The Last Days of DigiPal: A Call for Testers
DigiPal is coming to an end, and we need your help to test the framework as thoroughly as possible. First, though, let me tell you a bit more about what we've done and what's left to do.
Today marks the beginning of the last stretch of the DigiPal project. As regular readers will know, funding for this project ends on 30 September 2014, which is three weeks and one day from now. I'm very happy to say that this won't be the end of it: of course the DigiPal website will stay active, and indeed it will continue to be extended through the Models of Authority and Exon Domesday projects, but the 'core' ERC-funded part will end soon.
The reason I say that today is the beginning of the end is that we have just released our last functional update of the DigiPal framework. That's right: the website as it stands today represents all the functionality that there will be as part of this project. From here on, at least within the scope of the core project, there will be no new features. So, let's have a look at what you can do:
- Search for manuscripts and charters, scribes, scribal hands, and graphs (images of letter-forms).
- Explore a faceted search of manuscripts and charters, images, scribes hands and graphs (this is still in 'beta').
- Browse images of over 800 manuscript pages and charters.
- Read descriptions of manuscripts, charters, and scribal hands.
- See images of manuscript and charter pages marked up with palaeographical annotations.
- Form collections of images, whether of complete pages or of individual images, saving them to your browser or desktop, or sharing them via Twitter, e-mail, or whatever else you prefer. See, for instance, my collection of the letter b written by the famous scribe Eadwig Basan.
- Once you have a collection then you can send it to the Lightbox, which allows you to manipulate your images in various ways (resizing, rotating, overlaying, comparing and so on), where you can again share, download and so on. See, for instance, the collection of Eadwig's bs.
- Download our framework from our open-source repository on GitHub.
- Connect your software directly to the DigiPal data using our API (preliminary documentation is available on GitHub) which in turn allows custom searches like this display of images associated with a particular hand. (Remember, this is not designed for human consumption!)
- We don't use these in DigiPal, but the framework also has a component for generating maps and timelines of your data which some associated projects are using.
So, with all that, what are we we doing for the last month? Testing and documenting! Yes, that's right: we are going to be improving the layout of the site a bit, and we will be adding new and correcting old content, but for the most part we will be documenting the site and fixing any bugs. We will be explaining how people can search and explore better, what all the content means, and we will also document how it works 'behind the scenes' so you can use it yourself.
This is also where you come in. We want to know about all the bugs that are still in the system. We know about some – we have a long list of them! – but we're also sure that you'll find ones we haven't found yet. So please, test it, see what you think, and let us know of any bugs. So, contact us through the feedback form, write comments at the bottom of this page, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of all, remember that we can't do any more debugging after the funding runs out. So this is your last chance!Share on Twitter Share on Facebook