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Looking at tipitaka.org/romn, I have a few questions about the XML markup used for it, so I can better understand the significance of each thing.

The ’’ symbol?

Take this paragraph as one reference:

  1. Atha kho sudinno kalandaputto aciravuṭṭhitāya parisāya yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho sudinno kalandaputto bhagavantaṃ etadavoca – ‘‘yathā yathāhaṃ, bhante, bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi , nayidaṃ sukaraṃ agāraṃ ajjhāvasatā ekantaparipuṇṇaṃ ekantaparisuddhaṃ saṅkhalikhitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ carituṃ; icchāmahaṃ, bhante, kesamassuṃ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajituṃ. Pabbājetu maṃ bhagavā’’ti. ‘‘Anuññātosi pana tvaṃ, suddinna, mātāpitūhi agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti? ‘‘Na kho ahaṃ, bhante, anuññāto mātāpitūhi agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti. ‘‘Na kho, sudinna, tathāgatā ananuññātaṃ mātāpitūhi puttaṃ pabbājentī’’ti. ‘‘Sohaṃ, bhante, tathā karissāmi yathā maṃ mātāpitaro anujānissanti agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti.

What do the double special single quote characters ’’ mean? They appear to come at the beginning of a sentence, or two characters before the end of the sentence, but maybe that is just in this context. Yeah they also appear in other places too:

Dutiyampi kho sudinnassa kalandaputtassa mātāpitaro sudinnaṃ kalandaputtaṃ etadavocuṃ – ‘‘tvaṃ khosi, tāta sudinna, amhākaṃ ekaputtako piyo manāpo sukhedhito sukhaparihato. Na tvaṃ, tāta sudinna, kiñci dukkhassa jānāsi. Maraṇenapi mayaṃ te akāmakā vinā bhavissāma, kiṃ pana mayaṃ taṃ jīvantaṃ anujānissāma agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti! Tatiyampi kho sudinno kalandaputto mātāpitaro etadavoca – ‘‘ammatātā , yathā yathāhaṃ bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi, nayidaṃ sukaraṃ agāraṃ ajjhāvasatā ekantaparipuṇṇaṃ ekantaparisuddhaṃ saṅkhalikhitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ carituṃ; icchāmahaṃ kesamassuṃ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajituṃ . Anujānātha maṃ agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti.

The ...

You see that a lot, does it mean something was missing or was that part of the original somehow? What does it mean?

Bhikkhupaccatthikā tiracchānagatubhatobyañjanakaṃ jāgarantaṃ… suttaṃ… mattaṃ… ummattaṃ… pamattaṃ… mataṃ akkhāyitaṃ… mataṃ yebhuyyena akkhāyitaṃ…pe… āpatti pārājikassa. Mataṃ yebhuyyena khāyitaṃ bhikkhussa santike ānetvā vaccamaggena… passāvamaggena… mukhena aṅgajātaṃ abhinisīdenti, santhatassa asanthatassa, asanthatassa santhatassa, santhatassa santhatassa, asanthatassa asanthatassa. So ce pavesanaṃ sādiyati, paviṭṭhaṃ sādiyati, ṭhitaṃ sādiyati , uddharaṇaṃ sādiyati, āpatti thullaccayassa…pe… na sādiyati, anāpatti.

The multiple titles

In one of the pages, the start of the XML looks like this:

<p rend="chapter">Dhammapaccanīye dukapaṭṭhānaṃ</p>

<p rend="title">1. Hetudukaṃ</p>

<p rend="title">1-7. Paṭiccavārādi</p>

<p rend="subhead">Paccayacatukkaṃ</p>

<p rend="subhead">Hetupaccayo</p>

What does it mean that there are 2 title and also 2 subhead? That is 4 titles? Sometimes you see 3 title and no subhead, or 2-4 subhead and no title. Does it have significance or no?

