A Frustrating Finish

It’s near my bedtime, and I’m sad to report a frustrating finish to my Day of DH.

Although I know exactly which modifications I need to make to the Scribe code-base to migrate it to Mongoid, I got stuck shaving a yack.  Specifically, just modifying the Gemfile for the project invoked an obscure bug in a package I’m not even using.  As a result, I haven’t even been able to start the modifications I was hoping to have finished by the afternoon, and find that it’s nearly time for bed.

The afternoon hasn’t been a total waste, however.  I spent some time arguing with strangers on the internet (specifically in a discussion about representing unclear handwriting when transcribing primary sources), which is always cathartic.  I also corresponded with the technical half of a manuscript transcription project which wants to host their material on FromThePage.com, as well as a representative from a different project which is interested in using FromThePage to link primary sources.  I stole a few minutes to read Meghan Ferriter’s Prezi on crowdsourced transcription of field books, which I discovered through the Day of DH twitter stream.  I added a FAQ section to the Open Source Indexing  website.  And I got to feed my family, plant the garden with my two-year-old, and read part of a science fiction novel to my second-grader — an event which turned into a discussion of the difference between civil wars and international wars and the motivations of individual soldiers.

This year’s Day of DH has been far more stressful for me than last year’s.  Immediate deadlines, worries about funding, self-criticism about choices I’ve made over the last year, and a greater awareness of my own limitations have all served to dampen the euphoria I read in those posts.  Nevertheless, I remain optimistic about the opportunity to make a real difference in the world through this work and about my future in the community.