- What is Kabikadj?
- Where is Kabikadj?
- Technical requirements
- General features
- Is it really free?
- Bugs & Mutations
- Who is Kabikadj?
- What is Kabikadj? Kabikadj is a software specially designed for cataloguing manuscripts written in Arabic script.
In 2001 it was the first database of manuscripts in Arabic script designed as an extensive catalogue to be queried through the Internet. See here for similar projects.
Kabikadj was written for Prof. François Déroche by Vlad Atanasiu, while a Ph.D. candidate at the école pratique des Hautes études IV, Paris.
The manuscripts which are currently displayed were digitalised and catalogued during the 'Manuscript heritage' project of the CNRS/EPHE4. More on this project here.
- Where is Kabikadj? Kabikadj can be accessed online here and downloaded here. To install the programm unzip the downloaded file, then open in an Internet browser the kabikadj/index.html file.
- Technical requirements
- a unicode font (best: Arial Unicode ; if you have another set it as default in font options or else you will not see the transliteration fonts (Times doesn’t have 'h dot under'))
- General features
- multiple criteria search ;
- multilanguage (at pesent English, French, Persian - additional languages can be simply added as modules) ;
- indexing & statistics tools ;
- image band to browse quickly through all images and a 2.6x powerful magnifier ;
- cataloguing done one time despite the multilanguage ability (uses symbols and keywords to catalogue and a dictionary) ;
- contains scientific work of definition of cataloguing fields and standardisation of description terminology
- can be directly used for cataloguing manuscripts in any other scripts - good for Latinists, Hebraists... ;
- possibility to embed Internet links and documents into the catalog description ;
- transliteration enabled (American Librarians Association - Library of Congress system) ;
- interesting for small collections (< 1000 mss) : catalogue can fit into a CD-ROM ;
- automatic weight & dimensions conversion tool (cm > in ; gr > oz) ;
- easy to use with just an Internet browser and a text editor ;
- OS independent: good on PC, Mac, Unix, Linux... ;
- no plug-ins, no cookies ;
- free, OpenSource software ;
- easy to modify the code ;
- small size : search engine < 200Kb ;
- based on Unicode (in addition to Arabic, Persian, Turkish... in original script can handle Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Latin scripts, Indic scripts and most present world scripts and many historical scripts) ;
- can be used without any change from a CD-ROM or the Web... or even a floppy disk if you like! (but don't spread marmelade on it).
- Is it really free? Yes. This is called Open Source and intends to rely on collaborative work to develop programs quickly. The software gets more robust by being tested by many people ; there is a support community to rely on and the number of users can grow. The Netscape browser, the Java software, the Linux and Unix operating systems are Open Source. Read the explanations here.
The legal license of Kabikadj is the following (based on the MIT Open Source license).Copyright (c) 2001 Vlad ATANASIU - KABIKADJ
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
- Bugs & Mutations Please report bugs to me. Things that I would like to do are:
- fancier design ;
- export data to XML ;
- translate Kabikadj to Java ;
- add Arabic, Turkish & other language modules.
2004/09/06 First completed release ready to use 2002/01/08 Magnifier tool 2002/01/01 Boolean search OK ; query & display of query results in native language enabled ; loading progress visualisation ; mss files design uplift 2001/12/24 First upload to the Web
- Links An index of sites pertaining to eMss is provided here and you can find other tools and documents relating to oriental manuscripts here.
- Acknowledgements I wish to present my grateful thanks to Prof. François Déroche, école pratique des Hautes études, Paris, France, who funded the development of Kabikadj and patientet beyond the overdue deadlines. Also, little could have be possible to achieve without the friendly help of Ziva Vesel, CNRS, the lasting support of Bernard Hourcade, CNRS, and the Persian expedition of Francis Richard, BNF.
- Who is Kabikadj? In order to keep books from being eaten by insects people from countries of Islamic culture used to write the words 'Oh Kabikadj!' on these books (the paper contains cellulose, it is covered by a film made sometimes from rice, eggs or honey which makes paper smooth for writing on and the ink may have yoghurt or wine as comestible ingredients).
Kabikadj is actually a noun derived from a hindi language and means a kind of cockroach. Thus people are praying the insect not to eat the book.
Another interpretation makes Kabikadj the king of the insects. When they see the name of their sovereign on a book, they will not attack it and stop from eating it (both the book and the name of their king).
Eventually 'Kabikadj' developed into a magic spell intended to preserve written documents from all imaginable kinds of destruction.
Kabikadj is for me the good genius of books and scribes. Cataloguing and digitalising manuscripts keeps cultures and the memory of past people alive. And thanks to the Internet this knowledge is shared!
The Kabikadj logo was designed by Robinson Deschamps, graphic Arts student from the «Scriptorium» of Toulouse, France, and CEO of «Tous les Anges» and «Akiza» for excellence in graphic design.
Online about Kabikadj here, here and images here.
2001 © Vlad Atanasiu
Last update: 29 November 2009