The paragraph numbers

Sometimes a page starts with 1, other times it starts with a later number, such as this:

<p rend="chapter">1. Pārājikakaṇḍaṃ</p>

<p rend="title">1. Paṭhamapārājikaṃ</p>

<p rend="subhead">Sudinnabhāṇavāravaṇṇanā</p>

<p rend="bodytext" n="24"><hi rend="paranum">24</hi><hi rend="dot">.</hi> Ito <pb ed="M" n="1.0168" /><pb ed="V" n="1.0155" /> paraṃ <hi rend="bold">tena kho pana samayena vesāliyā avidūre</hi>tiādi yebhuyyena uttānatthaṃ. Tasmā anupadavaṇṇanaṃ pahāya yattha yattha vattabbaṃ atthi, taṃ tadeva vaṇṇayissāma. <hi rend="bold">Kalandagāmo</hi>ti kalandakā vuccanti kāḷakā, tesaṃ vasena laddhanāmo gāmo. <hi rend="bold">Kalandaputto</hi>ti gāmavasena laddhanāmassa rājasammatassa cattālīsakoṭivibhavassa kalandaseṭṭhino putto. Yasmā pana tasmiṃ gāme aññepi kalandanāmakā manussā atthi, tasmā kalandaputtoti vatvā puna seṭṭhiputtoti vuttaṃ. <hi rend="bold">Sambahulehī</hi>ti bahukehi. <hi rend="bold">Sahāyakehī</hi>ti sukhadukkhāni saha āyanti upagacchantīti sahāyā, sahāyā eva sahāyakā, tehi sahāyakehi. <hi rend="bold">Saddhi</hi>nti ekato. <hi rend="bold">Kenacideva karaṇīyenā</hi>ti kenacideva bhaṇḍappayojanauddhārasāraṇādinā kiccena; kattikanakkhattakīḷākiccenātipi vadanti. Bhagavā hi kattikajuṇhapakkhe vesāliṃ sampāpuṇi. Kattikanakkhattakīḷā cettha uḷārā hoti. Tadatthaṃ gatoti veditabbo.</p>

<p rend="bodytext"><hi rend="bold">Addasa kho</hi>ti kathaṃ addasa? So kira nagarato bhuttapātarāsaṃ suddhuttarāsaṅgaṃ mālāgandhavilepanahatthaṃ buddhadassanatthaṃ dhammasavanatthañca nikkhamantaṃ mahājanaṃ disvā ‘‘kva gacchathā’’ti pucchi. ‘‘Buddhadassanatthaṃ dhammasavanatthañcā’’ti. Tena hi ‘‘ahampi gacchāmī’’ti gantvā catubbidhāya parisāya parivutaṃ brahmassarena dhammaṃ desentaṃ bhagavantaṃ addasa. Tena vuttaṃ – <hi rend="bold">‘‘addasa kho…pe… desenta’’</hi>nti. <hi rend="bold">Disvānassā</hi>ti disvāna assa. <hi rend="bold">Etadahosī</hi>ti pubbe katapuññatāya codiyamānassa bhabbakulaputtassa etaṃ ahosi. Kiṃ ahosi? Yaṃnūnāhampi dhammaṃ <hi rend="bold">suṇeyya</hi>nti <pb ed="V" n="1.0156" />. Tattha <hi rend="bold">yannūnā</hi>ti parivitakkadassanametaṃ. Evaṃ kirassa parivitakko uppanno ‘‘yamayaṃ parisā ekaggacittā dhammaṃ suṇāti, aho vatāhampi taṃ suṇeyya’’nti.</p>

What does that paragraph number mean, is it used elsewhere, why is it important?

The hidden <pb ed="P" n="1.0203" /> tags?

In the XML, you see <pb ed="P" n="1.0203" /> and other <pb tags with different n values, what is that used for?

The bold, centered, indented, and unindented texts

Sometimes things are made bold, other times they are centered or marked as indented/non-indented, what does that mean? Is it copying some formatting from original books, or is it for some other reason?

