[Humanist] 26.863 parsing COCOA? the perfect interface?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Mar 9 08:27:30 CET 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 863.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Paul Evans <decretist at gmail.com>                           (5)
        Subject: Tools for parsing COCOA/OCP?

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (33)
        Subject: the perfect interface


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2013 10:48:01 -0500
        From: Paul Evans <decretist at gmail.com>
        Subject: Tools for parsing COCOA/OCP?


Is anyone aware of the existence of a software package or library for
parsing files containing COCOA markup for the Oxford Concordance Program?
Or better yet, transforming COCOA into some form of XML?
Thanks,
Paul Evans



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2013 07:19:09 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: the perfect interface

This is a question possibly more for scholarly users of computing than 
expert designers, but perhaps the designers here have thought about it. 
In fact I know someone who has.

It is this: what would be the perfect interface? Never mind GUI, perhaps 
never mind "interface" as we understand this term, i.e. (from the OED),

1.
> A surface lying between two portions of matter or space, and forming
> their common boundary;

2a.
> A means or place of interaction between two systems, organizations,
> etc.; a meeting-point or common ground between two parties, systems,
> or disciplines; also, interaction, liaison, dialogue.;

2b.
> (An) apparatus designed to connect two scientific instruments,
> devices, etc., so that they can be operated jointly.

It seems to me that the very word is a problem. Can we think beyond it? 
For 2a, for example, Marshall McLuhan, in Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), says 
this: "The interface of the Renaissance was the meeting of medieval 
pluralism and modern homogeneity and mechanism." Someone in Technology 
Week in 1967 notes that, "The interface across which the 
engineer-scientist and the biologist can interact is a broad one." In 
both cases a formidable barrier is erected, though in the latter case it 
is permeable. Is this what we want for computing. Indeed, is it what we 
have?

Yours,
WM
-- 
Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Professor, School of Humanities and Communication Arts,
University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist (dhhumanist.org);
www.mccarty.org.uk/




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