Creating a new Publication

I’m delighted to have discovered the SuttaCentral site and community, thank you all for bringing this into existence. I would like to experiment with creating a Publication. I’m starting to follow the instructions in the file, which advises that I should first follow the setup instructions for the main SuttaCentral repo. I’m imagining that those instructions (which involve setting up a few Docker containers) are mostly for people who are building and maintaining the full SC site. If that were true, it seems like overkill that would be a pre-requisite for just creating a publication.
Can anyone confirm if there’s a simpler way to start working on Publications, or if I’m on the right track and I should follow the SC setup instructions?

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I believe the publication document you linked to is a roadmap for the development of the upcoming publication feature, not a way for an end user to generate a publication with the existing software.

If you said what it was you were interested in generating, folks here might be able to help. For example, if you need to generate the full html for an entire Bilara book, you could use this tool I made.


Thank you so much for your response.
The teacher I’ve been studying with over the last year Prof. Lee Jung-Pyo has created a Korean anthology that’s a translation of selected Suttas from the Nikayas. I’d like to create an English-language equivalent that includes the same list of Suttas (~50% of the Nikaya).
The Publications capability seems ideal for this, in that it seems to allow us to specify which Suttas to include, and which translation to use as the basis. I’d need the ability to select and skip Suttas at a very granular level, creating sequences like: SN 22.1, SN 22.3, SN 22.8, etc. I’d like to create that both as individual books (DN, MN, SN, AN) as well as one massive single volume.
In future, we may also want to use Bilara to create slightly adjusted translations.

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I actually haven’t been clear whether or not that was going to be a part of the current Publications Project. Bhante @Sujato?

I’ve actually had in mind being able to do something like that but had put it off until I saw what the new feature on SC was going to do.

I hadn’t considered it, but that book builder app can almost do what you want. If you look at this file:

You can see that the way it builds the book is simply by running through the slugs in each array. So if the anthology was to include whole suttas (as defined by Bilara) then you would just have to tweak the code a bit and then create an array of the suttas you wanted to include.

Because the Bilara API doesn’t have a built in way of creating chapter headings, I’ve allowed for having things like "section2|Mahā Vagga|The Great Section" to build them.

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I just saw that file in your source code before I saw your response and had the same thought.
I think your tool will be the easiest way for me to get started with this (including possibly modifying the rest of the source code) until/unless Bhante Sujato can confirm whether the Publications tool is ready. I do think your project and his could converge.

Do you have a GitHub repo for your tool or should I just download the source code from the site?

If you do have a GitHub repo, I may be able to contribute if I see any possible improvements.

Yes. That is what I linked to in my previous post. Click on the big link an it will take you there.

I recommend importing the repo into your account rather than forking it.

This tool really should have been done in node.js instead of running through the browser. Once you see how the fetching from the API works you should be able to do that if you want.

Oh, the official project is far, far more sophisticated than my tool.

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Perfect thank you so much. Yes, the code seems straightforward. I’m testing it out for my purposes.

I’m still interested to know from Bhante @sujato if the Publications tool is close to being usable. I may be able to do some work to help improve it.

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I’m guessing he’s really busy right now. We’ve sent up the bat signal twice with no response :bat: :grin:

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the code. I’m very new at this so I’m sure it’s not the best way of doing things.

You may also want to check out the (very incomplete, probably with errors) wiki docs for the API that I’m trying to write: