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I think there's more to discuss here than is convenient on a message board, though, so I'll drop you an email. </p> elotroalex on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-467 Sat, 16 Oct 2010 03:58:42 +0000 elotroalex 467@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p>You might also want to take a look at the software MEDITE by a team of french programmers working for the ITEM/CNRS. Although the software is mostly kept in the wraps you can still get some good information from one of its creators Jean Gabriel Ganascia. Here is his email: <a href="mailto:Jean-Gabriel@ganascia.name">Jean-Gabriel@ganascia.name</a>. If you explain your project to him he might let you take a look at the software (written in Python I think). Their team is planning to continue development to satisfy the needs of the ITEM folk, which usually work with many instantiations of a manuscript. Because the software was geared towards geneticists it has some interesting quirks that differentiate it from Juxta or the <a href="http://v-machine.org/">Versioning Machine.</a> You can see a screenshot of the software in the pdf that Melissa Terras points you to.</p> <p>The biggest question I have for you is, what editorial philosophy underpins your desire to create a collaborative versioning application? I ask this question because I'm interested in the sort of change you want to visualize. Is it linguistical change, or perhaps you have thought of also visualizing bibliographical change? If it is the latter yesterday we were imagining something like a marriage between <a href="http://sapheos.org/">Sapheos</a> and <a href="http://www.juxtasoftware.org/">Juxta</a> over at the Scholars Lab. </p> <p>As a final note, I have a link here to a visualization of my own which tracks transpositions within the different versions of one play by Aimé Césaire. This graphic does not include any information about additions or deletions, but it is one way of providing historical information about a text by reducing the text to a series of proportional rectangles: <a href="http://www.archivescesaire.org/images/chiens_master.jpg">http://www.archivescesaire.org/images/chiens_master.jpg</a> This sort of graphic can be generated I imagine automatically once you have your anchors in place. Mine was drawn "manually." I think you will find the comparison between this model and Ben Fry's animation rewarding, since they are doing something slightly different in regards to textual change. When thinking of visualizing change I have always found useful the difference between morphological macroscopic changes of the kind you see in my image and atomic changes of the kind that Juxta helps best visualize. </p> Daniel Allington on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-444 Fri, 15 Oct 2010 10:54:01 +0000 Daniel Allington 444@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p><em>Replying to @Bethany Nowviskie's <a href="http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-426">post</a>:</em></p> <p>Thanks for the details on Juxta's ongoing development!</p> <p>Btw, I think I can see at least one reason why it's "not part of the immediate development plan" to put more than two texts in the side-by-side view: it's very hard to see how that could be done without compromising the readability of Juxta's output. The vectors that Juxta usefully plots between witnesses, for example, could easily turn the screen into a cobweb if there were more than two texts visible at a time. (I'm thinking of the human aesthetic input that is needed if programs like <a HREF="http://pajek.imfm.si/doku.php">Pajek</a> are to produce readable sociograms, for example.)</p> <p>This is one reason why I would see the issue of how to visualise variance very much as a research question in its own right.</p> <p>(Thanks also for link to Ben Fry's work, although I'm having trouble opening the animation itself.) </p> Daniel Allington on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-443 Fri, 15 Oct 2010 10:27:42 +0000 Daniel Allington 443@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p><em>Replying to @<a href='http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/profile/melissaterras'>MelissaTerras</a>'s <a href="http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-428">post</a>:</em></p> <p>It looks like that's pretty much what I was getting at. The pdf file you linked to suggests that the main question I am interested in here (ie. how best to visualise?) is still very much open, but that these people have made an enormous amount of progress towards establishing how it might be answered. On the other hand, that pdf seems to be a couple of years old, and I can't find Morkel on the web: there's a reference to it <a HREF="http://www.kantl.be/ctb/project/index.htm">here</a>, but it's just a reference, no hyperlink or details.</p> <p>I'll get in touch, as you suggest. </p> MelissaTerras on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-428 Thu, 14 Oct 2010 16:00:06 +0000 MelissaTerras 428@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p>You should also look at the work they are doing at the Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies <a href="http://www.kantl.be/ctb/" rel="nofollow">http://www.kantl.be/ctb/</a> at the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature, Ghent, with a system called Morkel: An open-source toolkit for generating electronic editions:<br /> <a href="http://www.kantl.be/ctb/pub/2008/DH2008_Rvdb.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.kantl.be/ctb/pub/2008/DH2008_Rvdb.pdf</a></p> <p>Get in touch with <a href="http://www.edwardvanhoutte.org/en/index.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.edwardvanhoutte.org/en/index.htm</a> for further information. </p> Bethany Nowviskie on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-426 Thu, 14 Oct 2010 14:27:22 +0000 Bethany Nowviskie 426@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p>Daniel, I've been meaning to take a moment to reply about <a href="http://www.juxtasoftware.org/">Juxta</a>, which is a project of the <a href="http://nines.org">NINES</a> group (where I did my postdoc). A recent Google Digital Humanities grant is funding the transformation of the software from a desktop application to a Web-based toolset -- with work to take place over the course of the coming year. By <em>mid-January</em>, the NINES team plans to have an embeddable Java applet ready, with which you could display on a website collations originally created in the desktop application -- and then by <em>next Fall</em>, the plan is to release a fully "webified" version that will allow users to do on-the-fly collations and editors to choose, configure, and style various parts of the Juxta toolset within their own sites.