Week Beginning 20th August 2018

It’s been a rather full-on week this week.  It always tends to get busy for me at this time of year as staff tend to return to work after their holidays itching to get things done before the new term starts, which tends to mean lots of requests come my way.  I also needed to get things done before the end of the week as I’m attending the ICEHL conference (http://www.conferences.cahss.ed.ac.uk/icehl20/) in Edinburgh all next week so won’t be able to do much regular work then.

On Monday I spent a bit of time working on some DSL issues.  Ann was experiencing some issues with the WordPress version of the site (which hasn’t launched yet), namely some odd placement of menu items, and some help with editing the footer text.  Thankfully these were both relatively easy to fix.  Ann had also sent me some updated text for the privacy policy page, and I created a new page for this, separating it out from the copyright page, as all this information was previously one a single page.

I spent quite a bit of time on Historical Thesaurus related duties this week.  This included reading through the new proposal Fraser is working on and commenting on it, and continuing the email discussion about the new thesaurus that we’re hoping to host.  I met with Marc and Fraser on Tuesday morning to continue our discussions about the integration of the HT and the OED data, and we made a bit more progress on the linking up of the categories.  I have to say I wasn’t feeling all that great on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week and it was a bit of a struggle to make it through these days, so I don’t feel like I contributed as much to this meeting as I would normally have done.  However, struggle through the days I did, and by Friday I was thankfully back to normal again.

Fraser is presenting a session about the HT visualisations at a workshop at ICEHL next week and I was asked to write some slides about the visualisations for him to use.  When it came down to writing these I figured that a few slides in isolation without background material and context would not be much use, so instead I ended up writing a document about the four types of visualisations that are currently part of the HT website.  This took some time, and ended up being almost 3000 words in length, but I felt it was useful to document how and why the visualisation were created – for future reference for me if not for Fraser to use next week!

I had my PDR session on Tuesday afternoon, which took up a fair bit of time, both attending the meeting and acting on some of the outcomes from the meeting.  Overall I think it went really well, though.

Gerry Carruthers emailed me this week about a new proposal he is in the middle of writing.  He wanted me to supply a few sentences about the technical aspects of the proposal, so after reading through his document and sending a few questions his way I spent a bit of time writing the required sections.

I also met with Matthew Sangster from English Literature and Katie Halsey from Stirling, who are in the middle of putting a proposal together.  I’m going to write the Data Management Plan for the proposal and will also undertake the development work.  I can’t really go into any details about the project at this stage, but it seems like just the sort of project I enjoy being involved with, and I managed to give some suggestions and feedback on their existing documentation.

Bryony Randall from English Literature was also in touch this week, asking if I would like to participate in a workshop she’s hoping to run in the Autumn.  I said I would help out and she introduced me by email to Ronan Crowley, who will also be involved in the workshop.  We had an email conversation about what the workshop should contain and other such matters – a conversation that will no doubt continue over the coming weeks.

My final project this week was to set up an initial website and content management system for Thomas Clancy’s ‘Place-names of Kirkcudbrightshire’ project.  This is a project that is structurally similar to the REELS project and will use an adapted version of the content management system and front-end that I developed for that project.  I spent some time setting up the domain, installing WordPress, migrating the structure of the REELS database over, together with the place-name element and classification code data, updating the colour scheme used for the CMS and the logos found in the footer, setting up user accounts, updating the API and the JavaScript to work on the new domain and to ensure it talks to the new database, and creating a test place-name record just to check it all works.  Thankfully it all seems to have migrated over successfully and we’re at a stage where the PI and RA will be able to start using the system.

As mentioned earlier, I’ll be at the ICEHL conference next week, so the next report will be more of a conference review than a summary of work done.