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Updates, errors, etc

Correction and update strategy
Addition of new documents to Kairos
Unresolved issues
Work in progress
Technical considerations


Correction and update strategy: It should be stressed that, unlike many content management applications, the approach to the relationship between the older Laetus system and the management of documents within Drupal is understood here as involving a progressive and iterative approach. The relationship between the original PHP article and the extracted Kairos documents indicates the following strategy for repairing detected errors and adding new documents from Laetus as they are written:
  • Content errors: Repair in PHP article and delay replacing Kairos variants. This notably applies to spelling and erroneous treatment of special characters.
  • Bibliographical errors (author names, etc): Repair in PHP article and give priority to overwriting Kairos documents of References and Authors types, since these can be handled relatively independently of the other Kairos documents
  • Navigation link errors: Consider repairing certain links immediately by editing the Kairos documents in anticipation of any correction to the program extracting them from the PHP articles
  • Presentation of document titles: The titles of some parts of extracted documents are preceded by a number which results in less useful alphabetical title sorts. Such issues can be circumvented by tweaking the Drupal Views.

There are of course possibilities within Drupal to extract and generate some additional records, by-passing any suspect conversion from the original PHP articles. These remain to be explored -- notably with respect to new documents.

Addition of new documents to Kairos It has become apparent that it is relatively easy to import new documents from Laetus as they are written, if the impact on certain record types is ignored. The current strategy is therefore:

  • Citations of other documents in Kairos Checklists of links to other documents can therefore be added with no difficulty. However indication of the backlinks to the new documents will be postponed.
  • Citations by other documents in Kairos Checklists associated with older documents will not indicate any link from any newer document -- and must await a more extensive update.
  • Citation of non-Kairos references Such checklists can readily be imported, however the links to author records not already present in Kairos will be postponed until a more extensive update.
  • Authors not previously cited The addition of these records will be postponed.
  • Updating of existing author records These records will not be updated if they are cited by the newly added ddocument.
This approach means that updating can be done more frequently. Note that the possibility of keyword searches on newly added documents may compensate for some of these deficiencies.


  • Due to article formatting Some errors in the Kairos documents are fairly obvious and basically call for no special comment here. They derive from formatting and other errors in the original PHP articles (some dating back to the 1960s) -- from which the Kairos documents have been extracted by program, dependent on such formatting. They will be gradually eliminated when detected and as occasion permits. Links to PDF versions may be provided, especially where digitization may have left unresolved errors.

    Significant errors may occasionally arise due to any exceptional complexity in the original PHP article and the consequent failure of the conversion programs to take appropriate account of them. When such errors occur they primarily affect the links between Kairos documents, but not access to them.

    If in doubt, follow the [All] navigation link back to the original PHP article in Laetus.

    There are specific formatting issues in certain documents which require further work, most notably in those of the Metaphors/Patterns type

  • Errors arising from information absent from the source documents: A significant proportion of the images, now rendered directly accessible, lack titles which need to be added. This is work in progress. The context of the image is however provided.

  • Errors due to accented characters: These are a continuing difficulty, especally since authors may be cited with or without accents in their names. Misrepresentation of accents may disrupt the fomatting of documents.
Unresolved issues:
  • Document summary links (TOC): These are the links typically to be found before the introduction (in "Document introductions", namely the first part of a set of documents composing the original PHP article), to other parts of that set ("Document sections"). Currently these links are in most cases functioning correctly -- except where the structure of the original article is especially complex, notably with indented references to other parts of a document. In such a case, further work remains to be done.

  • References from within documents: References within the body of the text may be of several types:
    • Navigation links between documents (Next, Last, etc): In some cases, these links are out of phase with the table of contents list (TOC), notably in relation to "Last" (resulting in "page not found"). Further work is required to enable Next/Previous links in the Encyclopedia commentaries (given that they function correctly in the Laetus version), in the Tables section and in the presentation of Metaphors. Further work is required on the Tour feature in the Galleries of images
    • Bibliographical references: Repeated with more detail in the relevant references record -- and possibly in more correct form (as noted below)
    • Newspaper and other web references: Typically not repeated in the relevant references record, notably in the case of blogs of unidentified authorship. This can be considered a limitation, if not a "bug".
    • Links to other Kairos documents: Extracted and regrouped in a checklist of separate records citing that document("Citfrk"), or cited by that document ("Cittok"). The checklists cite the main document of the set ("DocMain"), but not the part in which the citation otherwise appears ("DocPart"). This can be considered a limitation, if not a "bug". A possibility remedy is use of a separate checklist ("Kx").
    • Links to documents not yet incorporated into Kairos: Particularly from Encyclopedia commentaries. These may refer to documents which could have been imported into Kairos. In this case the links currently go back to the original. This may be notably apparent from the commentary checklists for individual sub-projects. This can be considered a limitation, if not a "bug", especially in the case of images which are not retrieved for the document.
  • Link validation: Despite the focus on links between Kairos documents, relatively little effort has been made to validate links to external sites.

