From Explorer to Editor: Big Update for

Naming my web app "Apparatus Explorer" might have been premature...

Screenshot of "Edit Mode" Toggle Switch Flipped On

What started as a collation visualization tool has become a collation and apparatus editor. My initial goal for Apparatus Explorer was to visualize a TEI encoded collation file so that I could worth through the data easier for my own research. Then I wanted to edit genealogical relationships between readings to prepare the files for use with the open-cbgm. This was fine for some time, but it left me (and the other handful of users) without the ability to add data.

My normal approach to editing the collation file was to edit the transcription files and recollate in ITSEE's Collation Editor. And this is the right way to fix errors. But some changes are not fixes and they cannot be made simply be recollating. For example, the Collation Editor was not intended to incorporate witnesses of different languages or other types of witnesses. Ideally, witnesses in the same language should be collated together and later incorporated in a single apparatus along with early Christian author citations.

I did not have a straightforward way to add data to an existing collation file. Adding data manually is ideal for very fragmentary witnesses and for minor changes to the apparatus (such as reading option order and naming). So I am pleased to announce that the Apparatus Explorer can now edit most elements of a digital critical apparatus.

What's New

Screenshot of "Edit Mode" Toggle Switch Flipped On

At the top of the "My Apparatus" page there is a new toggle labeled "Edit Mode." Toggling this to the 'on' position will reveal all of the editable features.

Screenshot of 'Edit Mode' off and the variation unit buttons below

There are two main sections which are affected by this toggle. The first is the listing of variation unit indices. The image above shows what the variation unit buttons look like when Edit Mode is off. Clicking a variation unit button reveals the full apparatus for that unit and also highlights the variation unit in the basetext.

Screenshot of apparatus unit buttons with Edit Mode on

With Edit Mode on, the buttons still work as normal, but they now have an "Edit" button within them. There is also green button for adding a new variation unit index.

Screenshot of the edit variation unit form. It has 'from' and 'to' fields on the left and 'Cancel, Submit, and Delete' buttons on the right

Click on one of the "Edit" buttons, and a simple form will reveal itself for that variation unit. The variation indices can be updated or the entire unit can be deleted entirely.

Screenshot of new variation unit form. It has a 'from' and 'to' field as well as 'Cancel' and 'Submit' buttons, all from left to right

Click on the green button and a blank form appears for defining a new variation unit.

screenshot of apparatus table of readings for one variation unit. The table has four columns, from left to right they are: reading ID, reading type, reading text, and reading witnesses. There is an edit button on the last column of each row.

The second newly editable section is the variation unit apparatus. This normally displays as a table with one row for each reading and four columns: Reading ID, Reading Type, Reading Text, and Reading Witnesses. But in Edit Mode, there is an "Edit" button on the right of every row. There is also a green "Add" button on a bottom blank row that is for adding and defining a new reading.

Screenshot of edit reading row form

When editing a reading, all aspects of it can be edited: its name, type, text, and witnesses. A bit happens under the hood when a new witness is added. TEI collation files should have a list of all witnesses near the top of the file. The backend code for Apparatus Explorer will see if a witness is new and add it to this list if needed.

Screenshot of the local stemma editing section.

And, of course, let us nto forget the editing tools that have already been available for some time. Visible in the image above are the tools for adding genealogical relationships between readings and editing the reading types with helpfully predetermined names. A graph of the relationships is updated and shown.


So, do I need to change the name of this web app and purchase a new web domain? Probably not... but the Apparatus Explorer certainly does more than its name implies.

Return to Blog


apparatus explorer