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Aharon Varady and Efraim Feinstein …

Aharon Varady and Efraim Feinstein
The Open Siddur Project

pdf file with the presentation at the

EVA/Minerva Jerusalem International Conference on Digitisation of Culture,
Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Van Leer Institute, 12-13 November 2013
http://www.digital-heritage.org.il
Presentations available at: http://2013.minervaisrael.org.il

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  • 1. the Open Siddur Project Aharon Varady, M.A. J.Ed., founder Efraim Feinstein, Ph.D., developer Rabbi Seth (Avi) Kadish, Ph.D. end-user
  • 2. Why an Open Siddur? Compiling a new siddur has always been an ambitious project. How can we make it easier? The Baal Shem Tov’s siddur
  • 3. Why an Open Siddur? Most sources for Jewish liturgy are locked up behind paywalls and bound by copyright and restrictive terms of use.
  • 4. An Open Siddur is open source at its core • Open source is a core value to our project • Source code is shared on github, licensed LGPL • All © content is adaptable & redistributable • Public Domain content stays in the Public Domain o to enable collaboration, innovation, and to future-proof our efforts o all supporting software code is open source o copyright owners license © content with a choice of standard, non-conflicting, free-culture approved licenses o licenses maintained by the Creative Commons organization
  • 5. • • • • • An Open Siddur is built upon an open and standard technical architecture All text encoded in TEI XML All text stored native XML database (eXist-db) Code references open standards, wherever possible Validatable document format using RelaxNG schema XML-aware REST-ful APIs for CRUD
  • 6. An Open Siddur... • • Records levels of semantic structural data in texts • Links translations, instructions, notes, and other annotations to the text at any level • Attributes all text to its source Encodes liturgical variants at the same level as the liturgical variation
  • 7. An Open Siddur records semantic structural data Paragraph Sentence? Phrase (long) Segment (short phrase)
  • 8. An Open Siddur links source text with its translation Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Siddur Tehillat Hashem Y’daber Pi (2008): ‫בּר רוּך שֵׁ ם כְּ בוֹד מַ לְ כוּתוֹ‬ ‫לְ עוֹלרם ועעדד‬ ‫ר‬ Through time and space, Your glory shines, Majestic One. Rabbi Simeon Singer, Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the British Empire (1895): ‫בּר רוּך שֵׁ ם‬ ‫כְּ בוֹד מַ לְ כוּתוֹ לְ עוֹלרם ועעדד‬ ‫ר‬ Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever.
  • 9. An Open Siddur displays all variant texts Kaddish has five basic variants and many minor variants, dependent on nusaḥ, time of year, location, and some combination of them. ‫יַ תגדַ ל וְ יַ תקַדַ שׁ שׁמֵ ה רבּר א‬ ַ ְ ְ ַ ְ ‫יַ תגדֵ ל וְ יַ תקַ דֵ שׁ שׁמֵ ה רבּר א‬ ַ ְ ְ ַ ְ ‫וְ יַצְ מַ ח פ ְקרקר נֵה וַ יקר רב קֵ ץ משׁיחֵ ה‬ ַ ְ ֵ ‫לְ עלרא וּלְ עלרא מכּרל בַּ ְרכרתר א‬ ַ ֵ ֵ ‫לְ עלרא מן כּרל בַּ ְרכרתר א‬ ַ ֵ ‫דכרל בֵּ ית יַ שראֵ ל‬ ‫ְ ר‬ ְ ‫די בְ אַ תרא קַ דישׁר א הר דֵ ין‬ ַ ‫ְ ר‬ ַ ‫אהבוּהוּן דבַ שׁמַ ירא וְ אַ ְרערא‬ ְ ְ ‫עוֹשה שׁר לוֹם בַּ מרוֹמר יו‬ ְ ‫עש‬ ‫עוֹשה הַ שר לוֹם בַּ מרוֹמר יו‬ ְ ‫עש‬ This is not an exhaustive list of variants! The rules for choosing a variant may be complex.
  • 10. An Open Siddur attributes all text to its source • Transcriptions sourced from textual witnesses • Authoritative history of edits • Word and phrase-level grammar
  • 11. Authoring and Adapting Liturgy, Annotations, Translations, etc. We are building a web-based user interface to allow our users to design and edit liturgical materials We are not waiting until the tool is built. Sources are being collected and distributed now at http://opensiddur.org
  • 12. An Open Siddur supports a diverse community of siddur users: students, scholars, artist/crafters, and educators • • The depth of teaching, learning, art, and spiritual practice is enabled by technology rather than being limited by it The breadth of sources includes liturgy and liturgy related work in every language Jews speak or have ever spoken, historical, contemporary, familiar, and obscure
  • 13. The Open Siddur Project is You 90+ contributors Artists Musicians Scholars Rabbis Students Educators Parents Store Clerks
  • 14. the Open Siddur Project Aharon Varady, M.A. J.Ed., founder Efraim Feinstein, Ph.D., developer Rabbi Seth (Avi) Kadish, Ph.D. end-user
  • 15. Why an Open Siddur? The Baal Shem Tov’s siddur Compiling a new siddur has always been an ambitious project. How can we make it easier? Most people who use a siddur would like to improve it, amend it or expand upon it in some way, but making a siddur today is still a difficult and ambitious process. It involves compiling sources together, and choosing among many possible variant texts. It also may involve additions of unique personal or communal prayers and commentaries that are asyet unpublished. The siddur, as a personal and communal prayer book, expresses the voice of the individual or community to God.