The gatha?

You see stuff like this:

<p rend="centre">Paṭhamapārājikavaṇṇanā niṭṭhitā.</p>

<p rend="bodytext">Tatridaṃ samantapāsādikāya samantapāsādikattasmiṃ –</p>

<p rend="gatha1">Ācariyaparamparato, nidānavatthuppabhedadīpanato;</p>

<p rend="gathalast">Parasamayavivajjanato, sakasamayavisuddhito ceva.</p>

<p rend="gatha1">Byañjanaparisodhanato, padatthato pāḷiyojanakkamato;</p>

<p rend="gathalast">Sikkhāpadanicchayato, vibhaṅganayabhedadassanato.</p>

<p rend="gatha1">Sampassataṃ <pb ed="V" n="1.0228" /><pb ed="M" n="1.0247" /> na dissati, kiñci apāsādikaṃ yato ettha;</p>

<p rend="gathalast">Viññūnamayaṃ tasmā, samantapāsādikātveva.</p>

<p rend="gatha1">Saṃvaṇṇanā pavattā, vinayassa vineyyadamanakusalena;</p>

<p rend="gathalast">Vuttassa lokanāthena, lokamanukampamānenāti.</p>

<p rend="centre">Paṭhamapārājikavaṇṇanā niṭṭhitā.</p>

Sometimes the gatha tags are listed in order, with gathalast at the end, other times they are gatha1-gatha4-gatha3-gatha2-gathalast or 4-3-2-1-last or other sequences. What does that mean? They appear to be verses at the UI level, but why are the encoded this way (and sometimes out of order)?

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  • P.S. if anyone finds this post in the future, it took me hours to realize the XML files were UTF-16 big-endian encoded! Need the right parser for that! Most normal files are utf-8 little endian haha.
    – Lance
    Oct 14, 2023 at 5:13
  • You asking technical questions. How the knowledge was rendered?And you are asking questions without understanding the meaning of prose. I think it is not the right forum to ask software related questions. You must understand Pali language before asking about the syntax of the language. Oct 14, 2023 at 6:04
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    This is the main source of the digitalized Pali canon, I think it is appropriate. It is like asking about the writing style of an ancient grammarian. No different.
    – Lance
    Oct 14, 2023 at 6:51
  • Ancient grammarians gave verbal teachings not digital. You have a long road ahead. You should be smart. Oct 14, 2023 at 9:29
  • It might be easier to help research some of the details -- or an answer might become obvious to you -- if for each question you'd provide a hyperlink to the XML you're asking about, and a hyperlink to an HTML page which it renders.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 14, 2023 at 12:13

3 Answers 3

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If you are making the Pali Canon application for iOS, please contact me. My monks request me to write the Pali Canon application for iOS. I have knowledge about Tipitaka and Desktop programming but I don't know about iOS application.

I still recommend for reciting Pali with Tipitaka Memorizer who attained Jhana that is the best and easiest way to study Tipitaka.

  1. The ’’ is for a conversation like ... the Buddha said "there are two extremes..."
  2. The ... is the brief sign for what have been recited before the ..., which maybe recited 50 pages before, like

“Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent. The cause and condition for the arising of the eye is also impermanent. As the eye has originated from what is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

“The ear is impermanent…. The mind is impermanent. The cause and condition for the arising of the mind is also impermanent. As the mind has originated from what is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

  1. The multiple title is because of many part of the first title like first title is "World had 195 countries". "Thailand" is a subtitle in 195 subtitles. "Bangkok" is a subtitle in 77 states of Thailand. "Bangkhen" is a subtitle in 50 city of Bangkok, etc.
  2. The paragraph numbers is for reference because each Buddhist country printed Tipitaka by difference page number range in the past.
  3. < pb ed="P" n="1.0203" />

pb = Page break

ed = Edition

n = Number

1.0203 = < Book number >.< Page number >

  1. The format is the sign for easier understood and memorizing kind of main idea, etc.

  2. There are so many type of Gatha, some is 3 lines some is 4 lines, some is 5 lines, etc, so the XML is like that because for the right format rendering.

