Tagging / Ontological Classification of Suttas

Is it possible to add the ability to tag suttas according the:

  • Topics covered
  • Place
  • Timeline - Year after enlightenment / wassa, to the nth disciple
  • Audience
  • Nature of audience (e.g. householder, anagami, someone with the 8th absorption)
  • pericope / formula (e.g. nibinda, viveka nissita)
  • Who is delivering the Sutta in case it is not the Buddha

Also you should be able to add tag queries to identify the Suttas with the tags.

Yes it is, and I have discussed using something based on the TEI markup system for this. In fact some of our texts already support a limited subset of these. However it is not useful so far, as, as you say, it needs to be built into search to be effective.

The good news is, with our next generation translations, since the text and translation are always in parallel, any such markup in the Pali text will work equally well across all translated versions. So if, for example, I am reading in Dutch and I wanted to search within all teachings by Ānanda, this could be done. The technical implementation of this is not so hard, but creating the basic markup will be time consuming. Still, I would expect it to be done within a few years.

is it not feasible on the texts pages to set up an option of user generated tags by several key criteria thereby giving the community the opportunity to take active role in the ontology creation?

Is the “… few year” part right? This is a long time waiting. Having said this said this there might a lot of other issues in the priority list.

Also it might be worthwhile to consider how the URLs may look like now itself so any URL schemes may not have to change for existing backlinks. You can perhaps display an under construction page initially so when the feature is in fact implemented the links will become valid.

On aspect of schema design

Prima facie thoughts we will need:

  • tags (E.g. Ananda)
  • sub tags (E.g. 5 aggregates > sensations, Meditation > Insight > Mindfulness of Body)
  • tag groups (E.g. Place, Content). This can also be a tag on tags or parent tag.
  • sub groups (E.g. Topic > sub topic > sub subtopics, Audiance > great disciples). Sub grouping may be also captured in sub tags, tag on tags.

It is, but once more it has to wait for other things first. See my reply to Sirinath below.

Indeed. Part of the current translation program involves segmenting the Pali text, which then provides a URL scheme at a granular level for the whole Pali canon. But we need to be confident in this before applying it system wide. As part of my project I will be checking these segments and ensuring a reasonable level of consistency.

alright, got it :pray:

Also following might be a good platform to add this type of annotation: https://hypothes.is/. This perhaps can be done by the community itself if the page URLs might not change. Since this is open source we might be able to request features which might be helpful to SC also.

What do they say about great minds?

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