Tutorial

This is the tutorial for the Fweet Search Engine page.

But before we start with the tutorial, a few words about text, sigla fonts and browsers. The Fweet elucidation collection is entirely text-based; it is all text with no pictures (or conversations). While generally this is convenient, it raises a problem when it comes to sigla. Sigla are pictorial ideograms that were used by Joyce to represent the central characters and themes of Finnegans Wake and are similarly used within the Fweet collection. For example, the siglum representing the major male protagonist (often referred to elsewhere as HCE) looks like the letter "E" fallen forwards (see the leftmost siglum on [299.F05], namely page 299 of Finnegans Wake, the 5th line of the footnotes); within the Fweet text-based collection this siglum is represented by the string *E*. Since it is neither visually-pleasing to see these awkward-looking strings, nor is it easy to remember which one represents which siglum, I have devised a font that automatically displays the Fweet strings as sigla. It is recommended that you download the Fweet Figla font and install it on your computer by following these instructions before continuing this tutorial. As not all browsers were created equal, you may also want to look at the note about browser compatibility.

Welcome back. Took your time, didn't ye? But that's OK, don't mind me, I have nothing better to do than to wait in this dark, damp, drafty room for your excellency to come and visit me. Anyhow, for this tutorial you should have this page and the search engine page open in two different windows or tabs to allow you to switch back and forth between reading the instructions and performing them on the search engine. Alternatively, you may print this page and use the printed version alongside the search engine page.

Were you alarmed by the big wide search engine with all its buttons and its options and its boxes and its lists? Good. It was designed to be powerful, yet eventually easy to use. It was not designed to be so trivial that it could be figured out readily without the aid of a tutorial; hence, this page. To avoid repeating myself, as I am wont to do, let me point out right now that this tutorial only covers the basic features of the search engine; there is also a user's manual for the more adventurous of you to explore on your own after finishing the tutorial. If something is silently ignored or left unanswered by the tutorial, it is considered advanced and hence dealt with in the user's manual.

To avoid repeating myself, as I am wont to do, let me just say one more thing, and please listen very carefully, I shall say this only once. During the tutorial, you will be asked to type some words or numbers; these words or numbers will be flanked by quotations marks – please do not type the quotation marks themselves. For example, when asked to type "mere", merely type 4 letters (m, e, r, e), no more, no less.

The search engine page is divided into four sections, separated by three horizontal lines: the first contains meaningless tour-guide drivel which we will ignore; the second contains the search engine's controls (a large text-box and numerous option check-boxes (more to appear in future versions...)); the third is marked shorthands; the fourth, utilities. For now concentrate on the second section.

Every active item (text-box, check-box, button, selection-list &c.) on the page has such a tooltip to remind you of its use.

The labels of most active items on the page are hypertext links into the user's manual. This allows you to obtain more context-sensitive help, should you need it. For even more help, please contact me.

You now have your first glimpse of the results page. At the top is a summary paragraph with, hopefully, rather obvious information. Following are the results in a two-column format: the narrow left column is a page-dot-line location reference to Finnegans Wake, the wide right column is an elucidation associated with that location. Note that your search string is highlighted (in red and underlined) in the elucidations and that the page-dot-line location references are hypertext links (in magenta or purple and underlined). Actually each location reference is a rather complex set of four hyperlinks taking the form "–012.34+":

Finally note that the search is performed on the text of the elucidations, not on the text of Finnegans Wake — searching, for example, for "penisolate" will not return elucidations for line 003.06; searching for "003.06", for "peninsular" or for "penis" will.

Unlike the previous search, where elucidations containing our search string either as a part of a word or as a whole word were found, this search only extracts those elucidations with whole word matches.

This search has added a few more elucidations, mostly French, since it allowed the search engine to match elucidations where one or more of the letters may carry a diacritic (or accent).

This search has added a few more elucidations, since it allowed the search engine to match elucidations where one or more of the letters have a different case (e.g. uppercase "M") from that typed in the search string. Note that in the previous steps we repeatedly returned to the search engine page in order to change the search options; there is also a simpler way of doing this. In the summary paragraph at the top of the results page there are two lines listing the options that are turned on and off, respectively. Near each option there is an arrow-shaped hyperlink (depending on your browser it may not appear as an arrow...) – by pressing on such a hyperlink, one can reverse the value of an option and relaunch the search.

