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VIEWS: 8 PAGES: 47

  • pg 1
									What’s Hot & What’s Not
Library Technologies & Trends from Applets to
Z39.50




           Roy Tennant
Warnings
   My personal opinion of the situation
    today (only fools and geniuses predict
    the future)
   I can’t cover the entire landscape (I
    mean, you want to go home, right?)
   I will cover way more Hot technologies
    than NOT Hot — sorry!
   TMBA: Too Many Bloody Acronyms
Outline
   Hot (and Not) Technologies, from
    Applets to Z39.50
   What Makes a Technology Hot? Or
    Not?
   Joe Janes’ Six Questions
   Making Good Technology Decisions
   I Know This Much Is True
   3 Things You Must Remember
Applets
   Java applets were once thought to be
    the way to deploy rich interactive
    services to web clients
   Experience demonstrated that Applets:
       Often crashed browsers
       Took way too long to load
       Were less cross-platform compatible than
        advertised
   Hot? NOT! — Use servlets instead…
Digital Reference
   Solves the essential problem of not
    being where the user needs us (online)
   Is much better than it was, but is still in
    its infancy
   Should be viewed as simply another
    tool to provide more effective user
    services
   Hot? Yes, but be realistic and realize it
    is a NEW service that requires
Dublin Core
   A common meeting ground for more complex
    metadata standards
   Co-developed by an international community
    of librarians and computer scientists (broad-
    based support)
   Example of success: it is the one required
    metadata format for OAI-PMH
   Hot? Yes, but should be used only for
    cooperative metadata sharing or very simple
    metadata needs
eBooks
   Major kinds:
       Device-dependent
       Web-based
       Download-based
   Uptake varies dramatically based on
    format, cost, type of content, etc.
   Hot? Varies…from dead-cold device-
    dependent ebooks to lukewarm and
    slowly heating up for other types
FRBR
   Functional Requirements for
    Bibliographic Records (from IFLA)
   A method by which we can bring
    together for the user multiple records
    that describe one intellectual object
   Example system: Redlightgreen.com
    from RLG
   Hot? YES! May be an effective way out
    of the morass of multiple records
HTML
   A hodge-podge of sloppy
    implementations and browser-specific
    hacks
   Meanwhile, a better solution
    exists…XHTML & CSS
   Hot? Cold, dead cold, for anyone
    interested in standards and long-term
    viability — use XHTML and CSS
    instead
Institutional Repositories
   “Digital collections capturing and
    preserving the intellectual output of a
    single or multi-university community.”
    (SPARC)
   A way libraries can help change
    scholarly communication from a profit
    center to a social good
   Hot? Yes!
repositories.cdlib
       .org
dspace.mit.ed
     u
Java Servlets
   “Servlets” = Server-side applications
   Java is a common language for web-
    based application programming
   Hot? Yes.
Metasearching
   Only librarians like to search, everyone else
    likes to find
   Searching in a Google World
   A powerful tool, but…
   Challenges remain:
       Deduplication
       Ranking
       Target Response
   Hot? Yes, but still at an early stage
METS
   Metadata Encoding and Transmission
    Schema
   An XML “wrapper” for various metadata
    “packages”, as well as component files
    or the internal structure of a file
   Increasingly used as an all-purpose
    metadata package for digital objects
   Hot? Red hot, and getting hotter!
MODS
   Acronym
   A bibliographic standard similar to
    MARC expressed in XML
   Probably the closest thing to a
    replacement for MARC
   Currently used as an alternative to
    MARC XML
   Hot? Lukewarm, and getting warmer…
OAI-PMH
   A protocol for “harvesting” (as opposed
    to searching) metadata from content
    repositories
   A digital library interoperability “home
    run”
   Simple, easy to implement and
    understand; other uses are being
    layered on top (e.g., dynamic
    searching)
Open Source Software
   Software for which anyone can obtain the
    source code (the human-readable code that
    is normally compiled into code that isn’t)
   Essential services are running on OSS; e.g.,
    Apache web server, MySQL
   OSS is particularly important for libraries, as
    it is now much easier and cheaper to
    prototype and build new online services
   Hot? Red hot, and likely to continue to be
OpenURL
   A standard way to encode URLs for
    information objects that are computer
    parseable, and therefore actionable in ways
    that standard URLs are not
   Key benefits:
       Links are not 1-to-1 (multiple targets can be
        presented)
       Links can be presented that are unique to a user
        community (based on local licenses)
   Hot? You bet! A simple way to solve the
    “appropriate copy” problem as well as offer
RDF
   Resource Description Framework
   Do you understand, and can you
    explain to someone else, what a
    labeled directed graph is? No? Then
    forget about understanding RDF
   Can you implement what you don’t
    understand?
   Where is the killer app?
   Hot? NOT!
RSS
   Pick your acronym definition: Really
    Simple Syndication (my fave), Rich Site
    Summary (from Netscape), or RDF Site
    Summary (for those into the RDF
    version of RSS)
   Useful for current awareness:
       Blog readers
       Automatic web site updates
   Hot? Yes! But for specific purposes
    Storage
   Storage is going for about $1/GB
   Buy this 1 terabyte disk for $1,000 ->

