A few words about our resident DIVA

Posted by cmotuz on November 7th, 2011

The premise of DIVA is that it’s a user-friendly interface that allows the browsing of high-resolution, multi-page documents. High quality images take a long time to download on an HTML website, so normally image quality is sacrificed to allow each image to be loaded before the site is browsable. For a book like Salzinnes with over 400 pages, even low-quality images would take a long time, so until now the usual strategy has been to present the book on different pages as thumbnails, with each image expandable (making browing very time consuming indeed), or to force the user to download a bulky .pdf in order to browse the whole book at once. DIVA is different: it’s optimized to load only what is in the viewing window at any given moment, making it possible to browse through high quality images with minimal load time and no need to download a file. We (and we hope our readers) have been enjoying this technology giving us easy access to the Salzinnes manuscript; that this technology has wide applications is attested to by it’s being listed as among the Top 15 JavaScript Tools and Scripts for Web Developers this week - so, a big bravo to all developers!

In preparation for Ichiro’s presenting the SIMSSA project at the American Musicological Society conference later this week, we have upgraded DIVA to include a jump-to-folio feature and the simultaneous display of all the CANTUS information for whichever page the browser is on. We’ve also added a search box, where we can search the texts of all the chants, and soon also their modes, genres, offices, and catalogue numbers. Suddenly the "Single Interface" part of the SIMSSA acronym looks a lot more concrete - something we hope will ignite the imaginations of musicologists - our future users - to find applications and help us refine our presentation system even further.