Show and Tell Links – 4 December, 2019

Links for Egg Heads

Firefox’s Fight for the Future of the Web | Guardian

I was a Firefox user for many years. I can’t really account for how I stopped using it, but I’m sure it had something to do with how slow and messy it had become. That, and the convenience Kool Aid I drank that kept me using Safari. The Firefox comeback that started with the Quantum build in 2017, is for real. If you care about an open, decentralised, private and healthy web, you should be using Firefox. It should help that it is a better browser than either Chrome or Safari. 1

Zotero Connector for Safari 13 (Beta)

For the refuseniks who stick with Safari, that other wonderful open source tool for research, Zotero, has released a Beta version with a new connector. It is a very basic version, however, without the advanced settings and proxy tools that come with the full version — see above.

Roam Research – A note taking tool for networked thought.

I’m usually not much for Web Apps, but this is an interesting tool. I have an instance running with Nativefier to make it a Faux native, which is better than a browser tab.

Zettel Network Visualizer | Github

Speaking of notes, there is a lot of interest in zettelkasten these days, thanks largely to the work of The Archive developers. The forum is very active, and occasionally you get things like this.

Something Completely Different…

A Foundation Course in Reading German | By Howard Martin, revised and expanded as an open online textbook by Alan Ng

This one is not a tech thing, but a niche suggestion. Anyone studying continental philosophy will immediately recognise the value in a course that teaches you to read German, you can’t read Hegel via a phrase book.

  1. Despite what you might have heard Firefox is generally faster than Chrome, and it consumes on average 30% less RAM.

Show and Tell — 29 October, 2018

Web discoveries for researchers, students and writers

Research Tools

‎Case Medical Research | the App Store

I intend to do this justice by covering it in more detail. In the meantime, Case uses machine learning to track medical research. Technically it is aimed at research beyond my own wheelhouse, but I have personal reasons for keeping up with specialist medical research so I have had cause to play around with the app. It is still developing, but the underlying technology is interesting and the app is very promising. If you are doing research in this area, Case is a worthy addition to your workflow.

Turn the Web Into a Database | Mixnode

An interesting idea, and a potentially excellent research tool for analysing data from the web. You can get free credits to check it out, before you start blowing your funding.

Transcribe Interviews | oTranscribe

Here's something I had forgotten about. A self-contained, and feature rich web app for transcription. It works pretty well for transcription on the fly, but don’t get clearing your browser cache or your work is hosed.

Markdown Tools

Zettlr | Home

Yet another Markdown editor, this time with a specific focus on academic writing. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if this is necessary given the excellent tools already out there.  For academic writing in markdown, I recommend the powerful MultiMarkdown Composer 1. Still, Zettlr might suit others who don’t mind Electron apps quite so much.

HackMD | Collaborative markdown notes

I wasn’t aware of this one until a fellow traveller brought it to my attention. It looks a little different to the now defunct Editorially, but one can only hope this will last longer than that platform did.  I am yet to properly put it through its paces,  but I'm looking forward to doing just that.

Draft | Write Better

While we are on the topic, Draft has been my preferred option for online Markdown collaboration. If you can actually convince another academic to collaborate in earnest using Markdown, Draft is free to use. Although, it is still very basic.  Penflip, is another option, or if you want something with client apps, Quip is probably the best option.

Create a Webpage With Just Markdown | Oscarmorrison/md-Page

If you want to create a simple online bio without coding or dealing with a database, this ought to work.

Web Tech

GitHub Actions | GitHub

Github is opening the beta for their new workflow automation platform. More evidence that Microsoft sees a move toward open collaborative systems as profitable.

Hello P5.js Web Editor! | Processing Foundation

This looks like a lot of fun. P5.js is an online editor for learning to code in a visual way. It helps students learn JavaScript, HTML, and CSS by creating graphics with code.

Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

  1. Also writing by an academic