It’s 2:11 PM here in Austin, and I’ve just finished the work I’d hoped to accomplish by 11. Being an independent programmer means that I spend at least half of my time communicating. Being an open source developer means that in addition to client emails and meetings, I need to publicize and drum up support for projects.
Sometimes that works — last week I sent out an appeal to several mailing lists for help with Open Source Indexing, a project to develop a general-purpose tool for transcribing tabular records into searchable, analyzable databases. That yielded a few great responses from interested organizations who were willing to share their own indexing project ideas. We’ll be using those ideas to test the flexibility of the tool, since you can’t generalize unless you have at least three data points.
I just finished converting those project specifications into a presentable format and posting them on the http://opensourceindexing.org/ site, which mainly involved hand-editing a lot of HTML. You can see the results here:
- Decatur County Marriage Licenses (by TNGenWeb)
- Raleigh News &Observer (by North Carolina State Library)
- Family Group Sheets (by North Carolina State Library)
My hope is that by providing those example specifications, we can make it a bit easier for interested organizations to understand what kind of participation we’re asking for, and can raise awareness of the project.