Welcome to the Disruptive Library Technology Jester. From here you can browse the musings and visions of a library technologist as he walks the fine line between the best of the library profession on one side and the best of technology on the other.

Idea for an NPR Twitter bot — Tweet me about that story I just heard

So I had an idea for a Twitter bot I would like to see. Occasionally I’ll be listening to a story on NPR and I’ll want to know more about it. Sometimes the host will say something like: “come to npr.org for more information and click on…” Other times it will be because I missed a crucial bit of the story and I’ll want to know more about it. So why not have a Twitter bot that I can call upon to say “Tell me more about that story”:

Emerging Tech: Bluetooth Beacons and the DPLA

This is the text of a talk that I gave at the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region tech talk on January 29, 2016. It has been lightly edited and annotated with links to articles and other information. The topic was “Emerging Technology” and Trisha Adamus, Research Data Librarian at UW-Madison and Jenny Taylor, Assistant Health Sciences Librarian at UIC LHS in Urbana presented topics as well.

Bluetooth Beacons

Embedding Graphics in Jaspersoft Report Files

One of the features of Jaspersoft Reports is the ability to include static graphics — logos, for instance — in the completed reports. These graphic files are normally listed in the JRXML configuration file by reference — meaning that what is stored in the configuration is a file name and not the graphic itself. Most times the configuration file and the ancillary graphics files are uploaded to a JasperReports Server for execution. In the environment that I’m working in, CollectionSpace, the report generator is embedded in the application without the JasperReports Server endpoint. The JRXML files must be compiled into the application, which makes keeping track of the ancillary graphics files somewhat troublesome.

Ideally, I would like to embed the graphics into the JRXML file itself, similar to what is done in with the data URI schema in HTML and CSS files to reduce the connection latency between client and server. This is possible, but the instructions and hints you find out on the internet to do it are out of date or incomplete. The instructions below are correct for Jaspersoft Studio version 6.2.0.

Separating Configuration from Code in CollectionSpace

For the past few months I’ve been working on a project to migrate a museum’s collection registry to CollectionSpace. CollectionSpace is a “free, open-source, web-based software application for the description, management, and dissemination of museum collections information.”1 CollectionSpace is multitenant software — one installation of the software can serve many tenants. The software package’s structure, though, means that the configuration for one tenant is mixed in with the code for all tenants on the server (e.g, the application layer, services layer, and user interface layer configuration are stored deep in the source code tree). This bothers me from a maintainability standpoint. Sure, Git’s richly featured merge functionality helps, but it seems unnecessarily complex to intertwine the two in this way. So I developed a structure that puts a tenant’s configuration in a separate source code repository and a series of procedures to bring the two together at application-build time.


  1. From the answer to the first question of the CollectionSpace frequently asked questions. []