In the following paragraph, the term user interface is applied in the most abstract manner possible; it includes several options and can apply here to computer software (a familiar realm for the term user interface) and printed matter (a slightly less familiar usage of this term: yet, a telephone directory can be considered as the user interface to the database of directory entries).
During a discussion round with most of the team members (on February 11, 2002) it was determined that a printed volume (or set of volumes) is as feasible as an electronic edition, be it locally made available on CD-ROM or distributed over the Internet via a dedicated web server. In spring 2002, groundwork was made for a database interface comprising all languages which would run off CD-ROM as well as via a network. Printed editions can be perceived in various fashions: a dictionary volume with a faithful arrangement of original entries, accompanied by a rich set of footnotes and an extra index volume, or perhaps split into fascicles covering only individual languages. Modern Print-on-Demand technologies will allow either way or even more customized hardcopies.
It is not entirely clear yet whether going exclusively one way or the other has any advantages. During the discussion, we discovered a need both for hard-copy material and software representations. The software is infinitely more flexible and economical in terms of complicated searches whereas a book remains unsurpassed in terms of aesthetic quality and desktop convenience.
The presentation stages of all languages are prepared through automated processes basing on a customized database design. The software LaTeX provides the typesetting prowess which is necessary for dealing with complicated layout issues as well as the used writing systems. LaTeX is a freely usable typesetting system using TeX as its underlying typesetting engine. The approach of using TeX and LaTeX for the presentation of the database offers numerous advantages, listed here in no particular order: