Jan 182009
 

Just a couple of quick MarcEdit notes.

  1. As part of my campaign to make MarcEdit work better within group managed systems, I’ve been working on migrating MarcEdit’s installer from a general .exe setup to one using Microsoft’s MSI installer.  This will allow system administrators the ability to use Microsoft’s package management tools to distribute MarcEdit and updates on those systems that don’t allow individual computer users to install software.
  2. Z39.50 Client:  Changes have been made — MarcEdit’s general search mode will now support the ability to query 3 databases simultaneously.  This is a first version of this functionality — so expect it to be revised as we move forward.
  3. Export Tab Delimited Data — This function has been modified to more of a Wizard format.  This should make the program a little easier to use.
  4. MarcEdit OAI Harvester — I’m made some changes to the Harvester to make it a little more fault tolerant when dealing with OAI servers that done function exactly as documented.
  5. Tutorials — I’m in the process of creating 25 video tutorials that will be loaded into You Tube.  These tutorials will be added to the tutorial area.
  6. OCLC Connexion Plug-in — This has been updated and will be posted.
  7. Fixes to the Export Selected MARC Records tool
  8. Having the help just on a Wiki doesn’t seem to be working well — so starting with the next install, I’ll be including a compiled version of the help with the program.  Hopefully, this will give people better access to the documentation.
  9. Will fix a problem from the previous install — under certain conditions, new users were not getting the xslt directory installed in the correct location.  The fix was easy for affected users (copy the xslt directory under program directory/shadow to program directory/xslt) — but this will correct the problem.

 

All of these changes have been completed.  At this point, I’m doing final Q/A for all changes.  With luck, this will be posted early next week.

 

–TR

 Posted by at 6:02 pm
Jan 132009
 

From the OCLC news release: http://www.oclc.org/us/en/news/releases/20092.htm

First off, I think that this is a good thing for a couple of reasons.

  1. I take this development as a sign that OCLC has heard the membership, heard some of their concerns and has agreed to take some additional time to have further discussion with the membership.  For that, thank you.
  2. It gives the OCLC membership time to look at the presently proposed policy and consider if this policy reflects the direction that the membership wishes to take the library profession.

So, where do we go from here.  Looking over the news release, it appears that the proposed policy will be the base-line for discussion — the starting point.  So it will be up to the member council and identified library experts to look at this policy and consider how it can best be modified to meet the stated goals of modernizing the record use and transfer policy.  While I very much doubt (though, personally would like to) I will be one of the folks asked to the table, I still have hopes that this process could yield a much more open and friendly record transfer policy.  I’ve discussed this with some folks from the members council, but I honestly believe that OCLC and WorldCat would see the greatest benefit if it simply let WorldCat go — releasing the data through an Open Data license.  I realize that for some, there is a fear that this might devalue OCLC in some way — but I personally doubt it.  As a membership organization, OCLC is able to leverage is large repository of holdings information — which will continue to allow them to build new and interesting services for libraries — whether WorldCat is available for download or not.  I.E. for OCLC members, WorldCat likely isn’t the primary reason why they are members — so I have a difficult time seeing how loosening the reins on WorldCat could be problematic.

Anyway, the announcement is good news in that it will buy the OCLC membership (and library community) time to more fully consider what the current proposed transfer policy would mean to libraries and hopefully help shape a document that is much more in line with the library community’s core values related to the access and sharing of information.  And hopefully, as this policy is considered, the membership council does keep the library community (not just membership) in mind when considering this decision so that any provisions placed on the transfer of records from WorldCat doesn’t poison the transfer of records downstream for other members (both commercial and non-commercial) of the library community.

–TR

 Posted by at 4:43 pm
Jan 082009
 

With the winter storms in the Willamette Valley moving from snow and ice to wind and rain, I’ve been enjoying a long week of riding into a stiff headwind (10-15 mph steady, 25-35 mph gusts) and getting soaked by the rain.  But that’s alright, that’s why I buy Gortex.  However, today was one of those extra special days.  :)

After riding against a stiff headwind this morning (and being happy that I don’t live in the gorge, where they were seeing gusts over 100 mph), I was looking forward to a fast ride home in the evening.  And it started good.  However, things started to go wrong once I had gotten onto highway 99, and the last 20 miles from my house.  Shortly after leaving Corvallis, I felt my bike seize.  With all the snow and ice over the last few weeks of December, ODOT had laid down a lot of loose gravel.  Well, this stuff isn’t washing away quickly, and tonight, some of the gravel got wedged into my chain.  I rolled the chain backwards, and things started moving again.  Unfortunately, I could tell that my chain got bent, because it started slipping.  Frustrating, but I figured I could still limp the bike home.  However, maybe 6-7 miles down the road, the chain breaks. 

Now, bike chains come in many shapes and sizes.  Mine has what’s called a master link — this is a link that allows you to easily remove your chain (for cleaning, adjustments, etc).  This was fortunate.  My chain broke one link past the master link.  This meant that I was able to simply remove the broken link and then rethread my chain.  I lose a couple of gears, but at least I can get home.  Normally, this fix is a couple of minute job.  However, in the wind, rain and dark (did I mention that it was pitch dark), this becomes a much more difficult repair (especially if you drop the master link). 

Anyway, a couple minute job turned into a 15 minute job, but I got the bike running again.  Yeah.  With the bad link gone, this are working much better (though, I can tell that the chain still isn’t quite right).  Well, another mile down the road, and my back tire goes flat.  Again, another couple minute job that is infinitely more difficult in the dark and rain and became a 10 minute job.  So, after spending about an extra 30-35 minutes doing repairs, I finally was able to limp home.

Actually, the ride could have been a lot worst.  When I was changing my back tire and removing the piece of glass that had gotten lodged into it, I noticed that the tred was starting to pull away from the tire.  This isn’t good — and generally is the mark of a complete tire failure.  After changing the flat, I was really hoping that my tire would last just long enough to get me home.  It did, but it took it’s toll.  Going out to look over my bike to assess for further damage (since I already know I’m replacing my chain, but making sure that I didn’t chew up my cassette, chain rings or derailers) I noticed that my back tire was flat again.  A slow leak — and that there is now a 3″ spot on my tire where the tred has completely pulled away, leaving the kevlar completely exposed. 

On the bright-side, I do so enjoy going to the bike shop. :)

–TR

 Posted by at 1:57 am
Jan 052009
 

I’ve been doing a little performance and memory benchmarking, but let me say that I think I like mod_rails.  I’ll write up something a little bit later, but for distribution, mod_rails = sysadmin love.  Just install a gem, run an installer and add 5  lines to your httpd.conf file and your running.  As a bonus, it’s even slightly faster than mongrel (though you pay for it with a slightly higher footprint upfront).  Anyway, you got to love that.

Anyway, LibraryFind 0.9 is “finished”, having been migrated to Rails 2.2.2 on a server running mod_rails for testing.  I’m going to be working to wrap this up this week (I hope) and move it from R&D testing to public testing here in the library.  And as an fyi — I have a few more cool changes to note — though those will be subject of a different post.

 

–TR

 Posted by at 4:05 pm