Do I Want to be a Warrior in ALA’s Battle?

Today I received an e-mail from ALA asking me to renew my membership. An excerpt of the e-mail is included below. There is a confrontational tone in the message that is very off-putting and also resonates with the reasons why I dislike ALA. My own emphasis added:

Thank you for this past year of ALA Membership. Your membership year ends April 30, 2007 and we invite you to renew online today.

Killing Off Runaway Apache Processes

Well, something is still going wrong on dltj.org — despite previous performance tuning efforts, I’m still running into cases where machine performance grinds to a halt. In debugging it a bit further, I’ve found that the root cause is an apache httpd process which wants to consume nearly all of real memory which then causes the rest of the machine to thrash horribly. The problem is that I haven’t figured out what is causing that one thread to want to consume so much RAM — nothing unusual appears in either the access or the error logs and I haven’t figured out a way to debug a running apache thread. (Suggestions anyone?)

JPEG2000 for Digital Preservation

Last month was an interesting month for discussion and news of JPEG2000 as an archival format. First, there was a series of posts on the IMAGELIB about the rational for using JPEG2000 for master files. It started with a posting by Tom Blake of Boston Public Library asking these questions:

What can I do with a JPEG200 that I can’t do with a TIFF, a good version
of Zoomify, and a well-designded DAMS?

Don’t you need to rely on a proprietary version/flavor of JPEG2000 and a
viewer to utilize its full potential?

Fair Use Versus the NFL with YouTube Caught in the Middle

Here is something to keep an eye on. Via the Chronicle of Higher Education, Wendy Seltzer, a visiting assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, is demonstrating the concept of fair use to her class by going head-to-head with the National Football League. Specifically, she posted a 30 second video snippet of the NFL’s standard copyright statement to YouTube on February 8th and waited to see what would happen.

WordPress/MySQL Tuning

dltj.org runs on a relatively tiny box — a Pentium III with 512MB of RAM. I’m running a Gentoo Linux distribution, so I actually have a prayer of getting useful work out of the machine (it server is actually a recycled Windows desktop), but the performance just wasn’t great. As it turns out, there are several easy things one can do to dramatically improve life.

Update to ‘Embedded Web Video in a Standards-Compliant, Accessible, and Successful Way’

With the release of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player version 11, the Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol is officially no longer supported. (Except, of course, for the confusing/amusing footnote on that page that says ‘mms://’ URIs are “highly recommended” as a protocol rollover URL — only Microsoft can at the same time make something deprecated and highly recommended.) As Ryan Eby noted earlier this year, those generating ASX files for Windows Media Player need to adjust their scripts.

The Intersection of the Web Architecture with Scholarly Communication

Two previous posts on dltj.org have described the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) project and the theory behind what has become known as the ‘Web Architecture’. These two areas meet up now in this post which describes the issues surrounding the raw Web Architecture as applied to a web of scholarly communication and a basic outline of what the ORE project hopes to accomplish.

Problems With the Web Architecture

Working With the Web Architecture

As you may have noticed, the web has evolved a set of common principles that are a mix of ratified standards and ad hoc practices. The notion of a Web Architecture was codified in a W3C technical report called “Architecture of the World Wide Web” http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-webarch-20041215/ or simply ‘Web Architecture.’ Those projects and protocols that align with the ‘Web Architecture’ are more likely to be picked up and used than those that do not. As a result, the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) project seeks to provide an infrastructure for web-based information systems that exploit and enhance the Web Architecture, and therefore overlay cleanly on the existing web.

Introducing the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange Initiative

In the past few months a new group has formed to tackle the problem of representing and exchanging complex digital objects in a web-based environment. I am proud to serve on the technical committee for this group and over the next few postings I’m aiming to introduce the library community to the work of the Open Archives Initiative Object Exchange and Reuse group and seek the feedback of the wisdom of this crowd.

Vision and Scope

To: Ohio’s Senators; Re: Proposed cuts to the NDIIPP

Postal address omitted from online version
Februrary 11, 2007

The Honorable George V. Voinovich
524 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

I am writing to you in regards to House Joint Resolution 20, the Continuing Appropriations resolution FY2007, and in particular section 20703(D)(3)(a) which rescinds the unobligated balances available for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). As a practicing librarian and technologist, I can appreciate the focus the NDIIPP brings to the difficult work of preserving our nation’s heritage — a heritage that is increasingly reliant on digital media.