Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm Jon Deering, the Senior Developer working on TPEN.
As Jim said, I'm getting started on TPEN today. The first thing I needed to do today was build a bit of a front page for the tool. The transcription prototype was built for ENAP, which was only a single manuscript. While it was built to allow other manuscripts to be available, including manuscripts from other repositories, we didn't have a good way to browse the manuscripts available in the tool. The front page I built lists the available manuscripts, along with the name of the hosting repository, as a link to the first page of that MS available for transcribing. During our Monday meeting, I'm going to see if we can get the go ahead for at least one full repository made available in the prototype, maybe more. By then I think we will have our domain, and anyone will be able to go in and test transcribing with those few hundred manuscripts.
I'm also working on the customizable hotkeys, which allow a transcriber to set up a number of non standard keys they use often in transcribing (ÞÐÆ in middle English for example). Those characters will be clickable on a toolbar at the bottom, and also have control combinations assigned to them, starting with control 1-9. We had a static set for middle English when a paleography class used our prototype last fall, and the feedback we received was very positive.
As far as introducing myself, there isn't much to say. I keep a rather low profile online, not using facebook and only using twitter for work related communication. While I don't have a humanities background, I have been caught puzzling over the peculiarities of manuscripts now and then, just because they end up in front of me while I work on projects. This is particularly true of the image processing project we did over the summer, which I'll post about in the future when I can include links back to the results. I really enjoy the image processing side of the work we do, and the way setting the computer on images of a manuscript can really aid in not only the editing, but the exploration of the document.. I would say that is my favorite aspect of working on both ENAP and TPEN.
I attended THATCamp London in July, an unconference for digital humanities that occurred right before DH2010. I enjoyed the opportunity to share my work, and find that others in the field had solved some of the problems I was dreading. THATCamp provides a less formal, very open and collaborative forum where such things can happen. In particular, while showing our transcription prototype to a few people, one showed me an in house tool used for transcription at the library he worked for. The method they used for representing overlapping tags with colored underlining is an elegant solution, and something I expect to use in TPEN.

No comments:

Post a Comment