佛典数字化之制作与运用──以阿含藏为例
作者:永本
出版社:

佛典数字化

佛典数字化之制作与运用──以阿含藏为例

作者 : 永本

  佛典数字化之制作与运用──以阿含藏为例
  资料来源:第二届世界佛教论坛论文集    作者: 永本
  因特网的信息时代,大幅改变生活环境、社会结构与文明发展。佛教的文献也广泛应用科技,进行数字化的整合与传播,使佛教的弘传,迈入数字化的时代。本文介绍『佛光大藏经?阿含藏』数字化的理念与主旨,及说明制作内容,并分析阿含藏电子版的各项功能、特色,期望藉此能增益使用者的佛学阅读与研究。 
  新的世纪是计算机科技与因特网的信息时代,其影响力与日俱增。数字化的信息或电子媒体的取得、记录、整理、搜取、呈现、传播的效率,史未曾有。佛教已广泛运用信息科技媒体与工具,有效地管理文献数据,改进佛教的教学、研究、服务、行政等各层面,使宗教走入新潮流──网络科技的发展,带动佛教界人士投入佛典电子化的制作。
  目前,汉、英、日、韩、巴、梵等语文的藏经等,都在进行佛典数字典藏计划。佛光山的电子佛典,是依据文本的《佛光大藏经》而进行设计,并以《阿含藏》为优先制作。这次的世界论坛,感谢有此因缘,在此报告「阿含藏电子版」的制作。本文试从佛典数字化的现况谈起,进而说明「佛光山电子大藏经」编修缘起、主旨、制作历程、使用功能、特色等。
  佛典数字化之现况
  顺应时代的演进与需求,将流传二千五百多年的佛教经典文献电子化,是现在佛教发展的重要课题。目前出现的电子出版品,除了各种语言藏经的数字化外,还有个人专集及佛学机构出版的数字佛教典籍。个人的专集,如:印顺法师佛学著作集、法鼓全集、智谕法师佛学著作全集、净空大师全集,等。相关佛教机构出版的有:佛光文化事业公司的佛光大辞典及星云大师著作、日本花园大学禅学研究所的禅知识库、法鼓山中华佛学研究所的中华佛学研究所专辑、京都本愿寺的净土真宗圣典、日本大津市睿山学院的天台电子佛典、美国纽约世界宗教研究所的电子佛典、大陆的中华佛典宝库,等,如雨后春笋,美不胜收。
  在全藏部份,目前已进行的电子佛典,有:1.高丽大藏经知识库(图文数据库)。2.日本SAT大正藏计划:已与第一版之大正藏、CBETA 进行逐字核对。3.数位梵文佛典:尼泊尔的龙树正法学院,由星云大师资助,与西来大学合作。2005年开始起用,至今有87万浏览人次,主要集中在美国、德国、日本(www.uwest.edu/sanskritcanon/)。4.「贝叶数据库」:包括缅甸文、孟文、泰文、Thai Khun文,写在贝叶与纸上之原稿。5.巴利三藏全文检索系统:以第六次结集的巴利三藏为数据底本,建立单一数据库,有多种转写体显示(如:天城体、罗马文、缅甸文、泰文、藏文、锡兰文等)。6.藏传大藏经:建立藏传经典主题式研究集成。7. CBETA电子佛典:2008年「CBETA电子佛典」包含大正藏1-55册及85册、卍续藏1-88册、新式标点经文230经(1411卷)等。8.佛光大藏经:将文本藏经内容,转化为电子书。目前,已出版阿含藏、禅藏、净土藏、般若藏的光盘,今年将进行法华藏电子版的编辑制作。
  现在数字元媒介是汇集所知的高手,佛教的藏经文献已利用数字元媒介,把各种传统语言文字、声音、影像等作知识性整合、综合处理,让使用者能直接、迅速与有效的接触并使用该数据。由上所述可知,佛教典籍的数字化在世界各地都已有相当成效了。
  佛光阿含藏电子版之制作
  一、编修缘起、目标
  随着计算机信息和因特网的快速发展,如何运用最新科技,将佛法永远保持下来并推广给生活在E时代的人们,是一项极高的挑战。佛光山推动、实践人间佛教,主张「佛教现代化」。故,「佛光山电子大藏经」秉持开山宗长  星云大师的理念,自1987年起,为了使佛教的弘法走上信息化,随即投入藏经电子化的工作。我们的目标是将分类成十六藏的「佛光大藏经」,制作成电子佛典,使佛教正法,能有最迅速的传播管道,让所有人十分容易了解佛教的典籍及应用。
  二、制作内容
  《阿含藏》的电子版,是以《佛光大藏经?阿含藏》为依据,进行数字化制作。在1997年11月佛光山文教基金会为《阿含藏》电子程序设计,前往日本拜访研究《阿含经》泰斗──水野弘元教授,得到许多宝贵建议与方向。同时,陆续征询大陆、美国、台湾等知名佛教学者,对电子佛典功能上的需求与期望。1999年与美国西来大学携手合作,开始进行「佛光大藏经──阿含藏电子版」的设计制作。经两年研修,十三年测试,终于完成。在制作历程中,含设计考虑、编辑流程、校对与修正、功能连结、系统程序、测试等多项。
