Monday, April 16, 2007

Hacking the Hacks

I think one of my favorite things about having this blog is that people occasionally take one of my hacks and improve it. This kind of collaborative stepwise refinement is, of course, a key argument for open source. I enjoy learning about other people's hacks and often incorporate their suggestions into my own working versions.

Last month, for example, Rob Nelson of the Technology Integration Program at William and Mary wrote some PHP code to create his own field-at-a-glance page for antebellum America. More recently, Matt Joyce greatly improved the exploratory bibliography code and posted a tutorial at his new blog Babbaging. Both Rob and Matt have nice clear explanations of what they did.

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