Almost every imaginable search can be carried out by just using the second section; it is very powerful. This does not necessarily mean that every search is easy to write correctly. The purpose of the third section is to facilitate many common searches, to make the search engine also easy to use, relatively speaking. It offers a large (and growing) inventory of shorthands (singular: "shorthand", plural: "shorthands", collective: "a brevity of shorthands") to common search terms. You may think of the entire corpus of shorthands as a large index into the collection. When you select a shorthand, it is written to the "Search String" text-box, the most appropriate configuration of search options is automatically selected, possibly overriding anything previously selected, and the search is submitted, all at once. There are two general types of shorthands: location shorthands are for searching in the page-dot-line location column, content shorthands (the vast majority) are for searching within the elucidation text column. Let us start with the simpler location shorthands. The first allows you to search by line.

You have just launched a search for all the elucidations for page 3 (a.k.a. page 003) line 16. Look at the "Given search string"; this is roughly what you were supposed to type in order to get this result. Thankfully you have been spared. Note that within a line of Finnegans Wake, elucidations are ordered from left to right along the line, as expected.

When you search for lines in chapter II.2, the given line number is automatically matched against the main page text [299.05], the bottom footnotes [299.F05], the left marginalia [299.L05], and the right marginalia [299.R05] (non-existent for this page). Notice the Fweet unconventional convention of numbering footnotes and marginalia by line number and not by note number (which makes a lot of sense once you look at page 279). Notice the sigla in all their glory (unless you decided not to install the font). The "Page" shorthand is much the same as the "Line" shorthand, just for an entire page, so we will use it to highlight another feature.

You now see all the elucidations for page 111. Because we have checked the "Show FW Text" option, for each line of Finnegans Wake, the line's text is shown (over a darker background) above the elucidations belonging to that line. Some may find this feature helpful, but remember it is not a substitute for using the paper-based text. Notice that near the top of the results page (as well as near the bottom) are links to the previous (page 110) and next (page 112) pages of Finnegans Wake – they are there to simplify browsing on a page-by-page basis (there is also a link that picks a random page, if you enjoy that kind of thing). Next we move to the "Chapter" shorthand, which, obviously, locates all the elucidations for a given chapter.

Notice that the "Search String" text-box contains your last search, but that the "Chapter" selection list does not remember your last selection; this is how it should be. The more crafty among you may have already figured out that by selecting all the "Chapter" shorthands you can download the entire current Fweet collection. Please don't. Next, let us move to the content shorthands (ignoring the "Range" shorthand, which you should probably be able to figure out for yourself if you ever need it, as it is very similar to the "Line" shorthand).

You may browse the lengthy page of French language elucidations, if you wish. Then, look at the "Given search string"; to locate French language elucidations, we searched for "_F_", not for "French", as this is how French language is represented in the Fweet collection. You can learn a lot about the internal representation of things within the Fweet collection by looking at the search string produced by different shorthands, if you are so morbidly inclined. But there is no need to remember any of these; that's what shorthands are for. You may wonder, if we were looking for "_F_", why is "French" displayed in the elucidations and not "_F_"; that is what the "Beautified" check-box on the search engine page is for. The search engine is based upon the easily-pronounceable highly-advanced WYSIDNWYSF (What You See Is Definitely Not What You Searched For) principle, that is responsible for beautifying the displayed elucidations. Whenever you come across a term that is italicised (e.g. "French" and "Slang" on this results page), you should be aware that you are seeing the beautified representation of the term and should probably use the shorthands when searching for it ("Slang" is listed under "Registers", in case you were wondering). All the italicised (i.e. beautified) shorthands are also hypertext links; clicking on such a link is for all practical purposes identical to invoking the shorthand on the search engine page. Note that we could have performed a similar search by typing "French" in the "Search String" text-box, assuming the "Also Search Related Shorthands" check-box was checked (as it is by default), but such a search would have also found other occurrences of the string "French", not related to the French language, for example references to Percy French, and would have been slower too.

In case you have not noticed them yet, Fweet elucidations sometimes contain cross-references to other lines or ranges of lines (e.g. "[511.21]" recommends you look at page 511, line 21 of either Finnegans Wake or Fweet or both; "[.17]" directs you to line 17 of the same page the elucidation is on). All cross-references (easily identifiable, flaunting their magenta or purple colours) are hypertext links and can be clicked upon to jump to the appropriate line or range of lines. If you want to, try some, then retrace your path back to this page by clicking on your browser's "Back" button.

Back to shorthands. Most content shorthands are similar to the "French" shorthand. Just browse through them, pick one, and presto! Feel free to explore them now or later. There are numerous shorthands waiting to be added; if you have suggestions for useful shorthands you wish to see, please send a comment. There are numerous searches to be conducted; if you are trying to perform some search and just cannot find a way to do it, please send a comment.

Contrary to the impression given above, the search engine can also perform searches on the text of Finnegans Wake. Let us see how.

