Monday, 7 April 2014

LIB 122: Week 11-12 (April 1, 2014)

In class this week, our guest lecturer was Nancy Steinman, an assistant archivist at Mount St. Mary’s College, working on her MILS from San Jose State University, with 20 years of computer programming experience. Nancy talked to us about the origins of XML, the symbols and rules of well-formed XML, and we practiced writing in XML and exporting our Content DM collections into XML. Nancy reiterated how simple and elegant XML can be throughout her presentation; which is true, but my mind went back to countless hours in Oxygen trying to incorporate series, boxes and folders in c01, c02, or c03 levels, with straight quotes, in order to get my XML to validate. It is definitely a concept that requires a great deal of practice to master. One concept that Nancy mentioned which I’ve seen on my Twitter feed from other archivists but have not acquired any direct experience is TEI, or Text Encoding Initiative. TEI is very popular strategy within Digital Humanities, using computers to perform content analysis. I appreciate the way that she mentioned TEI and XML in the same discussion because they share the theme of tags as a layer of information on top of a data. Tags can be formulated to indicate whatever is meaningful to the user, in the case of EAD, unittitle or bioghist, for TEI, it could be couplets or word counts. Nancy concluded with several websites that we could consult if we had more questions; whatis.com and w3schools (XML tutorials).    

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