OK, I'm going to /try/ to be a better LJer.

This morning I had the somewhat dubious honour of being called on as an XML "expert" to sit in on a meeting about the Britten-Pears archive. I was asked by the professor (I guess on the strength of work on CURSUS) who had, in turn, been asked by one of the other lecturers who's got funding to "modernise" this archive. Basically, they want to integrate several different thematic databases to present a single interface. I got to tell them that "interface" doesn't necessarily have to mean "user interface" and that they could present an XML-based API quite easily. I also found myself obliged to agree that restricting your use of element names in an XML schema - using attributes in preference - is a good idea. I did a diagram like this:

<!-- workable: -->


<title>Billy Budd</title>




<from>Benjam Britten</from>

<to>Peter Pears</to>


<!-- better: -->

<record type="piece">

<field type="title">Billy Budd</field>

<field type="genre">Opera</field>


<record type="letter">

<field type="from">Benjam Britten</field>

<field type="to">Peter Pears</field>


The idea being that the second method is better for SAX processors (though I didn't actually say "SAX"), increases homogeneity and encourages better XPath (and I actually /did/ say "XPath"!).

Anyway, the professor seemed quite pleased with our performance and even quite optimistic about the project. But its nothing to do with me from now on...

And one other thing: I'm going to be a student again!

I had a meeting/interview about my research just now which was /really/ useful. We thrashed out my ideas and came up with a good starting point: I'm going to investigate the concepts involved in encoding music symbolically and assess existing practices. And I'm supposed not to concern myself yet with where exactly it will lead. Apparently this is the best thing to do and it makes sense - how can I know /now/ where my initial research will lead? It would be pointless to try to state now what I think my outcomes will be.

So that all seems quite sorted (to me). Now all I have to do is learn to live without food for three years!