James Joyce Text Machine:
(London 2000 James Joyce conference)

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A word on browsers, hardware, objectives, and resources

Starting and stopping the demos

1. Browsers:

  • Use Internet Explorer 4.x/5.x if possible since some of the features do not work in Netscape 4.x (Netscape 6.x preview not recommended)..

  • Font sizes: Your browser's font configuration should not override the specifications in the file on display. If your text on fixed and numbered lines breaks and wraps to extra short lines, select a smaller font size. On the other hand, if very short lines leave too much right margin space, select a larger font size.

    2. Monitor and hardware settings:

  • Maximize the window canvas or remove the display for all toolbars, location bars, etc.). For double page wide displays (a clear text side-by-side with its variorum version), a 1024 x 768 pixel display on a 17" screen (or larger) will reduce horizontal scrolling.

    3. Cleaning up afterwards

    Note: close small mouseover-lauinched popup windows as soon as possible, or they will remain unexpectedly open when you exit the browser.

    what the demos try to test:

    1. Objectives: Screen representation, interactive elements `

  • The JJTM explores issues of the representation of electronic text and the structuring of annotated scholarly hypertext for an edition of Ulysses. These pages test interactive mouseovers, status line messages, tooltip balloons, show/hide text blocks, dropdown menus, and popup windows. Coding adheres to HTML level 3.2 standards, using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, edited with NotaBene 4.1 for DOS on a 366mHz Celeron E-machines computer with Acer 77e monitor. Initial testing was done with IE 5.01 and NS 4.7 browsers for Windows 98. Responses and suggestions are welcome.

  • Future versions will use HTML level 4.0 standards in order to further separate data, style sheets, framesets, and multimedia, adding appropriate graphics, sound, Java applets, XML encoding/styling, and SQL databases. Since making a scholarly hypertext is extremely time-consuming, especially during the exploration and testing stages, the full scale project would require programmed or automated code generation from an "arranger" to handle a large database of texts, text location markers, styles, frames, HTML/XML codes, JavaScript, Java applets, and multimedia resources.

    2. Issues raised by this demo:

  • The James Joyce Text Machine is a continuing independent project to raise feasibility and design issues. Richard Lanham speaks of hypertext as an exploration of "the economics of attention." Indeed, hypertext offers radical possibilities for "reader-response," but there is not yet much agreeent on what is useful and thoughtful and what is amusing and distracting in the use of hypertext for literary study.

  • The "James Joyce Text Machine" demo will be seen [was seen] at the London 2000 Joyce conference, but Prof. Michael Groden's endorsement or approval should not be assumed. Subsequent versions of the JJTM will be maintained online at andromeda.rutgers.edu/~ehrlich/jjtm. The current demonstration uses a short passage in Calypsoin a low bandwidth specimen of about 100K, without audio, video, graphics, or animation.

  • How should the encoding of the text indicate to the curious reader that something more is available without being obtrusive to other readers who prefer to press ahead? How should the presence of annotation be signalled? By familiar underlined blue text? By a different text color or font? By an added footnote flag or icon? By something which appears not in the text but in the line numbering? Or by nothing until the interested reader discovers the hidden spot with a mouseover?

  • HTML/XML: HTML can indicate locations only with embedded tags at known features of interest, but XML is able to point to pieces of text at levels encoded by the progammer, which might be coded to correspond to Gabler line numbers, paragraphs, sentences, or similar useful blocks. Alternately, the chapter/line numbers of the 1922 edition, now available in an inexpensive Oxford Galaxy facsimile edition, can also be used.

  • Searching and concordances: Many comments in the text pertain to multiple locations. It would be useful to display the surround of interesting words in a concordance (KWIC) or even jump to other instances. Recurring annotation should be kept in a single lookup database instead of being embedded in each location.

  • Can a preview of the effects of clicking on a given link prevent it from becoming a wild goose chase? Can preliminary information be used to suggest how to proceed as well as what might be available? Can the interests of different readers (new, casual, veteran, scholarly, etc.) be served in the same encoding -- or must alternate configurations be provided?

  • When should annotation refer to recurring strings in the text rather than specific locations -- a lookup strategy which would speed up large scale coding? How much redundancy, or getting to the same information in different ways, is appropriate?

  • How can the needs of readers be served to write and save independent notes, to create bookmarks, enter into online discussions, and to print and save?

  • How can XML metadata and searchable databases be used handle to handle the super-human problem of marking, coding, and linking the encyclopedic quantities of information which lie ahead?

    What to watch for:

  • The techniques used in this sample are listed in order of increasing intrusiveness:

  • 1) Status line message (mouseover): short help on what to do next

  • 2) Tooltip or balloon message (mouseover): for about 5 seconds a summary appears of the information available if the reader decides to click

  • 3) Hypertext link (click): conventional way of selecting the display of the annotation in another frame. A JavaScript function permits several annotation sub-windows to be refreshed at the same time

  • 4) "Show/hide" text block (mouseover): Large multi-paragraph text block which appears at cursor location

  • 5) Popup window (mouseover): a small window with annotation or navigation which can be relocated, resized, scrolled, and closed -- but which will take some knowledge to control should several instances appear inadvertently

    In future releases additional features should be introduced:
    -- 6) Second jump: to explore a link in another window, leaving the starting point behind (but providing a way of returning to it later) -- 7) Search: text string to display context (KWIC) in another window -- 8) Depart: leave present location and establish a different primary text or location -- 9) Transform: select another interface or mode of operation from the entering menu -- 10) Reconfigure: install a different set of interface schemes from the setup menu, possibly allowing for multiple configurations on the same machine or network (as for a class)


  • The most useful code models I could find for these demos were by Jukka Korpela (Finland) and Patrick Bryant (Georgia).

    Files list:

  • Files used in this project (16 June 2000).


    Sample Resource Catalogs: Click on the Drop down Menus:

    Full Electronic Texts

    Secondary works



    About this demo

    Heyward Ehrlich
    Dept of English
    Rutgers University
    Newark NJ 07102, USA
    email: ehrlich@andromeda.rutgers.edu
    URL: http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~ehrlich/jjtm

    16 June 2000 (rev. 19 June - 22 July)