The Access 2005 conference schedule is up.
InformationWeek cover story Fuel For The Web, July 4, 2005.
Google Maps product manager Bret Taylor dares to call the step of clicking on a blue URL and loading a page "the old Web user interface," while software developed with Ajax feels like a desktop app. "We've really redefined what a Web application looks like," he says.
One of the big flaws with the old MS security process was that Windows Update only updated the operating system, you still had to go separately to Office Update for those patches, and to other application sites to get their particular patches. MS has thankfully unified this process now in
When I ran it on my Windows 2000 desktop, nothing showed up for Office though.
OCLC blogged their third entry on doing the environmental scan:
Environmental scanning is not a fancy name for crystal-ball gazing--there's no assuption that a scan in anyway foretells the future. A good scan will identify trends not fads but it isn't intended to be The Future. It is meant to identify some issues which are likely to have an impact on your organization. And it isn't a means to an end. A scan should be only one part of a larger strategic planning process--that's the "must lead to action" piece.
They have also started a local discussion process around the scan in Ohio.
On Thursday, we had the opening session of the "One Book, Five Landscapes, Six Partners, Endless Possibilities" project here at OCLC.
Incidentally, this blog entry is being cross posted to a new open forum at WebJunction about the One Book project. Even though it will focus on the Ohio-based project, the forum will be available for anyone who wants to participate. Lurkers can read the discussion; you'll need to register for WebJunction (free and fast, and anonymous if you'd like) to post. The URL for the new forum will be announced next week.
I also discovered that WebJunction has a big Technology Planning section.
(Err, in case you've never heard of WebJunction, it's some online library community thing.)
If you're a (free) member of WebJunction, you can use a technology planning tool called TechAtlas
What is TechAtlas?
TechAtlas is a suite of web-based technology planning tools that your library can use to assess current technology use and receive recommendations on how to better implement technological solutions to achieve your institutional mission. To make the most effective use of technology, start by assessing your current capacity and then plan on how to improve it. TechAtlas assists your organization in doing this assessment and planning.
As well, scattered tech trending activites continue throughout the library world, for example:
I spent this morning at a seminar on Technology Trendspotting, given by Joan Fry Williams and sponsored by INCOLSA. It was quite entertaining, with lots of audience participation. One of the points made was that libraries' competition comes from the consumer world, not from other libraries.
I particularly liked her comment, "It's OK to be imprecise and untidy." Librarians do so want to be right all the time and when it comes to trends, nobody is correct every single time.
I blog to a bookmarking service (Furl) and then as you can see if you're reading this as a web page, I display some of those bookmarks in my sidebar on the right. There are a few ways to do this:
A new one is FeedBurner's BuzzBoost. First take the RSS and create a FeedBurner feed from it. Then select "Publicize your feed", and configure BuzzBoost.
UPDATE 2006-02-26: Note that Typepad can display RSS feeds directly in the sidebar. To embed RSS feeds in your sidebar, go to Weblogs - Design - Change Content Selections and go to the lower right, you should see a Feeds section where you can add RSS feeds.
The Canadian Journal of Communication (v29i3, 2004) has a bunch of articles on scholarly communications. Included among them is [Abstract] Publishing Trends and Practices in the Scientific Community (PDF) by Aldyth Holmes [of CISTI].
Abstract only is free online, full-text requires subscription.
ANTICPATORY STAFFING Term positions of various lengths.
Under the direction of one of five Managing Editors in the Journals Program at NRC Research Press, the Publication Officer edits manuscripts for publication in Research Press' scientific and engineering journals
08/02/2005 (18 days)
I'm going to skip right ahead to an interesting quote from the whitepaper Workflow and web services (PDF)
2.1.Web Services have become web services
One of the most significant developments in service-oriented architecture (SOA) has
been a transition from a very concrete concept of Web Services as SOAP and the WS-*
stack of specifications, to a “lowercase” (Hanson, 2005) web services concept with a
range of implementation patterns that also includes Representation State Transfer (ReST)
This transition marks a stage of greater maturity in SOA, with implementers seeking an
optimum trade-off between functionality, performance, and simplicity.
The whitepaper is attached to the JISC e-Framework page.
The e-Framework is an initiative by the U.K's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and partners to produce an evolving and sustainable, open standards based service oriented technical framework to support the education and research communities.
I'd like to know, where is Canada? We need an e-research framework as much as anyone.
The e-Framework supports a service-oriented approach to developing and delivering education, research and management information systems. Such an approach maximises the flexibility and cost effectiveness with which systems can be deployed, both in an institutional context, nationally and internationally.
The initiative builds on the e-Learning Framework and the JISC Information Environment as well as other service oriented initiatives in the areas of scholarly information, research support and educational administration.
via Open Access News - JISC announces e-Framework Initiative
I've noticed some buzz around recommender systems.
