If you OCR, always archive the bitmaps too - Re: Regarding Manuals

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Sun Sep 27 07:17:48 CDT 2015

On 2015-09-27 03:41, Toby Thain wrote:
> On 2015-09-26 5:51 PM, Johnny Billquist wrote:
>> On 2015-09-26 23:42, Toby Thain wrote:
>>> On 2015-09-26 4:28 PM, Johnny Billquist wrote:
>>>> On 2015-09-26 12:16, Johnny Billquist wrote:
>>>>> On 2015-09-25 22:35, Al Kossow wrote:
>>>>>> I have been going back and applying OCR to the ones on bitsavers.
>>>>>> Are there some in particular that you have a problem with?
>>>>> Aha. I wasn't aware of that. I've downloaded copies many years ago
>>>>> that
>>>>> I've been keeping locally. I'll check out the current versions on
>>>>> bitsavers then.
>>>> Al, exactly how have they been OCRed? Looking at them, it would appear
>>>> that what you see is still the bitmaps of all the pages, but then you
>>>> have the basic text also available for selection/searching.
>>>> My issue with that is that the documents are huge, and the experience
>>>> just scrolling through them is pretty bad.
>>> Imho, though I am sure I am not alone:
>>> Software which "recreates" the typography of a document from OCR does
>>> not produce an acceptable substitute, I've yet to see a book that wasn't
>>> ruined by it.
>>> Just worth mentioning for anyone who might be tempted - For this reason
>>> and others, the bitmaps must NEVER be discarded (Although of course
>>> bitmaps can be archived in a different file if people want to supply OCR
>>> as well.)
>> Look at the results in the link I posted. I was more than happy with
>> that result.
> I've seen plenty of technical books ruined by this technique, which is
> why I beg anyone doing this to not divorce the bitmaps from the OCR'd
> result.
> I suppose some books might be relatively immune, but technical texts
> seem to be quite sensitive to poor interpretation by OCR, logically enough.

I suppose it is the eternal argument between preservation and use. I use 
these documents every day. I don't care about the pixels, but the 
content. Museums and the like are obviously more interested in the 

I get the feeling you didn't actually check the text that I OCRed from a 
book. That text is an example what I'm looking for.

I will not prevent people who want pixel preservation from continuing to 
have that. But for me, it is a problem. The experience in actually using 
these documents are pretty poor. And, as have also been noted, 
information have been lost in these scans, as they have not preserved 
color codings.


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at softjar.se             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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