Week Beginning 15th September 2014

Last week saw the launch of the Dictionary of the Scots Language website, which all went very well.  Work on the DSL has taken up quite a lot of my time over the past few months and now that it is out of the way I’ll be returning to the Mapping Metaphor project, reworking the ‘Beta’ version of the resource that I completed for the colloquium all the way back in March.  However, although DSL has launched there are always further tweaks that need to be made following the launch, and I spent a little further time this week doing just that.  The print CSS file was printing out too small for some people so I updated that.  There was also a small bug that was encountered when a user prints an ‘about scots’ page when they are already scrolled down the page and I’ve fixed this too.  I fixed some other minor bugs that people had encountered since the launch too, such as the positioning of the ‘I’ image in the advanced search on medium width screens, the searches submitting with their default text (something I’d previously fixed but had inadvertently broken again when I added a facility to deal with accented characters), updating the font colour of the ‘geo’ element which was a little too pale for some people to see easily and making the in-entry search results default to showing 10 rather than 20 results when the browser height is less than a certain value, thereby fixing the bizarre screen jumping issue encountered with short entries that I thought I had fixed by making the ‘browse’ feature shorted on less tall screens.

With these tweaks out of the way I still didn’t quite manage to get on with Mapping Metaphor tasks as I had some further updates to make to the Historical Thesaurus database – a category had been given the wrong name and some other category names needed updating too.  Fairly small updates, but it did mean I had to re-export the updated tables as new CSV files and also re-generate the ‘all tables joined as one’ Access database that I had made for offline research.  I also completed a first draft of the Technical Plan for Katie’s project and engaged in some email discussion about the technologies that would be employed and how the project workflow would fit together.

After all this was done I could begin to get back into the Metaphor project.  It’s been quite a while since I was involved with the project so I spent some time this week getting to grips with the website and visualisations I had produced and familiarising myself with the project and its data again.  Months ago I had promised to write a further blog post about the visualisations for the Mapping Metaphor project blog and I figured a good way to get back up to speed with the project would be to write such a post.  It was a good idea as it was really useful to revisit my earlier experiments with the d3.js library and to try and put into words why (and indeed how) certain approaches were taken.  I ended up writing two blog posts rather than one – the first focussing on my early experiments with d3 (which can be read here) and the second looking at the ‘Beta’ version of the website and visualisations that I completed for the colloquium (not published yet).  Next week I will go through all of my notes and the feedback from the colloquium and write a gigantic ‘to do’ list and will hopefully get back into the actual development work.