Monday 13 September 2010

CAMS is changing

Over the weekend, the structure of the Corpus of Ancient Mesopotamian Scholarship changed, in order to make way for new CAMS subprojects. This affects you if your non-CAMS project uses the CAMS glossaries as its lemmatisation base, and/or if you proxy texts from CAMS. In both cases, you will need to edit your 00lib/config.xml file.
1. To update your proxies, change <proxies>cams</proxies> to <proxies>cams/gkab</proxies>
2. To update your base glossary, change <option name="lem-system" value="cams"/> to <option name="lem-system" value="cams/gkab"/>
Have a look at the Oracc project configuration documentation for more information, and do ask for help if you need to.

Monday 23 August 2010

Qcat overhauled

The Qcat—the catalogue of compositions—has now been radically rationalised, tidied up and documented. In particular, the naming conventions for the designations (the prose equivalents of the Q-numbers) have been standardised.

If your project uses the Qcat, you may find that you will need to revise your project's Q designations accordingly. If you use a Filemaker database or similar for your catalogue, I can send you a list of new designations to import, overwriting the old ones. Just email me.

If and when your project needs new Q-numbers, send me a list of your proposed designations and other relevant fields (as per the documentation); or ask me for a clone of the Filemaker Qcat database, to fill in and email back to me.

If you ever notice mistakes, duplicates or omissions in the Qcat, or have any questions about it, please email me about that too.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

If your project page loses its styling ...

There is a problem with the redirection the Oracc server currently does that
I can't fix for the moment, but there is a straightforward solution.

The problem only affects projects whose pages contains relative links.
In such pages, you will see a different behaviour depending on whether you
ask for:


The first version, with the trailing /, works correctly; the second fails to find
styling, images and any other relative links.

The solution is to specify the URL base explicitly in the home page (and
any other pages this problem affects). This is quite straightforward: just
add the <base> tag to the <head> part of the page; in the href
attribute, give the path with trailing slash. Here is what the header of
the DCCLT home page now looks like:

<base href=""/>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content=
"text/html; charset=us-ascii" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="dcclt.css" />
<title>DCCLT - Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts</title>

I have already fixed this in several projects (HBTIN, SAA, DCCLT), but
I haven't checked all projects to see if they need the fix.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

A note about configuration options

Looking over the posts on the blog and a few e-mails I realized that some comments about the configuration file might be helpful.

The configuration system is in flux and has grown rapidly and organically, particularly over the last nine months. Oracc software can access the configuration file, config.xml, via several interfaces, and some of the programs ignore options that don´t apply to them while others complain about misunderstood or illegal options.

In general, if you see an error message about a configuration option, just check that you haven´t mistyped an option or value name. Otherwise, leave suspicious options in the config.xml because some program or other may be secretly using them.

If you change 00lib/config.xml you need to use at least:

oracc config

To update the installed version. You may need to do:

oracc web

Or even:

oracc rebuild

Before you see the effects of your changes.

After the remaining to-do list items are dealt with, the configuration system will get a complete review. Some things that cannot be configured in config.xml will be added (like the buttons SAAo uses); others will be documented; others will be rationalized as there are a few places where multiple options do very similar things.

I am also hoping (expecting, even) to create a web interface with an easy form for managing config.xml that has the documentation built in to it and drop-downs with the valid option values etc.

So, this pain with config.xml is transient. I am expecting to have the new configuration system in place by the end of September.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Directory names have changed!

If you are struggling to do project management through emacs, it may be because you are still using the old (CDL) directory names. For instance:
  • old sources/ is now 00atf/
  • old lib/ is now 00lib/
  • old cat/ is now 00cat/
  • old websources/ is now 00web/
  • old backups/ is now 00bak/
See Project Management through Emacs for step-by-step instructions and Project Files for a more systematic overview.

As always, do ask for help if you need it, but I may not be as speedily responsive as usual over the next few days (up to and including Wednesday), as I'll be doing tablet work in Berlin. I will have broadband access in the hotel though, so I'll be checking in at least twice a day.

Friday 2 July 2010

Logging in into Oracc for the first time

If you're trying and failing to login to your Oracc project for the first time since the move, the problem might have one or more of the following causes:

  1. All project passwords were reset to the default on the move. Try logging in with the default (if you don't know what I mean, please email me) and then change your password to something more secure, by typing passwd at the prompt and then following the instructions. Your new password should mix uppercase and lowercase letters, and use non-letter characters too.
  2. If you are running Win32Emacs, you need to trash your old atf-mode files before you install the new ones: see here.
  3. Before you can use Emacs for project work, you will need to initialise the secure connection by following the instructions here.
If these three solutions fail, email me. (Steve is away until August now.)

Monday 28 June 2010

New doco structure

As you'll see, the Oracc documentation is much fuller and more systematically organised than the old CDL doco. It's fully searchable from the Oracc home page.

You'll also find that visitors to your website can access all the user help from the [HELP] link at the left of every Page View and Item View header on your corpus pages.

But if you think anything is missing, or needs further explanation, please let me know.

Oracc access statistics with Piwik

I have just set up Piwik Web Analytics to monitor access statistics to Oracc project websites. If you are a project manager, once your project has migrated to Oracc you can view its access stats from
and log in with your (lowercase) project name and the default new-project password. (If you don't know what I mean, please email me.) Please change the password to something more personal as soon as you can.

Piwik is multilingual, so if you prefer to read your access stats in German or Hungarian you can do so by choosing from a drop-down list at the top centre of the page.

The user interface is, I hope, self-explanatory but just ask if you need any help.