  (一)、设计考虑
  使用简易、多功能性、标准化、数据齐全是我们设计的重点。另外选用最新的技术,希望在几年内的时间,不需要再重新设计为原则。在设计方面,我们将系统区分几个部份:
  1.使用者接口(User Interface):就是屏幕上使用者用来阅读经文、输入查询数据的窗口(Windows)。
  2.搜寻器(Searching Engine):搜寻器是系统主要的核心部份。搜寻器接受使用者接口传输过来的指令上显示。
  3.索引系统(Indexing System):平面的数据必须先经过索引的处理过后,搜寻器才能快速的找到相关的数据。
  4.资料:即是经文。文字文件的经文要先经过格式化(format)后,才能被使用。
  5.缺字处理:采用国际标准化,遇有缺字的部份,就尽量采用国际上共同承认的字,其次用别人已造好的字,最后才自己造字。
  6.检索:查询检索方面,规划包括一般文字、经名、同义字、索引、译者等的检索功能。
  (二)、编辑流程
  甲、文字编辑
  有关电子佛典的制作,不外乎是全文输入,或以图文件扫描方式进行。《阿含藏》电子版,是依据文本的《佛光大藏经?阿含藏》,故直接将其文字文件,交由程序设计师撰写程序,再依程序转成「html」文件,进行各项文字编辑工作。文字编辑的内容与窗口画面有关,所以,编辑项目可分成:1.标题、页尾的编辑,2.章节、段落、批注、页码,3.组字,4.批注等四项。
  乙、校对与修正
  校对事项,以三校为原则,若有特殊情形,不在此限。而校对的内容,是针对「文字编辑」项目,进行比对而校正其错误。校对内容,含:标题、内文、段落、页码、组字、编辑方式等等。
  丙、功能连结
  所有文字编辑完成后,经过三次校正完稿,就可以进行内文上、下页及批注档、组字的连结。主要是将分档的内文,能依功能作串连式阅读,也随名相,简易、快速的了解其内容。
  丁、系统程序
  完成所有的功能连结,再将文件数据文件,程序包,成为光盘的雏形。
  戊、测试
  测试的内容,包含:语言(繁体版、简体版、日文版)、安装、执行、各种使用功能、窗口画面、搜寻、批注、组字等。
  「阿含藏」电子版的制作,直接由文字进行html转文件、标记后,从事文字编辑、校对、功能连结、安装程序、测试,最后转给出版社发行出版。并于出版同时,将电子版内容,挂于网站上,提供阅读、查询服务。接着出版的禅藏、净土藏、般若藏之光盘制作,也是如此。
  《阿含藏》电子版的使用功能
  《阿含藏》的电子版,在使用上,安装与移除皆非常方便。安装佛光电子大藏经,系统需求是使用Microsoft Windows ME 中文版/2000/XP/Vista,安装《阿含藏》须有120MB硬盘空间。安装上,分:安装在计算机的硬盘上,或是直接执行两种。《阿含藏》电子版使用功能,有下列几项:
  一、复制、贴上、打印等功能。
  二、连结佛光大辞典:在阅读经文中,若有不了解的名词,可以同时开起辞典窗口查寻。
  三、搜寻功能:可以搜寻名相、部类、批注、经文等专案。
  四、键入及输出读经心得:阅读经文中,随时可以把心得记录或输出,是电子笔记本的性质。
  五、经文分类:阅读经文,在《阿含藏》的目录窗口,可以依部类、卷数来阅读;也可以透过『题解』了解每一部阿含的内容组织、大意;在附录中,可以阅读相关研究阿含经的文章。
  六、使用同义字:若想组合、参考同义字,在经文中的解说,减少搜寻的时间,可以利用此项功能。如佛陀的同义字是浮屠、佛驮、如来等。
  七、使用我的最爱:搜寻或阅读经文中,可以另存新档,以方便下次的查寻、使用。
  八、调整窗口大小:调整窗口大小,可利用左右移动鼠标,调整需要的窗口大小。
  综合上述,阿含藏电子版的使用功能,具有下列几点:1.连结佛光大辞典,可以直接查寻名相解释,增强阅读经文的效果。2.程序设计包含组件架构设计,具备极佳的兼容性和扩展性,可以轻易和未来发行的电子书相结合。3.采用数据库,可以储存使用者的读经心得、我的最爱,同义字和搜寻结果等。4.具备强力的搜寻功能,可以做字符串搜寻、多层次搜寻、同义字搜寻、类别搜寻等等。5.具备完善的功能包括可让使用者记录的「我的读经心得」、可以让使用者做组织分类的「我的最爱」、可让使用者建立同义字字库等等。6.可以直接从光盘上开启来阅读和搜寻经文。7.可以将读经心得和搜寻结果输出至文字文件,以做日后的使用。安装阿含藏光盘后,如果再安装禅藏、净土藏等光盘,使用时,具有连结搜寻的功能。
  阿含藏电子版之特色
  电子文件的基本性质,有别于文本的运用与留存,它沟通和运用孕育了人类的文明,所以,在各行各业中,已广泛被运用。因为,一、它是无所不在的:随着「知识」的增加,信息也跟着增加,使人从中获得利益。二、取之不尽,用之不竭:虽有开发成本,但可以无量复制与运用。三、廉价快速传输:突破时空,快速传输到世界各角落。四、有教无类的知识共享:透过因特网的传播,各项知识、技能,都能互相传播与共享,让人人平等的获得新知,提升社会文明。[1]
  故现今信息连结快速,能够掌握管理信息的人,就是拥有力量。以佛经而言,北传藏经数据非常庞大,若要研读经文时,如果仅靠人脑,实难全面顾及、方便阅读。所以,应用信息科技,运用在佛学研究、弘法与教学上,是非常方便的事。阿含藏电子版在运用上,其特色,为:
  一、对佛法的弘扬具有划时代的意义:1.为汉译佛典迈入信息化,独创新猷。2.使佛法流传的现代化、人间化,更上一层楼。3.使佛陀的智能,透过电子佛典的弘传方式,无远弗(佛)届,法水常流五大洲。4.让经典的保存、弘法、推广、流通,超越时空的局限。
  二、阿含藏电子版问世对教学工具书之意义:1.携带、保存方便。2.整合辞典、方便查寻。3.采用数据库管理,可记录读经心得并分类储存。4.多元搜寻,操作方便。5.兼顾学术性与实用性。6.实用性上,满足使用者多元化的需求。
  结语
  星云大师说:「过去常有人说,佛教的慧命在文教;现在应更进一步说,佛教的发展,应该重视信息的运用。唯有文教信息普遍现代化,则佛教的传播,深入社会大众中,将指日可待不为难也。」现代科技信息一日千里,利用因特网所产生的附加价值,传播佛法,提高弘法效率,不管现在或未来,都是不可忽视的一环。
  我们这一代的任务,要利用电子媒介为文化的传承注入新生命,让全世界的人透过使用计算机网络实时分享数据。电子大藏经面对时代变迁、文化的潮流,如何调整并且符合时代的需求呢?1.增加现代版的书籍光盘───初学佛者之利器。2.旧版不断更新程序,以方便使用。3.增加学术丛书类,促进更多人来研究佛法。4.开发新程序的功能,让佛法走入信息的第三度空间:如佛教圣地点地图的指引等。
  「佛光电子大藏经」,未来将陆续把「佛光大藏经」出版的法华藏、华严藏、史传藏、、等文字版藏经,制作成电子版。让佛教的经典,走入数字化,使正法永传世间。同时,在此发展方向下,希望能再创新的编纂格局,为佛教的慧命献身,使佛法现代化、人间化,为佛教历史继往开来。
  The Production and Application of Electronic Buddhist Canons:
  a Study Based on the Agama Electronic Canon
  Ven. Yung Ben
  Fo Guang Shan
  Abstract: The age of Internet has vastly changed our living environment, the structure of our society and the development of civilization.  Hence the publications of Buddhist texts increasingly harness the technology, undergo digitalization and integrate into Dharma propagation.  The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concepts and objectives of the electronic format of Fo Guang Buddhist Canons – Agama Canon and its production process.  This paper also analyzes the functions and characteristics of the electronic format in the hope of benefiting users in the course of reading and researching Buddhist Canon.