Personally I'd like it if my blog was smart enough to automatically link to my own similar postings.
It seems that Waypath can provide its guess at related postings and related Amazon books (Waypath Related Stuff).
You can do this with plugin modules for various blogging platforms, or as a bookmarklet, or you could get an RSS feed and turn it into HTML.
I'm going to use my previous environmental scanning posting as an example.
You can get best match by putting &mode=best at the end
or most recent matches with &hours=24&mode=new
I can't figure out how to do "find all posts that reference this SITE" though.
Findory also provides its own related postings guesses, on a per-site basis.
Here's a page with code to see related postings inline
You can also get it as an RSS feed
Jon Udell has been doing thinking about how to find postings related to your interests: More delicious collaborative filtering.
You really should be able to have a visual navigation environment:
- find me all postings that link to this one
- find me everyone who has bookmarked / categorized this post
- find me closely related postings
- show me postings related to those postings (and so on...)
- position this posting in a web "discussion thread", if applicable (e.g. this posting refers to posting X, and is then referred to by posting Y)
Any other ways to integrate recommender systems with your website or as you browse?
2005-Feb-04 Yahoo Y!Q contextual searching
As I mentioned previously, CISTI is building an internal process to do technology watch.
I therefore found it very useful to read two articles (with a promise of more to come) about OCLC's environmental scan:
I wonder if some of the activities that currently create "Top Trends" presentations for conferences could be leveraged to create an ongoing discussion about trends, effectively a collaborative environmental scan for libraries? Perhaps we can leverage one of the existing wikis as a place to put ideas and start discussions?
As a side note, I thought the link to the Wikipedia definition of Environmental Scanning was interesting. It would never have occurred to me to check Wikipedia for that kind of information.
If you haven't used Dogpile in a while, you might want to check it out again.
Click on the Google, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves buttons to see the respective top results, listed in columns so you can compare them side-by-side.
Dogpile has a site about its comparison capabilities,
A couple other comparison tools are
Twingine link via Lorcan Dempsey.
Since I'm going to be giving a presentation on web browser extensions for libraries, I should have some good resources for y'all. Fortunately Gianluca Drago already beat me to it by building an extensive page, that runs on a home machine.
I proposed and Gianluca agreed to move this content to a more permanent wiki home where everyone can contribute to extending it. I have started moving some of the links over to
Lib Success Wiki - Technology - Web Browser Extensions
Please feel free to add to that page.
(Rogers is the cable Internet service that I use.)
Software for Windows only. Very heavy on the ActiveX for installation (meaning you will need to use Internet Explorer). Once installed, it is standalone software (except for the popup blocker). Consists of
The home page for the software suite is
You may have noticed that a firewall is not included in the above suite. They have partnered with ZoneAlarm (which is free anyway). They are providing a "special offer" of 20% off ZoneAlarm Pro, the pay version which has a few more features.
You can get the Rogers software from
You will have to login to download it.
You will need to disable your existing anti-virus to use the free one; might want to wait until your existing subscription runs out (if you have paid for anti-virus).
There is lots of information about the software at
Fancy narrated tour available (requires Flash).
Bell Sympatico does offer security software, but only for a fee. Hopefully this move by Rogers will push them to go free as well.
UPDATE 2005-07-12: It is always wise to backup your computer before any major new software installation. In Windows XP, you can take a snapshot of the machine's current state by making a Restore Point using the System Restore Wizard. From the MS Help and Support Center:
To access the System Restore Wizard, click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Using System Restore to undo changes, and then click Run the System Restore Wizard. Click Create a restore point, and then click Next.
2005-April-29 Rogers Internet and Cogeco (and Shaw) provide free security software
I will be the first to admit I know jack about the library tech community. For all I know there may be active and vital groups that I have never heard of. What I can tell you is what I have seen recently on the net
LibSuccess is a wiki for library success stories.
LISwiki is a wiki for Library and Information Science info.
If there are others, please feel free to point them out.
I know there are some mailing lists, but I am not really a mailing list guy. I subscribe to web4lib in Bloglines, but I have to be honest that I simply don't find a mailing list to be a good format.
Here's a recent LibDev posting that hits on a topic of much interest to me:
[Innovative] XML Server and web services
The unfortunate thing about spam is that it's easy for one person to generate, but it takes the entire community of non-spammers to fight it.
I get a flood of email spam to my domain and to long-established accounts, right now I have over 3000 spams since my last cleanup in May.
The spam load on my blogs so far is fairly light and easy to clean.
The ILI2005 wiki got spammed, and the IL2004, but only once each, again easy to clean once detected.
I basically have to watch the wiki change feed and check each change.
