OTA BHS Conversion

Rob Barrett/Almaden/IBM barrett at almaden.ibm.com
Thu Oct 19 00:41:35 EDT 2000

> John Richards wrote:
> May I enquire whether anyone on the list has managed to
> convert the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) BHS text using
> the SIL CC packages so as to end up with a full BHS text
> in SIL Ezra TTF
> font on a PC?

I have mostly-successfully run the OTA BHS through the SIL CC packages to
produce the fully cantilated text.  I then wrote a little Java program that
takes the resulting file and converts each book into a separate RTF file
(readable by most word processors) using the SIL Ezra font.

It isn't perfect, but I find it quite serviceable for cutting/pasting into
other documents and for printing out passages for study.  The remaining
problems that I've found are:

1.  Occasional missing line-breaks (that seem to be missing in the OTA text
as best as I can determine) -- about one every few chapters or so;
2.  Occasional strange markings (e.g., a bracket/number combination) that
may have some meaning in the OTA text, may be a CC error, or may be an
error in my RTF conversion; and
3.  Qetib/Qere markings that are somewhat obscure (as they are in the OTA

If anyone has a technical description of the file format used by the OTA
BHS text, I'd love to see it to help my debugging.  I found one on the
Westminster Theological Seminary site but it appears to refer to a somewhat
different version of the file.

Likewise, if anyone would like a copy of my results or my Java program, I
believe I am at liberty to re-distribute a derived work from the OTA BHS.
Just let me know.

I'd prefer to give it to those who will be willing to help me track down
these last few problems!  Also, input on better formatting for the final
RTF form would be welcome.

all the best,
Rob Barrett

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