The first American dictionary needs to be put in a modern data format, so that more information can be extracted from each entry. As such, Task::XML involves taking the original dictionary and putting the original contents into a data structure know as XML. Although there are several technical data formats for dictionary entries, the purpose of this project is to try and capture the data structure Noah Webster used in his 1828 dictionary. As such, lots of work needs to be done to put each definition into this format. A beta demonstration of this is available on the dictionary website as the “Word of the Day.” Over 300 words have been initially placed in this XML format to demonstrate the richness of the new data structure. The database has over 60,000 unique spelled words, so there is a lot of work to be done.
The richness of XML will allow us to create custom applications (iPhone, Google gadgets, etc.) as well as puts the data in a form that can be rebuilt in digital form (PDFs of Words of the Week) or print form (e.g., Project::Reprint).