Pre-historic projects

Pre-historic Projects

The history of networks, from computer manufacturer networks (such as IBM’s VNET), military networks (such as Arpanet), research networks (such as BITNET), libertarian networks (such as USENET) up to the merger into the Internet is a young story that began in the late 60s and culminated in the Internet and the Web after 1992.

The prehistory of OBDILCI is the period between 1988 (the birth of FUNREDES) and 2009, which was rich in innovative experimentations.

The Observatory, during this period a project of the NGO FUNREDES, was a pioneer in the field of linguistic diversity on the Internet in several respects. Here below we offer links to some of those pioneering projects and data.

– If you want to explore the first measurements of languages in the Internet then you check our pre-historic site (1996-2005)

– If you want to check our work on trying to compare culture’s representations on the Internet (2005) or to check our second set of measurements of some languages in the Internet you need to browse our “historic site (2005-2008)“.

MULBRI (1992-1995) was one of the first software interfaces to Research Networks on a personal computer, with 3 language versions from the first version. MULBRI served users of the Dominican (REDID) and Haitian (REHRED) Research and Civil Society Networks, initially bases on UUCP protocol, during the first years of these national networks but was unable to find the funding to create a version compatible with the TCP-IP Internet protocol.

See: “MULBRI, a State-of-the-Art PC Based Interface to Research Networks”, Proc. of Network Service Conference, Pisa, 11/1992.

See: “El Interfaz MULBRI y la Gestión de Información en Redes académicas”, pp211-224 in Una nueva manera de comunicar el conocimiento, UNESCO/CRESALC, 11/1993.

See https://funredes.org/gopher/c/6/6.4/6.4.3/ (in Spanish)

SALSA (1992-2011) one of the first world experiences of using automatic translation by program in an electronic conference. SALSA was an open electronic conference on the theme of cultures of the Caribbean and had around a hundred users sharing in French, Spanish or English. In its first version it was housed in the servers of the Venezuelan network project (from 1992) and in a second phase it was transferred to the servers of FUNREDES in 2000, with the start of the machine translation experiment slightly revised by the moderator.

See: https://funredes.org/salsa

– During the first part of the World Summit for Information Society process (1998-2000), Funredes maintained this automatic translation system for the global civil society plenary discussion list as well as for the African list.

See: https://funredes.org/cmsi/index.htm?lang=en

TRADAUTO (2003) : The process was subsequently generalized and a page dedicated to this system put in place.

See: https://funredes.org/tradauto

This approach then evolved into a platform, called Goodle, organized on Moodle which, using the Google Translate API, offered, in an integrated menu, all the translation possibilities permitted by Google Translate. This platform was used in 2009 in the WINDS-Carribean project and in 2012 as part of the CARIB-RISK-CLUSTER project.

EMEC/PAD (2007) An experiment with a more ambitious method was subsequently carried out during the MISTICA project (2000-2007) in two axes:

EMEC: (Efficient Management of Electronic Conference) a human team produced a summary of the message and the user was offered the synthesis and automatic translation, followed by the message in its original language

PAD: (Remote Participation) allowed members of the virtual community not present during the in-person conferences to have an impact on the debates asynchronously. A summary was shared in the 3 languages at the end of each agenda session and the reactions were read at the start of the next session.

See: https://funredes.org/emec for EMEC

See: https://funredes.org/mistica/english/emec/method_emec/EMECmethodology.html (article published in Upgrade, digital journal of Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, Vol 3 N1, 2/2002)

See: https://funredes.org/mistica/english/cyberlibrary/methodology/ for PAD

CARDICIS (2004-2006) A very ambitious and very structured project was developed, through two phases and two face-to-face meetings, to support the civil society of the Caribbean in taking into account, for the construction of the Caribbean Information Society, of the cultural and linguistic diversity/unity complex of this region made up of islands where virtual borders are manifested in 4 main languages, in order of demographic importance: Spanish, French, English and Creole.

See: https://funredes.org/cardicis

Projects by OBDILCI

  • Indicators for the Presence of Language in the Internet
  • The Languages of France in the Internet
  • French in the Internet
  • Portuguese in the Internet
  • Spanish in the Internet
  • AI and Multilingualism
  • Pre-historic Projects…