Academic journal article Ethnologies

Plakun TRAVA

Academic journal article Ethnologies

Plakun TRAVA

Article excerpt

This CD-ROM is, as the title indicates, a PC version of a book published in 1982 and now out of print. Plakun Trava was a major and valuable work in Doukhobor Studies when it first appeared, and its reappearance in the CD-ROM medium is a welcome and important event. I examined it on a Macintosh PPC Performa 6400/180 with maximum 136 MB/RAM onboard, a large SysFile and a few minor programs up.

First, as to content: the CD-ROM includes all materials from the 1982 publication, as well as supplementary and promotional information, and a rapid Link to the publisher's website. Some photographs now appear in colour where possible. A substantial index has been added (thank goodness -- too many publications continue to appear without one), but it is not interactive, and requires the user to return to the Contents page, open the chapter including the page number cited and leaf through to the page. I did catch one or two misprints. One could also debate the merits of refining some materials (e.g., refining Map content) as against exact reproduction of the original.

Text appears, on a Mac, in Classic screen size of 13 x 17 cm, typically allowing under 120 words per screen, which scrolls to the page end. CD-ROM pages correspond within a very few words to pages in the original book, which means that users citing the CD-ROM can count on consistency with the book. Footnotes are presented at the foot of every full page, an improvement over the original, where they were found at book-end. Illustrations appear either as splash pages (between sections and chapters), usually with overlaid or subscript text, or as large thumbnails beside the text. Clicking on the thumbnails calls up a full-screen version. Maps can often be zoomed into quarters, and old panoramic photographs can be mousetracked laterally. Unfortunately, there is no separate index of photographs, nor can they be cut-&-pasted (even when they are in the Public Domain).

The Interface as a whole is very well crafted. The CD-ROM opens quickly; a command set at the screen foot usually gives access to Contents/Back/Next/Exit in logical order; executing/Back/commands often took more time. …

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