Friday, January 11, 2013

DHWI: Humanities Programming: Day 5

Day Five

Our first order of business on this last day was to update our software to address the bug issue mentioned in yesterday's post. Essentially, type 'bundle update' at the prompt in the iTerminal and that took care of it.  Quite easy.

Next, we forked from someone's account on GitHub.  We contributed to someone else's project (making changes to the forked files and saved them). We made a pull request to let the author of the original files know that we made changes.  Jeremy wrote a blog entry on the process: Forking Fetching Pushing Pulling.

Useful Tools and Web Sites encountered over Day Five

An A-Z Index of the Bash command line for Linux:

Project Management for Humanists:

Railsbridge Installfest for Windows:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DHWI: Humanities Programming: Day 4

Day Four

We spent the day working on web design issues and improving our web site.  Later in the day, an alert was sent out regarding a bug in the Ruby on Rails framework.  This evening, I received an email from Heroku on how to fix the bug:

How to Upgrade:
Open the Gemfile in the affected application and change the Rails version to one listed above:
    rails '3.2.11'
Then run:
    $ bundle update rails
Then commit the results to git, and push to Heroku:
    $ git push heroku master
Repeat for any susceptible applications. If you cannot upgrade at this time, please consider enabling maintenance mode or scaling your app down to zero dynos. Any applications running an insecure version are at risk.

Here is the code for interested parties:

Useful Tools and Web Sites encountered over Day Four

Digital Humanities Pedagogy:
CSS Mania:
CSS Specifity Wars: 
Color Scheme Designer:
CSS Drive: 
Ruby on Rails Guides:

DHWI: Humanities programming: Day 3

Day Three

Introduction to Rails
We spent the day coding in Rails! Here is a summary:
  • We developed a real world example, a voting system that we could manipulate.
  • Ruby on Rails was set up and we used basic tools such as a source control, editor, console, local server and moved our work from the local host to the remote server. 
  • The concepts Model, Viewer, Controller were explained. 
  • Learned about CRUD: Create, Read, Update, and Destroy records. 
  • The uses of Git--back up regularly with specific messages. 
  • Set up Heroku, a cloud-driven platform that lets you use the application and store it (GitHub does not do this)
  • Used Gems, ready made apps for Ruby. 
  • We created a new repository (repo) on GitHub so we can share our files with the world.
Million Syllabi Hackathon
In the evening, I attended the Million Syllabi Hackathon with Dave Lester. How can we manipulate thousands of syllabi gathered from 2002-2009 to find meaningful relationships with words, documents, etc.  and what sort of challenges are faced with working big data.  The file unpacked was over 700MB.

Useful Tools and Web Sites encountered over Day Three
A Note about Git Commit Messages

Getting Started with Ruby on Rails



Rails for Zombies:

Ruby and Rails Resources Pinterest:
Ruby Rogues: (for advanced users)
Ruby Inside:
Ruby Weekly:
Ruby User Groups:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DHWI: Humanities Programming: Day 2

Day Two

A shorter entry today. 

We started the day by setting up Git and Github, open source software for managing projects.

After setting up accounts, we linked our Github desktop to the GitHub web site.  This software is great for saving files and sharing with others.

GitHub guide:

Once we set up RUBY, we spent the afternoon learning coding fundamentals: arrays, strings, hashes, etc. by using Sublime Text 2.

We ended the class practicing coding in RUBY in the Code School

The day ended with a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon:
We divided into groups depending on expertise.  I was with a group learning to edit an existing article. Others were creating new pages.  Learned alot about procedures from Melanie Kill, Professor in the Department of English from the University of Maryland.  I mentioned that I was interested in using Wikipedia as an assignment for my LSC634 Humanities Information course at Catholic University.  She stated that she uses it in her classes to show students how wrting for Wikipedia is different than writing a term paper. The students also leanred that their work will be edited and not to take it personally.  Last, the students learn to collaborate with other editors in creating an excellent article.  She told me that I should outline my goals for using Wikipedia before creating any assignments.

Useful Tools and Web Sites encountered over Day Two

GitHub guide:
RUBY Strings:
RUBY Arrays: 
Code School:
CSS demos, go to Zen Garden:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DHWI: Humanities Programming: Day 1

The Digital Humanities Winter Institute

(previous post)

Day One

We began with introductions.  Over half the class are graduate students.  Some librarians in the mix.

Our instructors are Wayne Graham and Jeremy Boggs of  the Scholar's Lab at the University of Virginia.

We began learning basic commands at the terminal prompt using Mac computers: cd for change directory, mkdir for make a directory, etc. This took me back to the early 1990's when I was learning how to use DOS.

We moved on to basic HTML and spent most of the time with CSS.  We learned how to put together elementary scripts and Jeremy and Wayne showed us some shortcuts, what to use and more importantly, what functions to avoid.

Keynote lecture by Sebastian Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media at the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.  Dr. Chan talked about rethinking  museum collections from passive experiences to interactive, mobile opportunities.  He used the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia as an example. Some thoughts:

  • Porous border between the museum and myth, wonder, imagination
  • The museum without walls
  • Museum as data provider
  • Our authority is entirely contextual
  • Tensions between:
    • Exhibitions vs collections
    • Families vs Scholars
    • Galleries vs platforms and media
  • Museum metadata exchanges build collections more quickly
  • Seeking: 
    • Abundance
    • Shareable
    • Connected
    • Portable
    • Visibly curated
The Cooper-Hewitt is undergoing renovation so Dr. Chan sees "renovation as an opportunity to innovate."

Useful Tools and Web Sites encountered over Day One

Data Management Plan Tool
Bootstrap: new tool!
Sass--Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets:
Sublime Text 2.0: great text editor:  
Font Squirrel:  
Google Web Fonts:
The League of Moveable Type: (Open source typography)  


Friday, January 4, 2013

Digital Humanities Winter Institute January 7th-11th, 2013

The Digital Humanities Winter Institute January 7th-11th, 2013 will be at the University of Maryland, College park next week. It is based on the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia.  The Institute is sponsored by MITH.

I will be attending the Humanities Programming course.  The course covers how to set up a small-scale web application.  Here is the course description:

"Humanities Programming
Instructors: Wayne Graham, Head, Research and Development, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia
Jeremy Boggs, Design Architect, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia

This course focuses on introducing participants to web development through the use of the Ruby on Rails web application framework. This course will introduce programming and design concepts, project management and planning, workflow, as well as the design, implementation, and deployment of a web-based application. Technologies covered in this course will include git, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Rails, and relational (and non-relational) data stores. Over the course of the week, we will work through the practical implementation of a developing and deploying a small-scale web application."

I received a Certificate in Computer Information Systems back in 2000 so I am vaguely familiar with programming concepts but consider myself very rusty.   I took courses on C++, Java, LANs, Data Communications, Microsoft Office, Desktop Publishing (Adobe Pagemaker), Advanced Web Design (Dreamweaver), Database Management (Oracle and MySQL). I even did a mathematics course called 'Discrete Structures.'  I am looking forward to getting back in the groove and meeting new people.