Week Beginning 17th February 2014

Another fairly hectic week this week, with my time divided across many different projects.  I spent the best part of a couple of days this week working on a Technical Plan for an AHRC bid that Jennifer Smith and Gary Thomas are putting together.  This involved a meeting with Gary, quite a bit of time researching previous projects and the technical possibilities that may be a good fit for their current project’s needs, many Q&A email exchanges between Gary and me and the creation of a first draft of the technical plan, which I managed to email to Gary on Wednesday.  Jennifer is back in the university next week and no doubt there will be comments and further refinements of the plan in the coming week.  I spent a little more time this week going through the bid materials for Carole’s place-name AHRC bid and providing feedback on this too.

I also gave advice to Pauline Mackay about a Chancellor’s Fund bid she’s putting together and made contact with George Pattison in Theology who is putting together an AHRC bid with a relatively small but important technical component.  I also had a meeting with Emma Osborne, who will be managing Carole’s new Cognitive Toponymy website initially.  I’ve got the bare bones of the site set up now and Emma and I met to discuss the next steps.  Emma is going to work with Carole to get some content, images and an idea of the site structure together and we’ll take it from there.

I had a meeting with Fraser Rowan on Thursday to discuss visualisation techniques and how these may be applied to Fraser’s Knowledge Exchange information.  We came up with a few possible solutions and I might be involved in developing some visualisations in future, with the understanding that my time would have to be bought out from the School of Critical Studies in order to do this college level work.  It shouldn’t take too long to develop the visualisations though, and it will be good experience that will undoubtedly help with future SCS work.

On Thursday Flora gave me access to some further Mapping Metaphor data that I will be able to plug into the visualisations, which will be really useful.  I didn’t have time to work with the data this week but I hope to be able to get stuck into it next week.  The reason I didn’t have time to do anything Mapping Metaphor related this week is because I spent the remainder of the week working on the new Dictionary of the Scots Language website.  I managed to get my PHP code to connect to Peter’s API, which is currently housed on a server in Edinburgh.  There was a bit of an issue involved in getting the PHP extension cURL working on the Glasgow server.  This extension is needed in order for PHP to connect to content stored on a server beyond Glasgow’s proxy but even though the extension was installed it just wasn’t working, even though the exact same code running on my own PC worked fine.  Thankfully after Chris restarted Apache on the server cURL started to work.

By the end of the week I had managed to get the bare bones of the new DSL site set up.  The site looks like the ‘final’ mockup that we decided on a few months ago and placeholder pages have been created for all of the major pages of the site.  There are no sub-menu pages yet as I’m not sure what these should be.  I’ve implemented the quick search feature (accessible from the homepage or using the quick search box on all other pages).  This connects to Peter’s API and currently searches the headword forms for whole matches in both snd and dost.  The search results page is laid out as in Ann’s user interface mockup, with the results split into two columns for dost and snd results.  There’s no snippet for each entry available through the API yet but once available these will appear too.  You can click on a result to view the entry (currently limited to just the headword).  I’ve password protected the development site for now, so I can’t include the URL here.  I’ll continue to expand the functionality of the new DSL next week.