  • Listing and sorting Kairos documents: These Drupal facilities (Views and Views Calc) will continue to be developed as described in Navigation facilities. At this stage:
    • an earlier issue of sorting of columns of numeric fields has been resolved. This now allows for totals and averages in many instances. Attention is required to any selection (inadvertently) made, when using these results, or they may be misinterpreted.
    • trivial document titles, most notably "Conclusion" have not as yet been suppressed from listings, as can readily be done.
  • Bibliographical references: The conversion of the bibliographical References at the end of many of the PHP articles into those in Kairos has been the occasion for extensive reformatting and the insertion of links to author names. This conversion was quite dependent on standard formatting in the PHP articles, notably since surname was placed after first name in Laetus articles (initially to facilitate early web searches).
    • Where the formatting is non-standard or incorrect, the results in Kairos documents are unpredictable. Some errors of this type remain to be corrected, although a number of the earliest PHP articles make extensive use of a mix of notes and bibliographical references which it is not intended to reformat.
    • A known issue is publication titles terminating with an interrogation mark, leading to failure to detect authors correctly -- as is evident in reference checklists.
    • There is clearly a widely-recognized issue with the variants in author names, including use of initials or not, as well as potential confusion with authors having the same name. These have been partially corrected for the most common differences in frequent author names cited in the PHP articles.
    • Details of publications (year of edition, publisher, etc) may vary with their citation in different PHP articles on different occasions. This is apparent in the summary records by author and results in erroneous publication counts since all variants are listed -- even the most trivial. It remains to be determined whether further effort to correct this is justified.
    • References without an appropriate author. These will necessarily appear as obvious errors calling for correction. A particular issue relates to articles derived from the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (based on articles on the Laetus-in-Praesens site).
  • Formatting and font issues:
    • Document size: Issues arising from the large size of a few PHP articles have not yet been fully resolved in all cases. The articles are then incorrectly handled and some documents may very occasionally even be truncated or absent from the Kairos collection of documents.
    • Image size: Some included images may be incorrectly formatted in terms of size within the Kairos presentation. This is an issue yet to be resolved. Alternative text indications have yet to be added, as with the PHP collection of articles.
    • Accented and special characters: These may be evident in article titles in the PHP version. They pose a problem in the Kairos version where the field may be sorted to facilitate access. They have therefore been (provisionally) stripped out. This may also apply to the names of authors of documents cited in References. Unresolved issues may arise from texts quoting material from external documents containing special characters. Some of these issues relate to associated conversion of the original articles to the UTF-8 standard, notably required by Drupal.
  • Access to documents via topic: This facility is operational as described in Topics / Subjects -- via which document access is provided. Subject access has yet to be enhanced using the extensive Drupal taxonomy possibilities. The legacy facility currently in place has long been used with a form of automatic tagging on the Laetus site. It is as yet unclear whether the Drupal taxonomy possibilities can be adapted to some of the subtleties of that legacy system. In practice this means that currently it is not possible to makes searches by topic or by combinations of topics.

  • Duplication between Laetus and Encyclopedia documents: Since many Encyclopedia documents are derived from Laetus documents, however the former may have been adapted, reformatted or supplemented, a degree of duplication may be apparent from the titles. At this stage it is not clear whether this merits any attention. Missing however is any link from the Encyclopedia document to the Laetus document from which it may have been largely derived.

  • Highlighting document distinctions: One category of documents from Laetus, held as "musings" may call for cautionary distinction (perhaps by page colour) since they tend to be humourous, provocative, "irresponsible", or especially speculative.

  • Disabled features: The documents on the Laetus site have in the past occasionally made use of visualization features which have since been disabled by evolution of browser technology and HTML standards. Little effort has been made to upgrade these features or render them accessible in modern browsers. These include SVG animations, force-layout (d3.js), virtual reality (VRML), hot-linked images. The problem extends to access to modern virtual reality standards, including many interactive virtual reality presentations based on the X3D standard. Occasionally non-interactive video versions have been provided in MP4 format.

  • Unforeseen errors: It is to be expected that errors will become apparent resulting from failure to anticipate issues in the conversion program.
Work in progress: Aside from the unresolved issues above, note the separate summary of current priorities

Technical considerations: Of possible relevance to the errors on Kairos, are various technical issues discussed separately