Online Resources: Beowulf and Hittite.

Today I have come across two wondrous sites that I hasten to pass on to my readers:

1) Electronic Beowulf:

The fourth edition of Electronic Beowulf 4.0 is a free, online version of Electronic Beowulf that supersedes all previous editions. The online edition is designed to meet the needs of general readers, who require a full, line by line, translation; of students, who want to understand the grammar and the meter and still have time in a semester to study and appreciate other important aspects of the poem; and of scholars, who want immediate access to a critical apparatus identifying the nearly 2000 eighteenth-century restorations, editorial emendations, and manuscript-based conjectural restorations.

Via No-Sword.

2) The Electronic Chicago Hittite Dictionary (eCHD):

The Chicago Hittite Dictionary Project began in 1975 in answer to a recognized need for a Hittite-English lexical tool—a concordance for lexicographical research for all parts of the corpus of Hittite texts. Several volumes of the multivolume dictionary have now been published and many more are in preparation. The “Electronic Chicago Hittite Dictionary” (eCHD) is a vehicle for disseminating the contents of the dictionary in an electronic form suitable for advanced philological research.

The eCHD makes use of the Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment (OCHRE), an innovative, integrative approach to cultural, scientific, and historical information management. Launch the eCHD using the following link: eCHD in OCHRE.

Thanks, Trevor!


  1. Michael Eochaidh says:

    I wish the eCHD had ditched Java like the Electronic Beowulf people did.

  2. I heartily agree.

  3. You have to admit though that there is a certain pleasing consistency in using Java to present a long-dead language that was extremely cumbersome to write.

  4. @Matt, as a reality check, Java is very much alive for building server applications and tools for desktops — where you can control the classes you load and the runtime version you use — but its failure to keep the original safety promises and the resulting ‘moving security target’ for browser-side developers has effectively killed it as a viable technology there.

    (I’m sitting 15 meters from a 12-person group developing in Java almost exclusively. With the tools they have it seems to be as easy to use as anything else, and as long as we give them machines that have three times the oomph of what a comparable Ruby application would need, it seems to run just as fine.).

    So yes, eCHD is fighting a rear-guard action by still using it. Last I checked you can’t even run Java in Chrome on Mac any more, and nobody seems to care.

  5. Java applets are not supported in any version of Chrome since September. This is because Google considers NPAPI, the interface between the Java plugin and a browser, to be insecure. The same applies to the Silverlight and Unity plugins, which are rich-content displayers analogous to Adobe Flash (which uses a different interface that Chrome still allows).

    Since Chrome (including the default Android browser) has between a 40% and a 50% market share, Java applets are effectively dead as an Internet deployment platform, though they may still be useful on intranets where users can be forcibly kept off Chrome or persuaded to use two browsers.

  6. @JC, I didn’t bother checking on Windows, for all I knew Java might have been using another interface there.

    But it really supports my point, doesn’t it? This change in Chrome was announced two years ago, and Oracle haven’t cared enough about the issue and the 50% user share to make a NaCl version of the Java runtime available.

    (Once upon a time Java was actually by far the most widely available and reliably platform-independent technology for doing what browsers couldn’t do natively, or even just to get consistent behaviour across platforms. But now other technologies have matured to make Java largely irrelevant).

  7. Ghu knows, Oracle only cares about licensing Java as a cash cow.


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