This site is the newbie-friendly, pedagogically-oriented documentation for docling.js, a software library for designing and implementing applications for documentary linguistics.

Here are the ground rules I have set for myself in creating this project:


  1. Language documentation is about language, and language is spoken by real people. It’s easy to see technology as an amoral abstraction, but that is a perilous stance. Language documentation must be both useful and usable, for both linguists and language communities.

  2. Technology is hard enough, let’s be nice. The technology world has earned a reputation as being a difficult, non-inclusive, even toxic environment. The docling project will prioritize patience, support, and neighborliness.

  3. This project is primarily aimed at newbies to programming. What’s a newbie? Sometimes the term is used as an insult, but around here it will be compliment. A newbie is someone who wants to learn, and that’s awesome.

  4. Docling is pedagogically oriented. This site is the documentation for the docling.js software library, but it is atypical of software documentation in that it is oriented toward learners. For a complete manual to the approach used to create docling.js, see Pat’s dissertation.

  5. Docling is standards-based, and keep it simple. All the software developed in this project designed to run in a web browser like the one you’re using now. Browser-based software is standards-based. Also, because we are emphasizing learnability and accessibility for newbies, no external software libraries will be used at all. Many people learned to use

  6. Share. The software on Docling.net is free software, and is . Anyone is free to fork this code and change it in any way that they see fit (with the caveat that modifications must also be shared).

  7. We like ducks.

Who is this?

Greetings! I’m Pat Hall, a documentary linguist and PhD candidate in Linguistics at UCSB. This website is the public face of my dissertation.

View Source!

One of the great features of the Open Web Platform is that the whole system is built out of simple text files (in addition to image, audio, and video files).

Eight Fundamental Data Classes

Docling.js makes use of eight fundamental classes of linguistic data. I hasten to point out that these You might think of these

Why these eight? Put briefly, this set of classes is just enough to serve as the ingredients for a rich, robust array of user interfaces: tools for creating and using documentary data. enable a rich range of For a full justification, see my dissertation.

  1. Language
  2. Word
  3. Sentence
  4. Text
  5. Corpus
  6. Lexicon
  7. Grammar
  8. System

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