May 01, 2013We are now in our second week of beta testing the TAPAS user interface, with 27 individuals from 25 institutions and 8 countries currently participating. This testing exercise is focusing on the basic features of the site, including: reading and browsing projects, collections, and documents creating user account and projects creating collections and upload TEI files basic configuration of TAPAS publications reporting bugs and making feature requests To facilitate the testing, we’ve set up a discussion list for beta-testers with separate discussion threads for each testing activity. At the end of the testing period, we’ll ask participants to complete a short anonymous survey to help us focus on the areas most in need of further development. All of this feedback will be reviewed at our upcoming meeting at the University of Virginia in May. Unsurprisingly, testers have already reported several areas that need work, in particular the searching and results display. Because of the diversity of objects available for searching—TAPAS projects and their metadata, TAPAS collections and their metadata, and individual TEI texts—we need to put further thought into how to distinguish these meaningfully and how to organize the results a user receives. No doubt the next few days of testing will reveal further areas that need work!
March 08, 2013We are pleased to announce that the beta testing phase of TAPAS is about to begin. Those who have already signed up for TAPAS beta testing will soon receive an email inviting them to participate. The testing period will run for two weeks at the end of April. The testing process will take place over the course of about two weeks, and we will be seeking input on the mechanics and ergonomics of using the various parts of the site, the look and feel of the interface, and the overall design of the service. As part of the feedback process, we will ask participants to fill out a survey at the end of the testing period, and we will also host a discussion list to allow beta testers to provide immediate comments on their experiences and ask questions. The list will form the hub of the TAPAS user community, providing a space for further testing activities, discussions, and announcements. Between the forums and the survey, we hope to collect a rich set of comments which will help us improve the prototype for the official launch of TAPAS in January 2014. This test environment is an internal prototype and is not yet public, but we look forward to having participants share their experience via blogs or Twitter. There will be future opportunities to test TAPAS as we continue to develop it for a projected launch in 2014. Please register if you are interested in participating in future tests.
December 18, 2012The TAPAS development group met for a third face-to-face meeting at Wheaton College on December 5-7, 2012. The goal of the meeting was to plan the next stages of interface development, leading up to a working prototype that we plan to open up for beta-testing in early spring 2013. Prior to this event, everyone had had the chance to review an early working version of the TAPAS TEI publication software. During our three days of discussion we examined the entire TAPAS workflow from a user perspective and developed a prioritized list of features for inclusion in the prototype, and also in the project launch at the beginning of 2014. The prototype will include the essential features of the TAPAS service. For TAPAS contributors, this includes the ability to create projects and collections, and the ability to upload TEI data and display it via the TAPAS publication interface. TAPAS readers will be able to browse and read texts published in TAPAS, and also to browse TAPAS projects and collections. In late March 2013 we will be asking beta-testers to work with the prototype to test out features like: creating TAPAS user accounts setting up TAPAS projects and collections uploading TEI data to a TAPAS collection adding and editing metadata doing simple configuration of TAPAS publications browsing TAPAS collections If you'd like to be involved in the beta-testing, please sign up at: http://bit.ly/ufjOFO Happy holidays to all from the TAPAS team!
August 17, 2012The TAPAS project presented a poster at the recent DH2012 conference in Hamburg, detailing our planning and design work on the project so far. We were pleased by the feedback the project received, both from others working on similar repositories and projects (such as TextGrid) and also from potential contributors and readers. A PDF version of the poster is available here (low-resolution version for online viewing). The high-resolution version is here.
June 27, 2012This video by Patrick Rashleigh was recently presented as part of the NITLE Symposium in April 2012. If you want to know more about what we're all about, this is a great place to start!
June 15, 2012You can now find TAPAS in DHCommons! We're still interested in recruiting beta-testers and contributors of test TEI data as we start to develop the TAPAS schemas. In addition, we're open to expressions of interest from collaborators with interface design experience, and in particular from anyone interested in helping us develop user interface tools. The main repository architecture of TAPAS will be built by the internal TAPAS team, but we welcome ideas and assistance as we start to think about ways to disseminate and visualize TAPAS data. We look forward to being part of the DHCommons collaborative community!
May 07, 2012The core TAPAS team met again, this time at a meeting hosted by SHANTI at the University of Virginia’s, on April 25 - 27. While there, members of the team had fruitful interactions with staff from the Scholar’s Lab and from NINES, but the bulk of the time was spent on conducting virtual focus group meetings to get reactions from the greater TAPAS community to a draft of user interface wireframes. The draft, which was organized into three scenarios describing the reading and management interfaces for TAPAS, was circulated to focus group participants in advance of the meeting. We’ve decided to provided a copy of this draft as a part of this report: click here to take a look. Comments on this draft are welcome; please email them to email@example.com In all, we held eleven focus group discussions with ten institutions. One was a face-to-face interview at the University of Virginia and the other interviews were held within a virtual environment. We took extensive notes during the interviews and have summarized the primary issue with some preliminary thoughts about how to address them in this document. Several members of the TAPAS team also began revising the wireframes based on this feedback and developing a glossary of terms to be used in TAPAS. Copies of these documents will soon be posted to this site. Our next face-to-face meeting will be at Wheaton College and will probably take place in September 2012. Our thanks to everyone who participated in the focus group discussions. We found this meeting to be extremely productive and could not have done it without all of your help.
