[Israel.pm] Call for Volunteers: Project Ben-Yehuda

Gaal Yahas gaal at forum2.org
Fri Aug 13 13:54:59 PDT 2004

Please distribute.

Project Ben-Yehuda - Call for Volunteers

Project Ben-Yehuda <http://benyehuda.org/> is seeking volunteers to help
build the Internet's Hebrew literature library. Project Ben-Yehuda,
inspired by the (originally English) Project Gutenberg, aims to make
available online classic texts -- poetry, stories, novels, and essays --
free of charge and for all who are interested.

We are currently looking for computing help. We have several creative
projects to work on; some are quite innovative (see below). If you are
familiar with one or more of these technologies:

 * Web UI design and programming
 * Perl
 * Databases
 * Natural language processing (NLP)
 * Search engines

And are looking to participate in an Internet project with significant
social impact, please read on.

Our site today offers the works of such authors as Rachel, Eliezer
Ben-Yehuda, and many others; we will make Bialik's work available soon,
as copyright law permits. Texts are typed, proofread, edited and put
online by human volunteers, and we are looking to streamline this process,
as well as provide users with better tools for browsing, searching and
displaying the texts.

Some of the challenges facing us require state-of-the art solutions
that can be yours to invent, develop, and deploy: Hebrew presents
unique issues. For example, we envision a Hebrew search engine that is
Nikkud-aware and does the Right Thing when the search string is (or isn't)
given with Nikkud, when the target text has (or hasn't) Nikkud marks in
it. There are other interesting problems to work on in data rendering
and presentation; performance; cross-browser user interface; and more.

We have already been approached by a sister project aiming to computerize
Yiddish texts, and since several technological problems are similar,
our plan is to develop a generic publishing solution that can work for
either language.

The Ben-Yehuda project consists only of volunteers. Over fifty people
have contributed by typing in texts. Some have donated books. The
Shenkar College of Engineering and Design has graciously donated hosting
services. We have a small software team with clear preference for high
quality and open source solutions. Join us or enquire for further details
by writing <gaal at benyehuda.org>.

Gaal Yahas <gaal at forum2.org>

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