HTML CTS Kit
<blockquote></blockquote>element, with a
@classattribute “cts-text”. E.g.:
<blockquote class="cts-text" cite="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001.msA:1.1>Iliad, 1.1</blockquote>
BackgroundCTS stands for Canonical Text Services; it is the networked service developed for the Homer Multitext that allows discovery and retrieval of passages of texts using citations in URN format. In short, if an electronic edition or translation of a text is in a CTS service, a user or machine can request that passage using a documented protocol. All of the electronic texts edited for the Homer Multitext are exposed via a CTS service.
The Homer Multitext (HMT) has also developed an image service, which allows citation by URN to images and parts of images.
HTML CTS KitAnyone with experience in making web-pages in HTML knows how easy it is to include an image in a page:
<img src="http://url-to-image"/>A web-browser will interpret that tag as a request to embed the identified image in the page, to show the image to the reader. In other words, the
http://url-to-imagewill be resolved to the image itself.
This is how citation has always worked… an author includes a citation in a piece of writing, and the reader can resolve the citation to the quotation to which it points. In the digital age, we expect that resolution to happen automatically.
Web-browsers have always allowed urls to images to be resolved for readers, even when the images are on different servers from the server hosting the HTML page. It would be nice if text were as easy.
Canonical citation has been the foundation of Classical philology for centuries, and it is the heart and sole linking mechanism of the HMT. In the digital realm we have found this to be a rich, scaleable, and flexible method for building a complex and diverse digital library. The HTML CTS Kit is a package of files that allows authors working in HTML to cite texts concisely using canonical CTS URNs, and have those URNs resolve to the passages to which they point.
Here is a demonstration of a page that uses URNs to cite both CTS texts and a region-of-interest on an image. The page that the reader sees has rich content; the underlying source is very concise:
<h1>High Resolution Scholarship</h1>
<p>The first five lines of the <i>Iliad</i> on the Venetus A:</p> <blockquote class="cts-text" cite="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001.msA:7.1-7.5">
Iliad 7.1-7.5</blockquote> <p>The Summary of Book 7 from the Venetus A, in Dactylic Hexameter:</p> <img class="cite-img"
src="urn:cite:hmt:chsimg.VA091RN-0263:0.2412,0.0845,0.4013,0.0295"/> <blockquote class="cts-text" cite="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg5026.chs01.msA:7">
Book 7 Summary</blockquote>
How it WorksAn author can discover the CTS URN for a text by browing the Homer Multitext’s CTS service, or any other implementation of CTS, such as this one, from Furman, containing Biblical texts. The URN for “Homer, Iliad, Edition based on the Venetus A, Book 7, lines 1–15” is:
To cite this passage in an HTML page, an author can use the standard HTML5
blockquoteelement. This element is defined as allowing an attribute named
cite; that attribute will hold the CTS URN. In order for the scripts in the HTML CTS Kit to recognize this
blockquoteas containing a CTS URN that should be resolved, the
blockquoteelement should also have a
classattribute, with a value of “cts-text”.
blockquoteelements should not be empty, so it is a good idea to put a human-readable citation inside the element; if the citation cannot resolve for any reason, that will be what the reader sees. The final citation will look like this:
<blockquote class="cts-text" cite="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg001.msA:1.1>Iliad, 1.1</blockquote>Assuming the correct scripts and stylesheets have been included in the HTML page (instructions are here), this is what will happen.
- When the page loads, the script will find all of these
<blockquote>…</blockquote>elements and perform an AJAX request, sending a “GetPassagePlus” request for each URN.
- As the results of those requests come in, the scripts will process the XML returned by the CTS Services, using XSLT stylesheets to turn the XML into fragments of HTML.
- Those HTML fragments will be inserted into the page.
- CSS stylesheets will give some attractive presentation to the newly inserted quotations.