Once in a while, we all have an opportunity to work on something unique and very encouraging. My opportunity was the project we started working on last September. Its called Istrian dictionary, and it is an online collaboration project with the aim to take from the past our dialect words, to remember our elders and the way they had spoken. The Istrian dictionary project is a big step in saving our national and regional spoken heritage.
As you may know, I live in a small Croatian region called Istra. Istra is well known as a tourist destination, cultural heritage including many ancient Roman monuments, cuisine and natural beauty. In Istria people are speaking a mixture of Croatian and 6 local dialects.
Istrian dictionary is a project from well known local publisher Histria Croatica — C.A.S.H. (famous by the series of books with great design and photography, describing Istrian past, monuments, tourism and people).
The aim was to take from the past our dialect words, to remember how they were spoken and what do they mean. We wanted to preserve a part of us while preserving the local vocabulary.
From September until know, we at Omnicron developed both front-end and back-end user and security interface, which allows a few levels of protection. The administration itself is built with the idea of user with administration permissions who has the authorization to create, edit and delete users and their privileges.
The whole site was built with the idea of users collaborating on entering new dialect words, suggesting the meanings of different words, and the administration area in which the administrators (depending on their permissions) can allow or deny different words, sort them and change them accordingly.
The administration interface is designed to take advantage of large screen resolutions. It has liquid layout, multi-selection usability which allows the administrator to make multiple tasks at the same time and numerous sorting and filtering methods. Nevertheless, the administration will work fine on lower resolutions as well in both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
In the upcoming years, when the database will be complete with words, the idea is to print the Istrian dictionary as a book. This way, all the contributors will have their place in a book what is, in my opinion the best cooperation between the Web as a media in one side, and the printed media in the other.
Visit Istrian dictionary, and take just a little breath of past. Although this is a Croatian site, you may find its design interesting.