Week Beginning April 21st 2014

Monday was Easter Monday, which I spent eating chocolate rather than working. However, on Tuesday I was back at work and getting stuck into the redevelopment of the DSL once more.  My new iPad is already proving itself very useful, as I’ve spotted a few problems with the DSL interface when viewed on its pretty little touchscreen.  For example, the dropdown menus weren’t pulling themselves back up again when you tap elsewhere on the page and were instead stuck open until you reloaded the page.  I’ve got around this by adding subtle little arrows to the bottom of the drop-downs now, allowing users to tap to close the menus.  There were a few other UI issues as well, for example, iOS devices override the styling of your buttons unless you explicitly add ‘-webkit-appearance: none;’ to your input / button CSS.  Text input boxes also have iOS’s own pesky predictive text dropdowns too unless you manually state ‘autocomplete=”off”’ in the HTML.  We needed to turn off the iOS predictive text because we have our own predictive dropdowns and the two were getting all confused.  All in all the iPad is proving to be rather invaluable for web development.

For most of Tuesday and Wednesday I continued to work through my DSL to do list, tweaking layout and content and fixing some issues that Ann had noted in her feedback document, such as reordering the search results so that ‘variant’ forms appear after main forms and only if the main form is not already in the results.  I also created some new styling for the results as people weren’t too keen on the blue boxes.  On Thursday I headed over to the SLD offices in Edinburgh for a meeting with Ann and Peter.  This was a hugely useful three hour meeting during which we went through all of the outstanding tasks and discussed how we hoped to take them forward.  We even managed to fix a few issues during the meeting, which was great.  I now have yet another updated to do list with thirty odd items to keep me busy.  On returning to Glasgow in the afternoon I picked up my shiny new laptop that had been delivered and which will be used for publishing apps on Apple’s App store.  It’s a very pleasing little machine, although I intend to dual boot it with Windows and primarily use it as a Windows machine when not developing apps.

On Friday I continued with DSL redevelopment, thinking how best to incorporate supplemental entries in the entry XML files based on my XSLT files, fixing a number of bugs that I’d noticed during Thursday’s meeting and updating the way quotes are displayed (making author names bold, moving dates and geo information outside of the bibliographical links, switching the order of the DOST quotes so that author / title comes before the text, thus making it the same as SND).

Other than DSL matters I had a chat with Susan Rennie about the domain and blog for her Scots thesaurus project and put in a request to get these set up.  I also fixed a problem with the Historical Thesaurus advanced search that Fraser Dallachy had contacted me about – apparently the options to search for multiple verb forms wasn’t working – only the last form you selected was being queried.  I managed to implement a fix for this, thankfully.  I also signed up for the next Digital Humanities event in Edinburgh and added a new track to the Burns Choral website.