Week Beginning 15th October 2012

I had a great meeting with the ‘Editing Burns for the 21st century’ people this week.  We’d been trying to arrange a meet-up since the beginning of September but it was difficult to get a time that suited everyone until this week.  I’m really looking forward to working on the project and I’ve already started making suggestions about their website and some possible ways in which web resources can be best exploited to throw the spotlight on their project outputs.

I also had another very productive corpus-focussed meeting with Stephen Barrett this week.  We spent a couple of hours working through some of the issues we’d been encountering with the Open Corpus Workbench and made some real progress, specifically to do with character encoding issues (we’ve now upgraded to the most recent version of the CWB so we finally have proper UTF-8 support) and text-level metadata issues (it’s now possible to specify metadata about texts and for this to be used as the basis for limiting searches using the ‘restricted query’ option).  I’ve started working with Marc’s Hansard texts and have so far managed to import one test text complete with one metadata category.  This may seem unimpressive but a lot of the issues that will be encountered when importing the entire body of texts have been resolved when processing this one single text file so I feel like real progress has been made.

Also this week I completed my mock-ups for the App and web versions of the five STELLA applications that we have identified to be the initial focus for redevelopment.  I also had a meeting with Marc to discuss STELLA matters in general, which was very helpful too.  I will begin working on the actual HTML5 based websites for these applications the week after next.  Whilst making the mock-ups I encountered some rather odd behaviour with HTML5 Audio and IE9.  Although IE9 fully supports the HTML5 Audio tag (which when used presents an audio player within the web page without any plug-in being required) I just couldn’t get the player to appear on my test file that I was hosting on a University server, even though the exact same code worked perfectly on my desktop machine using the same browser.  This was very frustrating and eventually I worked out that the discrepancy was being caused by IE9’s ‘Compatibility view’.  For some odd reason IE9 on the standard staff desktop is set to view pages within the university domain using ‘compatibility view’, which basically emulates an older version of IE that doesn’t support HTML5!  It’s most frustrating and as of yet I can only find a way to override this manually at the client end.

I also spoke again to Alison this week about the possible developments for Bess of Hardwick and we’re going to meet up the week after next to take this further.  And I also met up with Ann, Marc and Graeme to discuss the redevelopment of the Digital Humanities Network website (http://www.digital-humanities.arts.gla.ac.uk/) that Graeme created a couple of years ago.  We had a good discussion about the sorts of features that a revamp should incorporate and it was agreed that I would press ahead with the update, with Graeme providing some additional help as time allows.  We’re hoping to have a new version ready to go by the middle of next month.

Also this week I finally got access to the SCOTS server so I will be able to look into the problems with the Advanced Search when using Chrome and IE the week after next too.

Note that I will be on holiday next week and will be back at work on Monday the 29th October.

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