An important step in the creation of a critical edition is the comparison of different versions of a text. Often there are tens or hundreds of versions of a text. These can be different witnesses of a historical text or multiple prints of a modern text. Comparing and aligning these versions is a time consuming and labor intensive process that lends itself to automation.
CollateX is the spiritual successor to Collate, the collation software written by Peter Robinson. While widely used within the community and valued for its versatility in producing critical apparatuses for scholary editions, Collate has become increasingly hard to deploy as it depends on a runtime environment whose support has been phased out by its vendor: the software only runs on Apple Macintosh machines with OS 9. These machines are no longer made and are no longer supported by the manufacturer.
CollateX was planned as a complete rewrite of Collate that was primarily addressing the architectural challenges of its predecessor. Over the years though and with more and more participants contributing their requirements and ideas, it developed a different agenda. On the one hand, CollateX is a complete solution for producing a critical apparatus with its very own algorithm for comparing versions of a text. On the other hand has become a software component that can be embedded into other software or can be made part of a software system. Its goal is the provision and advancement of current in the field of computer-supported collation involving natural language texts.
CollateX is open source software, which means that third parties can download and use the software freely. Moreover they can look at the source code and make changes if necessary and contribute these enhancements back to the community.
More information can be found on its website: collatex.net