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Archive for April, 2004

Citation Facility Interface

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Peter Schulte-Stracke has launched a new project to realize the idea of creating an application-agnostic interface API for bibliographic solutions, called Vincennes.

Here’s my own hacked-together diagram of the relationships that may be involved:

WikiBibBlog

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25th, 2004 by darcusb – 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking more about marrying bibliographic database, wiki, and blog, and have some ideas of how this might work.

Let’s say you enter a new bibliographic record. Upon doing so there would be a link, which would create a new annotation page linked to that record (just as in a wiki).

That’s straightforward enough, but what if you want to get more complex, and have links to other records from within that page? Or, you want a free standing note tied to a variety of bibliographic records. I haven’t quite figured that one out, but I have to believe there’s an elegant way to handle it.

The blog functionality is not as important to me, but the basic idea would be to provide a different – time-based – view of records and their annotations. One difference with regular blogs would be that there’d need to be a way to control what content is published, and to whom.

Linkstacking, Scholars and Libraries

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23rd, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

New post on Linkstacking. The idea is simple: you have a bookmarklet on your browser toolbar. When you visit a site you’d like to make note of, hit the bookmarklet and minimal information (including, I guess, annotations) are stored in a central location. Dan Chudnov’s unalog is a good example.

The author thus logically asks:

So, with all of this, the question is: Isn’t this the type of service libraries should be providing?

Answer: yes!

But I want to see the concept of linkstacking extended. If I read an online news or law review article, I want to be able to store full citation-oriented metadata with the click of my bookmarklet. Even better, I’d like to highlight a key chunk of text I might refer to later, and have that content stored along with the metadata, without me having to doing anything more than click a button. Now that would be useful!

Academic Workflow and the Online World

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23rd, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

James Howison has put up a diagram that models academic workflow.

I think it’s missing a couple things that may complicate this a bit. For me, a big one is annotation of bibliographic records, which blurs the boundary between managing and writing papers.

Also, one thing that a lot of people are thinking about is online bibligraphic metadata access. Imagine, perhaps, highlighting a partial reference in a PDF file or web browser, and then running a web service on it to download the metadata record to your bibliographic database.

An intriguing idea that has come up on the OOoBib dev list is to have a unified API for both local and remote record query. ZOOM is looking like a good candidate, maybe in conjunction with the CQL query language.

I Give Up!

Posted in General on April 22nd, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

I had my tech guy install MT-Blacklist, but I still get spam every week. So, I give up. I have no time for this, and am deactivating commenting on the blog.

BTW, is there no easy way to close comments for an entire blog? It’d be really nice to be able to have them automatically closed after a certain period.

Instiki: Dead-Simple CMS?

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

I’ve been trying to figure out the best (easiest, most flexible) way to quickly organize and author content for teaching and research. What I want:

  • easy to install and use
  • easy to get to content out in different formats
  • access control

Someone recommended Plone to me, which fits a lot of what I’m looking for. However, it’s rather slow, and I can’t figure out for the life of me how to get it to behave like a wiki. The new Ruby-based wiki instiki is starting to look really nice though. Seeing it had a nice new download-the-whole-wiki feature, I pointed out to the author that exporting valid XHTML would make it suitable for XSLT-ing it into LaTeX, and it seems the author is looking to add a LaTeX export feature. That could be useful!

Still, ultimately I want it all integrated with a bibliographic database.

Hmm… I wish my weblog editor (NetNewsWire) would support wiki-like markup.

Organizing Bibliographic Metadata

Posted in Uncategorized on April 10th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

When you start to think of what is necessary in bibliographic software for a serious scholar, and what is possible given recent software and metadata developments, one can start to envision a very interesting – and potentially very complex – tool (or set of tools).

A variety of people are starting to think along the lines of this poster, who says:

Requirements - to allow to:
- describe a document
- categorise a document
- associate a file and/or URL (full text) with a document
- add interesting quotes (text excerpts) to the document information
- add relations (references) to/from other documents
- view and navigate relations

Ideally that would be a graphical tool that allowes to navigate the document relations in a graph form, view the graph in various views and explore its clustering.

This reflects one important aspect of managing citations. But another is being able to put this metadata to use; to integrate it with document creation. I thus like Peter Schulte-Stracke’s (of the Pybliographer project) suggestion that creating an interface for editors such as OpenOffice and KWord also ought to make it possible to do something similar for emails clients.

TeX-GX Reborn!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 10th, 2004 by darcusb – Comments Off

Wow! Check this out:

http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=xetex

Written by Jonathan Kew and designed to work with a standard TeX install, it is TeX-GX reborn!

From the docs:

The fundamental features of XeTeX that set it apart from TeX are that it works with Unicode rather than 8-bit encodings, and has the ability to use Mac OSX’s advanced typographic services (AAT: Apple Advanced Typography). In particular, it can take advantage of virtually all the advanced features of AAT fonts, such as contextual variants, complex ligatures, alternate swash forms, variation fonts, etc.

They really need to open source this, though.

Integrating Citation Support into OpenOffice, KWord, etc.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 9th, 2004 by darcusb – 1 Comment

There’s an interesting discussion going on at the development list for the OpenOffice bibliographic project. It began with my coming across a proposal for a similar project for KWord. It just so happens that KWord and OOo will be sharing the same file format in the future, so this naturally led me to speculate “hmm … what if there was a way to use the same code for both projects?”

This has seemed to strike a nerve, and the focus is now on figuring out a way to provide a common interface at the level of the word-processor to integrate different bibliographic managers. It would provide the kind of integration that Endnote provides with its Word plug-in, but not only hopefully improve on it, but also open it up to different bibliographic applications. One would in theory be able to use the same bibliographic application with any word-processor that supported the interface.

This could be really cool!