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Archive for March, 2004

Wiki Markup for Scholars

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

I’m big on annotating bibliographic records with rich markup. If I want to save an excerpt for later use in an article, I want the source metadata embedded in the quote: record id, and page number(s) most particularly.

Aside from the fact that no application AFAIK supports this functionality, there are some real UI issues in supporting this functionality.

This got me thinking recently: what about using wiki-like markup? Maybe something like:

"Here is a quote with embedded metadata [doe99@23]”

Upon entering this in an application (web or otherwise), it’d be converted into proper XML.

Or, how about something more tricky, like you want to add emphasis to such a quote. Maybe…

"Here is a quote with +embedded+ metadata [doe99@23]”

A nested quote?

"Here is "a quote [smith87@14]” with embedded metadata [doe99@23]”

Alas, it seems nobody writing wiki software and standards has any need for this. I certainly would find it really useful though.

DocBook TC Approves Citation Improvements

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Last week the DocBook Technical Committee formally approved the addition of a new “biblioref” element that adds the support necessary for social science and humanities citations. This is the first major XML document format to support these capabilities, which go even beyond BibTeX. Great news, and thanks to the TC, and to Norm Walsh, Mike Smith, and Bob Stayton in particular, all of whom helped us refine the proposal.

For those that speak RELAX NG, here’s the definition they settled on:

# define new biblioref element
     biblioref = element biblioref {
       biblioref.attlist
     }
     biblioref.attlist &=
         attribute linkend { xsd:IDREF },
         attribute endterm { xsd:IDREF }?,
         attribute units { xsd:token }?,
         attribute begin {xsd:token }?,
         attribute end { xsd:token }?,
         attribute xrefstyle { xsd:token }?

XML Editing, VIM, and nXML

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Useful manual by Tobi Reif on using VIM for XML editing.

There are things I like about VIM in comparison to emacs, and I find myself using it a fair bit. Still, until VIM has a plug-in that provides functionality equivalent to nXML, I won’t be using it for serious XML editing. Perhaps a combination of Ruby or Python and the new RNV validator?

Citation Manager Wish List

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

I missed this post from a few weeks ago on what i want in a citation manager. An excerpt:

I want to be able to handle citations to both virtual and physical items in one place. I want it to be as easy to use as del.icio.us, offering similarly handy bookmarklets to go on my browser toolbar and capable of generating RSS feeds. But I also kind of want a desktop app. Something I can work in offline, that can organize and export lists of stand-alone bibliographies in all the styles necessary, and that can integrate with my other desktop apps or at least provide some kind of drag and drop. And I want both the desktop app and the browser interface to address the same information, to merely be two different (and no doubt updating) views of the same data.

I like this idea, and is more-or-less how I’ve been thinking as well. Seems to me xml helps allow just this sort of thing.

Mac OS X Services and Bib Conversion Utilities

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13th, 2004 by darcusb – 1 Comment

I just had an idea of a perfect Mac OS X Service: a bibliographic conversion utility.

Here’s what I have in mind:

Say I’m doing online research in a catalog and I find a bunch of records I want to store. I have a choice of two export formats: MARC and Endnote. However, I just want to import them as MODS records into my XML DB.

So … select the records on-screen in Safari, go to Services menu item, and choose “Save Endnote to XML DB” and the text is passed to Chris Putnam’s bibliographic conversion utilities for conversion, and the output loaded into the XML DB.

When Chris is finished with his suite of tools, it would also allow services such as “Endnote to BibTeX” or “BibTeX to RIS” and so forth. Just a random idea for any Cocoa programmers out there…

Bookmarklets

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Jon Udell posted an interesting piece on a bookmarklet for quotes awhile back. Here’s an example quote from the article rendered with the bookmarklet:

<blockquote cite="XML.com: Interactive Microcontent [Oct. 08, 2003]">
    Most people, quite rightly, would like to see more concrete benefits. If
    you're going to go to the trouble of creating structured microcontent, you'd
    like to be able to interact with it in immediate and tangible ways, and
    you'd like to empower others to do that too. [<a
href="http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/10/08/udell.html">XML.com: Interactive
Microcontent [Oct. 08, 2003]</a>] </blockquote>

I got to thinking as I’m doing some online research that I really want a turbo-charged version of this:

I wonder how easy it would be to have a bookmarklet where I could just highlight a chunk of text, and it was converted to xml and stored (in, say, an XML DB), along with minimal metadata record (url, date accessed, title, etc.)? Internally, then, the quote might be stored like so…

<note>
  <title>XML.com: Interactive Microcontent</title>
  <datePublished>2003-10-08</datePublished>
  <dateAccessed>2004-03-05</dateAccessed>
  <location>http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/10/08/udell.html</location>
  <content>
  <blockquote>
    Most people, quite rightly, would like to see more concrete benefits. If
    you're going to go to the trouble of creating structured microcontent, you'd
    like to be able to interact with it in immediate and tangible ways, and
    you'd like to empower others to do that too.
  </blockquote>
  </content>
</note>

Hacking the Library Series

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2nd, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Here’s a promising new series that looks at how to apply library-oriented technologies for personal end-users.

Geeks and the Dijalog Lifestyle

Interesting. Over at XML.com, Kendall Clark begins a new column, “Hacking the Library“, which will “focus on problems of personal information, especially those related to the digital media lifestyle”.

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