Saturday, December 4, 2010


Two important errata in previous posts are worth highlighting:

Wikisource for Manuscript Transcription

Commenters on my most recent post, "Wikisource for Manuscript Transcription" have pointed out that the Wikisource rule prohibiting the addition of unpublished works--thereby almost entirely prohibiting manuscript transcription projects--is specific to the language domains. The English and French language Wikisource projects enforce the prohibition, but the German and Hebrew language Wikisource projects do not.

Dovi, a Wikipedia editor whom I used to bump into on Ancient Near Eastern language articles, points to his work on the the Wikisource edition of Arukh Hashulchan, pointing to this example of simanim. Sadly, my Hebrew isn't up to the task of commenting on this effort.

I was delighted to see that the post also inspired a bit of commentary on the German-language Wikisource Skriptorium. In particular, WikiAnika seemed to agree with my criticism of flat transcription: Man scheint in gewisser Weise noch an der Printform „zu kleben“. Oder um einen Dritten zu zitieren: „WS ist eine Sackgasse – man findet vielleicht zu einem interessanten Text hin, aber man kommt nicht mehr weiter.“

A Short Introduction to before_filter

In my 2007 post on Rails filters, I mentioned using filters to authenticate users:
Filters are called filters because they return a Boolean, and if that return value is false, the action is never called. You can use the the logged_in? method of :acts_as_authenticated to prohibit access to non-users — just add before_filter :logged_in? to your controller class and you're set!
Thanks to some changes made in Rails 2.0, this is not just wrong but dangerously wrong. Rails now ignores filter return values, allowing unauthorized access to your actions if you followed my advice.

Because Rails no longer pays any attention to the return values of controller filters, I've had to replace all my return condition statements with unless condition redirect_to somewhere.

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