Category Archives: Announcements



Please plan to be in Room 9205 by 4 pm on Tuesday (or have at least one member of your group there at that time) so we can verify setup ahead of the event. More details will be coming about an afterparty in the MALS Lounge, but I want to issue two quick reminders about your presentations.

  • First, be sure you’re as precise and specific with your language as you can possibly be. This goes for your written work as well, but you’ll need to remember you’re presenting to people unfamiliar with your work and in many cases your methods. Clarity will be key to getting across what you’ve accomplished.
  • Second, make sure your presentations include a statement of the current state of the project. Is it useable? Is it a proof of concept that’s viewable, but that’s not functional in an interactive way? What each group has produced absolutely passes muster for the requirements of the course (even if tied together in certain spots with string and duct tape). You can feel comfortable giving the audience an honest sense of what they’ll get when they visit your urls.

Finally… I have been working with a couple of you to fine tune your pitches, and Amanda and I are available to give that feedback right up to the time of the launch. If you want to run anything by us, need some help with language, or are confused about anything at all… just holler.



Confirmation of Timining on May 19th


I have confirmed with Matt that DH Praxis will have an hour total to present on May 19th. This breaks down to 12-15 minutes for each group (Amanda and I will do a brief intro and framing, no more than 3-4 minutes, and then you’ll all take it away).

Come to class Tuesday with ideas and questions about your presentations.


TANDEM project update

The code merge was completed and tested on two local machines and uploaded to the server at According to Tim Owens at Reclaim, the necessary Python packages were loaded on the server, but the code cannot find three of them, so, as of this date, the code has not been run (Note: running this code on the server is an interim step to verify that the core logic of the text analysis and image analysis works properly). However, the server was built out so that the demonstration Django application launches successfully. Unfortunately, once it launches, some of the pages cause errors as does any attempt to write to the database. Our subject matter expert has been contacted to help debug these errors.

On a separate development path, multiple members of the team are working on building the Django components we need to turn the analytics engine into an interactive web application. Steve is working on linking the the core program to a template or view. Chris, Kelly and Jojo are working on designing and building the templates in a Django framework. Current UI/UX concerns involve potential upload sizes combined with processing time, button prompts that launch the analysis, and ways to convey best practice documentation so that it’s clear, concise, and that it facilitates proactive troubleshooting. The next part of this process will be to address the presentation of the final page, where the user is promoted to download their file. This page has great potential to be underwhelming, but there are some simple features we can apply to jazz it up, such as data visualization examples and by providing external links to next-step options.

On the outreach front, Jojo went to a Django hacknight Wednesday to get a handle on people building Django apps. She made contact with several new advocates in addition to garnering further support from Django Girls participants web developers Nicole Dominguez and Jeri Rosenblum, as well as hacknight organizer Geoff Sechter. The new contacts include Michel Biezunski. He seems like he could help. And has used Django to upload and redistribute files for his app InstantPhotoAlbum. So he could help when we work on figuring out potential options for placing and giving back data.

Last but not least, Chris attended a meetup at DaniPad NYC Tech Coworking space in Queens, NY this past week. There, he met a handful of Python developers who had insight into working with Django based web-apps. Commercial uses for TANDEM-like were brainstormed and people responded with interest in testing a prototype. Along with academic beta-testers, some of these people will be included in the contact list when TANDEM is deployed.

State of Your Projects

Hi All:

Below are some notes on the immediate needs of each project that we hope will help focus your work through the next week and a half.

Luke & Amanda


  • Solidify live streaming via Icecast and broadcast via Airtime paths, and identify security/gate keeping/bandwidth challenges of each.
  • Keep working to master Bootstrap for your site.
  • Consider implementing a git repository and start using it to collaborate.


  • Go to school on Instagram API. (Tessa)
  • Get MySQL running and start exploring SQL queries to put data into the database and take it back out. (Someone other than Tessa)


  • Merge image/text processing scripts.
  • Think through recommended pivot to Django.
  • Send us your Github repos.


