July 22, 2013 by Amanda Visconti

Digital Disputations: A Tech Review of Digital Editing and Commentary Projects

This month, I shifted gears from installation and configuration of my local Infinite Ulysses site to the first new coding work on the project (I successfully defended my digital humanities doctoral dissertation in Spring 2015. The now-available Infinite Ulysses site is part of that project.). I've captured a brief tech review of the existing tools and projects that are helping me through example or incorporation:

Modernist Commons: Digital Editing in a Box

Infinite Ulysses is being built off the in-development Modernist Commons (MC) digital editing platform, an initiative of the Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC) research group, of which I'm a doctoral fellow. MC includes the following platforms, toolkits, and digital standards:

  • Islandora, a platform taking a best-practice approach to digital assets

    • Drupal (a content management system that’s great at taxonomy); I’ll be using Drupal 7, as Islandora and MC developmenthave recently migrated to this version

    • Fedora Commons (digital object management: managing, preserving, and linking digital objects)

    • Apache Solrsearch platform

  • CWRC Writer: an in-development “in-browser text markup editor for use by collaborative scholarly editing projects”

    • Demo

    • Promised features include: “close-to-WYSIWYG editing and enrichment of scholarly texts with meaningful visual representations of markup” and the  “ability to export using ‘weavers’ that recombine the plain text, the TEI, and the RDF into different forms (including a TEI-like embedded XML)”

  • Shared Canvas

    • “The SharedCanvas data model enables the construction of views by distributed collaborators, by annotating a shared "Canvas" resource which is then rendered using a presentation system... Many different images of a page may exist, along with a transcriptions, editions and translations of the text.” (from the Shared Canvas homepage)

  • RDF (Resource Description Framework), a non-hierarchical metadata data model for describing relationships among things (e.g. x is part of y)

  • TEI (the hierarchical Text Encoding Initiative standard)

Digital Discussion and Disputation

I’ll also be looking at the following tools and projects with features of possible interest in my participatory work:

  • Prism and Debates in the Digital Humanities both allow readers to highlight sections of the text of interest, adding this work to a pool of data on what areas all readers have highlighted. Prism uses this to identify both consensus and differences in how readers define ideas such as “Modernism” and “Realism” in a text; Debates provides statistics on what other readers are marking as interesting.

  • Examples of social commenting: Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Planned Obsolescence, the DH Curation Guide, and the latest version of the online Debates in DH

  • TEICHI: Drupal 6 + TEI encoding framework

  • Platforms for social annotation/commenting such as eComma, Public Poetics, Digress.It (or other Wordpress/Buddypress solutions), and CommentPress

I successfully defended my digital humanities doctoral dissertation in Spring 2015. The now-available Infinite Ulysses social+digital reading platform is part of that project; come read with us!