  Key words: Digitalization  Production  Functions  Characteristics
  1.  Foreword
  Computer technology and Internet have had rapid and tremendous impact on this new age of information technology (IT).  It is unprecedented to digitize information and improve the retrieval, recording, arrangement, searching, presenting and broadcasting of information.  IT has been widely used in managing Buddhist texts, improving teaching and research of Buddhism, and administration and services.  Buddhism has hence entered into a new era – the rapid development of Internet technology has driven Buddhists to digitize Buddhist scriptures.
  Currently, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Pali and Sanskrit Tripitaka scriptures are already undergoing digitization plan.  The design of Fo Guang Shan Electronic Buddhist Canons is based on the conventional print format of Fo Guang Buddhist Canons, and Agama Canon was given priority in digitization.  In conjunction with the World Buddhist Forum, this paper attempts to present the current status of digital Buddhist scriptures.  This paper also elaborates on the origins, objectives, production process, functions and characteristics of the digital project of Fo Guang Shan Electronic Buddhist Canon.
  2.  The Current State of the Digitization of Buddhist Canons
  In line with current developments and needs, it is of importance to digitalize Buddhist scriptures that have been passed down the ages for more than two thousand five hundred years.  Currently, electronic Buddhist publications include not only Tripitaka of various languages but also collections of Buddhist writings and classical Buddhist texts.  The collections of Buddhist writings include Master Yinshun Corpus of Buddhist Studies, Complete Collection of Dharma Drum, Complete Collection of Venerable Zhi Yu Buddhist Writings, Complete Collection of Venerable Chin Kung Buddhist Writings.  Other Buddhist texts include Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary and Writings of Venerable Master Hsing Yun by Fo Guang Cultural Enterprises Co., Ltd., Zen-Knowledgebase by Hanazono University in Japan, Anniversary Edition of Chung Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies by Dharma Drum Chung Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Full Text of Pure Land Canon by Honganji in Kyoto, Tendai Electronic Canon by Eizan Collage in Otsu city, Digital Buddhist Text by the Institute of World Religion in New York and Database of the Chinese Buddhist Text by China. 
  With regards to Tripitaka, the electronic formats currently available include: 
  a.   Korean Tripitaka Database (Database of articles and images); 
  b.  SAT Daizokyo Text Database Committee: Digitalization of the Taisho Tripitaka using the Taisho Tripitaka and CEBTA as a basis.
  c.   Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon: The University of the West in the U.S.A. in collaboration with the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods (NIEM) in Nepal (sponsored by Venerable Master Hsing Yin).  Available for use since 2005 and have more than 870,000 browsers who are mainly from America, Germany and Japan (www.uwest.edu/sanskritcanon/).
  d.  Palm Leaves Database: Includes palm leaves manuscripts in Burmese, Bangladeshi, Thai, and Thai Khun languages; 
  e.   Pali Tipitaka full text search: Based on the Pali Tipitaka of the 6th Council, and includes multiple font types, such as Devanagari, Roman, Burmese, Thai, Tibetan, Sinhalese and others; 
  f.    Tibetan Tripitaka: Establishment of thematic research of Tibetan Tripitaka;
  g.   Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA): The 2008 version covers volumes 1-55 and 85 of Taisho Tripitaka, volumes 1-88 of Zokuzokyo Tripitaka, 230 sutras (fascicle 1411) with revised punctuation; 
  h.   Fo Guang Buddhist Canons: Converting the Fo Guang Buddhist Canons into electronic format.  The Agama, Chan, Pure Land and Prajna Canons were published and the Saddharma-pundarika Canon is in the verge of digitalization this year.
  Nowadays, digitalization has served as an interface for the processing and integration of Buddhist texts of various languages, audios and pictures and resulted in direct and quick access of information to users.  It can be discerned that the efforts in digitalizing Buddhist texts have paid off.
  3.  The Production of Fo Guang Shan Agama Electronic Canon
  3.1 Origins and Goal of Digitalization
  As information technology and Internet develop rapidly, it is extremely challenging to preserve and propagate Dharma to people of digital age.  And for Fo Guang Shan, modernization is part of its goal of establishing the Humanistic Buddhism.  Hence to uphold the ideals of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder of Fo Guang Shan, Fo Guang Shan Electronic Buddhist Canon Office has started to digitalize Buddhist scriptures since 1987.  The goals are to digitalize all the 16 categories of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Canons, so that Buddhist teachings can be communicated quickly and understood by more people.
