Led by Unicode Consortium member Michel Suignard, the proposed Hieroglyphs will add over 2,000 new glyphs to the current Unicode standards. It will also provide greater global standardization and ease of use for Egyptologists through a searchable Hieroglyphs database. Over 2,000 new Hieroglyphs may soon be available for use on cell phones, computers, and other digital devices. The Unicode Consortium recently released a revised draft of standards for encoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs. If approved, the available Hieroglyphs will provide greater access and global uniformity for Egyptologists, covering a much longer period of Hieroglyphic usage than ever before. The proposal is part of a larger effort between the Unicode Consortium, ancient linguists, font designers, and the federal government to attempt to study, preserve, and then digitally represent ancient and endangered languages through the use of computer code.
Read more here.
Open Source and copyright are intimately related. It was Richard Stallman’s clever hack of copyright law that created the General Public License (GPL) and, thus, free software. The GPL requires those who copy or modify software released under it to pass on the four freedoms. If they don’t, they break the terms of the GPL and lose legal protection for their copies and modifications. In other words, the harsh penalties for copyright infringement are used to ensure that people can share freely.
Despite the use of copyright law to police the GPL and all the other open source licenses, copyright is not usually so benign. That’s not surprising: copyright is an intellectual monopoly. In general, it seeks to prevent sharing—not to promote it. As a result, the ambitions of the copyright industry tend to work against the aspirations of the Open Source world.
Read the post here.
This post (and its partner post on Evaluating Digital Humanities Beyond the Tenure Track Part 2: For Employers) continues a series of blog posts from the MLA Committee on Information Technology about evaluating work in the digital humanities. (See Amanda Visconti’s post on digital dissertations and Shawna Ross’s explanation for the series.) I’ve taken on the task of writing about evaluating the work of “alt-ac” and other digital humanities professionals not working in traditional tenure-track roles.
To a great extent, evaluating the work of these positions is the same as evaluating the work of anyone else–good scholarship is good scholarship, from any source. But the less-charted paths of Digital Scholarship Specialists and Digital Humanities Librarians can lead to some specific issues and points of tension, which I want to address here. I think there’s a lot more discussion to be had on these issues as we work towards fuller guidelines, and I’m hoping this will be only the first part of the conversation.
Read the full post here.