Notes from the Heraldic Technology Roundtable

I’m pleased to report that this weekend’s roundtable session on heraldic technology at KWHSS was productive. More than a dozen people gathered for an hour-long conversation, and we talked through most of the items that had been on my draft agenda while sharing a lot of information and turning up a bunch of new ideas that I hadn’t thought of.

I’ve attempted to summarize the conversation below for reference by folks who weren’t able to attend the session in person.

Continue reading “Notes from the Heraldic Technology Roundtable”

Agenda for the Heraldic Technology Roundtable

[Update July 1:] I’ve written up some fairly-detailed notes from this weekend’s discussion.

A couple of months ago I posted a proposal for a panel discussion of SCA heraldic software development, which will take place this weekend at KWHSS 2024 (June 29 at 3:30 PM).

I’ve put together the below agenda to help focus the discussion, although of course we’ll play it by ear during the session depending on who shows up and what folks think are productive topics for conversation

Continue reading “Agenda for the Heraldic Technology Roundtable”

O&A Search for Unregistered OSCAR Submissions

Here’s a nifty trick for the folks who might be running their own O&A server — which is admittedly a very, very small audience.

The OSCAR software can generate a supplementary data file in the same format as oanda.db which contains the names and armory currently in-process on LoIs which have not yet made it to an LoAR.

Continue reading “O&A Search for Unregistered OSCAR Submissions”

A Concordance of Heraldic Terminology

TL;DR: The International Heraldry Phrasebook provides translations of 500 blazon terms between six different languages.

When reviewing documents about medieval and early-modern European armory, it’s quite common to encounter blazons in languages other than English. In some cases, automated translation tools such as Google’s will suffice, but the degree of specialized heraldic jargon sometimes exceeds their grasp, or yields a confusing jumble that doesn’t resemble a workable blazon.

In the middle of the last century, the short book Vocabulaire-Atlas Heraldic, by Gaston Ferdinand Laurent Stalins, attempted to address a similar need by providing a concordance of over 500 terms, showing their equivalents in each of English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch, along with corresponding illustrations.

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Descriptions for Field Division Directions

Following the 2021 rules change, SENA A5F1b now says that that changing the direction of partition lines is considered a Substantial Change, as is the difference between divided and undivided fields.

As a result, when using the Complex Search form to do conflict checking for fielded armory, we can add a second line for the field that matches anything with a similar direction. Continue reading “Descriptions for Field Division Directions”

JSON Data for the Traceable Art

As part of my effort to facilitate the development of a successor to the current, somewhat jury-rigged system used to publish the Traceable Heraldic Art collection, I’ve been working on exporting the current data in a format that could be imported by someone developing a successor system.

You can now retrieve nearly all of the textual content of the collection via a series of JSON data files which are automatically rebuilt each time the site is updated. Continue reading “JSON Data for the Traceable Art”

Seeking A Technical Collaborator or Successor for the Traceable Heraldic Art

As we approach the fifth anniversary of my Traceable Heraldic Art project, and given how terribly overcommitted I am with numerous projects underway, I wanted to let folks know that if someone with a strong software-development background was interested in developing the next generation of the system that hosts that collection, I’d be open to collaboration and eventually turning it over to someone else to run.

This recent blog post lays out some of the background on how the current system works and what I hope might some day replace it, and links to the source code and data files I use to build and update the site. A successor system might be coded very differently, but I would hope that it would still support the current functionality and enable the development of new capabilities, so it seems likely to be of similar complexity.

This doesn’t mean I am about to abandon the project, but I have spent somewhere about four thousand hours on it already, and would like to free up some time to work on other things. If you’re a combination web-development nerd and armorial-art nerd, and you’re interested in spending years of your life improving and maintaining a much-valued community resource, drop me a line!

An Idiosyncratic System for Publishing the Traceable Heraldic Art

[Note: The below is a lightly-edited revision of an email message I sent to a contributor to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection who asked about the technology used to update the web site. It’s somewhat rambling and may not be of interest to most, but I figured it was worth putting it in the public record. — Mathghamhain]

In hindsight it would have been sensible to tackle the creation of the online Traceable Heraldic Art collection as a web database project, but for historical reasons that’s not at all how it’s architected. Continue reading “An Idiosyncratic System for Publishing the Traceable Heraldic Art”