</p> <p>Juxta does let you visualize variance across more than two documents, through its "heatmap" view -- where darker shaded text in your base-text indicates a greater degree of variation across all the witnesses you've included. But you're right that the side-by-side comparison currently only looks at two documents at a time. There has been some planning and thinking about expanding that to multiple witnesses, but (as I understand it) that's not part of the immediate development plan.</p> <p>In thinking about the visualization of variance across multiple witnesses, you'll not want to miss Ben Fry's "<a href="http://benfry.com/traces/">Preservation of Favoured Traces</a>" animation -- across six editions of Darwin's <em>On the Origin of Species</em>. Ben built this with Processing, and wrote <a href="http://benfry.com/writing/archives/529">a nice blog post</a> on the project. </p> Daniel Allington on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-425 Thu, 14 Oct 2010 14:04:01 +0000 Daniel Allington 425@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p><em>Replying to @Patrick Murray-John's <a href="http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-419">post</a>:</em></p> <p>Hadn't seen that either! Well, it certainly looks like Scripto will do a part of what I was thinking of (managing transcription) - and that the eComma software used to build the website Laura linked to will do another (managing comments). </p> <p>This takes away a lot of the work involved in what I've been imagining (hurrah!) but I guess it also raises the question of how to design the visualisation app in such a way that it will integrate with at least one of those at a time when neither of them is yet available... Is it worth trying to answer that question, or would that just be unicornism??</p> <p>On a different website, Wim van Mierlo pointed me towards the forthcoming online incarnation of Juxta. I wonder what that will be capable of - and I guess there are certain members of this community who could potentially answer that! </p> Patrick Murray-John on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-419 Wed, 13 Oct 2010 15:53:30 +0000 Patrick Murray-John 419@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p>It might be too early to know if this will become a helpful tool for this, but CHNM is building a document transcription tool called <a href="http://scripto.org">Scripto</a>. It's in early stages of development, but it might be something to watch as a possible starting point. I'm imagining using it to manage the transcriptions of various witnesses, then using it to build on a comparison feature.</p> <p>Like I say, it's still early on, so I might be leaping too quickly to the land of unicorns, but I'm guessing that for that kind of functionality it'll be a project to watch. </p> Daniel Allington on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-417 Wed, 13 Oct 2010 15:00:42 +0000 Daniel Allington 417@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p><em>Replying to @Laura Weakly's <a href="http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-415">post</a>:</em></p> <p>How beautiful! I think you must have read the first version of my post, in which I mentioned the Rubaiyat. </p> <p>But no, I hadn't seen that, so thanks very much. It's a really great project that I should have seen sooner. On the other hand, it's not quite what I'm after in terms of how it visualises variance, which I would see as the central challenge - it's this kind of all-texts-at-once display that I'm hoping to get beyond. (If it can be got beyond. Maybe it can't.) </p> Laura Weakly on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-415 Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:44:19 +0000 Laura Weakly 415@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p><em>Replying to @Daniel Allington's <a href="http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-413">post</a>:</em></p> <p>Have you looked at this site? <a href="http://scholar.hrc.utexas.edu/rubaiyat/" rel="nofollow">http://scholar.hrc.utexas.edu/rubaiyat/</a> </p> Daniel Allington on "Web application for visualisation of variance across multiple witnesses?" http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/topic/advice-web-application-for-visualisation-of-variance-across-multiple-witnesses#post-413 Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:26:47 +0000 Daniel Allington 413@http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/ <p>I’d just like to ask the community for advice on a possible project I’ve been discussing with a colleague who works in information technology. The idea began with a little scholarly dream I have had for a while, which is of an interactive website that visualises the variance between all the texts of a particular work and enables the user to navigate through that variance intuitively, encountering (and perhaps adding) notes on the way and (if necessary) reporting errors. Rather than construct a one-off website, I think it could be more productive to create an open source web application that could be used in the production of websites based around other works: you’d upload digital versions of the texts (and if possible, scans of the originals), and the application (suitably customised) would form the user interface. The website could then be made public in stages, eg. first to a group of editors, then to a community of peer reviewers, and finally to everyone. This also opens the possibility of using the application as a communal transcription tool. As I see it, however, the central challenge will be to find creative ways of visualising variance: I’ve seen various ways of visualising the variance between pairs of witnesses, for example, but the question of how to visualise variance between larger numbers of texts seems to me to be quite open (as does the question of how to make such visualisations comprehensible on the small screen of a smartphone).</p> <p>These are very early days yet (no code written, no funding secured), and any advice that can be offered on any aspect of this project would be appreciated. Particularly helpful would be an indication of how useful people think an application like this might be (or of how it could be made more useful): if I’m the only one who thinks it would be interesting to produce editions of the kind and in the way I’ve described, then I had better drop the application idea and try to put together my website by hand! </p>