March 09, 2012The core TAPAS team met at Wheaton College from January 11th through the 13th for the first of four development meetings funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant. The goal of this initial meeting was to develop a skeletal paper prototype of the TAPAS application on the basis of our prior work on user stories and functional requirements, and to produce a concrete framework that would help a developer begin the work of actual coding. In preparation for the meeting, we created an initial set of user stories and planned a series of focused exercises that would transform this list of abstract user requirements into a series of more or less concrete application visualizations. Through a collaborative process, these user stories—with additions during the course of the meeting—were numbered, printed on individual pieces of paper, and then sorted into groups representing functional areas. We then discussed each area in turn to get a more precise sense of its scope and priority within the current development effort, noting that some TAPAS features will need to be deferred until the next phase of funding. Finally, we considered each story and where necessary fleshed it out or translated it into a specific software function that could be mapped onto a wireframe. In some cases, stories were merged or moved around as our discussion revealed unseen dimensions of the information flow or user interactions. During this phase, a number of interesting and useful discussions arose regarding the implicit assumptions and models that we each were bring to the project. For example, how many different kinds of entities does TAPAS need to provide for in its authorization model? Do we envision “individuals”, “projects”, and “organizations” or is this too complex? To what extent can we assume that relevant metadata will live inside the TEI document, and to what extent should it be maintained in separate metadata records? In the final part of the meeting, we created a set of abstract wireframes for each functional area of the TAPAS site and service. This process was extremely useful in revealing assumptions about both work processes and information models, some of which will require further attention and input from the TAPAS community as we continue to develop the service. Following the meeting, members of the group are producing a more polished set of wireframes with an accompanying narrative which we will share with the TAPAS community. At that stage we will be seeking feedback on some ideas and assumptions about the service, so please stay tuned!
March 07, 2012The TAPAS project received a $50,000 grant from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a User Experience for TAPAS. The grant will fund a series of workshops between January and December 2012 to develop and test a prototype interface for TAPAS. The first meeting already took place at Wheaton College in January (watch this space for a report coming soon) and the next meeting is scheduled for April at the University of Virginia. Librarians and technologists from several institutions are participating in this effort, including Brown University, Hamilton College, Willamette University, Wheaton College, and the SHANTI project at the University of Virginia. The Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) is an office within the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The primary mission of the ODH is to help coordinate the NEH's efforts in the area of digital scholarship. The ODH works not only with NEH staff and members of the scholarly community, but also facilitates conversations with other funding bodies both in the United States and abroad so that we can work towards meeting these challenges. To learn more, please visit http://www.neh.gov/ODH/.
February 28, 2012On February 10, 2012, TAPAS announced its first call for beta-testers and contributors of test data to help us test early versions of the service. In the first year, our goal is to permit contributors to upload TEI files and associated data to a Fedora repository, create metadata, and perform basic file management. Here’s how beta-testers and test contributors can help: 1. In summer 2012, we will be developing the ingestion interface through which TEI data can be submitted to TAPAS. We’ll be looking for feedback on usability and required features, as well as basic information about your TEI data. 2. In fall 2012, we will be testing the submission and ingestion interface. We will need test contributors with TEI data willing to upload it to TAPAS and tell us how we can improve the process. 3. In late summer and early fall 2012, we will be working on documentation and will need readers who can help us identify areas that need explanation, and help us clarify difficult points. 4. Throughout the development process, we'll be glad of thoughtful test users of all kinds interested in being part of a "virtual focus group." We welcome participants willing to help with any or all of these activities. Even if you don’t have any TEI data right now, but will have some soon, we would be glad to hear from you. And if you'd just like to be kept on our mailing list for when we start recruiting TAPAS members, you can sign up for that as well. A few caveats are important here. Our long-term goal is to provide a fully functional repository and publishing service for TEI data. However, in this phase of the project we are building and testing the service in a very preliminary way. Data contributed by beta-testers will be used for testing purposes to help us develop schemas, stylesheets, and interface features, but we cannot make any guarantees about functionality, long-term storage, or anything else at this early stage. Test data and projects will be visible (and visibly thanked!) on the TAPAS site. To express your interest, please register here: http://bit.ly/ufjOFO