hamletworks.org offers deep levels of information on Hamlet and related works for scholars, students, theater practitioners, and fans. The site, a continuing work in process, already allows users to
- Compare early Hamlet editions from the First Quarto (Q1, 1603), Second Quarto (Q2, 1605), First Players' Quarto (Q6, 1676) and First Folio (F1, 1623)
- Build a Shakespeare concordance
- Survey textual notes in editions from Q2 to the present
- Compare commentary notes from the eighteenth to the twentieth century by clicking on a line number
- See Hamlet facsimiles
- Explore Global essays on Hamlet around the world
and much more!
When completed, the site will help visitors comb through several editions of the play, along with 300 years of commentaries by a slew of scholars. Readers can click to commentaries linked to each line of text in the nearly 3,500-line play. The idea is that some day, anyone wanting to study Hamlet will find nearly all the known scholarship brought together in a cohesive way that printed books cannot. Even that effort only scratches the surface of what's possible, some researchers say. Since people are still largely reading the way they always have, they ask, why not use technology to make reading itself more efficient?
Lamb reports on Dr. Chi, of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California ('birthplace of technologies such as laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface, and ubiquitous computing'), who is working on ScentHighlights:
The reading experience online "should be better than on paper," Chi says. He's part of a group at PARC developing what it calls ScentHighlights, which uses artificial intelligence to go beyond highlighting your search words in a text. It also highlights whole sections of text it determines you should pay special attention to, as well as other words or phrases that it predicts you'll be interested in. "Techniques like ScentHighlights are offering the kind of reading that's above and beyond what paper can offer," Chi says. … the software could help students, academics, and business people quickly extract specific information from other written material. ScentHighlights gets its name from a theory that proposes that people forage for information much in the same way that animals forage in the wild. "Certain plants emit a scent in order to attract birds and bees to come to them," Chi says. ScentHighlights uncovers the "scent" that bits of information give off and attract readers to it.
Then there's BuddyBuzz, 'a project of a small group within the Stanford Persuasive Technology Laboratory, (which) flashes text to the viewer a word at a time. BuddyBuzz is based on a reading technique called RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) that's been around since the 1970s, says Matt Markovich, editor in chief of BuddyBuzz (www.BuddyBuzz.org). Using it, people can learn to read with good comprehension up to 1,000 words per minute, Mr. Markovich says. … Users who sign up can download news from Reuters and CNET, a technology news website, and postings from several popular Internet bloggers. More content is on the way, Markovich says. Users can also feed their own texts into the website and have them sent to their mobile phone, or offer their content to other BuddyBuzz users.' My italics: something to try out for teaching.