New projects, data and taxonomies. No wonder my blogging has been minimal. I thought I’d have a week or two to catch my breath, but it looks like another busy period is about to start.
I’ve been lucky to have an interesting few months with some lovely clients and projects. First off was a London-based corporation who needed some consultancy advice on a taxonomy and metadata strategy. They have a huge amount of data from lots of different sources, and a pressing need to integrate it together for users to be able to draw greater benefit from it, whether through a conventional classification, using an existing thesaurus or even developing the folksonomies they already have. I gave them a roadmap for the next stages, and a pragmatic sense of where they could end up.
Then it was back to the more familiar academic publishing environment for some project planning. The new project needed to be started urgently, so I’ve spent the last couple of months working with the extremely bright publishing team to pull together the outline requirements for an exciting new service to be launched next year. Despite a subject area with which I was relatively unfamiliar, it proved to be a fascinating resource, with an extremely innovative back-end system for linking data. Nice to know I can still throw in a few quirky insights that add something challenging to a project…
And finally, there’s the data. I’ve always enjoyed the data side of digital publishing, ever since I managed the editorial and the technical ends of projects at Routledge in the 90s when it was clear that to manage data well it really helped to have a detailed understanding of what it does, and of the fine attention to picky detail that proofing and copy-editing gives you. Consequently, I’ve done lots of modelling and converting publishers’ data over the years, so it was a pleasure to have to convert some very lightly-HTML-tagged encyclopedia data to rather more robust TEI markup using XSLT. The highlights this time have been the rather extensive use of the
for-each-group and inordinate complex regexes in
analyze-string to add structure to the bibliographies so that OpenURL linking might work. Needless to say, Michael Kay’s book is always by my side.