Week Beginning 7th March 2016

Another week split between three projects: REELS, The People’s Voice and the Mapping Metaphor follow-on project. For REELS and The People’s Voice I’ve been creating databases and content management systems and I’m very happy to say that this week I managed to complete first versions of the systems for both of these projects. For The People’s Voice this involved adding in the facilities to enable poems to be edited, including updating the associations between poems and people, publications and archives / libraries. I managed to get this finished before the project had a team meeting on Friday and Michael Shaw, the project’s RA ran through the system at the meeting and the feedback received has been positive. The only thing left for me to add to the content management system now is the facility to enable data compiled offline in an Excel spreadsheet to be uploaded to the database. I’ll try to tackle this next week.

For REELS I still had some of the most complicated parts of the content management system left to implement, specifically the facilities to manage place-name elements and historical forms, which in turn can have their own place-name elements and sources. I added in facilities to add, browse, edit and delete sources for historical forms as top-level menu items in the CMS and I then updated the ‘edit place-name’ page accessed through the ‘browse place-names’ page to allow place-name elements and historical forms to be managed for the selected place-name.

For elements, any previously selected elements appear in the box in the same format as is used for the Fife data, e.g: “Sc Test Element + OE Test element”.  There is also a button labelled ‘manage place-name elements’ and clicking on it leads to a page where place-name elements for the place-name can be added, edited and deleted. Users can add any number of elements here.  For new elements the ‘element’ field is an autocomplete box – start typing and any elements beginning with those letters in the selected language will be displayed.  If users select an existing element any existing data will immediately be loaded into the other boxes (e.g. part of speech, description).  These boxes can be edited for the selected element and fields that relate to the usage of the element in the current place-name (certainty, role, case etc) can also be supplied.

For previously added elements there is a checkbox allowing users to remove the association between the element and the place-name, in addition to editing the existing data.  New elements can also be added through this form by simply not selecting an element from the drop-down list that appears when the user starts typing an element in.

The historical forms section lists all previously entered historical forms, with options to edit or delete each one.  There is also an option to add a new historical form.  When adding a new form or editing an existing form users can select to associate one or more sources with the form, or supply one or more new sources if the one required isn’t in the system yet.  This functions in a similar way to the element management page.  The ‘source’ box is an autocomplete, users can select an existing source or add a new one, and supply the information that relates to the location of the historical form in the source (the ‘reference’ field). Users can also associate any number of elements with a historical form via the ‘edit historical form’ page (not the ‘add historical form’ page).  This functions in exactly the same way as adding elements to the main place-name.

We have a further project meeting next week where we will no doubt go through the system in detail, but for now I think that is everything I need to do for the project.

For Mapping Metaphor I continued with the development of the app. Last week I had implemented a search for the app, but it was running very slowly so I spent a bit of time figuring out what was causing this. After a bit of optimisation the search was running considerably faster, which was quite satisfying. I also continued with the quizzes, adding in all of the remaining quizzes, taking the total up to ten. I found some nice background images for these and I also changed the background image of the homepage of the app, replacing the slightly too dark ‘dawn’ image with a much brighter one of hot air balloons taking off (‘launching’ the app). I had noticed that all of the quizzes that feature radio buttons (i.e. all except the drag and drop style quizzes) were not working on a touchscreen, which was rather worrying. Thankfully replacing the jQuery ‘click’ function with a ‘change’ function fixed this issue. I made some other tweaks to the interface too, such as adding in a ‘choose another quiz’ button when the user is looking at a quiz, and removing some unnecessary placeholder text.

On Tuesday we had a project meeting where we went through the app and talked about things that still needed fixed or updated. The biggest of these is adding in a wildcard search facility, which I’m going to have to try and implement next week. Marco Bagli, who is on a placement at Glasgow and is spending a bit of time working with Metaphor data had noticed that there were some duplicate sample lexemes in the main Mapping Metaphor site so after the meeting I spent some time investigating this. I looks like some duplicate lexemes had been introduced during the last data upload last month, and I ran a little script that got rid of these. We’ll have to remember to watch out for this in future. Hopefully next week I will finish the remaining outstanding tasks for the app and will being the process of wrapping it.