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DIGITALCLASSICIST  March 2012

DIGITALCLASSICIST March 2012

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Subject:

Re: DH and Open Source

From:

"Kalvesmaki, Joel" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Digital Classicist List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Mar 2012 15:02:37 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (249 lines)

P.S. By "channel their requests" I meant in addition to (not instead of)
posts on this list. Who wants yet one more website to keep tabs on day by
day?

jk
--
Joel Kalvesmaki
Editor in Byzantine Studies
Dumbarton Oaks
1703 32nd St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 339-6435





On 3/6/12 9:58 AM, "Kalvesmaki, Joel" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Henry (et al.),
>
>Take a look at the newly created DH Commons: http://dhcommons.org/
>
>Perhaps DH classicists could agree to channel their requests for
>collaboration through this avenue, at least until a better option
>presents itself?
>jk
>--
>Joel Kalvesmaki
>Editor in Byzantine Studies
>Dumbarton Oaks
>1703 32nd St. NW
>Washington, DC 20007
>(202) 339-6435
>
>From: Henry Francis Lynam <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>Reply-To: The Digital Classicist List
><[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>
>Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 14:54:22 +0000
>To: 
><[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>
>Subject: [SPAM - Header] - Re: [DIGITALCLASSICIST] DH and Open Source -
>Email found in subject
>
>Hi Bridget,
>
>Do you know of a list of active Digital Humanities open source projects
>that are looking for contributors? The Digital Classicist wiki has a list
>of projects (http://wiki.digitalclassicist.org/Category:Projects) but it
>isn't clear whether they are finished projects or still requiring input.
>
>If the list does not exist, I wonder would it be a good idea to create
>one that allows open source DH projects to briefly describe themselves
>and indicate what type of contributions they require. Potential
>contributors could create a profile and based on this profile be matched
>with interesting projects. I imagine this type of community website
>already exists somewhere for general open source projects.
>
>Henry.
>
>
>On 5 March 2012 13:27, Bridget Almas
><[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>I've been watching this chain of discussion with great interest.  Our
>experience with the Alpheios Project<http://alpheios.net> has confirmed
>the point that Leif and others have made that it's quite hard to build up
>a sizable (or any) external developer community, even when that is an
>explicit goal of the project as with ours. We've reached out to
>University Computer Science departments, itemized some explicit areas in
>which we are looking for contributions, etc. but have so far been
>unsuccessful in drawing out people with expertise to contribute.
>
>Scott's point on another part of this chain, about
>test-driven-development facilitating contribution is an excellent one.
>This is one area were were probably remiss in Alpheios.  In my own
>personal experience extending other open source projects, that has indeed
>been a useful facilitator. (The eXtensible
>Catalog<http://www.extensiblecatalog.org/> project is a good example of a
>project which seems to have thought this through from the beginning and
>for which I found the unit tests were crucial to my ability to extend the
>code). However, I also think that lack of unit tests shouldn't be a deal
>killer; this is just one of several factors which can enable
>contribution. Having well-commented and well-structured code, and a
>development team that is willing to answer questions may be even more
>crucial.  The Salt-n-Pepper
>Framework<https://korpling.german.hu-berlin.de/saltnpepper/trac/> and the
>Son of Suda Online<https://github.com/papyri/sosol> are two other open
>source projects I've been working on extending lately and it was really
>these factors, i.e. quality of the code and design and availability of
>the developers for querying, that were the key enabling factors for me.
>I also think you have to be willing as a developer to invest a little
>time and effort into exploring the code to see if and how it can be
>extended and reused.
>
>On the whole, I think this is an excellent opportunity for growth in the
>digital humanities community.  There are alot of great projects and
>developers out there, with various overlapping interests, and if we could
>do a better job of harnessing the combined potential, I think we would be
>able to exponentially increase our productivity.
>
>
>Bridget Almas
>Sr. Software Developer
>Perseus Project, Tufts University
>and The Alpheios Project
>
>
>On 02/28/2012 04:21 AM, Leif Isaksen wrote:
>
>Hi Henry
>
>I think there are quite a number of different ways that projects can
>be 'Open' and they all come with their own challenges.
>
>'Open Source' in terms of source code is easy in principle but
>surprisingly challenging in practice. It's not a big deal to put stuff
