BITC -- the Berkeley Interlinear Text Collector

The Berkeley Interlinear Text Collector (BITC)

What is BITC?

BITC is a system for collecting interlinear texts and is especially designed for group collaboration. BITC is installed on a network server, and users access BITC through a web browser. This is ideal for group work, since, once the server is set up, practically anyone can get involved with the project without having to install special software. Also, everyone benefits from the texts collected by everyone else on the project because all work contributes to a shared dictionary. Using the Internet potentially enables geographically-dispersed researchers to collaborate with each other, too! Currently, BITC is ALPHA software, which means it is not for the faint-of-heart, mainly because installation may be difficult.

Is it easy to install?

Depends. Probably not. If you already have Perl, BerkeleyDB, a web server like Apache, and LaTeX installed on your server, that helps a lot. It is also extremely helpful if one member of your project has experience programming Perl. There is no installation routine at present, and someone will have to edit the source code to provide pathnames, etc. for your installation. On the other hand, once the server installation is taken care of, it is very simple to add new users to your project, as all that is required of them is a web browser and Internet connection.

Why is BITC alpha software? Is it stable?

The Ingush project has been using BITC for several months with very few problems, and it seems to be quite reliable. BITC is currently alpha software because the feature set is incomplete. In particular, it would be nice to have a reasonable kind of install routine before calling this a 1.0 release.

Can I install BITC on my home machine without using a network?

Absolutely. There is no reason why the server and client can't be on the same machine.

What platforms does BITC support?

Mostly Unix(-like) platforms. BITC has been used on Sun OS 5.6 and Debian Gnu/Linux 2.1 so far. The code should run on any platform that supports Perl (that's most of them), but BerkeleyDB is available only on Unix and Win32. If you want to get your hands dirty, you could change the code to be compatible with a different DBMS available on your platform.

Is BITC supported?

The author welcomes bug reports, comments, and suggestions, and tries to be a helpful sort of person. However, there is no guarantee of assitance.

How is BITC pronounced?

You've heard the phrase 'itsy bitsy'? Like that, the 'bitsy' part anyway.

How can I help make BITC better?

Use the software and let me know how it works for you. If you feel more ambitious but don't know how to program, assistance in writing documentation is welcome. If you feel more ambitious and know Perl and/or cgi programming, feel free to hack on the code. In particular, I can use assistance in making BITC more portable.

When will a non-alpha version be released?

BITC was written for the use of a specific project, and currently works well for that project, so development has slowed. No specific plans for a new version currently exist, though I do plan to continue development.

How is BITC licensed?

BITC is open source -- licensed under the Artistic License, the same as Perl itself. This means you can freely modify and redistribute the code to as many people as you want.

How do I get BITC?

We plant to make BITC available for download soon. In the meantime, contact the author.

Who can I contact about BITC?

The author, of course! Send email to Ronald Sprouse.