More Walters Manuscripts online

I uploaded 71 more manuscripts this afternoon: see Walters Art Museum Manuscripts.

I spent some time on Skype with Doug Emery this afternoon. He figured out how to use jquery to pull in the TEI manuscript description (an XML file) and use that to get the correct order of the images! He showed me how he did it, so I should be able to figure out something similar in the future if I need to. He also showed me generally how to use javascript to reach into an XML file and grab an element value, a great trick and more versatile than XSLT. We had an interesting conversation about XML-brain (which is what I have) vs. programmer brain (which is what he has). I tend to use XSLT to do everything, since that’s what I know, and he will only use XSLT under duress (I’m paraphrasing and may be exaggerating). But it’s clear that javascript/jqery adds a lot to a toolkit, even if there is still much I can do with XSLT.

What I’d like eventually is a simple javascript file that can replace the current javascript files I’ve generated for each manuscript, one that can pull all of the information it needs straight from the metadata files rather than having it hard-coded into the javascript (which is how it is working now).

There are thee things currently hard-coded that will need to be grabbed:

  • The URL for the image files
  • The home URL for the book (where the data resides on the WAM server)
  • height and width for the image files

The third I figured would be the toughest, because that information doesn’t currently exist anywhere other than in the image files themselves. Doug and I have a plan (his plan 🙂  ), so hopefully we’ll be able to get that in this week.

In the meantime, until we can get the javascript updated significantly, I’m going to go ahead and finish checking and uploading the existing manuscripts. Once the updated javascript is ready I’ll switch everything over to the new system.

This is fun!

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