I have been heard to remark to other librarians on occasion a comment along the lines of “Don’t fear Google; Don’t Chase Google; Let’s Out-Google Google!” After allowing the confused stare linger for a moment or the hysterical laughter die down, I explain my thesis: we have something Google doesn’t have — no, it isn’t the selective care with which we select “authoritative” material (the PageRank algorithm does a pretty good job at that); and no, it isn’t our warehouses of books (the Google Book Search project will pretty effectively capture that) — we have faceted metadata. And lots of it.
At any point in time, there is a college IT director trying to determine whether to upgrade, migrate away from, or stay the course with some software package that the faculty and students rely on to meet their instructional needs. A campus may have outgrown the basic CMS, and the Enterprise version is now needed to bring system performance back to an acceptable level. The CMS provider may have changed code base, requiring major staff retraining to follow the migration path. Costs could be up, service could be down, and new third party tools may not easily integrate. Yet even faced with all of these potential reasons to change, making the decision to do so is never easy. User communities hate change, hate training, and hate repurposing earlier content to work in a new environment.
One of the DRC developers had a question recently that sparked a discussion about what to do with collections of objects. In order to answer the question of how to represent the notion of a collection within the repository, we’re going to have to get pretty heavy into RDF: the Resource Description Framework. RDF is a language created by the Worldwide Web Consortium “for representing information about resources in the World Wide Web.” If you already know about RDF — or just want to see what a proposed solution is — you can skip down to the “RDF for Collections in FEDORA” heading.
Building on the shoulders of others — isn’t that how that quote goes? There has been a stack of printouts on my desk for a while now for various access management and service provisioning technologies. Rather than keep the paper, I’m putting the list here so I know how to get back to them if/when I need to. (Of course, along the way if you’d like to comment on them or suggest others to look at, please feel free to do so in the comments.) Note, too, that by listing them here I’m not proposing, or even sure if, all of these pieces come together to a coherent structure.
At the recent LITA Top Technology Trends gathering, Clifford Lynch spoke of an advanced network emerging from Internet2 that is built as a hybrid between optical-switched and packet-switched networks. Today’s Internet2 Newsletter has a description of the activities, excerpted below
Internet2 and Level 3 to Deploy Next Generation Nationwide Research Network
The new Internet2 Network, a dynamic, innovative and cost-effective hybrid optical and packet network, will provide next-generation production services as well as a platform for the development of new networking ideas and techniques.
Tom Wilson, LITA past president and all-around insightful posted a commentary to the “Where have all the programmers gone?” post that deserves top billing 1. Please read and digest it before coming back here. And it’s not late to the party at all, Tom — I believe it is only now just getting interesting.Trendster,
Has anyone else started seeing what looks to be faceted topical headings at the top of Google searches? This past weekend I was the groomsman at my brother’s wedding and had the unfortunate timing to catch a case of conjunctivitis in both eyes the day before the ceremony. (“Does your camera have red-eye reduction setting?” I asked the photographer. She seemed confused, so I continued: “How about pink-eye reduction?” She looked a little closer at my eyes, laughed, and said “That’s what Photoshop is for.”) Wanting to know more, I did what any self-respecting information-finder would do — I asked Google. And here’s what came up.
Open Repositories 2007 is coming up next year, and it looks to be an interesting meeting. The first day is open user group meetings for DSpace, Fedora, and Eprints, followed by general conference sessions that cover issues that cut across all of the open repository systems. This year, the user groups will partition their programs into Plenary, Technical Issues, and Management Issues and the partitions will be staggered so that IT managers can attend all plenary sessions, technical staff can attend all technical sessions, etc.