>on GitHub but the reality is that it's fairly rare (in proportion to
>the overall number of OS projects) to build up a sizable developer
>community and these only tend to be for tools with a very high degree
>of generalization. There's also a huge variation in overhead depending
>on whether you're trying to manage that community (a la linux) or
>simply saying 'anyone who wants to use this is welcome to'. I'd
>obviously advocate Open Source over closed source any time, but
>perhaps we should be looking at this the other way round. Who's
>actually going out and looking to recycle Open Source tools? (and I'm
>looking for more than Open Office and Firefox here).
>
>'Open Data' is the area thats currently in vogue and I'm inclined to
>push for that much more strongly. Again, relatively speaking I'd argue
>that you can do more with a lot of data and a few tools than with a
>lot of tools and not much data. I think the literary humanities is
>surprisingly blessed in this arena, compared to, say, archaeology,
>where historically academics have been more tight-fisted, (probably
>for the simple reason that they can - it's hard to stake out an Austen
>novel as your own turf in the same way that people lay claim to the
>intellectual content of an excavation). But Open Data should mean more
>than 'you can have it if you email me'. Ideally it should be
>discoverable and online (and if you want to go the whole hog, Linked
>Open Data).
>
>Passing over 'Open Standards' (which are extremely important, nuff
>said), on the Pelagios project we're experimenting with what we might
>call 'Open Methods'. Essentially we're a consortium of projects who
>all have the same goal in mind (place-annotation of our own Web
>resources) but for which we have limited guidance, and differing
>needs. As a result we're trying to openly discuss and share our own
>approaches to the problem via the Pelagios blog and (openly archived)
>mailing list.
>http://pelagios-project.blogspot.com/http://groups.google.com/group/pelagi
>os-project
>
>The annotations that we produce are all open data (and we put any
>centrally developed code on GitHub), but our biggest hope is that
>other folks will make use of the methods and data to annotate their
>own resources (which then become linkable to ours and vice versa).
>It's a bit of a messy process (we're in the processing of creating a
>'cookbook') but the idea is that it makes maximum use of the
>community, rather than operates as a closed consortium. I'd love to
>know of similar initiatives out these so that we can trade notes!
>
>Best
>
>Leif
>
>
>
>
>
>
>On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:41 AM, Henry Francis Lynam
><[log in to unmask]><mailto:[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Hi Tom,
>
>These are great projects and they show the benefits of wider engagement
>with
>the community. Thanks for the links.
>
>Thanks,
>Henry.
>
>
>On 27 February 2012 14:31, Tom Elliott
><[log in to unmask]><mailto:[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Hi Henry:
>
>I think one can find all kinds of engagement (or not) with open-source
>approaches across the digital humanities. Some projects start with open
>development from the beginning (our http://pleiades.stoa.org project is
>one
>example), others only move in this direction after an early prototyping
>phase (e.g., http://papyri.info). Some remain closed. Certainly I think
>that
>the number of projects that start life as open-source is growing.
>
>Does this help?
>
>Tom
>
>
>On 2/27/12 6:21 AM, Henry Francis Lynam wrote:
>
>
>Hi,
>
>A question for the group. In general, are projects in Digital Humanities
>open source? When I say open source, I mean are they open source from
>inception where they actively encourage contributions from the wider
>community of programmers and host their evolving source code on public
>repositories? I know that certain projects ultimately make their code
>and texts available but this is a different type of open source.
>
>If they are not open source, is this because of intellectual property
>reasons or is it one of quality control? I would have thought that there
>is a wide pool of programming talent who could be attracted to open
>source projects even if they do not have classical training. Of course,
>an open source model does not in any way suggest a free for all and can
>still maintain the strictest levels of quality control (e.g. consider
>the Linux kernel).
>
>What got me thinking about this is whether there are alternative ways of
>contributing to digital humanities without proceeding down the
>conventional academic route.
>
>Any thoughts appreciated.
>
>Henry.
>
>Henry Lynam,
>Trinity College Dublin.
>
>
>
>--
>Tom Elliott, Ph.D.
>Associate Director for Digital Programs
>Senior Research Scholar
>Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
>New York University
>
>http://isaw.nyu.edu/people/staff/tom-elliott/
>
>Want to talk or meet? Please suggest a date and time via
>http://www.doodle.com/paregorios

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