   Put this 4 GB card in your camera ->

   Carry this 1 GB USB drive in your
    pocket

   Hot? Like, duh!
Web Services: SOAP + REST
   SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol
   A lightweight way to exchange encoded
    information between applications
   REST (Representational State Transfer) is a
    URL (HTTP Get) based way of sending a
    SOAP request and receiving an XML-
    encoded response
   Both Google and Amazon can be searched
    via Web Services
   Hot? Definitely!
XHTML and CSS
   An XML-compliant version of HTML
   Benefits: forces markup to be valid and
    properly structured; forces display
    directives into a separate stylesheet
    (CSS) where they belong
   Ongoing maintenance of documents
    thereby simplified and standardized
   Hot? Definitely! Migrate NOW!
http://csszengarden.com/
XML
   A simple and yet powerful way to
    encode information in a structured
    format for processing and
    communication
   All kinds of hot new services use it,
    from OAI-PMH to RSS and SRU/SRW
    — even library catalog systems
   Hot? Super Red Hot! If you want job
    security, learn XML now!
Z39.50
   A standard for searching remote
    databases that has been around for
    years
   Still not widely implemented in a
    consistent and effective manner
   Meanwhile, OAI-PMH and other XML-
    based protocols (e.g., SRU/SRW) are
    rapidly replacing it
   Hot? NOT! But see SRU/SRW
SRU/SRW
   SRW = carried by a form (uses HTTP
    POST)
   SRU = carried by a URL (uses HTTP
    GET)
   A Web Services implementation of
    Z39.50
   The best chance Z39.50 has of
    surviving
   Hot? Warm and getting warmer (it may
    be a useful method for database
What Makes a Technology
Hot?
   Simplicity
   Power
   Flexibility
   Cost-effectiveness
   Kills a pain or fulfills a strong desire
What Makes a Technology
NOT Hot?
   Needless complexity (more complexity
    than is required to solve the problem at
    hand)
   Greater cost (in either money or time)
    than users are willing to pay
   Addresses a problem that no one feels
    that strongly about
   Competition that is more compelling
Joe Janes’ Six Questions
   Is there a benefit to the user?
   Is it accessible, affordable, and worth
    the cost?
   Does it help uphold the values of the
    profession?
   Does it play to our strengths?
   Is it likely to endure?
   Does it feel right?
Reference:
Making Good Technology
Decisions
   Keep an ear to the ground and an eye
    on the horizon
   Hold new technologies up to the light of
    your mission and priorities
   Watch out for 800 lb. Gorillas
   Don’t ignore an upstart with a
    compelling product
Making Good Technology
Decisions
   Don’t bet the farm on things you can’t
    control
   All things being equal, open is better
    than proprietary
   Technology with market share often
    prevents or kills better technology
   However…market share is everything
   Get good advice
   Know your source of support
I Know This Much is True
   Neither an early adopter nor latecomer
    be
   It’s the user, stupid!
   Don’t expect users to know what they
    want until they see it
   Never underestimate the power of a
    prototype
   Back it up or kiss it goodbye
I Know This Much is True
   Don’t buy software with a zero at the
    end of the release number
   Burn, baby, burn: the only good CPU
    cycle is a used one
   Never let anyone bitch at you about
    disk usage — disk space is cheaper
    than dirt!
   If you can’t be with the operating
    system you love, love the one you’re
    with
3 Things You Must Remember
   XML
   It’s not the technology, but the
    user!
   Never stop learning!

								
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