Archive for the ‘Coding’ Category

  • Neatline Hands-On


    Following up on the Neatline workshop yesterday afternoon, I propose a more “hands-on” session in the Scholars’ Lab fellows’ lounge (complete Neatline on large, shiny iMac screens…) in which we can play around with Omeka and Neatline, experiment with Geoserver, and talk about possible use cases and ideas for new features.

    As I mentioned in the workshop yesterday, developing “framework” applications like Neatline is a challenge because you’re constantly walking a line between making the software too abstract (not enough features, not just right for any project) and too concrete (hyper-specific features that work great for a specific use case, but not for anything else).

    What kinds of new features in the Neatline application would be most useful? How closely should Neatline be coupled with the underlying Omeka collection? I’d love to sit down and talk about specific project ideas and generally think about the direction for ongoing development.

  • Hack Proposals


    My proposal is to host an old-school hackfest, covering technologies useful for humanist inquiry. These would be beginner-to-intermediate friendly, though if there is interest, we could also do a much deeper dive in to any one of these areas. These are some ideas, but would love to hear if others have ideas they would like to explore.


    There is a lot of excitement in various developer communities for a new server-side JavaScript platform named node.js. Built on the Google v8 JavaScript runtime, node.js allows developers to quickly write real-time applications using an evented model. This session will take a look at how one interesting Node application (HUBOT) is constructed, the technologies used, how it’s deployed, and how it can be extended to implement an IRC bot.

    HTML5 Technologies

    HTML 5 is a buzz word a lot of people talk about, but few actually know what it is. This session would take a look at HTML 5 technologies (e.g. webGL, canvas, audio, video), and how people are beginning to use these components in interesting ways, and perhaps even put them together in a browser-based action game.

    Omeka Plugin Development

    Have an idea for a plugin for Omeka? Don’t know where to start? Stuck somewhere? This session would explain the basics of how Omeka’s plugin architecture works, how to get going, and some tricks we’ve learned along the way developing Neatline (and other) plugins.

    Ruby Zotero gem

    At last year’s THATCampVA, we started hacking on a Ruby gem to allow developers to work with the Zotero APIs. I started to refactor this code to work on the 1.9.3 MRI and use a modular HTTP transport mechanism. This session would hack on adding features and working on the code refactor. You can check out the code on Github. If we’re really ambitious, we could even hack on the node client I began experimenting with.


  • three thoughts


    I have three ideas for sessions this year — and will also be keeping one eye on this guy:

    Pinterest Wunderkammer: For years, I’ve fantasized about creating the perfect interface for a digital humanities cabinet of wonders, but never had time to follow through. Have they beaten me to it? I didn’t pay much attention to Pinterest at first, but then started to see some startling collections. I especially find the temporal dimension fascinating: if you follow this woman’s feed, you can watch her move through varying aesthetic obsessions over time — coherent washes of color, for instance, even across diverse assemblages. So it’s fluid, performative collection-building — or beautifully diachronic fixing. There’s plenty to read about Wunderkammern, but I’d like to have a conversation with some immediate implications for building.

    Quantified Self: At past THATCamps, I’ve co-hosted workshops and conversations on physical computing (especially wearables). I also started a Zotero group for research and inspiration on soft circuits. Now I’m getting interested in the “quantified self” movement (see Wolfram for an extreme example) and am thinking about melding the two. My FitBit has an API. My phone knows where I’ve been. Anybody else interested in the intersection of DH, quantified self, and physical computing?

    Rethinking the Graduate “Methods” Course: I wrote this thing. Now I’m hosting these conversations and running this program. I also spend a lot of time thinking about how well qualified lots of these people are to help train the next generation of humanities faculty and knowledge workers. Wanna talk about it?

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