Part of Nobumi Iyanaga's website. Last updated Sat Jul 2 2011.

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Research Tools and Tips

While doing our research work in the fields of Asian humanity studies, we have often to deal with electronic texts of different kinds. Since we have many classical texts in electronic files now, there are more and more needs of tips and tools for processing texts. I would like to gather here some tips and tools that can be useful for those people working in these fields.

I should first describe my personal working environment. I am an user of a Macintosh (PowerMac 7600/132 with 180Mhz upgrade card), with Japanese system (7.6.1 currently) and Chinese Language Kit (Traditional Chinese, or Big5, and Simplified Chinese, or GB). I deal mainly with Japanese texts (in Shift-JIS code), but I write also sometimes English or French texts, and much more rarely I must deal with some Chinese texts (in Big5 or GB codes).

My main word-processor is Nisus Writer (now at version 5.1.2), which is "WorldScript savvy", and has a powerful macro language. I use it with a scripting tool called UserLand Frontier. I use also sometimes an editor called Jedit 2.0; I have MacJPerl (a Japanese localized version of MacPerl) installed. I have many Buddhist e-texts files on my hard disk, and some CD-ROM of Buddhist e-texts also. I think I have some knowledge of Nisus macro language and Frontier scripting; unfortunately, I am an eternal beginner in Perl scripting -- although Perl is the most powerful tool when one must deal with text processing.

While it seems that there are many good research tools in the MS-DOS, Windows or UNIX environments, we Macintosh users suffer of the lack of such tools. For example, there is no standard grep utility in the "Macintosh world"; there are very few editors having good macro capabilities, etc. But at the same time, there are some good features of the Mac OS, such as WorldScript, or AppleEvent, with which we can do things which are probably difficult in MS-DOS or Windows.


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This page was last built with Frontier on a Macintosh on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05:36 AM. Thanks for checking it out! Nobumi Iyanaga