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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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Rockaby
till in the end
the day came
in the end came
close of a long day
when she said
to herself
whom else
time she stopped
-- Samuel Beckett, Rockaby

Today marks the first release of the source for my book annotation software, Rockaby. At present, the base installation is up and running at http://gr.pynchon.net/ which forms the Online Gravity's Rainbow Reference.

So, what is Rockaby.
Rockaby is a tool to annotate long, complex, or otherwise require-explanation texts. It features a footnote referencing system, automatic character and reference index linkup and a plethora of other features.

Here's the homepage:
Gravity's Rainbow Reference running Rockaby

...and an example of the automated reference generation:
Rockaby referencing

What stage is it at?
Rockaby was originally written in .NET, but I have just spent the last day or so converting it to Django and this is the released form. As such, the code is new and has several setbacks:

  • Too much heavy lifting is being done in the views from the originally hackish .NET application
  • Many aspects are currently hardcoded to my Pynchon annotation project
  • Generally needs to be made more pythonic
  • Admin interface virtually non-existent

I, therefore, would be very interested to hear from any Django developers who would like to participate.

How is it licensed?
The project is licensed under GPL v3.

How can I get the source?
The source code is hosted at the Google Code repository. If you have some improvements/patches, email me (or comment below) and, pending review, I can add you to the team.

Why the name?
In addition to referencing one of my favourite plays, it also functions, from the quotation above, as an auto-critical statement on exegesis.