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Toolbar Tidbits

By art, Section Ask Anything
Posted on Thu Dec 4th, 2003 at 02:40:40 PM EST
The idea of a library-specific toolbar, akin to the Google toolbar, has been floated for some time now. I have been all over the map on how one should be built, and what it would look like. The idea may have less to do with toolbars than with seamless integration. The always leading-edge Shifted Librarian, has an uncanny way of finding the latest hooks in browsers, and instantly seeing the possibilities for libraries. How far could this approach go?


My stumbling block, and it's a big one, is that toolbars are so platform and browser-specific that I feel like I am betraying some part of the computing community by such desktop excursions. Exorcise your guilt, you might say, and go completely into linux/mozilla with such a creation. Although I would love to be in a world where that would help our library's user base, the reality is that our own statistics tell us over 90 per cent of them use a combination of IE and windows. Fodder for getting more linux user groups on campus, maybe, but as a service organization I think our library has to concentrate on functions that are usable to most of the campus. Plus, I am getting seriously addicted to OS/X and Mozilla, and I find it very hard to work on anything that doesn't stare me in the face constantly.

Dan's great linkstacks experiment has some connection here, as with the toolbar, the hook is the convenience of using an application without having to work very hard. This is why I keep coming back to bookmarklets, they are so easy to deploy, and are somewhat platform and browser-independent (if you are careful enough). One idea is to stuff all the platform-specific stuff into helper applications. So you would lay out an HTML-based toolbar, have a bookmarklet open it up on the desktop, and then use a series of MIME definitions to launch the application that is appropriate for the platform. For example, checking the contents of the clipboard against the library catalogue, or docking the toolbar in a corner of the desktop and keeping it up front. It means some venturing into desktop-specific ground, but with small steps and well-defined paces.

So what do y'all think about toolbars and related plumbing issues?

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Do you use the Google Toolbar?
Yes 16%
No 83%
I'm not telling 0%

Votes: 6
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Toolbar Tidbits | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
Browser Issues (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Dec 5th, 2003 at 11:33:21 AM EST

We at CNRI have long been struggling with how to get DOI functionality into web browsers. The problem is that just resolving DOIs to a URL isn't that interesting. What else would you put in such a DOI browser plugin?

The technical side isn't so depressing. Sure there are a lot of different browsers, but we maintain plugins for Netscape 4/6/7, Mozilla, Firebird, IE, and Safari. If we had a more compelling application we would undoubtably cover the remaining 1% of browsers as well.

Writing something like this actually isn't very much code. The hard work is figuring out HOW to write it and finding the appropriate hooks in the browser. Do it once(as we have) and its easy to repeat.

One thing we have discussed is having a toolbar that reconfigures itself based on the DOI of the current document. We did an experiment with this for Acrobat and it worked pretty well. Menus and buttons for things like clearing rights and generating bibliographies would appear dynamically depending on the DOI of the PDF document.

It has mostly been the publishers pushing this work, which I think is the wrong direction. It would be much more useful to get ideas from the DL community, as they have a better idea of how technology like this is actually used.

Jason Petrone

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Here is good website (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Feb 23rd, 2005 at 10:47:23 PM EST

Here is good website I will introduce it to my friends website imiquimod pic bbs Article links sitemap sitemap2 links add Health links all Article hpv net freewebpage1 seocn googlecn aakkfree healthcn hpvcn szseo stds ccctv xxyyzz aaccoo xbcnorg aakkorg google aakkorglink 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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tomli (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Mar 6th, 2005 at 07:50:01 AM EST

I am very intersted in your subject, but i'm a beginner. So i hope we can often intercourse.led Best Regard!!

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Toolbar Tidbits | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
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