I’ve been thinking about the various suggestions on how to manage this project, and I want to thank everyone who participated in the discussion. My thoughts follow.
1. What I really, truly need a is a list of Weird Words (including all “foreign” words, be they Liaden, Terran, Delgadan, Vandese, or etc.), and Names (including ship names, planet names, city names) for each book. One book = One list. It does, after thought, seem best that the WW and Names be combined into one, very long list.
2. Ideally, the words should be in the order they appear in the book in question — which was the idea behind the page numbers.
3. We do have to work within the constraints of my abilities. I am not a database whiz — not even close. I can keep the dern things, but multi-level/multi-directional sorts are beyond my skill level. Telling me that database wrangling is simple has in the past produced. . .no discernible improvement in my ability to do advanced sorts of any kind. In fact, my ability to deal actually plummets.
3A. The commodity I’m very short on for the foreseeable future is time. I cannot myself accept bits of databases to chain onto a master database or anything of that sort. Even if it *is* dead easy (which, believe me, it’s not), it will still take time. This project has a deadline associated with it; I’m not entirely sure when, but I don’t think it impossible that the lists for at least the first two books would be needed by early June.
4. It seems to me that, if the word harvesting process is completely automated, someone is going to have to check the lists against the books anyway, to make sure the automagic didn’t miss something. (Why, yes, I have had programs fail me. Why do you ask?) That said, it seems like it would be very useful to run a script as a check, in case the humans missed something.
5. In terms of volunteers, I think we’re going to need:
*At least one Word Wrangler for each book, to receive the information from volunteers, or to tend the database/wiki, check the list against a software-produced list (if any), and to compile the final list that will be forwarded to me
*At least two Word Harvesters for each book, who will compile the words and the page numbers and either forward them to the Wrangler, or enter them in a database/wiki/form
*An Automagician to automagically generate a list from each book to be checked against the list produced by the Word Harvesters. This is a luxury.
Note: I don’t really care about the process used to produce the lists. All I really care about is having accurate lists. That means that if three or four folks want to pool resources as the Gathering Team on Book A, I don’t care how they bag the words, only that all the words are bagged, and that I receive them in a simple, and understandable, format.
Does all of the above make sense (or is, at least, clear; I don’t actually expect anybody to enter into the Database-Free Zone that is my brain)?
Discussion open until tomorrow, Wednesday, mid-morning.