The Husserl-Database has turned the Corner

-- For Multi-lingual Text in the Era of the Internet --


Date: July, 1997. Written by: HAMAUZU, Shinji: Shizuoka University, Japan

This is an English summary of a paper which was published in Studies in Humanities (Annual Reports of Department of Sociology and Language & Literature, Shizuoka University)in Japanese in July 1997.

Today, it is important not to exaggerate the possibility of the Internet, but to estimate it justly, develop it positively and show it concretely. In such a situation the Husserl-Database, on which we have been engaged for the last three years, is one of the experiments to make use of the Internet for the sake of philosophical research.
After we finished search results as data from Husserliana vol. 11, 13-15, 16 and made public in the Internet (WWW and ftp) in 1995, and these from vol. 21-23, 25, 27, 29 in 1996, we have added new data from vol. 1-5, 10 in this April. Original texts are as follows:
Husserliana, Edmund Husserl Gesammelte Werke, Martinus Nijhoff / Kluwer Academic Publishers:

This time, we have made not only the TEXAS (our Text Analysing System) files as basic material for search, but also HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files as a by-product. There are two reasons for that. First, HTML files seem to become the standard format in the electronic text of WWW. Secondly, we found that it was not difficult to convert TEXAS files into HTML files mechanically. How and whether we can make public these files, it wholly depends on our negociation with the publisher.
During the process of editing new data I learned a few things in order to convert multi-lingual texts between NEC-DOS, IBM-DOS and Macintosh. Of course there are no problems in converting ASCII files into other files of these different computers. But it is not so simple to convert texts with German and French special characters that are usual in Husserliana. I've learned the method to convert such texts with the help of text processing tools such as SED and XTR. Therefore we have got the exchangeability of multi-lingual texts between those different computers with different OS. At the same time I found that if we write texts with German and French special characters in HTML, they appear correctly on the display independent of which computer we use. But some problems still remain with Greek and Japanese. As we get these languages only by switching fonts and encoding systems, they can not coexist with German and French in HTML. In this sense we can not call HTML multi-lingual yet.
Many people have accessed the Husserl-Database in the last half year. According to "log" of anonymous ftp of it, there are 532 times fo access from various countries: 264 times from Japan; 53, USA; 40, Germany; 23, Finland; 11, UK and Denmark; 8, Czecho; 7, Norway; 5, Canada and Netherland; 4, Hungary; 3, Greece; 2, Belgium and Poland; 1, Australia and Spain, and 88 anonymous. This shows how internationally the Husserl-Database has been used. By offering a base for Husserl-research, to raise the level of Husserl-research in Japan totally and to contribute to international Husserl-research: this is our present purpose.