  3.2 Production
  The digitalization of Agama Electronic Canon is based on the print format of Fo Guang Buddhist Canons– Agama Canon.  In November 1997, representatives of Fo Guang Shan Foundation for Buddhist Culture & Education visited a Japanese outstanding scholar of Agama Canon – Professor Mizuno Kogen to seek his opinions, and valuable suggestions were gathered during the visit.  Meanwhile, the foundation also collated information about needs and expectations of distinguished Buddhist scholars from Chinese Mainland and Taiwan, America,  and other countries with regard to the usage of digitalized Buddhist canons.  In 1999, the foundation collaborated with the University of the West to begin the design of Agama Electronic Canon.  After two years of research and 13 years of testing, the product was finally launched.  Multiple aspects were considered in the production process, such as design, editorial flow, proofreading and revisions, links between different functions, programming, testing and others.
  3.2.1 Design Features
  The main features in our design include user-friendly, multi-functional, standardized and comprehensive information.  In addition, we adopt the latest technology in design and production in order to cut down the frequency of redesigning within a short time frame.
  a.   User Interface: It enables users to search and read the Buddhist texts based on the Windows operating system.
  b.  Search Engine: It is the core of the system; it operates through the commands from the user interface.
  c.   Indexing System: It is used to enhance the speed of search engine.
  d.  Information: Printed Buddhist scriptures are being formatted prior to use. 
  e.   Use of Fonts: International standard is adopted.  Whenever a word is not available in a font type, try to use alternative word being recognized worldwide.  The last resort is to create a new font.
  f.    Retrieval of Information: Users can search by words, title of Sutra, synonym, index, translator and others. 
  3.2.2 Editing Process
  3.2.2.1. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and editing of uncommon words
  The production of digitalized Buddhist canon involves keying data or scanning pictures, while the Agama Electronic Canon is based on the print format of Fo Guang Buddhist Canons – Agama Canon. Programming was done to convert the original print texts into html format so as to facilitate the editing process.  Page layout of the texts is very much dependent on the html.  The layout and editing are divided into four areas:
  a) Headings, End of Page editing; 
  b) Chapters, Paragraphs, Annotations (navigation link), Pagination; 
  c) Formed words: Formation and grouping of uncommon Chinese characters; 
  d) Annotations (destination link)
  3.2.2.2 Proofreading and Amendments
  Generally, the electronic content is proofread at least three times or more when necessary.  The emphasis on the proofreading is based on the work done in the page layout and editing.  This stage also involves making amendments to mistakes spotted.
  3.2.2.3 Hyperlinks
  After proofreading and amendments, the next stage is to create hyperlinks between pages, annotations and formed words.  The purpose is to link individual text to enhance smooth flow of reading or quick access to Buddhist terminologies.
  3.2.2.4 System Design
  After the completion of creating hyperlinks, the text is being programmed for production in CD ROM format.
  3.2.2.5 Testing
  The final stage is to conduct testing, including languages (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Japanese), installation, execution, display on screen, search functions, annotations, formed words and other functions.
  The production of Agama Electronic Canon involves conversion of text into html, proofreading and amendments, hyperlinks, programming, and testing.  The end product will be sent for publishing and at the same time posted on the website for online search and reading.  The subsequent Electronic canons, such as Chan, Pure Land and Prajna Canons were also produced in the same manner.
  4. The Functions of Agama Electronic Canon
  The “Agama Electronic Buddhist Text” is a user-friendly program whereby installing and uninstalling are made easy.  It runs on Microsoft Windows ME Chinese version, as well as Windows 2000/XP/Vista.  The system requires 120MB of hard disk capacity.  It can be installed on the hard disk or read from the CD ROM directly.  Functions of the electronic format of the Agama include:
  a.   Copy, paste and print functions. 
  b.  Links with Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary (electronic format): The link helps user to check the meaning of word in the dictionary while reading the Canon.
  c.   Search functions: Users can search by Buddhist terms, annotations, text or category.
  d.  Electronic diary functions: When reading the texts, users can write, save and print their personal notes like using a electronic diary.
  e.   Categorizing Buddhist Scriptures: Users can read the electronic format of the Agama by following the indexes, categories, volume or references.  Also included is main idea for each Agama Canon and related research essays on the Agama as in the appendixes.
  f.    Search for Synonyms: Users can search for synonymous Buddhist terms, thereby speeding up the search.  For example, when the search for synonyms function is going on, the synonyms of佛陀 (Buddha), such as 佛驮 (Buddha), 浮屠 (Buddha) and如来 (Tathagata), will also be included in the search.
  g.   Add to My Favorites: Users can save their desired pages to “my favorites” to get access to the same source quickly.
  h.   Adjustment of Windows display: the size of the display can be adjusted by a simple click of the mouse.
