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Monthly Archives: September 2005

I am at the NISO OpenURL/Metasearch Workshop, and in almost every way it’s going well. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the workshop content itself. It’s very informative and helpful, but I’ve really got nothing of value to add or comment upon.

Except one thing.

Today was “Metasearch” day and just after lunch was a panel presentation of David Lindahl and Jeff Suszczynski of the University of Rochester Libraries and David Walker of Cal State San Marcos Library on “Innovative uses of Metasearch”. And these are two inspirations in the field of metasearch development. Anyone with a metasearch engine (and, sadly, I am not one), please look at these schools’ work in regards to how they are leveraging their metasearch implementations.

Both of them spoke at some length about what sorts of incredible engineering feats that they had to accomplish to overcome the shit environment that we have found ourselves electronically. During the Q&A session, Peter Noerr, of MuseGlobal (a vendor), basically admonished these three visionaries because vendors are creating tools to do all of the work that they are doing.

Are you kidding me? They are doing the things that they are doing despite the fact that vendors make it damn near impossible for us to easily provide these services.

There was a very thick tension that set upon the room at this point. You could almost sense that the librarians, finally driven to the edge by their corporate masters, were ready to rise up, break the chains and slay the dragon that torments them so.

Almost.

But then, we’re librarians.

And the tension passed.

And then we had a nice break. No chairs were thrown. No blood was let.

Oh well, maybe next time.

SRW/U is to Yngwie J. Malmsteen as OpenSearch is to Keith Richards.

Yngwie Malmsteen is technically superior, however aesthetically unlistenable (unimplementable, in the case of SRW/U).

Keith Richards is sloppy, unsophisticated and writes timeless melodies that resonate with the masses (OpenSearch is sloppy, unsophisticated — while time will tell if OpenSearch becomes “timeless” [seems doubtful, honestly], but there are certainly a lot of OpenSearch targets).

Mike Taylor wrote a very insightful reaction to Dan’s worklog posting (and incredibly objective, given his investment and relationship to SRW/U). And he’s right.

And I’m right. Unless SRW/U can capture some of the mojo that OpenSearch has, it might as well be Yngwie J. Malmsteen.

Since Andrew asked:

This should go in your banner.tmpl file. I am not bothering with BANNER_TYPE_3, since I am not really sure how I would represent that in a COinS format, anyway.

Thanks to David Walker for showing me how this would work.

<TMPL_IF BANNER_TYPE_1>
<TMPL_IF ATITLE>
<TR valign="top">
<TD class="LabelBold">Title:</TD>
<TD class="Label"><TMPL_VAR NAME="ATITLE" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TD>
</TR>
</TMPL_IF>
<TR valign="top">
<TD class="LabelBold">Source:</TD>
<TD class="Label">
<TMPL_IF BTITLE>
<TMPL_VAR NAME="BTITLE" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF ISBN>
[<TMPL_VAR NAME="ISBN" ESCAPE='HTML'>]
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF AULAST>
<TMPL_VAR NAME="AULAST" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:book<TMPL_IF ATITLE>&rft.atitle=<TMPL_VAR NAME="ATITLE" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF BTITLE>&rft.title=<TMPL_VAR NAME="BTITLE" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF ISBN>&rft.isbn=<TMPL_VAR NAME="ISBN" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF AULAST>&rft.aulast=<TMPL_VAR NAME="AULAST" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF INST>&rft.inst=<TMPL_VAR NAME='INST' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF YEAR>&rft.date=<TMPL_VAR NAME='YEAR' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF SPAGE>&rft.spage=<TMPL_VAR NAME='SPAGE' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF EPAGE>&rft.epage=<TMPL_VAR NAME='EPAGE' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF>"></span>
</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>
<TMPL_IF INST>
<TMPL_VAR NAME='INST' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF YEAR>
yr:<TMPL_VAR NAME='YEAR' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF SPAGE>
pg:<TMPL_VAR NAME='SPAGE' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF EPAGE>
-<TMPL_VAR NAME='EPAGE' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
</TD>
</TR>
</TMPL_IF>

