Gearing up, yet chilling out

textal promo items

Things have been quiet around here (Steve and I both went on leave for a while) but we are now getting to the final stages of making the app. We hope to push a version out to users, for testing, in the next week or so. I’m now looking at lists of words which are used on … do you call them buttons when they are embedded into an app? … so we can think about translating the interface into other languages. And lookee here, a big batch of textal promotional items arrived, so we can start to crank up the promo machine.

But. The launch has to be put back. We would have had to get it into the app store round about now for that to happen – which we could have done, but we would have been really having to go some. Doable, but stressful. However, that wasn’t the limiting factor. We’ve been trying to set up an account on the App Store which would mean we could release this as UCLDH and UCLCASA – but we are mired in legal identities, UCL agreements, and who gets to assert the copyright on Textal, etc etc. We think we have found a way forward – and we are getting our ducks in a row to fight the good fight as far as copyright and IPR is concerned (it may be a free app, but we cant give away our copyright to someone else) – but it is funny how something like that can derail the time frame for the launch of a project.

So our room booking for the launch is cancelled. Not to worry, we’ll make a new one once Textal is up in the Apple Store, hopefully within the month.  We’ll keep you posted with progress, now we are back on the case.

One comment on “Gearing up, yet chilling out
  1. Arno Bosse says:

    My sympathies.. I’m stuck, waist (well, knee..) high, in the exact same muddle of legal issues at UChicago in the case of a Japanese pedagogy app. Our situation is complicated even more by the fact that we’re hoping to charge a modest sum for it on the app store (or at least, for one instantiation of the app) as a way to help finance the inevitable revisions and upgrades down the road. This in turn triggered a request for us to find a way to make an exception (i.e. make the app free) to UChicago students/staff/faculty. Given Apple’s DRM this is not at all straightforward but it is possible via some workarounds and we’re sorting through these now with various campus groups. It’s pushed back our development and deployment schedule quite a bit.

    There are actually precious few DH type apps on the iOS app store. I can actually only think of two bona fide examples (discounting the various facsimile apps). One is a kind of film analysis laboratory, the other is a Greek grammar/language resource. Touch Press publishes wonderful interactive stuff of course but I think it’s fair to group these under facsimile++ (and will, in any case, soon move to Apple’s proprietary EPUB3 variant where they are probably better served). But there’s very little (if at all) in the DH analytic research tool category. I can think of some possible reasons why (besides the legal & administrative hoops of course) however I don’t think technical challenges are at the top of the list.

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