Even the RSS aggregation feed got spammed, some postings to a bunch of identical spam blogs, full of keywords, one phrase of which matched my running search.
I have also read, but not experienced, about recent Flickr spam.
So I guess my doubts about tagspam (spat?) are probably optimism, it is probably inevitable that there will be spam in the folksonomy.
delicious has rolled out a new "for:" tag, which lets you direct your bookmarks to particular individuals. As already pointed out in the comments for this feature, this seems like a tempting venue for spam.
I don't see how we can really combat this other than by having good tools and by working as a community. Having good anti-spam laws also helps.
I discovered today that Litinform.com also aggregates categories.
Here's their page for ILI2005, the Internet Librarian International 2005 tag
Google has release a toolbar for Firefox
They have also released two other Firefox extensions
One lets you send web pages via SMS message to US cellphones,
and the other provides auto-suggest as you type your search query.
via Slashdot /.
UPDATE 2005-July-10: One of the features I like about the toolbar is the capability to open searches in a new tab. Go to Options->Search and select "Open search results in a new tab".
He has an interesting quote about using the Web Services WSDL
Of course we're always searching for that sweet spot between not enough formalism and too much. In the realm of Web services, REST gives us the freedom to innovate but not -- as Phil Windley noted -- the power to intermediate easily and reliably:
Over the past two years, I reviewed a lot of intermediaries for SOAP. They are made usable by WSDL. Without WSDL, using one of these would be such a chore, that you're never do it. Every time you wanted to configure a new service intermediation, you'd have to custom describe the API. [Phil Windley: Toward More Sophisticated Intermediation]
WSDL is an enabler for service intermediation, but that first step is a doozy.
At CISTI, we're trying out WSDL because it gives a standard way for all of us to describe our service interfaces, a standard "contract" we can all agree upon. It's not clear how we bridge though from WSDL to exposing services on the web that people who are not Web Services experts can use.
UPDATE: Ultiimately, is the question whether or not your interface is "hacker friendly"? Make it easy, and they will code? Here's what's said in a ZDNet report on the Where conference
O’Reilly then connected the dots back to mapping. First he quoted someone who once said "Windows is just a bag of drivers." "With the Win32 API, it meant that developers didn’t have to write their own device drivers," he said. "The 'data Web' is the next bag of drivers for Web 2.0." When looking at which questions websites aim to answer (i.e. "what"= eBay, Amazon; "who"=Passport, 1-Click; "how"=Google) the "where" piece is one of the most exciting areas according to O'Reilly. "Where 2.0 is the subsystem to the Web 2.0 operating system…Web 2.0 will be built from a network of cooperating data services.”(Update: Ross Mayfield writes about the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the Web.)
"ESRI, MapQuest, and Microsoft MapPoint offered Web services APIs with lots of usage…but they are not hacker friendly," he said.
"Google maps with Craigslist is the first true Web 2.0 application, neither of the sites was involved…a developer put it together," he said. "Hackers are teaching the industry what to do."
via O'Reilly Radar Web 2.0 to be built on the backs of hackers
Incidentally, you can try following Web 2.0 news on the aggregator Planet Web 2.0, but I find that these aggregators are flawed in that unless you pick out categories, you get all the postings from all the aggregated blogs, which means you're as likely to get a cat photo as an insightful posting about web software development.
Planet Web 2.0 link via Silkworm Blog The way 2.0 enlightenment.
Meredith Farkas has posted her thoughts about using wikis. I have found that it is a big challenge if you just put an empty wiki up and hope people will try it out and fill it with interesting things (hello, LISwiki). You have to preload it with some info and structure to get it going.
She talks about her experiences with the successful ALA Wiki, and goes on to launch an even more ambitious project...
I would like this wiki to be a one-stop-shop for inspiration. All over the country, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their libraries knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized.
I certainly have found the ALA Wiki a great template to use in terms of structuring the Internet Librarian International 2005 wiki. What I am hoping is to get XWiki to build a standard conference wiki template, with lots of pre-loaded functionality.
UPDATE: I like the way wikiSquared describes the challenge of an empty wiki
Starting a wiki is a bit like taking a box of crayons and a Very Large piece of paper -- with the only instruction being "it's yours to do with what you want." No matter what anyone says -- it's pretty daunting. Having a role model, no matter how imperfect, would be a big deal.
I've been wondering myself whether this proliferation of stand-alone wikis is the right way to go. But I guess that's always the tension between centralization and decentralization.
CISTI has posted a number of jobs, as well there may be some technical positions coming. Right now there's
These positions are bilingual imperative. You will also have to check out the citizenship and security clearance requirements.
You can also check the main NRC Careers job listing page for more positions at CISTI and other institutes.