Session
Schedule FOSDEM 2022
Open Research Tools and Technologies

Free Software Development as Observant Participation

Developing textnets, Studying Digital Cultures
D.research
John Boy
<p>I am a social scientist who mostly teaches and conducts qualitative research, but I am also a programmer. Over the years, I have contributed to a variety of free and open source software projects, and since 2019, I have developed and maintained <code>textnets</code>, a Python package for text analysis that represents collections of texts as networks of documents and words, providing novel possibilities for the visualization and analysis of texts. In my field, such software development efforts are not usually rewarded, but I have been very fortunate. My academic superiors have been supportive of my endeavors, and a publication in the <em>Journal of Open Source Software</em> also helped me get official recognition for this work in the standard currency of my field.</p> <p>While I developed <code>textnets</code> to scratch my own itch, I seek to make the package widely available by providing extensive documentation and making it easily installable across multiple platforms. This part of my software development work -- learning the intricacies of version control, package managers, continuous integration testing, and dependency management -- puts me in a position to learn not just about the technical side of coding, but about the social side of the choices developers make. At least in the Python world, the way you learn about what dependencies to use, if any, and how many, is informed by norms more than by technical considerations, and the same is true for much else. By engaging in software development work, I engage in a version of the research method of participant observation -- learning by taking part -- that sociologists have called observant participation -- becoming part of what you want to learn about. In my case, I want to learn not just about software development and its culture and norms, but the wider world of free software, hacker culture, artistic practice based on FOSS tools, and more.</p> <p>In my talk, I provide some background to the development of <code>textnets</code>, give a brief demonstration of the package's features, and finally reflect on my experiences engaging in observant participation as well as some of the insights I have gained and still hope to gain.</p>

Additional information

Type devroom

More sessions

2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
D.research
<p>The Open Research Tools and Technologies devroom managers welcome words announcing the schedule.</p>
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
Ian Johnson
D.research
<p>This presentation is about the development and trajectory of Heurist (HeuristNetwork.org), a shared, integrated, extensible data infrastructure (model, build, manage, analyse, visualise, share, publish via integrated CMS) for Humanities research capable of handling the needs of many heterogeneous projects on a single standalone service*, with optional integration across multiple servers by a coordinating index (itself based on Heurist).</p> <p>Humanities data are interesting (both technically ...
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
D.research
<p>Developed from 1995 onward, Prospero is a framework for longitudinal analysis of text corpora. Based on dictionaries and semi-automatic classification, it mainly allows its user to combine approaches of statistical computation, co-occurrence network and search for nested patterns. Inspired by pragmatic sociology, it focuses on the multiple forms of expression and argumentation used by actors, on language regimes and on the identification of transformations occurring in the research case. ...
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
D.research
<p>Discussion panel of three testimonies from academics developing software.</p>
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
Robin De Mourat
D.research
<p>The writing of web publications mixing data visualization and textual prose opens novel opportunities for connecting evidence, arguments and narrative in social sciences communities. Such a practice poses a variety of challenges in terms of website design and development ; but also and maybe more importantly, it asks for experimenting specific workflows for coordinating a variety of expertises ranging from social sciences disciplines (history, sociology, etc.) to data science, information ...
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
Evgeny Karev
D.research
<p>This talk will show a new Python tool called Livemark, which is designed for data journalism software education, and documentation writing. Using Livemark, you can collect and present data with interactive tables, charts, and other elements without leaving a text editor. You can also write documentation with live script execution similar to a lightweight version of a Jupiter Notebook. This talk will demo Livemark and will be well-suited for a technical and non-technical audience that is ...
2/5/22
Open Research Tools and Technologies
Laurent MILLET-LACOMBE
D.research
<p>We will try to define in this presentation basic user needs for a generic working environment on historical data, discuss then some key technologies and architecture orientations for online open-source application MetaindeX, which intends to fulfill those user requirements. At last, we will illustrate its usage with a real corpus of few thousands French archives from "Archives Nationales", from 16th and 17th century.</p>