Today’s release of Dream of the Rood (in EPUB and Kindle formats) also marks the beginning of my Old English Texts series. I’ll be releasing nice EPUB/Kindle editions of Old English texts, using the Labyrinth Library editions as a base. (They’ve been kind enough to grant me permission to do this.)
The app works (it’s fully functional). The dictionary’s there (although there’s still a bit of work to be done cleaning up the imported definitions — mostly errors from the digitization as far as I can tell), some of the texts are there (and I wrote a script that made it super easy to import the rest), and the project was going quite well.
So why am I not going to release it?
Mostly because I wanted it to be a free app. Apple requires developers to pay $100/year (and that’s a totally legitimate cost, considering what you get in return for it — I’m not complaining about the fee), and since I won’t be writing commercial apps anytime soon, I can’t justify spending $100/year on it. Especially not with a baby on the way.
Maybe someday I’ll write a web-based mobile version, but in the meantime, here’s what Hwaet looked like:
For those doing research in older Germanic languages (Gothic, Old Icelandic/Norse, Middle/Old High German, Frisian, Old English, etc.), Sean Crist’s Germanic Lexicon Project is a great resource for old grammars and primers and dictionaries. He’s scanned several out-of-copyright books and put the images online, with a portion of those OCRed and/or in a nice text/HTML/XML format. My own digitization of Henry Sweet’s An Icelandic Primer is on the site as well (that’s where I originally got the images). I’m considering digitizing an early edition of Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer but haven’t made up my mind yet.