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Giorgio Buccellati – November 2005

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Two main types of files are used as input, text files (in ASCII format) and graphic files (in .JPG and .WMF format).

Refer to Data presentation.

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Graphic files

Graphic files do not undergo any further treatment: they are invoked as such through hyperlink functions within the browser edition. However, the format of the file labels is rigorously defined, and special programs utilize the directory within each appropriate folder to produce text files that are utilized by the programs that produce the browser edition.

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Random, or primary, input

Random input is the one that typically takes place in the field. Data are structured (the whole thrust of the grammar is to provide such a structure), but they do not follow any predetermined sequence, since they are entered in the measure in which the observation takes place. It is in the nature of the Global Record that the input should take place during the excavation, and that the browser version be constantly updated as the excavation progresses. The power of the programs utilized by the system lies precisely in the fact that they provide patterning out of randomness. As such, the data entry process lies considerably upstream of the utilization of the Global Record, and responds to rules that are essential for a “grammatical” approach to the data, but would be confusing for the normal user of the Global Record. For this reason, the data in the random format of input files as produced in the field is not given in the published version of the record. An active interest in the input process would in fact require a knowledge not only of the encoding rules (the “grammar”), but also of the programs that operate on the data. This requires an altogether different commitment than the one needed for a utilization of the Global Record, and is for now reserved for the staff actually working at Tell Mozan.

Note that a window onto the random input data is offered by the listing of entries for each individual staff member, where all the data found in the input are found, albeit in a very different order, and one that could not be used for processing with the system’s programs.

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Patterned, or secondary, input

The patterned input is the basic archive upon which the browser edition is built. It is in plain ASCII format, it is structured like the random input, but it is also organized according to the major categories of the system. This input is published here in the form of a data base, that serves as input for alternative analyses not included in the current version of the browser edition.

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Input files for individual books

Refer to individual book (e.g., J2).

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