Monthly Archives: July 2004

Read for fun

People who see FictionFinder occasionally say that it is a public library application. In this context I was interested to come across the Read for fun site at University of Notre Dame Libraries. Students often ask those of us who work in the library at Notre Dame for books they can read just for fun. … Continue reading Read for fun

SRU again

Another mention of SRU: the discovery+ project at Edinburgh has brought up an SRU demonstrator. SRU is a web services protocol for federated and parallel (e.g. via merged/union catalogues) searching of multiple bibliographic repositories. The protocol is a REST type protocol in which search queries can be requested via HTTP calls with results returnable in … Continue reading SRU again


Eric Lease Morgan has an article on SRU in the current issue. Ralph Levan gets a namecheck (Ralph’s SRU code here). This article is an introduction to the “brother and sister” Web Service protocols named Search/Retrieve Web Service (SRW) and Search/Retrieve URL Service (SRU) with an emphasis on the later. More specifically, the article outlines … Continue reading SRU

Sun on eBay

Jonathan Schwartz notes that Sun has been experimenting with eBay as a sales channel. We’ve been running an experiment recently – putting computers up for sale on eBay. [Jonathan Schwartz’s Weblog]

Value and interoperability

A second discontinuity for vendors is the double-edged sword of creating true interoperability while selling unique value. Customers want open systems using open standards, but the very act of truly achieving this commoditizes the proprietary value of a system’s uniqueness. Community source projects also create viable reference implementations of open standards that favor no particular … Continue reading Value and interoperability

Open Source

Spotted on a company T-shirt recently: “we make open source affordable”.


For an overview of current state-of-the-art and issues in the learning technology domain see the presentations and program from the recent alt-i-lab meeting. Alt-i-lab 2004 is the 2nd annual meeting of creators, vendors, users, and buyers of learning technology. The purpose of the meeting was advancing learning technology interoperability. The participants are informed business and … Continue reading Alt-i-lab

Library consortia

I have just come across Consortia in the next 25 years, a conference organized by Caval in Australia last year to celebrate its twenty fifth anniversary. The site has powerpoints looking at consortia from various perspectives going forward.

Audit office report on remote services of the British Library

The British Library: providing services beyond the reading rooms [pdf] is a report from the UK National Audit Office on the networked services of the British Library. It makes interesting reading and is generally positive. Among the points it makes is that the Library needs to consider the management costs of digital information beyond the … Continue reading Audit office report on remote services of the British Library

Middleware dark matter

Steve Vinoski of Iona says … As I noted nearly two years ago in this column, many distributed integration applications, including much of the software running the Web, are based on “middleware dark matter,”[2] which consists of dynamic languages like Python, Perl, and PHP. Not only is this phenomenon still true today but, based on … Continue reading Middleware dark matter