Cross linking with BDRC

Dear All,

I don’t know if this forum is the best place for this kind of contact, but I wasn’t really able to find another way. I’m the lead developer at Buddhist Digital Resource Center (formerly Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center). As we’re developping our new platform (Buddhist Universal Digital Archive, BUDA) based on Linked Open Data (in RDF), we’re interested in linking our dataset to others. Suttacentral has always been a source of inspiration for us and we would be really happy to connect our platform to yours! Linked Open Data is really based on linking resources so it will be “natural” on our side; I understand that your platform is more self-contained and provides its own content instead of links to others, but what do you think of this idea in general?

I was very impressed to see all your software and data on github and managed to find my way through it (especially d.json and parallels.json) containing what we need on our side to create some links, and can easily give you the URLs of the corresponding resources in our new platform. In case it can be helpful to you, all our software is also on Github.

As part of our expansion to new languages, we are also in the process of including the Chinese and Pali Canon, so we will have resources (bibliographical resources only in a first time) for these texts too. All our data is now CC0 and we will distribute the RDF files on gitlab once they are more stable (in a few weeks probably).

Also, in case it’s helpful, two small informations regarding the Tibetan Canonical texts you have:

Finally, I have a small question of lesser importance: I couldn’t find the place in your data where “T ii 104b20” was coming from in sa383. Where does it come from?

All the best,



A very warm welcome to you, Elie!

I just wanted to drop a super quick line to highlight your post to SC’s core dev team: Bhante @Sujato, Ayya @Vimala and @blake.


(it would be a bit easier for us if we had this conversation by email, would that be ok? my email is on my github profile)


Hi All,

My name is Charles DiSimone. I am the research scholar at BDRC. I would like to echo Élie’s words. SuttaCentral is great. I am a philologist and I’ve been a user of it for many years. I spoke to Blake and I think Ven, Sujato several years ago and it’s great to make contact again. Perhaps we could move this conversation to email as Élie suggests. That would make it a lot easier for us to communicate moving forward.


Welcome Elie!
I’m currently on my phone so cannot write a detailed answer. Thank you very much for contacting us. I for one would be very interested to cooperate with you and your resources look impressive. I myself will be away this week and Bhante Sujato is currently having problems with internet connection, but maybe @Aminah can put this on the agenda for the next meeting.

I will answer your question re the SA as soon as I’m back behind my computer.


Sure thing.


Hi everyone,

So good to hear from you, and we would love to integrate our work like this! As Ayya said, I am having wifi problems right now. Hopefully it will be resolved in a few days.

Maybe we could arrange to have a hangout/skype to kick off a discussion? (I’m in Sydney, Ayya Vimala is in Belgium).

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A Skype meeting sounds like a good idea! I’m in France, Charles is in Germany. I’m generally available this week and next week so we can schedule that when it’s best for you.

Hi Ven Sujato, Yes, Skype would be great. Perhaps next week is better so that you can be sure to have your internet issues worked out. We can set up a date over email. Looking forward!

Oh, that sounds excellent. My wifi is back, hopefully for good. (No-one figured out what the problem was, it just reappeared as mysteriously as it had disappeared!)

Given the time zones, this time of day is probably the best, i.e. from about 9am CET. I’ll be available most days at this time for the next week.

Sounds good, what about next Tuesday? would that be ok for everyone?

Very exciting, for sure!
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!

Tuesday 9am it is. @Vimala should be able to join us then.

Just to confirm, we are using daylight savings time (CEST) right? That will be 9am for you, 5pm for me.

I believe that is correct. It is, for example. 9:17 am as I write this. We will need everyone’s Skype contacts, which we should coordinate over email, if that is not a problem.

my Skype handle is elieroux

I think it could be useful to share this document before the meeting, this is our new bibliographical model that will drive the structure of our data, what the entities, are, etc. I think that can make some differences and questions appear…

Overview of the Bibliographical Model.pdf (168.0 KB)

If you have question/comments about that before the meeting, don’t hesitate!

Well, that’s interesting, I’ve never thought of a theoretical model like that before. Normally we work from the bottom up: look at what we have, and figure out ways of organizing and relating it.

One question I have is about the notion of “Critical Edition”. I wonder how you’re using that, and how an edition qualifies. Full disclaimer: I am a sceptic of critical editions! I’ve written a couple of articles on this in the context of the Pali:

As I say in the articles, it is different in different situations. For Sanskrit manuscripts, obviously a critical edition of some kind is necessary. But I question the idea that we can clearly define what a critical edition is, or that it is worthwhile, in every case. As far as Pali is concerned, I would rather see efforts going in to simple digitizing of text and making it freely available.

Thanks for the insight! I’ve answered about the critical edition on the other forum thread. About the model, it’s actually the juicy part of Linked Data: you have to figure out what entities you will be talking about. It looks very obvious but oddly there is nothing simple about it! It took us a few months and a lot of debates to finally settle on our model (you can see it in its OWL form here). So we share it in the hope that Linked Data becomes easier for other projects… Anyways, attached is a small document (which may not be in its final form) with an example of how we would describe a complex example of your data into our model, it could be useful before the meeting…

Thank you again!

Questions _ remarks.pdf (55.6 KB)


Dear Elie,

Finally a bit more time to look at things. First of all your question: T ii 104b20 is the volume/page/line number in the Taisho edition of the text. When you open the html file on GitHub here: sc-data/sa383.html at master · suttacentral/sc-data · GitHub you can see those numbers hardcoded in the text. But when you go to text on the site itself, click on the settings-menu and turn on Textual Information, the numbers also appear in on the right of the text.

Scope of suttacentral : only texts with a parallel in Pali?

No, the scope is all early-Buddhist texts of all the schools and their existing translations. It focuses on the texts that represent “Early Buddhism”, texts preserved not only in the Pali Sutta and Vinaya Piṭakas but also in Chinese and Tibetan translations and in fragmentary remains in Sanskrit and other languages. We still have a lot of work to do here because not all early-Buddhist texts are there yet. We are especially lacking in the Tibetan section at the moment.

Anyway, looking forward to talking to you and Charles tomorrow.

Thanks for your answer, it was nice talking to you! I just remembered that we have a few documents to describe RDF in (hopefully) simple terms in the following documents:

Thank you!