Archive for the ‘Markup and Text Representation’ Category

Juxta Commons

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


From Humanist I just learned about Juxta Commons. This is a web version of the earlier downloadable Java tool. The new version still has the lovely interface that shows the differences between variants. The commons however, builds on the personal computer tool by being a place where collations can be kept. Others can find and explore your collations. You can search the commons and find collation projects.

Another interesting feature is that they have Google ads if you search the commons. The search is “powered by Google” so perhaps that comes with the service.

Pundit: A novel semantic web annotation tool

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Susan pointed me to Pundit: A novel semantic web annotation tool. Pundit (which has a great domain name “”) is an annotation tool that lets people create and share annotations on web materials. The annotations are triples that can be saved and linked into DBpedia and so on. I’m not sure I understand how it works entirely, but the demo is impressive. It could be the killer-app of semantic web technologies for the digital humanities.

War and Peace gets Nookd

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

From Slashdot I found this blog entry Ocracoke Island Journal: Nookd about how a Nook version of War and Peace had the word “kindle” replaced by “nook” as in “It was as if a light has been Nooked (kindled) in a carved and painted lantern…” It seems that the company that ported the Kindle version over to the Nook ran a search and replace on the word Kindle and replaced it with Nook.

I think this should be turned into a game. We should create an e-reader that plays with the text in various ways. We could adapt some of Steve Ramsay’s algorithmic ideas (reversing lines of poetry). Readers could score points by clicking on the words they think were replaced and guessing the correct one.

Globalization Compendium Archive

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I have been working for a while on archiving the Globalization Compendium which I worked on. Yesterday I got it archived in two Institutional Repositories:

In both cases there is a Zip of a BagIt bag with the XML files, code and other documentation from the site. My first major deposit.

New Variorum Shakespeare Digital Challenge

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

The MLA has issued a New Variorum Shakespeare Digital Challenge. They are looking for original and innovative ways of “representing, and exploring this data.” You can download the XML files and schema from Github here to experiment with. Submissions are due by Friday, 31st of August, 2012. The winner of the challenge will get $500.

Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory Launch

Thursday, September 29th, 2011


I am at the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) launch. CWRC is building a collaborative editing environment that will allow editorial projects to manage the editing of electronic scholarly editions. Among other things CWRC is developing an online XML editor, a editorial workflow management tools, and integrated repository.

The keynote speakers for the event include Shawna Lemay and Aritha Van Herk.

The Fight Over the Future of Digital Books

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Dan Cohen has written a good summary of the latest fuss over electronic books, The Fight Over the Future of Digital Books. He explains the latest suit by the Authors Guild against the HathiTrust. This suit is the companion to the suit by the Authors Guild of Google that has still not been resolved.

Ruecker on Visualizing Time

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Stan Ruecker gave a great talk today about Visualations in Time for the Humanities Computing Research Colloquium. He is leading a SSHRC funded project that builds on Drucker and Noviskie’s work on Temporal Modelling. (I should mention that I am on the project.) Stan started by talking about all the challenges to the linear visualization of time that you see in tools like Simile. They include:

  • Uncertainty: in some cases we don’t know when it took place.
  • Relative time: how do we visualize all the ways we talk about time as relative (ie. events being before or after another)?
  • Phenomenological time: how do we represent the experience of time.
  • Reception: there is not only the time something happens but the time it is read or received.

Stan then showed a number of visual designs for these different ways of thinking about time. Some looked like rubber sheets, some like frameworks of cubes with things in them, and some like water droplets. Many of these avoided the “line” in the visualization of time.

How to communicate the dangers of nuclear waste to future civilizations.

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Reading Umberto Eco’s The Search for the Perfect Language I came across a discussion Thomas Sebeok’s work for the U.S. Office of Nuclear Waste Management on “Communication Measures To Bridge Ten Millennia.” Sebeok was commissioned to figure out how to warn people about nuclear waste in 10,000 years. How do you design a warning system that can survive for tens of thousands of years? He proposed an artificial folklore with a priestly caste to maintain superstitions about the site. He ended up recommending

that information be launched and artificially passed on into the short-term and long-term future with the sup- plementary aid of folkloristic devices, in particular a combination of an artificially created and nurtured ritual-and-legend. …

The legend-and-ritual, as now envisaged, would be tantamount to laying a “false trail”, meaning that the uninitiated will be steered away from the hazardous site for reasons other than the scientific knowledge of the possibility of radiation and its implications; essentially, the reason would be accumulated superstition to shun a certain area permanently. (p. 24)

Slate Magazine has a great story on the issue of Atomic Priesthoods, Thorn Landscapes, and Munchian Pictograms: How to communicate the dangers of nuclear waste to future civilizations by Juliet Lapidos (Nov. 16, 2009.) She surveys some of the interesting ideas like “Menacing Earthworks” that would warn people off, and talks about a 1993 SANDIA report titled, “Expert Judgment on Markers To Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion Into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.”

Letterpress – a set on Flickr

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Scan of page of text

I’m taking a Letterpress course at SNAP (Society for Northern Alberta Print-Artists) and today I set my first type and printed my first text. I love being a student again. See the photos at Letterpress (a Flickr set).