of its own.

Keeping track of authors is important to us, because authors own the copyright to their works, and Project Runeberg publishes material where the copyright needs to have expired. The purpose of keeping a centralized author index rather than distributing that information among the editions is to have all information about each author in one place.

For every person that we can think of that is, might be, or might become an author or artistic creator (painter, sculptor, musician, etc), we have compiled a huge database of their name, profession, nationality, and the year they were born and died. This is the core of our Nordic Authors index.

For every author that is published in Project Runeberg, we will assign a unique short code, just like the index names we use for editions. This short code will then be used in the editions to identify the author. For these authors, there will be a page of information as part of the "authors" edition. As an example, you can have a look at what we are saying about Selma Lagerlöf.

Addressing the Web

Project Runeberg's electronic editions are available over the Internet, through the World Wide Web server of Lysator. You access the editions by a web browser, such as Netscape or Mosaic. Each individual file or page has an address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that you need to find the page. You can type the URL by hand, but most of the time it hides under a link that you click on. This section describes how our URLs are designed.

(You need a better browser)
Figure 1. URLs are made of this

Figure 1 gives an example of a URL for Project Runeberg. It can be explained bit by bit:

Since Project Runeberg is administrated from Lysator, we use their web server. Lysator, in the case you didn't know, is a students' computer club (or Academic Computer Society) at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden.
By adding runeberg to the previous URL, we arrive at Project Runeberg's front page.
The next part of the URL is the index name for the edition. By adding this, we arrive at the front page for that edition. Our URL in figure 1 is obviously referring to "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige", our well-known example.
The last part of the URL defines which part (chapter or verse) of the edition you want. This is the name of a file. There is no standard for how to name these files, but they are often quite short and contain the number of the chapter or something like that. These file names often end in .html, indicating the HTML format.

All URLs that are used in Project Runeberg follow these simple rules. There are only three levels: project, edition, and file, and the edition is uniquely identified by its short index name.

Project Runeberg, Thu Dec 20 03:34:57 2012 (aronsson) (diff) (history) (download) << Previous Next >>

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