Saturday, March 07, 2009

Open Source

Here is another example of why open source software is necessary.

I've been using MS Money for years, mid-90s at least. A while back my version stopped working, just would not work any more without an upgrade. $35.00 just to keep using a program I had purchased.

The upgrade did not work. I couldn't open the files at all. Contacted customer support and got back instructions. I followed them. I'm no idiot and I've been using a computer since the 80s so I'm no novice either.

Lost all my data since 2001. Like all the tax info I had kept in those files.

Moneydance might have been a better option. Could not have been any worse.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

FRBR in Dublin Core Application Profiles

Assessing FRBR in Dublin Core Application Profiles by Talat Chaudhri appears in Ariadne no. 58.
The question remains as to whether FRBR is suitable for Web delivery within repositories, and for which specific resource types and DCAPs. Until this is answered with practical testing, it will be difficult or even impossible to frame a ‘core DCAP’ and subsequently analyse whether the concept would be of practical use. Metadata need to be flexible and re-usable in the fast-changing world of repositories. In order to make best use of the specific improvements to repository metadata that the DCAPs have provided, it may be to their advantage to re-analyse their entity models.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spring Break

For Spring break our family will be in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC and driving between them. Any suggestions? Something fun for a 13 and 15 year old?

Google Eye-tracking Studies

Google has published the results of their latest eye-tracking studies. Could be interesting for folks designing OPAC or NGC displays.
When designing the user interface for Universal Search, the team wanted to incorporate thumbnail images to better represent certain kinds of results. For example, in the [how to tie a tie] example above, we have added thumbnails for Image and Video results. However, we were concerned that the thumbnail images might be distracting and disrupt the well-established order of result evaluation.

We ran a series of eye-tracking studies where we compared how users scan the search results pages with and without thumbnail images. Our studies showed that the thumbnails did not strongly affect the order of scanning the results and seemed to make it easier for the participants to find the result they wanted.

eXtensible Text Framework

News from the The California Digital Library about a new tool.
The California Digital Library (CDL) is pleased to announce the availability of an extensive self-guided tutorial for its eXtensible Text Framework (XTF) application. XTF is an open source, highly customizable piece of software supporting the search, browse, and display of heterogeneous digital content and offering efficient and practical methods for creating customized end-user interfaces for distinct digital collections. The tutorial provides guidance for implementing and customizing XTF, from core functionality to overall look and feel. Downloads for the Mac and Windows operating systems are available from the XTF Project page on SourceForge along with the complete distribution and documentation.

The tutorial comes with a complete XTF package that is ready to run when uncompressed; no other installation is required. It contains nine modules spanning the most powerful and popular features, including how to:

  • Add new content
  • Change metadata
  • Change logo and colors
  • Increase significance of titles in ranking hits
  • Customize and enable default status of advanced search
  • Change fields displayed in search results
  • Enable structural searching
  • Create a hierarchical facet
  • Change footnote behavior

Monday, March 02, 2009

Institutional Repository Software

Yet another IR system.
The University of Rochester is pleased to announce the alpha version of its new institutional repository software platform named irplus. It contains the following features:
  • Personal authoring work space
  • Collaborative authoring and versioning
  • Publishing
  • Publication Versioning
  • Faceted searching
  • Researcher pages
  • Statistics
A further explanation of the highlights can be found here.

MarcEdit 5.1 Released

A new version of MarcEdit has been released. (Terry Reese is following the Hobbit habit and giving presents on his birthday.) Terry is presenting at TLA this year, I'm looking forward to that. He has some tutorials on YouTube. Thanks Terry and Happy Birthday.

Poll Results

Very unscientific poll results:

Do Library of Congress authority records from the mid-1980s that are still preliminary bother you?

[ 52% (14 votes) ]
Not so much.
[ 26% (7 votes) ]
[ 22% (6 votes) ]

Carbon Footprint

Reducing junk mail is a painless way to reduce your carbon footprint. YellowPagesGoesGreen allows you to stop delivery of telephone books. We use them almost never, Reduce comes before Recycle. Catalog Choice provides the same service for catalogs.

It seems the Wii is the most environmentally friendly of all the gaming consoles. However, if you turn off the others when not in use, they are not too bad.