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  • Can you elaborate on the ..., I don't quite understand still, does that mean the text was repeated many times and they leave it out? Or what? Also, can you clarify the multiple titles description, I don't follow that either. Thank you! Got a lot of perspective from your answer so far. I am writing an app for not just the Pali Canon, but every ancient text from around the world. Here is me. Would love to collaborate on this.
    – Lance
    Oct 14, 2023 at 20:23
  • In theory we could talk about an iOS application in Chat but nobody on this site ever uses the chat. You say they want an application for iOS -- what are their requirements? Can you (and if not why not) simply write it as a Progressive Web Application? Wikipedia says here that there is "Partial" support by Safari on iOS, which I guess might mean "support for the basic features". But I guess monks might use old devices.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 15, 2023 at 6:53
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The ellipses most likely show repetition -- see this answer for an example, that refers to the ellipsis in SN 15.4, which repeats a phrase or formula from SN 15.2.

Many suttas are similar from one sutta to the next.

So when it's printed, instead of repeating the repeated phrase in every sutta, they replace it with an ellipsis and only print the part that's different/new.

You need to refer back to the earlier sutta in the sequence to see what's being elided.

I think it isn't or wasn't elided when spoken/recited (and that some repetition may be a feature of many texts that were originally memorised and passed by word-of-mouth instead of written, e.g. Homeric).

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What do the double special single quote characters ’’ mean?

They are simply ordinary quotation marks, as follows:

He then approached that gathering and sat down.

Atha kho sudinno kalandaputto yena sā parisā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā ekamantaṁ nisīdi.

As he was sitting there, he thought,

Ekamantaṁ nisinnassa kho sudinnassa kalandaputtassa etadahosi—

“The way I understand the Buddha’s Teaching, it’s not easy for one who lives at home to lead the spiritual life perfectly complete and pure as a polished conch shell.

“yathā yathā kho ahaṁ bhagavatā dhammaṁ desitaṁ ājānāmi, nayidaṁ sukaraṁ agāraṁ ajjhāvasatā ekantaparipuṇṇaṁ ekantaparisuddhaṁ saṅkhalikhitaṁ brahmacariyaṁ carituṁ;

Why don’t I cut off my hair and beard, put on the ocher robes, and go forth into homelessness?”

yannūnāhaṁ kesamassuṁ ohāretvā kāsāyāni vatthāni acchādetvā agārasmā anagāriyaṁ pabbajeyyan”ti.

Translation

I advised you previously, you need to learn the simple basics of researching. All I did above was copy a portion of the Pali into google & immediately found the Sutta Central translation. By reading the translation, it is plainly obviously the quotation marks in the Romanized Pali text is simply the ordinary quotation marks used in the English language.

The ... Same as in English.

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  • Why do the quotes end 2 letters before the word is done, I don't understand that part. ‘‘Sohaṃ, bhante, tathā karissāmi yathā maṃ mātāpitaro anujānissanti agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajjāyā’’ti. And why didn't they just use regular double quotes?
    – Lance
    Oct 14, 2023 at 20:21
  • That is how it is. Its up to you to know the word that has been abbreviated due to the "ti" (rather than due to the quotation marks). In general, your methodology is wrong. First of all, simply learn how to read English-Pali translations of Sujato on Sutta Central. The Tripitaka.org is very old. This is rarely used by anyone. Your questions here a placing the cart before the horse. Learn the basics of how to read English-Pali translations of Sujato on Sutta Central rather than waste others time here. Once you can use Sutta Central then you can advance from there & ask questions. Thanks Oct 15, 2023 at 4:03
  • @Lance See "hearsay" at the end of this definition. I suppose an English phrase might be like, "The sky is blue" or so I heard, i.e. the ti is referring to what's quoted.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 15, 2023 at 4:45

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