Covid interferes with everything eventually but it has only interfered with this project in a very indirect way: I needed new glasses and I waited to get vaccinated before booking an eye test. Then when I got new glasses, I had to get used to varifocals. That’s all out of the way, and I’m making progress with the wiki again.
First of all, I’ve imported a few hundred more pages. These are mostly streets and buildings in London. We also have a page for every cathedral in England and Wales.
Some other changes that have been made in the last few months:
- software has been upgraded to MediaWiki 1.35.2, Semantic MediaWiki 3.2.3, Semantic Result Formats 3.2.0, Maps 8.0.0, Page Forms 5.2.1.
- the site has a new logo with some colour in it. The old one was too bland but my previous attempts to add colour were too horrible to publish. I think this one is about right for now.
- the general content warning has been removed from the site notice at the top of every page because there are thousands of pages where it will never be relevant. Instead, any page that really needs a content warning in future will have one in the description property which is displayed near the top of the page.
- the extension ByTheSwordLinkedTags has been removed. The templates for marking up names, page breaks and gaps are now just normal Mediawiki templates that use parser functions instead of custom tags. This is easier to maintain and makes the data more portable.
- new property Mentions unidentified name stores the text of unidentified names found in transcripts so they can be displayed in query results. This replaces the category for pages that mentioned unidentified names.
- new property Has ARCHON code gives TNA’s code number for a GLAM.
- GLAMs can now have main subjects, which is useful for local archives that cover a certain county or city.
- Theses can now have Wikidata IDs.
- the properties ‘Has author’ and ‘Has editor’ have been merged into ‘Created by‘. I decided it’s not really necessary to distinguish between them for the purpose of semantic linking, and it saves a lot of None values for publications that don’t have an editor. The distinction will still be available to human readers because the description text at the top of the page should have a traditional bibliographic citation.
- there are now pages for subject headings which can be used as values for ‘Has main subject‘ to represent more general themes that are not specific entities. These also use a new property, ‘Is subclass of‘, that probably should have existed earlier. Wiki categories already provide a way of doing this, but that would split the subjects between different parts of the page depending on whether they’re specific named entities or more general themes. Keeping them together in one place seems more convenient and less confusing.
- properties ‘Has official website’ and ‘Has official catalogue record’ have been merged into ‘Has URL‘
- the levels of book editions have been renamed: ‘major edition’ is now just edition, and ‘minor edition’ is now format. I hope this will be less confusing.
- the Open Access categories have been removed because I realised they would probably become unusable if they have thousands of pages in them, which is likely to happen if I import book data from the Text Creation Partnership.
- allegiance factions are now represented by proper entities that use the Area form instead of being not quite entities.
- maps of locations have been moved from Agent and Unit pages to subpages in the ‘Locations:’ namespace. The forms and templates for editing pages in the ‘Locations:’ namespace have been adjusted to make it easier to create subpages and map pages, and to limit map queries by date if there are too many locations to show at once. The same has been done for event participation in the ‘Events:’ namespace.
- the ‘property value’ form and template have been replaced by some more specific forms and templates.
- new property for Map of Early Modern London ID to link places in London.
The dump files at the Github repository has been updated with all these changes.