<TMPL_IF BANNER_TYPE_2>
<TMPL_IF ATITLE>
<TR valign="top">
<TD class="LabelBold">Title:</TD>
<TD class="Label"><TMPL_VAR NAME="ATITLE" ESCAPE='HTML'></TD>
</TR>
</TMPL_IF>
<TR valign="top">
<TD class="LabelBold">Source:</TD>
<TD class="Label">
<TMPL_IF JTITLE>
<TMPL_VAR NAME="JTITLE" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF ISSN>
[<TMPL_VAR NAME="ISSN" ESCAPE='HTML'>]
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF AULAST>
<TMPL_VAR NAME="AULAST" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF YEAR >
yr:<TMPL_VAR NAME='YEAR' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF VOLUME >
vol:<TMPL_VAR NAME='VOLUME' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF ISSUE >
iss:<TMPL_VAR NAME='ISSUE' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF SPAGE>
pg:<TMPL_VAR NAME='SPAGE' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF EPAGE >
-<TMPL_VAR NAME='EPAGE' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal<TMPL_IF ATITLE>&rft.atitle=<TMPL_VAR NAME="ATITLE" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF JTITLE>&rft.jtitle=<TMPL_VAR NAME="JTITLE" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF ISSN>&rft.issn=<TMPL_VAR NAME="ISSN" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF AULAST>&rft.aulast=<TMPL_VAR NAME="AULAST" ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF INST>&rft.inst=<TMPL_VAR NAME='INST' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF YEAR>&rft.date=<TMPL_VAR NAME='YEAR' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF SPAGE>&rft.spage=<TMPL_VAR NAME='SPAGE' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF EPAGE>&rft.epage=<TMPL_VAR NAME='EPAGE' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF VOLUME >&rft.volume=<TMPL_VAR NAME='VOLUME' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF><TMPL_IF ISSUE >&rft.issue=<TMPL_VAR NAME='ISSUE' ESCAPE='URL'></TMPL_IF>"></span>
</TD>
</TR>
</TMPL_IF>

<TMPL_IF BANNER_TYPE_3>
<TR valign="top">
<TD class="LabelBold">Source:</TD>
<TD class="Label">
<TMPL_IF TITLE>
<TMPL_VAR NAME="TITLE" ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF NUMBER>
[<TMPL_VAR NAME="NUMBER" ESCAPE='HTML'>]
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF INVLAST >
<TMPL_VAR NAME='INVLAST' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
<TMPL_IF YEAR >
yr:<TMPL_VAR NAME='YEAR' ESCAPE='HTML'>
</TMPL_IF>
</TD>
</TR>
</TMPL_IF>

A little while ago, I added COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) to our SFX menu pages. I have been asked by several people about the motivation of this, since it would seem that the user would know if fulltext was available to them at this stage.

Dan Chudnov posted to his worklog one of the advantages to putting COinS in the SFX menu.

So, imagine one of our users is at an SFX menu for another institution. Normally, they’d be, well, screwed. If COinS are enabled in the menu, however (and now we’ve proven this is pretty darn simple), they could use WAG the Dog or Dan’s bookmarklet or Greasemonkey extension (he has them for GT) and get to our fulltext subscription.

Another use case is GT Library’s web designer. Heather is a GT employee (of course), so she access to all of our resources. Being an FSU student, she also has access to their collection. Imagine Heather getting a GT SFX menu for an article that we don’t have available in fulltext. By using her bookmarklet, she could then see if that article is available from FSU, without having to manually look for it herself. If FSU implemented COinS in their menus, then it would work both ways. With GALILEO opening up SFX for the entire state, one has to assume that all of our users could potentially belong to more than one library community (GT and ATL/Fulton Public Library, for example), each with their own subscriptions.

Anyway, it’s quite cool to see (quasi-)real world examples of how COinS would work.