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Hurrah for underpaid drudges

By dchud, Section Mindful Link Propagation
Posted on Sat Jun 1st, 2002 at 07:36:35 AM EST
Silly piece on a recently misfiring alexa over at NTKnow is prefaced by "The transformation of librarians as underpaid drudges - preserving the infosphere while straightfacedly answering the sniggering requests of impertinent schoolboys - into the heroes of the digital age is near complete." Apparently we're borrowing the revolution, sending it downstairs for the preservation dept to fix the binding and tape some pages back together, and then back up through cataloging so the subject headings can get updated, then reshelving it so you can steal it back yet again.

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Pytheas, pt. 3

By art, Section Software
Posted on Wed May 29th, 2002 at 11:39:55 AM EST
Another demo at, I fixed some bugs (and added some new ones!) but it is slowly taking shape. Terms are passed against Google to get suggestions, try entering "progrem" in the RDF search form to see how Google offers a saner suggestion and then the WordNet entries produce variations on the suggestion. I loaded over 80,000 entries from the noun file from WordNet, but it's only 100 bib records, so "java" and related terms are about all that will find anything. The machine is not very peppy so be gentle, the backend is now using MySQL instead of HypersonicSQL, which is why I am able to get so many WordNet terms. HypersonicSQL keeps everything in memory, but MySQL can handle much larger databases.

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Google Web API & Web Services

By art, Section Software
Posted on Fri May 24th, 2002 at 09:14:23 AM EST
Rael Dornfest has an interesting article on the Google API. One function which is described in the article is the use of Google's spelling feature. I have been using dumps from WordNet for this kind of thing but the Google API really does this well. Here is another possible illustration of the advantages of component-based library systems. You can wire in the Google API with SOAP for supporting "did you mean" kinds of searches for your catalogue if you are not tied to a monolithic ILS. The API is unfortunately limited to 1,000 searches a day, and Google may eventually pull the plug, but it's an interesting example of how libraries may be able to take advantage of web services.

(3 comments) Comments >>

YAZ 1.8.7 released

By ksclarke, Section Software
Posted on Thu May 23rd, 2002 at 01:21:48 PM EST
A new version of YAZ has been released. YAZ is a C/C++ programmer's toolkit supporting the development of Z39.50v3 clients and servers. A sample client, a sample server, and documentation are included in the distribution. YAZ also includes experimental support for the industry standard ZOOM API for Z39.50. There are several changes from the last version (mostly bug fixes).

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Draft: editorial guidelines for /usr/lib/info

By dchud, Section News
Posted on Thu May 23rd, 2002 at 07:10:39 AM EST
I'm working on a set of editorial guidelines for the site, and would very much appreciate some feedback.

(2 comments, 195 words in story) Full Story

Scoop improvements we should make

By dchud, Section Software
Posted on Thu May 23rd, 2002 at 06:56:45 AM EST
I'm really digging scoop, the weblog engine we're using to run /usr/lib/info. And though I'm a bit concerned about running a cvs version, it's very stable and I'm already a loyal user. That said, there are two features I'd love to see in it that the /u/l/i community is uniquely poised to experiment with.

(3 comments, 660 words in story) Full Story

JavaWorld article on SAX Parsers

By jfrumkin, Section Mindful Link Propagation
Posted on Wed May 22nd, 2002 at 09:33:11 AM EST
For all of you XML-weenies ;-) JavaWorld is running an article on creating SAX parsers with XML-schemas. Worth a look. [editor's note, by jfrumkin] Moved this post into the MLP section

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The Semantic Web and Libraries

By art, Section Opinion
Posted on Tue May 21st, 2002 at 12:12:12 PM EST
This is a column I am working on for InsideOLITA and would welcome any and all feedback.

(6 comments, 1785 words in story) Full Story

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