Sunday, March 15, 2020

Scaife Viewer Update

Two years ago, we launched the Scaife Viewer. The primary goal at the time was to provide a reading environment for the Perseus Digital Library and the Open Greek and Latin First One-Thousand Years of Greek Project.
But even before we launched, we knew it was only the beginning and that there were a lot of rich annotations we wanted to support, including:
  • translation alignment
  • treebanks
  • critical apparatus
  • manuscript images
and more.
We also knew that Scaife wouldn’t just stay as one site ( but become an ecosystem of software used for building all sorts of rich reading environments.
Over the last year, we’ve worked on a handful of new projects built on Scaife (although we’re always looking for more!) and, as funding permitted, have been laying the foundation for the capabilities we want the Scaife software to have in the future.
In the last update, I talked about our new architecture, essentially made up of a front-end skeleton hosting widgets talking via GraphQL to a backend server we dubbed ATLAS (for Aligned Text and Linguistic Annotation Server—an acronym I’m still proud of).
Today, on the second anniversary of the launch of the original site built on Scaife, we’re opening up our efforts on this new architecture.
We’re launching two actively developed prototypes of the new architecture: “Explore Homer” which will bring together various levels of analysis of Homer, and “SV Mini” which goes broader with a variety of texts with some analysis but not as deep as Explore Homer (nor as broad as the entire Perseus Digital Library.)
It’s still early days, but you can see the work in progress at:
with new features being released every few weeks. I will endeavour to provide updates on these releases along with video screencasts on a roughly monthly basis.
The GitHub repositories are all open (the code is open source under an MIT license) and the Trello boards tracking development have all been made public today.
The best way to get involved is to join Slack and get familiar with the key repositories and Trello boards.
Links have also been added to the project website
I am almost always available on Slack to answer any questions.
James Tauber

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