I was struck by this terrific post on TEI by Lee Bessette at Inside Higher Ed:
Epiphany: TEI is Scholarship
and especially her realization that “The text that the person on the other side of the computer screen eventually will read and interact with will be entirely mediated by the decisions I make as an encoder.”
I’ve been interested by this aspect of markup for a long time–SGML, XML, TEI, whatever you like–but hear less and less discussion of it, or of any newly creative uses of markup to explore the texture of textual interpretation. (There is no category for “markup” or “TEI” in this blog.) Instead, it seems like people (especially those of us at THATCamp as opposed to those attending Digital Humanities 2012 in Germany; or maybe its just the DH folks I follow on Twitter) find TEI to be too complicated, too rigid, too much work, too concerned with standards, etc. etc. Or maybe it’s just pro forma now, a complicated but routinized task associated with putting up full-text primary document collections that usually have a literary focus?
Disruption seems to be one emerging theme of the conference. So, since I still care about markup, and am about to ramp up work again on an interpretive markup project (see http://dh2010.cch.kcl.ac.uk/academic-programme/abstracts/papers/html/ab-692.html ). I wonder if anyone else is interested in talking about thinking about markup (TEI or otherwise) as blatant interpretation, and what we could do with that? Following from Mills Kelly I’m thinking TEI as obsfuscation, TEI rigged with some sort of randomness generator, TEI as performance art… or even, hey, just the XSLT, in psychedelic colors and comic sans font?
@plbogen and @m_steph_m and I have been tweeting about learning command line stuff. We would like to have a shell tutorial! I asked for links to help, and here’s what I got:
Who can GIVE a shell tutorial?
Who wants to TAKE a shell tutorial?
N.B. If no one can (or is willing to) give a shell tutorial, I would be happy to have a working session choosing one of the docs linked above and working our way through it as a collaborative group of beginners!
Having recently retooled my DevonThink setup yet again, I’m finding that I’m still dissatisfied. My regular everyday worktools include:
I’m happy to talk about what I love and hate about each of these, for example, I love Bookends’ integration with Mellel and hate how clunky it is. I love almost everything aout WordPress except actually composing posts. I want DevonThink and Omnifocus to TALK to each other. And more… I’d love for other folks to talk about how they do their workflows. And to tell me why using Oxygen is such an uphill battle? In addition, I just upgraded my OSX to Lion and am curious if anyone has found awesome things that Lion can do that they want to share.
P.S. Other things I’d love to talk about include Islandora, teaching oneself to code, learning to work with the command-line after being a GUI person forever, and and and… they go on. Okay, calling this post “one more” might have been misleading…
So Patrick and I have been conspiring a bit to have a sort of hackathon at THATCamp, and you’ll see that there’s time and space reserved for it on the schedule — basically all weekend in CHNM itself on the fourth floor of Research Hall, in the same space the CHNM developers use every day — long tables and lots and lots of whiteboards — plus the lounge area — sofas, soft chairs, and coffee tables. Everyone’s also welcome to use this as a co-working space to code whatever they like, whether for the hackathon or no (and there’s a WII with MarioKart, which you’re also welcome to use).
On Friday at 9:30am, Patrick will introduce one or more datasets for the hackathon, but you can also just work on whatever you like. We’ll be having a lightning round demo (3 minutes apiece) on Sunday from 12:00-12:30, and everyone who participates in the demo will get a small prize for participating. There won’t be any official judging; any competition among the participants will be strictly subtextual. Even beginner folks who want to use this as a practice session to mess around with Omeka or ViewShare or Weka are welcome to participate.
You are all encouraged to build things either individually or in groups, for example by having a coder and a designer team up to put together an awesome new visualization on some data.
To recap the chief features of the Hackathon:
CHNM, 4th floor of Research Hall.
Intro at 9:30am by Patrick, coding all weekend, demos from 12:00-12:30 on Sunday.
We’ll suggest a couple of datasets for you to work with, but you can also build something all on your own.
At past THATCamps, I’ve had the most fun when I’ve ditched the official sessions (as “official” as THATCamp sessions can be) to do some organized messing around. Last year, it took the form of sitting down with a couple of my One Week | One Tool buddies and hacking away at Anthologize for a few hours.
So, in the spirit of goofing off semi-aimlessly, maybe we could:
- Pick a free software project with a public bug tracker (Omeka? WordPress? Anthologize? etc) and submit some patches/pull requests.
- If there are folks who have wanted to get started contributing to free software projects but haven’t had the right setup, I could help them set up dev environments, and maybe we could talk a bit about the culture of open source development.
- We could pick some small project and roll our own One Afternoon | One Tool
The spirit here is that I work alone most of the time, so it would be fun to do some co-working with smart and cool people. Also, messing around is inherently the bomb.
I “get” GIT–I see the utility–I see the logic–I see why it’s great. But I’d love some discussion on how to start using it, what are some preferred GIT clients, and what the best-GIT-practices are. If this conversation could be combined with a western-twanged series of puns on the word “git,” that would be ideal.
Digital Scholarly Editions
This is my main DH interest at the moment. I would love to talk about:
- Issues of encoding
- What software platforms people are using (Islandora, Omeka, by-hand?)
- Excellent, and execrable, examples of digital scholarly editions
- Issues of copyright (i.e. “Do ALL digital editions have to be out of copyright???”)
- What kinds of scholarly apparatus do digital editions facilitate that were harder or impossible in paper editions?
- Multi-media digital editions
Working without institutional infrastructure
AKA, when you’re more alt than ac
For the many of us who are still on the hunt for the permanent position, how do we think about the issues of our digital work differently? For example, in a workshop I was once in, someone said: “This is what you’ll need to tell your design team…” What about when we ARE our team? What are the dangers of developing digital tools, editions, creations of any kind on resources provided by a university where you are only a temporary employee? How do we access resources? How do our grant applications differ? How do we access the support systems we need to make our work…work?