The Sidler’s Guide: Just Smile and Hit Your Mark

I can’t help feeling like a Seinfeldian sidler. Prism is up. The code has been written, the pages designed, and the tests passed. Everyone is gathering together getting ready for the post-prism photo-op when out of nowhere some bearded weirdo who smells like tapas and olive oil rides into the frame on a tiny horse just before the flash goes off.

“Remember me amigos? I was here when Prism was static!”

Honestly it has been very nice to see Prism come together while I was in Spain. I am also proud to see all my Praxis fellows transform into real code monkeys. I had a very quick and grainy glimpse of a functional Prism page when I attended a Praxis meeting about a month ago via webcam, but last week I got the full tour. In a lot of ways I am in a unique position to appreciate how far Prism has come because the software was a squalling infant when I left. Prism is all grown up now, and it is time to send it into the world to socialize with others so it doesn’t end up too “home-schooled.”

While my contribution to Prism was almost entirely reserved to designing static templates, I can confidently say I feel very connected to the final product that the group executed. I spent a lot of time in the the Scholars’ Lab during the Fall and early part of the Spring semester, and I hope to be around just as much in the future. Leading up to this Fall, I was far from a rookie when it came to applying graphics solutions to humanities subjects, but until this year, I was entirely at the mercy of a mouse. I am not going to claim I am a huge fan of VIM, but programming is no longer something I try to avoid when I consider how to solve a DH problem.

Finally, I’d like to thank the entire Scholar’s Lab staff for their help and patience. I’m sure the first few weeks of Praxis seemed like you adopted too many puppies, but we are house trained now and github is always willing to play fetch with us.

Ed was a 2011-12 Scholars' Lab Fellow and Praxis Fellow, and is a PhD candidate in the McIntire Department of Art.

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