It’s really nice to start an update about the ADM 8 Project without moaning about how long it’s been since the last update, or how long it’s taken to actually write the update, or the realization that the original content of the update is obsolete since I’ve rewritten the entire project twice since I started.
The good news is that things are progressing very well- due to the tenacity of the amazing Prof. Larry Hartzell, we’ve made more progress in getting reports live in 2020 than there had been since the project started. As of writing this, we are over 100 live reports, all from ADM 8 volume 1. By the time this post goes live, we’ll very likely be over 120 live reports- more than half of those contained in the first volume. We have been focusing on the ‘Deployment Reports’ – the most numerous category of reports (approximately 240 of 308 across the first two volumes). We’re even to the point now that Larry has completed the transcription of several complete years of report. As you may recall, the first volume covers 1673-1689, while the second volume covers 1689-1692.
Our efforts to improve the transcription interface continue, for example, recently we’ve fixed a couple of issues with Abstracts (lists that include the numbers of ships and men which are deployed). Most recently, I’ve written the code so that we can fix transcription errors with Abstracts. We now have a very good base for expanding the code so that we can deal with different report types. The next report type to be dealt with will be the “Fleet Lists”, since the fields are fairly standard, and with the existing lists in the database, it’ll be fairly straight forward to adapt the functions for copying reports so that it is unnecessary to manually/digitally enter every number for those rather long lists. it is currently planned for Officer Lists to be next after that. Thankfully, we have a large number of officers already in the database, so that process may be relatively straight forward.
We also continue to make progress with the upgrades and updates to the Research Interface as well. The next step will be to add Next/Previous Report buttons, so researchers can navigate through either all of the reports, regardless of category, or move between the reports in a category in sequence.
One of the good things about making all the mistakes wit the Ship Deployment reports is that as we move forward, we have more functions and features we can include from the beginning, rather than continuing to change the database and adapt and fixing mistakes as we go along.