I’ve really enjoyed using the jataka database over the past year, and have also been delighted to have so many people get in touch to say they find it useful. However, it has also been on my mind that there is still a lot to do – not just expanding the content, but also fixing some bugs, especially in the search functionality and (less interesting to you, but important to me) the admin interface.
Our original developer from the Digital Innovations team of my university moved on to other things earlier this year, and with Chris Clark also completing his time on the project last Christmas, the poor database has been slightly abandoned. But my wonderful partner has come to the rescue, voluntarily getting his head right around the whole database – tables, interface and all – and we are working together to get version 2 ready for launch. It has caused me to cross my usually-sacred line between work and home, but in a fantastically enjoyable way!
Today, day 2 of a four-day weekend, I have been playing around with entity relationship diagrams again, to make sure users of the website have a clear idea of its structure and content:
So, what will be new on version 2?
The main rewrite has been to enable more languages than the original Sanskrit and Pali, so soon it will be possible to start adding Tibetan, Chinese and more. This restructuring also solves the current search bugs that can’t cope with names in more than one language. There will also be new search options, offering more flexible and complex searches but remaining easy to use.
Once the data is migrated over to the new structure, I’ll be working to expand the content some more, including with more notes and references. We are also overhauling the admin interface to make it easier to input material, so that it will be possible for others to add further texts and art.
If you have any requests or suggestions for what else we should be doing for the relaunch, please do let me know! Otherwise, watch this space…