OokOok is coming along nicely. It's been a couple of months since the last update, so I'll outline a bit of what I've done since the last post. I'm nowhere near being able to throw up a demonstration server for anyone to play with, but I'm getting closer. With a little more testing, a reasonably decent administrative interface, some simple themes, and full authorization management, we'll be good to go on a first demo. I'm aiming for the end of the year. I'm trying to think about what a good, simple demonstration project might be that is just text on-line. Perhaps a curated collection of creative-commons licensed works on a subject?
OokOok isn't meant to do everything for everyone. I'm designing it with opinions. I think they are well researched and thought out opinions, but they are opinions. I hope the pros can outweigh the cons, but that's something you'll need to decide when considering which platform to use for your project.
I'm designing the system to enable citation, reproduction, sustainability, and description. You should be able to point someone at exactly the version of the page that you saw (citation), be able to see the same content each time you view that version of the page (reproduction), see that content "forever" (sustainability), and leverage computation through description (composing the rules) instead of prescription (composing the ways). I've based all the opinionated choices in the system on trying to meet the needs of those four "axioms."
Continue Reading OokOok Progress
I've made some good progress on the OokOok project over the last week. The system has a minimal page management interface now, so you can create, edit, and delete new pages and place them in the project's sitemap. You can create project editions that freeze the content in time, and you can see the different versions of a page using time-based URLs.
You know you have a real software project when you have a list of things that won't be in the current version. So it is with OokOok. Eventually, I want to support any dynamic web-based digital humanities project and allow it to run forever without any project-specific maintenance. For now, I'll be happy creating a simple text content management system that has all the time-oriented features. We can add support for algorithms later.
Today, I want to talk a bit about the model I'm using to keep track of the different versions and the impact this has on the user interface.
Continue Reading OokOok: Timelines, Pages, and Editions
The Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) is in a week. I'll be teaching a course on data discovery, management, and presentation using a platform I've been developing for the last couple years. This will be the first time other people will try to use the platform to build a project. I've been writing the workbook for the week-long course and I think we can do it.
For those who aren't familiar with what I call the Fabulator, I've developed a compute engine as an extension to Radiant, an open source content management system. The goal is to provide a platform for dynamic, data-driven digital humanities project sites that fill the role of the traditional monograph. These sites make a scholarly argument using interactive web applications instead of static text. The problem is that libraries don't want to touch these projects. No one wants to provide the long-term maintenance required to keep a web application running as the underlying languages and systems change.
Continue Reading Fabulous Fabulator