Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Identifying discrete objects using the dnid scheme

I've been working with Sebastian Heath at the American Numismatic Society on a scheme for referring to discrete objects with unique identifiers.
The fundamental idea is very simple. Since internet domain names already provide a means of uniquely identifying a namespace (think of XML namespaces), we can apply domain names as qualifiers to ensure the uniqueness of existing, stable IDs for many kinds of materials that humanists cite.
I'll have more to post on this topic in the future, but for now, you can see where we're headed at

Vitruvian design

All people, not only architects, are able to appreciate what is good work. The difference between architects and uneducated people is that the uneducated person cannot understand what the work will be unless he has seen it completed; whereas the architect, as soon as he has built it in his mind, but before he has actually begun, has a complete vision of what kind of work it will be in respect to the elegance, the efficiency, and the correctness of its design.

That is my rendering of Vitruvius 6.8.10:
namque omnes homines, non solum architecti, quod est bonum, possunt probare, sed inter idiotas et eos hoc est discrimen, quod idiota, nisi factum viderit, non potest scire, quid sit futurum, architectus autem, simul animo constituerit, antequam inceperit, et venustate et usu et decore quale sit futurum, habet definitum.

Today we are desperately short of architects for scholarship in the era of the internet. In this blog I will occasionally comment on some of my own work, and on other digital scholarship in the humanities that, in my view, is contributing to the construction of a better edifice.