Internet Shakespeare Editions

Technical Information about the Design of this Site

The site is a combination of static pages, updated from the previous version of the site first created in 1996, and a number of interconnected web applications. All software used in the web applications is open source and standards-compliant. Where possible, the site uses Cascading Style Sheets for all formatting. In some instances, both in legacy pages from the earlier site, and in order to create compatibility with non-standard-compliant browsers, some additional HTML formatting is used.

The static pages

These have been updated to conform with the standard of XHTML 1.0 Strict. In due course many of the static pages will be served from an XML-based "Essay Viewer" web application.

Web applications

The suite of web applications are unified through the "pipeline" software Cocoon, which takes XML from the various applications and transforms it using XSLT style sheets into HTML pages for web browsers.

Shakespeare in Performance

Shakespeare in Performance uses a PostgreSQL database to store performance materials. All software used in the development and presentation of the database is open source. Metadata about performance artifacts (images, text, multimedia) is recorded using the Dublin Core metadata standard.

Displaying the texts

Texts on the site are generated initially in a version of SGML specially developed for ease of comprehension by Humanities textual scholars. The SGML files are converted to a form of XML that preserves the complex structures of early documents by storing information about multiple hierarchies -- semantic, physical, and annotational. This file is then reduced or merged to create a single file for processing by Cocoon. In due course, files conformant with the standards set by the Text Encoding Initiative will be produced from the same base file.

Viewing facsimiles

Like Shakespeare in Performance, the facsimiles are stored in a PosgreSQL database, processed through Cocoon to present the pages.

Shakespeare's Life and Times

This section of the site is created from XML files that include content in XHTML. The files were generated and transformed into their present format from an original database created in HyperCard.

The pages of links to Web resources on Shakespeare and the Renaissance are stored in an XML database.