As you can immediately see, when you perform a search on the text of Finnegans Wake, the search engine automatically enables the "Show FW Text" option, so you can actually see the results. How considerate. The search engine has found all the lines of Finnegans Wake where the string "thinking" appears, then has retrieved all the elucidations associated with these lines. Note that the search engine is able to also find cases where the string "thinking" is split (like an infinitive) across more than one line (e.g. [627.13-.14]). Remember that all the options previously covered (e.g. "Ignore Case" or "Whole Words") are active also for this type of search. The shorthands (including the location shorthands), on the other hand, are completely irrelevant and useless when searching within the text of Finnegans Wake (curiously enough, Joyce never thought of replacing all the occurrences of "German" within Finnegans Wake with the ever-so-clear "_G_" shorthand; I wonder why).

Mind you, regardless of whether you are searching within the elucidations or within the text of Finnegans Wake, Fweet searches for exactly what you have typed. Thus, searching for "thinking himself" will find [467.22] "thinking himself", but will not find [482.24] "thinking to himself". Please bear that in mind when you perform searches.

The fourth section contains utilities remotely related to the searching process. These are only fancy-looking links to a few useful pages on the site, such as the "Bibliography", "Catalogue" or "Sources" pages, accompanied by a recommended citation example. Feel free to explore them.

This pretty much sums up the tutorial; after you have become more acquainted with Fweet, please consider going through the user's manual. You may also want to take a look at the tips page, which is updated on a monthly basis with useful tips aimed at making your Fweet experience more enjoyable. Finally, you can also take a look at an article I have published in the Genetic Joyce Studies electronic journal some while back, which further describes the features of the website and the research opportunities it presents.

Don't be afraid to experiment: the only way to discover Fweet's – and thereby Finnegans Wake's – hidden treasures is to explore, to search, to browse. Don't be afraid to experiment: perform searches, and not just shorthand searches – after all, they expose only a limited lay of the land. Don't be afraid to experiment: read a line's-worth of elucidations here, a paragraph's-worth there – soon enough you'll be escalating to pages and chapters. Don't be afraid to experiment: if you come across an elucidation that is not clear enough (e.g. "Hurdle Ford (Dublin)"), search for part of it (e.g. "Hurdle") and you may find a better explanation elsewhere (e.g. "Irish name of Dublin means 'Town of the Hurdle Ford'"). Don't be afraid to experiment: follow cross-references by clicking on them, as they may sometimes lead you to even more enlightening elucidations. Don't be afraid to experiment: if you encounter an elucidation like "queen (Cluster: Cards)", try looking on the same page for more elucidations referring to "(Cluster: Cards)". Don't be afraid to experiment: use the '–' and '+' hyperlinks to browse adjacent lines, as they may well contain useful information relevant also to the current line (for example, an elucidation for a phrase or word extending over two lines is usually placed only on the first line, while you may be looking at the second). Don't be afraid to experiment: play around with the search engine; despite unfounded rumours to the contrary, it cannot physically harm you (well, not a lot).

There is just one more stop before this tour ends, and I see that our group has dwindled down to just one person – you. Thank you for staying with me through this gruelling inferno, with no Beatrice in sight. Before we go on to the last room, some personal words about the state of the collection. Don't expect perfection, nor anything even remotely resembling it; while compiling it, I have inadvertently introduced numerous errors, numerous typos, numerous omissions, numerous indications of my ignorance — hopefully, with time, and perhaps your help, this will improve. Don't expect completeness; there will always be more shorthands to add, there will always be more elucidations to add to each shorthand — your vigilance could help identify the flaws, but eventually this work will always remain in progress. If you wish to read some more about how this site came about to be, the sad and sorrowful story of its rise from anonymity to ignominy, and dearly, my frank, there is really no reason you should, you can later visit the prologue page.

The last room on this tour is the famous "Comment on Me!" room. So as not to disturb all the diligent people avidly commenting there at this very moment, I will say a few introductory words here. If the "Search Engine" room is the brain of this site, the "Comment on Me!" room is its heart. Use it.

If you wish to comment on a specific item on a specific page, be it a regular page or an individual results page of a search you have run, please press the "Comment on Me!" on that specific page, if possible. When your message is sent to me, the weblink address of the page it was invoked from (as well as the browser you use) is usually automatically appended to your message. If you wish to make a general comment (e.g. "You should really fire this nuisance of a tour guide"), you can do so from any page. You are now ready to step on your own through this last door to the "Comment on Me!" room; I cannot escort you there, it is too private a room. Please read the introduction there; if you wish, you may send a comment, but don't feel obliged to do so. To step through, just press on the "Comment on Me!" button on the corner of this, or any other, page (depending on your browser settings, you may need to allow popup windows for this site). Farewell. Mind your boots going out.

Phew!



[Site Map] Last Update: Nov 3 2011