Tuesday, 4 October 2016

week 4 follow-up

In this week's class we talked more about how XML is used in different contexts, including specific software. (We used the same lecture slides as last week; see my earlier post and the downloadable versions on BB.) The XML-specific editor that I recommend using is called oXygen, and you should be able to download a trial version. There are actually several different versions of oXygen for different levels of use, and either Author or Editor should be fine for this assignment. I also mentioned the usefulness of code-aware text editing programs, many of which are freeware. There are tons of these programs out there for all operating systems, and Lifehacker has a good (but now somewhat out-of-date) review of several. My own favorites are TextWrangler when working on a Mac, and EditPlus for PC -- though I stick to these more out of habit and familiarity than anything else. These kinds of small, lightweight text editors are great for working with a range of file types and languages, from XML to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to scripting languages like Javascript. 

In class we also looked at one of my research projects, called Visualizing Variation, which provides ways to digitally visualize different kinds of textual variation as represented in XML documents. This is work in progress, but the section on animated variants has a fair number of examples, which show how XML works in conjunction with other web technologies like CSS and Javascript. Feel free to download the linked files from this site, run them locally in your web browser, and modify and play with the contents. In our next class we'll look at the Electronic New Variorum Shakespeare interface described on the site, which I hope will illustrate what a digital interface can do with TEI-XML.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving weekend, and uses our week off to rest, catch up on reading, and work with your groups on the encoding challenge. I'll be checking the BB discussion board and answering email next week -- though I'm offline over the long weekend, and especially during tonight's Blue Jays wildcard game!