Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MAMI = Martial Arts Magazine Index

Another crazy project in the back of my mind that I've been wanting to work on for a loooooong time. It is to be an index of martial arts magazines. There's a few ways I can do this and before starting a project of this magnitude, I want to think through the layout/design/indexing process to make it the most useful it can be... to be able to accomodate any conceivable search variations. Better to lay a solid foundation first than jump right in and end up juryrigging it to add in something that was not foreseen.

Suppose you wanted to find all published articles (or at least whatever has been indexed already) on a certain style... you click the style name and voila, all the articles appear. Suppose you wanted all articles by a specific author... a specific instructor... a specific weapon... a specific magazine only... a specific year only... you get the idea. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore, a picture of the cover would be invaluable. Maybe a quick start is just to add the table of contents page of each issue. In time, expand that out to include author, style, instructor, etc. Still brainstorming this project in the back of my mind. Heck! I didn't even really start my other project yet which has been eating at me... the deconstruction of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do aka Project DJKD.

And to add to that, if i had any database programming skills, I could do this in Microsoft Access or some other database program and I would build it to be able to cross-reference/multi-query it such as find all articles by a specific author on a specific style in a specific year or in a specific magazine. That would be the ultimate application of this database... but sadly my database programming skills are not even whitebelt level. Although this project may spur me on to book up on Access.

Should I start a blog on this? If so, it will at least give you one search area by label... you would not be able to search at least 2 criteria or more. Maybe it's a start. Maybe in the future I or someone else will be able make that database. An easy but not as powerful way is to make an Excel spreadsheet.

I am reminded of a time ages ago via Eskrima Digest... I do not remember the member's name, but he had an OCR of the Inside Karate article written by Lilia Howe about Filipino boxing which I've archived on my site.
And IIRC, the ED member credited Mike Krivka as being the one who actually OCR'd the article. The ED member offered to email anyone who wanted to read the article. I will edit this blog entry when I find the member's name. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I digress... anyway, this member was using a Macintosh at the time... and early on in the Mac's history, there was a fun, useful and versatile program called Hypercard. The metaphor was that it was like a stack of index cards or a rolodex if you will. It was fully programmable if you learned the syntax/language which was similar to BASIC or C++.
You could add a button and link any 'card' to any other card. He programmed it to be able to search for at least 1 criteria... don't recall if it was customized to do 2 or more.

Anyway, I'm sure I am not the first who has thought of this before. I'm not even sure if it has been done yet or not. I'm sure some websites out there in cyberspace at least has 1 magazine indexed to some degree. I'm looking to index them all or at least as much info as I can gather from my research.

Wish me luck!


MAMi Magazine said...

well there is already a MAMi Magazine.. good luck with your project though.

Stickgrappler said...

thank you for your post... i was not looking for "MAMI" as the name of the 'magazine' ... wanted to do a project of martial arts magzines indexing... your mag looks slick!


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