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Why all the software? by Efraim Feinstein

One question I’ve been asked a number of times about the Open Siddur Project is: why are you developing all that software? It’s a fair question. After all, the siddur is just text. There are other do-it-yourself siddur kits out there. They sell you (or, more accurately, license you) a text. You open the text in a word processor, make a few stylistic changes, and voila, you have your own custom siddur. The “advanced” ones may even hand you one copy of a “nusaḥ Ashkenaz” siddur, one copy of a “nusaḥ Sefard” siddur, and one copy of a “nusaḥ Edot Hamizrah” siddur, giving you some choices. All good, right? So, once again, why does the Open Siddur need so much software? . . .

PresenTense Institute Summer Workshop 2009

W00t! First post!

Over the course of the summer I will be in Jerusalem attending the PresenTense Institute‘s summer workshop. Before I arrived I set in mind an intention, (or kavanah, as it were) to achieve the following goals:

gaining expert understanding of the licensing and technical challenges for developing partnerships between creative projects founded . . .

Invitation to Young Technologists

The Open Siddur Project is a free and open source software project founded around a community of folk passionate about the siddur. We are developing an online collaborative publishing platform for crafting custom siddurim, for preserving the diversity of Jewish prayer traditions, and for sharing translations, commentary, t’fillot, meditations, and art in the siddur.

The . . .

Technology is a “plus” not “or” proposition: thoughts after NewCAJE 2010 by Efraim Feinstein

In education, technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. There are some problems technology can solve, and others it can’t. As Joel Grishaver said better than I can, technology is a “plus” not “or” proposition. Learners will have different success rates using technological solutions, such as distance learning, and the use of computers cannot take the place of a real-world social community. On the other hand, technology also has the potential to transform learning and learning environments and to make both learning materials and the teachers to guide their use accessible where they would not have otherwise been. . . .

Testing Our Transliteration Engine with help from James Strong’s Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

The mark of a particularly valuable dictionary is how long it is still being used years after it’s introduced. Marcus Jastrow’s Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature (1903), Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (1906), and James Strong’s Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible . . .

Testing Web browsers as Platforms for Hebrew Text Publishing

Given that one important aspiration of the Open Siddur Project is the development of a web application for anyone to edit, maintain, and share the content of a personal prayerbook that they can craft online, I’m very concerned at how well web browsers today display the Hebrew language with all of its diacritical (vowels, cantillation) . . .

Architecture of the Open Siddur

Lead developer, Efraim Feinstein, recently contributed this helpful diagram of Open Siddur’s architecture.

Development Status (08/15/2010)

Hello friends,

Check out our progress! This development status update chronicles progress on the Open Siddur made since our last update, February 15, 2010.

If you’d like to get news of Open Siddur Project development as it occurs, make sure to follow @opensiddur at Twitter, or join the opensiddur-announce email list. We also recommend following . . .

Development Status (2010-02-15)

Open Siddur Project Development Status as of February 2010/Adar 5770

Friends,

The communal project of Jewish spirituality can only be improved through cooperation and collaboration. The creative work used in our traditional liturgies is the common cultural heritage of the Jewish people. Most of this work resides in the public domain. The Open Siddur is . . .

Development Status (11/11/2009)

Open Siddur Project Development Status as of 11/11/2009

Our third development status covers progress on the Open Siddur made since our last update 9/22/09. Email aharon@opensiddur.org if you want to include something we haven’t covered. For now we’ll be sending these out once a month but if you’d like to get news of Open Siddur . . .

Development Status (9/22/2009)

Open Siddur Project Development Status as of 9/22/2009

Our second development status covers progress on the Open Siddur made since our last update 8/23/09. Email aharon@opensiddur.org if you want to include something we haven’t covered. For now we’ll be sending these out once a month but if you’d like to get news of Open Siddur . . .

Development Status (8/23/2009)

Open Siddur Project Development Status as of 8/23/2009

This is our first development status post. Normally, this post will try to wrap up what we’ve achieved in the past week. Since this is our first, I’ll be summing up some of the progress we’ve made in the last month or so. It will serve . . .


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