Mitigated Excitement

The Perseus Project, which Jorn Barger himself has excoriated for its frustrating user interface (“created by academics who seem incapable of communicating simply and directly,” “almost entirely unreadable: very short pages, clumsy navigation, opaque urls, and a shrunken fontsize”), offers its software and database for download under open-source and Creative-Commons licenses — great!
 
But the process for installation is arcane enough that I’m not even inclined to begin to try it. I downloaded the packages, but I’ll archive them somewhere against the chance that I get a few weeks free to learn enough to run the installation process they describe, or the possibility that someone else will explain the process more lucidly, or perhaps even build an installer.

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  1. The Perseus project is tantalizing – every time I teach Greek art (every 2nd or 3rd year) I try to have my students use it to generate a body of images based on a single myth and then study the iconography.

    The assignment always fails because the site is not easy to use and the students get frustrated. I fear there is some self-selection in the matter – those who choose to take 200-level Art History are not particularly technically inclined, I find; I keep thinking that our architecture students, who are fiddlers by personality, ought to be able to use the site.

    Maybe someone will take the database and put a new front end on it!

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