  • We are recommending a shift to PHP over Python for scripting in this project.
    • More precisely: get a form action up and running PHP. Get at least as far as showing me what I entered into the search form, possibly even showing a user the API call that such a search should generate.
  • Go to school on what you can get from DocumentCloud, and start to come up with some example HTML pages for what results might look like.

We have a DocumentCloud account set up now, so if you’d like me to add you to it, let me know what address to use. I definitely want the Digital HUAC folks to explore the tool, but if anyone else is interested in trying it out, by all means let me know.



Just a reminder to pretty please use your project tags when you post updates here.


Project Thoughts


Thanks for all the energy, collegiality, thoughtfulness, and good vibes yesterday. The sense of community in the class is palpable and admirable, and it will help your projects succeed.

I’ve been mulling over the projects since last night, and though I’m sure you’ll clarify much over the next week, I wanted to share some quick thoughts about each project that I hope you grapple with as you write your plan. Please read comments on each others projects, as they may trigger thoughts about your own.

We need to know more about the work that’s already been done around these questions elsewhere, and the marriageability of the technologies that you imagine bringing together to enable this mode of looking. You also need to identify a usable corpus for your test case.

We need a clear sense of the amount of plain text that is available for you to work with, and whether an OCR component will be necessary for this project (if you have a substantial run of the proceedings available as plain text, I think you should eliminate the OCR bit for now). We also need to know how the XML markup will be generated (manually, automated, or both; each choice comes with its own set of questions), and what your taxonomy will be. And, we need to know what tools you’re going to need for each step from processing to presentation ( gathering, parsing, storing, retrieval, display).

We need to know what this project makes easier or possible. What do other podcast networks lack that your project can provide for CUNY? What material needs do you have for the project (mics? software?). Is this something that is targeted only towards CUNY, something that’s generalizable, or both?

We need a clear sense of the technical challenges you’ll face in querying, processing, parsing, and displaying data pulled from #sprezzetura. What do you know about this process, and what do you need to learn?

Finally, we’re going to need to hear from you where you want to host your project. As I noted, we can arrange Reclaim Hosting accounts… but before doing so take a look and make sure Reclaim has what you need. I can put you in touch with Tim Owens (who runs Reclaim) if you have questions.


Project Plan Template

Post to the blog Sunday by midnight; tag with “project plan”

  • Team Members and roles
  • Abstract (250 words)
  • Very brief environmental scan (300-500 words)
    • what problem does this solve?
    • what lacuna does it fill?
    • what similar projects are there?
  • What technologies will be used?
    • which of these are known?
    • which need to be learned?
    • what’s plan to learn them? what support needed?
  • How will the project be managed? (GC Redmine available to our class?)
  • Milestones (including dates of deliverables)

Preparing for Tuesday’s Class

A few notes in advance of tomorrow’s class.

You should have all made a public post on this blog detailing your skillset. Most (but not all of you) did. If you haven’t please do, asap; if you have, please make sure your post has the tag “skillset.”

Apologies for being unclear about this, but we want your journals to be private and hosted somewhere other than our shared blog. These are spaces for you to reflect for yourself and us, and not for public consumption. Please be sure we know the location of your journal.

We have 9 pitches scheduled, so we are reducing the amount of time you will be allowed. Each project will have NINETY SECONDS at the start of class. Your pitch, beyond describing your project, should include a statement of its potential contribution to the field of digital humanities.

Here are a few readings/projects to help you focus and position your project:

RRCHNM at George Mason hosted two “One Week/One Tool” gatherings, during which two DH projects were imagined, built, and launched. The spirit of this NEH-funded gathering has informed the framing and goals of Praxis II. Read about Anthologize here, and read about Serindip-o-matic here.

Also: see Amanda Hickman’s “FOSS and Proprietary Software,” which argues how open source software projects open up a range of paths for communities of users to contribute and extend their reach.

We’re both very much looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting.