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 updates on opensiddur.org with our RSS feed. (Just visit this URL with your favorite RSS reader: https://opensiddur.org/feed/ .)

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 your Siddur. Join the Open Siddur Project today and begin crafting and sharing the siddur you’ve always wanted.

Project Overview

Ever wonder what our project looks like as a flowchart? Aharon updated the old one to be more readable — do you get it?

Did you want an Open Siddur web application last year and aren’t sure how you can help bring it into reality? Check out these ways you can help advance this project — even if you’re not a computer programmer!

Fascinated by technology and wondering how our work fits into the future of book publishing? Check out this link if you were wondering what a print-to-digital-to-print technology project such as our web application can offer the world more generally: http://thinkubator.ccsp.sfu.ca/wikis/xmlProduction/XMLProductionStartWithTheWeb

Project Team Updates

One way of helping to contribute to the project is offering work opportunities for our volunteers, some of whom are unemployed, freelance, and pay for their own health insurance. If you have a job opportunity and need committed workers and creative thinkers, contact us.

We welcome Shmueli Gonzales and Amir Starr Weg to our team of transcribers. Shmuel’s work can already be appreciated here.

Ben Varadi may have graduated Tulane’s Law School (congrats!) but the Tulane Center for Intellectual Property Law & Culture continues to provide the Open Siddur Project with excellent copyright research thanks to Justin A. Levy and an application that Ben devised, the Durationator. Ben’s also created a rather excellent Book Scanner. Ben’s now working for jgrad, a project of the NOLA Jewish federation providing Jewish resources for graduate students and recent college grads.

New Contributions

We now have a contribution form for folk to share their work directly at opensiddur.org. While progress continues on developing our web application, there’s no reason we can’t begin sharing our work now — just in a more conventional way.
  • A growing historical map charting Jewish liturgies by Aharon, now in version 2.3 with input from Dr. Richard Sarason (HUC-JIR) and Dr. Kay Shelemay (Harvard).
  • A d’var tefillah and kavvanah on the springtime Prayer for the Dew contributed by Rachel Barenblat.
  • A kavanah on the meaning of one’s posture in the Amidah by Virginia Spatz.
  • Two Simḥat Bat ceremonies were contributed, both from teachers at Yeshivat Hadar (Mechon Hadar): one by Rav Elie Kaunfer and Lisa Exler, and one by Dr. Devora Steinmetz and Rabbi David Silber.
  • Twenty-seven translations of important halakhic source texts providing halakhic guidance on creative innovation with Jewish litury within the history of Rabbinic Jewish discourse. These were provided by Rav Ethan Tucker (Yeshivat Hadar, Mechon Hadar).
  • A new English translation of Louis Ginzberg’s Prayer for the Government by Rabbi Tim Bernard.
  • Modular transcriptions of the Nusaḥ Ha-Ari by Shmuel Gonzales. Nine modules so far. These transcriptions will be added to our transcription of Siddur Torah Ohr and proofread.
  • A transcription of the 1917 JPS English translation of Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs, was just completed by Aharon and proofread by Efraim.
  • A digital JLPTEI XML formatted edition of James Strong’s venerable Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, prepared with the help from Ze’ev Clementson, David Troidl, and Efraim Feinstein. Also, a digital JLPTEI XML formatted edition of the Singer Siddur, Rabbi Marcus Adler’s authorised siddur translated by Rabbi Simeon Singer. Both of these XML formatted editions are available for download with our source code.
  • FONTS: Ze’ev helped convince the Culmus Ancient Hebrew Script Project to make their free (GPL) fonts even free-er with the GPL font exception. Google helped convince the maintainer of the Cardo font to share the font with SIL’s Open Font License.

Application Development  (step by step until it’s ready)

We tested and then made public our transliteration engine with eight transliteration tables to choose from including International Phonetic Alphabet, Modern Ashkenazi dialect, and Academy of the Hebrew Language.

Efraim documented and tested his encoding engine on the Singer Siddur.

Work on a replacement for our transcription/proofreading interface on our wiki is beginning. All transcribers are invited to provide input on the design and function of this transcription interface. (We want to make it easier for you to help us transcribe text.) Contact us directly or share your ideas on the opensiddur-talk discussion list.

Communications

We’ve made an effort to separate technical discussion into its own area for non-tech participants and followers of the Open Siddur Project.

Most recently we separated the Live Chat conferences we organize on IRC into separate tech and non-tech sessions. Logs are posted here.

Following his session at Limmud NY in January, Aharon Varady gave a public presentation on the Open Siddur Project at the Academy of Jewish Religon’s Spring Intensive in Riverdale, NY last March. (Other guest speakers included authors Lawrence Hoffman and Jill Hammer).

Aharon gave another public presentation on the value of Open Source for Jewish non-profits at the Future of Jewish Nonprofit Summit late last month in New York City. Afterwards, Aharon was interviewed by Radio613’s co-hosts Avi and Malcha, on CFRC Kingston, Ontario 101.9 FM.

Efraim presented the Open Siddur Project at the NewCAJE conference for Jewish educators. Follow-up thoughts are here.

New Documentation

Our Transcription Rules for transcribing and proofreading text were completely revamped.

Efraim wrote up an introduction to conditional inclusion feature.

Many, many additions, disambiguations, and edits were made to existing pages on the wiki and at opensiddur.org .

To follow our development more regularly, follow our opensiddur RSS feed, twitter feed, and facebook group.

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא