Posts Tagged ‘UI’

Electronic Publishing on Rails

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I am currently part of a small but dynamic development team at Common Ground Publishing. We are building an application suite in Ruby on Rails to replace a single monolithic legacy application. Most of my efforts at Common Ground have centered on building their online authoring and publishing environment with active test deployments in Illinois schools. Since starting with Common Ground, I have been involved in every stage of their application lifecycle: gathering user requirements, UI design, database and data model design, implementation, migrating legacy data, testing and production deployment into schools. Key to this process has been its cyclical nature – the developers and designers along with stakeholders attend test-bed deployments to better understand user requirements and gather usability insights. These lessons learned are fed back into our agile development cycle as prioritized backlog items so that we iterate dynamically toward an optimal solution.

For more information on Common Ground software and activities, see their website:

Sal Martirano Digital Archive

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Salvatore Giovanni Martirano, internationally acclaimed American composer and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, was my father. In 2008 my family dedicated his collected artistic works and papers to Creative Commons and began transitioning their care to the Center for American Music at the University of Illinois Archives. This process prompted a project to digitize this collection into a flexible, searchable, on-line digital archive. In managing the various phases of this project, it has been my pleasure to work with image and video archivist Matthew Benkert, audio archivist Ken Beck and copyright lawyer Michael Antoline. This 20,000+ item collection encompasses audio-tapes, films, videos, photos, documents, musical scores, letters, computer files and computer code. These items were transferred from a variety of analog formats into hi-resolution digital representations, quality control measurements applied, classified and meta-data tagged and stored in a searchable database. A flexible web-based interface is now under production to serve up these digital objects. This web-interface and database system has been designed to consume other properly organized and meta-data tagged digital collections which have emerged as candidates during this process.