I'm looking to have my students collaboratively create a DH tool over the course of a semester. Are there any good introductory, practical texts on text markup, tagging or coding for DH projects? I'm basically looking to have them create a tool that will allow users to rearrange literary works creatively according to specific tags.
Good introductory, practical texts on markup, tagging or coding for DH projects?(8 posts) (5 voices)
Depending on the approach (and course requirements or discipline), I can see a lot of really interesting directions with that idea. Probably practical texts would follow from that.
For example, I could imagine a course that even builds that project three times: one in WordPress, one in Omeka, and one in Drupal (or Joomla!, though I've never used that one). Then, the practical texts might be books/sites/fora for those tools. I'll bet someone else might have guidance about undergrad intros to metadata, which I think of because those three systems offer very different ways to handle metadata.
That's just one idea, of course. Could I ask more about the course, like the department it's in, level, objectives, etc?
Thanks, and hope that helps,
Replying to @Patrick Murray-John's post:
Sure, I'm designing an introductory Digital Humanities course under the umbrella of a 1000-level multimodal composition class at Georgia Tech. The overall purpose of multimodal composition in our department is to give students the ability to design communication projects in written, oral, visual, electronic, and non-verbal modalities. Each course is also encouraged to have specific topics based upon our research. I'm focusing particularly upon the remediation of literary texts in the digital humanities as a way to conceptualize multimodal writing. I want the tool to be seen as a creative, as well as an archival project, in that I'd like the students to be encouraged to remediate and remix the texts themselves.
I'm teaching three different sections of the course, one of which is restricted to Computational Media or Computer Science majors. So, if they don't have any background in these issues, @ least they might have an interest in learning them.
Your project seems really interesting, since they would be creating three different "versions" of the projects using three different programs.
I'd throw the CS majors something a bit more challenging, like crosswalking metadata out of an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. (Welcome to my professional life as a digital librarian...) Or you could use the multiple-platforms approach to make them seriously evaluate UI and do user testing, which it's likely a lot of them need.
+1 to Dorothea's thought about including UI and user testing / UX. Given the goals and purpose of the course, multimodal communication, it seems like doing serious study along the user testing lines would be a great addition. I have the feeling that it'd also make the class a real standout among others in its general category -- it'd cover a much neglected aspect of online communication
I don't recall whether "Ambient Findability" and/or "Information Architecture" from O'Reilly would be suitable books for that angle.
Thumbs up for Information Architecture. I didn't think much of Ambient Findability (please pardon the heresy).
To make the UI-testing even MORE fun, make sure they're cutting their teeth on a diverse collection of stuff. Images, video, audio, text (transcripts?), page-scanned books, marked-up books, GIS-friendly information... they NEED to understand that one size of software platform or metadata standard doesn't usually fit all, and best they find that out from experience.
One thing I do with my tech-in-library-school students is split their final project into a doing piece and a writing piece. They have to implement something, yes -- an Omeka installation or a from-scratch Linux box or similar -- but they also have to sit down and plan something out that they won't have to actually do, like an information commons (DH center in this case, I should think) or a records-management system. This gives them a broader understanding of the lib-tech cosmos, one that includes such ideas as sustainability, project management, and budgeting.
Right, books, you asked about books. I very much like parts I and II of Maler and el Andaloussi, which is now online for free, for an introduction to markup concepts. I don't know of anything analogous in XML-Schema-land, I'm afraid.
Replying to @Roger Whitson's post:
"I'm basically looking to have them create a tool that will allow users to rearrange literary works creatively according to specific tags."
Maybe Jon Saklofske's NewRadial data visualization tool? It basically allows users to create connections between objects (individual pages) and groups of objects, all of which can be annotated. I've only played around with it a little bit, but I've seen Jon demo it and it seemed easy to use and an interesting way to explore Blake's texts in particular.
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