Week Beginning 10th June 2013

It was a busy old week this week, starting on Monday with the Digital Humanities Network launch event.  The day-long event was a huge success and everything went very smoothly.  There were two half-hour talks in the morning, given by Marilyn Deegan and Bill Kretzschmar, each of which was very interesting and very different; the first being a general talk about Digital Humanities while the second looked in more detail at a specific digital humanities project.  The demo of the Digital Humanities Network website (http://www.digital-humanities.glasgow.ac.uk/) went well, and I think it’s looking pretty impressive now.  In the afternoon there were a series of 5 minute talks about a wide range of Digital Humanities projects within the University and the format of these talks worked very well indeed – each speaker kept within their allotted time and it was a great way to learn more about the projects without getting too bogged down in detailed information about them.  I did a five minute talk about the redevelopment of the STELLA learning and teaching applications, which went fine too.

On Tuesday there was a DROG meeting – the first in fact since February!  As with previous meetings it was a good opportunity to discuss the work I have been undertaking, plus upcoming projects and priorities.  It looks very much like it will be possible for me to redevelop the SCOTS corpus website at some point, which will be a nice big project to sink my teeth into.  Dave Beavan, who was responsible for developing the SCOTS website, was at the DHN event on Monday and I had a brief chat about it and the possibility of it being redeveloped, which was useful.

On Thursday I had arranged to meet the Scottish Language Dictionaries people in Edinburgh to discuss the redevelopment of the Dictionary of the Scots Language website.  Ann Ferguson had previously sent me through some requirements documents and Word-based mock-ups of the desired user interface elements, plus access to two test versions of the website, so I spent a good deal of the remainder of Tuesday and also the Wednesday going through all of these and preparing a document of discussion points for the meeting.  The meeting itself went very well.  All of my questions were answered and it was great to meet Peter Bell, the developer of the test versions and the guy who is going to develop the API for the new version of the website.  The meeting lasted almost 3 hours but I think we all had a clearer idea of what would be happening with the redevelopment of the website afterwards.  It was agreed that I would design the front end and Peter would develop the API.  I will get some server space set up in Glasgow and will then develop some static HTML mock-ups of possible interfaces for discussion and further refinement.

On Friday I wrote up my notes from the meeting and did some investigation about server possibilities.  I spent the rest of the day further tweaking the HT website, and next week I will settle down to the big task of re-importing all of the data from Access to MySQL.  It’s going to take quite a while and possibly be quite tricky to get everything working as it should do.