  • 16. Why an Open Siddur? Most sources for Jewish liturgy are locked up behind paywalls and bound by copyright and restrictive terms of use. Modern copyright acts as a barrier to this kind of creative and spiritual activity. International treaties have solidified that works created today - or even by the last two generations - will not enter the public domain for generations to come, by which point their cultural relevance may be limited -- if the works still exist at all. Creation of a new siddur that does not suffer from legal impediments to its distribution necessarily involves large expenditure of resources even to gain access to known public domain editions of texts. When un-redistributable siddurim are created - say, from photocopies of published works - much creative effort is put into them, but nobody else will ever be able to benefit from it. The same basic work is repeated over and over by many people. As a text based religion, Judaism prides itself on encouragement of advanced learning, but the copyright system only encourages wasteful duplication of effort. That is the problem Open Siddur intends to address: to build both a library of texts and a platform to enable the sharing of Jewish prayer texts, both traditional and new. To eliminate the unnecessarily hard parts of building a custom siddur, replacing it with the exercise of Jewish creativity.
  • 17. An Open Siddur is open source at its core • Open source is a core value to our project • Source code is shared on github, licensed LGPL • All © content is adaptable & redistributable • Public Domain content stays in the Public Domain o to enable collaboration, innovation, and to future-proof our efforts o all supporting software code is open source o copyright owners license © content with a choice of standard, non-conflicting, free-culture approved licenses o licenses maintained by the Creative Commons organization Open source is our core value. Open source is more than open access. It means that all of the computer code that runs our clients and servers and all of the texts that we distribute are either in the public domain or conform to copyright terms that ensure that the works can be copied, distributed, and adapted by anyone who receives them. We will only redistribute texts under any of 3 licenses maintained by Creative Commons: Zero - which disclaims the exclusive rights granted by copyright, Attribution - which claims a right for the author’s name to be associated with the work; and Attribution-ShareAlike, which, in addition, requires that all derivative works remain free of onerous copyright restrictions. We work with authors and content creators to find the best sharing arrangement for them that also assures that the texts we distribute support a living, vibrant and free Jewish culture. By using these licenses - and excluding those that limit to “non profit”, “educational use”, or “non-commercial use”, we simultaneously respect all the endeavors of our users and contributors, and additionally assure that our users will never encounter a situation where a copyright restriction prevents them from creating a fully free and redistributable work on our site.
  • 18. An Open Siddur is built upon an open and standard technical architecture • • • • • All text encoded in TEI XML All text stored native XML database (eXist-db) Code references open standards, wherever possible Validatable document format using RelaxNG schema XML-aware REST-ful APIs for CRUD In keeping with our open source values, we also are architecting our technical platform using a fully open source stack, and referencing open standards whenever possible. Our document formats are based on the XML format published by the Text Encoding Initiative, the TEI, and extended when necessary using TEI’s standard extension mechanisms. The format can be validated using standard XML tools. Our texts are stored in the eXist native XML database and full-text indexed to make them searchable. The database is also used as a platform to provide XML-aware RESTful programming interfaces, so our own client - and any third party applications - can access and edit the data.
  • 19. An Open Siddur... • • Records levels of semantic structural data in texts • Links translations, instructions, notes, and other annotations to the text at any level • Attributes all text to its source Encodes liturgical variants at the same level as the liturgical variation The siddur is a particularly complex text, and we will show a sampling of its complexities in the next few slides. The Open Siddur XML format does not encode any particular siddur’s layout. Instead, it encodes the semantic features of the text: paragraphs, poetic structures, like verses and verse lines, with encoding possible down to the level of individual words. Liturgical resources are constructed from combinations of the text and its semantic features. When repetition occurs, one resource transcludes another. These features enable linkages between texts and translations, instructional notes, variants, and annotations at any level - from entire services down to the word, with minimal repetition of content - and minimal repetition of the effort to create that content.
  • 20. An Open Siddur records semantic structural data Paragraph Sentence? Phrase (long) Segment (short phrase) Now for a bit about semantic structural data. The following text is a scan of a 1901 edition of Seligmann Baer’s Seder Avodat Yisrael. The source naturally breaks up the “Magen Avot” section of Kabbalat Shabbat into a single paragraph. Going one level down, it also separates it into sentences… and long phrases … A reader may also wish to break up the texts into segmented units of meaning, that can be used, for example, to link translations...
  • 21. An Open Siddur links source text with its translation Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Siddur Tehillat Hashem Y’daber Pi (2008): ‫בּר רוּך שֵׁ ם כְּ בוֹד מַ לְ כוּתוֹ‬ ‫לְ עוֹלרם ועעדד‬ ‫ר‬ Through time and space, Your glory shines, Majestic One. Rabbi Simeon Singer, Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the British Empire (1895): ‫בּר רוּך שֵׁ ם‬ ‫כְּ בוֹד מַ לְ כוּתוֹ לְ עוֹלרם ועעדד‬ ‫ר‬ Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever. Here, we see an example of a short text “Baruch shem k’vod malchuto l’olam va’ed” and two different English texts that are intended to correspond to it. The first, from Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, is a more figurative associated text, the second, from Rabbi SImeon Singer, is a more literal translation. In the former case, the English can only be aligned with the entire Hebrew verse; in the latter case, the English can be aligned with shorter segments. In Open Siddur’s format, alignments can be done at any level where encoding exists -- from the smallest textual units to paragraphs or larger.
  • 22. An Open Siddur displays all variant texts Kaddish has five basic variants and many minor variants, dependent on nusaḥ, time of year, location, and some combination of them. ‫יַ תגדַ ל וְיַתְקַ דַ שׁ שׁמֵ ה רבּר א‬ ַ ְ ַ ְ ‫יַתְגַ דֵ ל וְ יַ תקַ דֵ שׁ שׁמֵ ה רבּר א‬ ַ ְ ְ ‫וְ יַצְ מַ ח פ ְקרקר נֵה וַ יקר רב קֵ ץ משׁיחֵ ה‬ ַ ְ ֵ ‫לְ עלרא וּלְ עלרא מכּרל בַּ ְרכרתר א‬ ַ ֵ ֵ ‫לְ עלרא מן כּרל בַּ ְרכרתר א‬ ַ ֵ ‫דכרל בֵּ ית יַ שראֵ ל‬ ‫ְ ר‬ ְ ‫די בְ אַ תרא קַ דישׁר א הר דֵ ין‬ ַ ‫ְ ר‬ ַ ‫אבוּהוּן דבַ שׁמַ ירא וְ אַ ְרעא‬ ‫ר‬ ְ ְ ‫ה‬ ‫עוֹשה שׁר לוֹם בַּ מרוֹמר יו‬ ְ ‫עש‬ This is not an exhaustive list of variants! The rules for choosing a variant may be complex. ‫עוֹשה הַ שר לוֹם בַּ מרוֹמר יו‬ ְ ‫עש‬ Another frequent problem is that of textual variants. The example here shows a number of them in the nusach of the Kaddish. In Open Siddur, the encoding of the variant is the same level as where the variation occurs. Only one copy of a Kaddish resource is needed to support the order-of-100,000 possible variant Kaddish texts. The technology supports maximum customization. Note also that some of the variants are dependent on rite, some are dependent on time of year, and some dependent on both. The complex conditional rules for when to include a variant are encodable in Open Siddur’s XML format. The user selects choices of variant texts, and the XML can then be compiled into a unique custom siddur, dependent on the user’s choices.
  • 23. An Open Siddur attributes all text to its source • Transcriptions sourced from textual witnesses • Authoritative history of edits • Word and phrase-level grammar Further, we intend to support scholarly pursuits. Open Siddur keeps track of the bibliographic history of the texts that come in, both to verify compliance with our copyright policies, and to ensure a text’s provenance to the user. To the maximum degree possible, we maintain source attributions back to scans of public domain books, which can then be checked to maintain our texts’ quality and accuracy. As we compile more variant texts, we will not only have an edit history in the sense of a wiki, we will also be creating a new critical edition of the siddur. Our format also supports arbitrary annotations on any of the encoded semantic objects, including words and phrases. This feature enables grammatical and syntax tagging, for example.
  • 24. Authoring and Adapting Liturgy, Annotations, Translations, etc. We are building a web-based user interface to allow our users to design and edit liturgical materials We are not waiting until the tool is built. Sources are being collected and distributed now at http://opensiddur.org
  • 25. An Open Siddur supports a diverse community of siddur users: students, scholars, artist/crafters, and educators • • The depth of teaching, learning, art, and spiritual practice is enabled by technology rather than being limited by it The breadth of sources includes liturgy and liturgy related work in every language Jews speak or have ever spoken, historical, contemporary, familiar, and obscure
  • 26. The Open Siddur Project is You 90+ contributors Artists Musicians Scholars Rabbis Students Educators Parents Store Clerks