Week Beginning 17th December 2018

I took Friday off this week, in the run-up to Christmas, and spent the remaining four days trying to finish some of my outstanding tasks before the holidays begin.  This included finishing the ‘song story’ I’d left half finished last week for the RNSN project, starting and completing the other ‘song story’ that I had in my ‘to do’ list and updating two other stories to add in audio files.  All this required a lot of adapting images, uploading and linking to files, writing HTML and other such trivial but rather time-consuming tasks.  It probably took the best part of two days to get it all done, but things are looking great and I reckon the bulk of the work on these song stories is now complete.  We’re hoping to launch them early next year, at which point I’ll be able to share the URLs.

I also continued to talk Joanna Kopacyk with the proposal she’s putting together.  This included having a long email conversation with both her and Luca, plus meeting in person with Joanna to go through some of the technical aspects that still needed a bit of thought.  Things seem to be coming together well now and hopefully Joanna will be able to submit the proposal in the new year.

Bryony Randall is also working on a proposal, this time a follow-on funding bid.  She’d set up a project website on WordPress.com, but it was filled with horribly intrusive adverts, and I thought it would give a better impression to reviewers if we migrated the site to a Glasgow server.  I started this process last week and completed it this week.  The new website can be found here: https://newmodernistediting.glasgow.ac.uk/

I also spent a couple of hours on the Bilingual Thesaurus, changing the way the selection of languages of origin and citation are handled on the search page.  There are so many languages and it had been suggested that higher-level groupings could help ensure users selected all of the appropriate options.  So, for example, a new top level group would be ‘Celtic’ and then within this there would be Irish, Old Irish, Scots Gaelic etc.  Each group has a checkbox and if you click on it then everything within the group is checked.  Clicking again deselects everything, as the screenshot below demonstrates.  I think it works pretty well.

I could hardly let a week pass without continuing to work on the HT / OED category linking task, and therefore I spent several further hours working on this.  I completed a script that compares all lexemes and their search terms to try and find matches.  For this to work I also had to execute a script to generate suitable search terms for the OED data (e.g. variants with / without brackets).  The comparison script takes ages to run as it has to compare every word in every unmatched OED category to every word in every unmatched HT category.  The script has identified a number of new potential matches that will hopefully be of some use.  It also unfortunately identified many OED lexemes that just don’t have any match in the HT data, despite having a ‘GHT date’, which means there should be a matching HT word somewhere.  It looks like some erroneous matches might have crept into our matching processes.  In some cases the issue is merely that the OED have changed the lexeme so it no longer matches (e.g. making a word plural).  But in other cases things look a little weird.

For example, OED 231036 ‘relating to palindrome’ isn’t matched and contains 3 words, none of which are found in the remaining unmatched HT categories (palindrome, palindromic, palindromical).  I double-checked this in the database.  The corresponding HT category is 219358 ‘pertaining to palindrome’, which contains four words (palinedrome, cancrine, palindromic, palindromical).  This has been matched to OED category 194476 ‘crab-like, can be read backwards and forwards’, which contains the words ‘palinedrome, cancrine, palindromic, palindromical’.  on further investigation I’d say OED category 194476 ‘crab-like, can be read backwards and forwards’ should actually match HT category 91942 ‘having same form in both directions’ which contains a single word ‘palindromic’.  I get the feeling the final matching stages are going to get messy.  But this is something to think about next year.  That’s all from me for 2018.  I wish anyone who is reading this a very merry Christmas.