[sword-devel] Calling HTML Designers

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Tue Sep 25 10:23:15 MST 2012

Dear CrossWire Volunteer,

Many of you know that I've been working full time at Kurt Aland's 
institute in Münster for the past 16 months and we've been developing 
the CrossWire Community tools into something which can be used at the 
Institute here for digital manuscript studies.

The major components of the environment are complete now, and we've been 
using the system inhouse for:
Manuscript Cataloguing
Indexing Biblical Content
Transcribing, and
Collating multiple witnesses to the same content to show differences.

The general idea is to have a community workspace where scholars in this 
field can meet and work together online.  We've tried to join our 
specialized components with an existing community collaboration 
framework to achieve this.

I'd like to explain the architecture later in this email, but what I'd 
really like to solicit now is help with frontend design. Everyone around 
here knows that I am a horrible UI designer and worse using HTML.  If 
this project sounds exciting to you, and you have a professional level 
of design expertise, AND you are willing to contribute some time to 
dream up and submit a mockup HTML user interface for the existing 
functionality, then we would absolutely LOVE, and be ecstatically 
overjoyed to have your contribution. Modestly, I think the functionality 
is pretty cool, but the UI is ugly and not intuitive.  Functionality 
means very little if no end user can figure out how to use it!  Please 
help! :)

We are quickly approaching public announcement of these tools and it 
would be a wonderful thing to give the site a facelift before sounding 
the call.

The entry to the site can be found here: http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de

Please feel free to use the site and even create an account to play with 
more features that aren't available unless you log in.  With an account, 
you will be able to create you own personal pages and arrange our 
components on your pages how you'd like, and even play with CSS to try 
to make them look nicer.  If you'd like to completely redesign the HTML, 
please don't worry about it communicating without backend services-- I 
will be happy to get that working.  If you'd like to grab the source for 
any of this, it is at: http://crosswire.org/svn/community/trunk/

The details below are not mandatory to know for the UI design.  I can 
work the design into the infrastructure, but if you have experience 
developing in this technology stack, that would be an awesome bonus!

So, basic 4-tier architecture:

Standard relational SQL data store -> Java business objects -> Web API 
-> HTML UI (as OpenSocial Gadgets living inside a CMIS, Liferay)

The Data store and Java objects are internal use only, but starting at 
the Web API, we hope to encourage external sites to use our system, and 
our own UI components almost exclusively access our system through this 
API. You can browse the functionality here:


For example, to search for any manuscript page which contains John.3.16:


How we use this API in our site is shown here (result of same search for 
all pages with John.3.16):


Or a variant graph of John.3.16:

(you can drag that graph around and mouse-wheel zoom in and out)

Our goal at the INTF is to make our research as widely available as 
possible, so I am looking forward us making these tools available from 
our software at CrossWire, and I also feel that supporting the work 
here, to digitize more of the evidence for the transmission history of 
the New Testament, is an important goal.

Please prayerfully consider whether you might be called by our Lord to 
help in this effort.  Thank you for considering,


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