Issue 1, 2007-12-17
This mission of the Code4Lib Journal is to cover "the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future." We hope that this journal can be one more contribution to the developing culture of collaboration around library technology, and we welcome you to join in our experiment.
North Carolina State University has developed an Application Programming Interface (API) “platform”, called CatalogWS, to provide web service access to catalog search and availability services. This project was motivated by the realization that the discovery of library collections should not be limited to a single catalog application, and such a platform could support the efficient creation of novel interfaces based on consistent services. Some technical discussion of the CatalogWS architecture is provided, including a technical description of web service protocols implemented. Several applications providing discovery in novel contexts have already been developed based on CatalogWS, and are described in some depth. CatalogWS has helped create a culture of experimentation and enabled a larger group of staff to work with library catalog data and services in new and interesting ways.
Facet-based interfaces demonstrate some limitations of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), which were designed to deal with constraints that do not exist in the current computerized environment. This paper discusses some challenges for using LCSH for faceted browsing and navigation in library catalogs. Ideas are provided for improving results through system design, changes to LCSH practice, and LCSH structure.
The Rutgers Workflow Management System: Migrating a Digital Object Management Utility to Open Source
This article examines the development, architecture, and future plans for the Workflow Management System, software developed by Rutgers University Libraries (RUL) to create and catalog digital objects for repository ingest and access. The Workflow Management System (WMS) was created as a front-end utility for the Fedora open source repository platform and a vehicle for a flexible, extensible metadata architecture, to serve the information needs of a large university and its collaborators. The next phase of development for the WMS shifted to a re-engineering of the WMS as an open source application. This paper discusses the design and architecture of the WMS, its re-engineering for open source release, remaining issues to be addressed before application release, and future development plans for the WMS.
Georgia Tech Libraries broke ground and made considerable headway on “the Communicat”: a content management system designed to improve access to the library’s collections (including records from the catalog, institutional repository and other sources) as well as allow individuals and groups to create their own localized libraries (similar to a social bookmarking service), that in turn helps build and grow the main collection.
Connecting the Real to the Representational: Historical Demographic Data in the Town of Pullman, 1880-1940
The Pullman House History Project is a part of the Pullman State Historic Site’s virtual museum and web site (http://www.pullman-museum.org/) which links together census, city directory, and telephone directory information to describe the people who lived in the town of Pullman, Illinois between 1881 and 1940. This demographic data is linked through a database/XML record system to online maps and Perl programs that allow the data to be represented in various useful combinations. This article describes the structure of the database and XML records, as well as the methods and code used to link the parts together and display the data.
The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber details the history, process, motivations, and possible long-term effects of open source software (OSS). Weber’s book can be used as a set of guidelines – a description of a framework – for building software solutions for the computing problems facing libraries.
I truly believe that the meekest amongst us has a special duty and a special circumstance that fosters innovation. Ours is not the culture of red tape entrenched tradition, but rather the atmosphere of the pioneer. No one will notice a failed experiment in the middle of nowhere, but they’ll certainly notice a cataloguer someplace in Edema making a dent in backwards standards.