  To summarize, the salient features of the Agama Electronic Canon include: 
  a.   Links to Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary for easy reference to Buddhist terms and enhance reading;
  b.  Compatibility and expandability in system design, allowing link to future ebooks;
  c.   Use of database system which enables users to save information, such as personal notes, my favorites, synonyms and others;
  d.  Powerful search functions which enable search of word, phrase, synonyms and category, and advanced search;
  e.   Comprehensive functions, such as saving of personal notes, grouping of My Favorites, creation of synonym database and others;
  f.    Reading and searching for information on CD ROM;
  g.   Save personal notes or search result in text format for future references.
  5. Characteristics of the Agama Electronic Canon
  The uses and preservation of electronic text are very different from the print format. Also, the electronic text improves communication and advances human civilization. Hence, it is used widely by most industries.  The reasons for widespread use are:
  a.   Ubiquitous: As knowledge is created, it also becomes accessible and brings benefit to people; 
  b.  Abundance: Although it involves fixed cost of production, electronic text can be produced in bulk and for repeated use; 
  c.   Affordable: Electronic information can be quickly distributed to anywhere in the world at very low cost;
  d.  Sharing: The use of Internet enables posting and sharing of knowledge and skills with anybody so that everybody gets a equal chance of access to the latest information and enhances civilization.[2] 
  Nowadays, information is being shared in a fast speed.  Therefore, to gain an edge over others would depend on one’s ability to manage information.  With regard to Buddhist scriptures, the content of Mahayana canon is enormous and it is therefore difficult to manage through the human mind.  Hence, the use of IT makes it easy to conduct research, teaching, and Dharma propagation.  In essence, the characteristics and benefits of Agama Electronic Canon are as follows:
  5.1 The beginning of a new epoch in the Dharma propagation: 
  a.   Creating a new trend in electronic Mahayana texts; 
  b.  Modernization of Dharma propagation; 
  c.   Quick access to the wisdom of Buddha’s teachings; 
  d.  Transcends space and time in terms of the preservation of Buddhist scriptures and Dharma propagation.   
  5.2 The Impact of Agama Electronic Canon as an instructional medium:
  a.   Mobility and easy retention of information;
  b.  Integration with Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary for easy enquiries;
  c.   Use of database engine for categorizing data and keeping personal   notes;
  d.  Multiple search functions for easy use;
  e.   Versatile for academic and practical usage;
  f.    Practical in meeting multiple needs. 
  6. Conclusion
  Venerable Master Hsing Yun said, “In the past, many people said that the continuation of Buddhism depends on culture and education.  However, nowadays we should say that the development of Buddhism relies on the use of IT. The widespread use of IT in Buddhism helps to reach out to the public in a swift and effective manner.”  IT has developed by leaps and bounds.  It is no doubt that the use of IT provides value added to Buddhism in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of spreading Buddhism to the public, be it now or the future.
  The mission of our generation is to add vitality to the transmission of culture through the use of IT so as to share information with people around the world.  How does Fo Guang Shan Electronic Buddhist Canons keep up with the change and adapt to the current needs?  Firstly, to increase the number of books on CD ROM which serves as a basic tool for beginners.Secondly, to upgrade the program so as to keep pace with technological changes.Thirdly, to increase the number of academic Buddhist series, in order to encourage more people to conduct research in Buddhism.  Finally, to develop new programming functions which are three-dimensional such as maps of sacred Buddhist sites and others.
  The future plan of Fo Guang Shan Electronic Buddhist Canons is to convert the rest of the Fo Guang Buddhist Canons, such as Saddharma-pundarika, Avatamsaka, and the Biographical Canon into electronic format so as to digitalize all Buddhist scriptures in order for Dharma to continue forever.  At the same time, we hope to develop new editing system for the modernization of Buddhism and create a new era for Buddhism.
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  [1] 请参阅 「电子佛典的意义(初稿)」谢清俊  1995年8月
  [2] 请参阅 「电子佛典的意义(初稿)」谢清俊  1995年8月  Please refer to the Meaning of Electronic Buddhist Text, Hsieh Ching-chun, Aug. 1995