I had a need for a survey of the metadata namespaces used by OAI-PMH repositories, so I wrote up a quick shell script and XSLT style sheet to parse through the list of Registered Data Providers at the OpenArchives.org website. The are pretty interesting. Some of them:
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?
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
An e-mail from Leslie Daigle, chair of the Internet Architecture Board, crossed my inbox tonight through the IETF-announce list (excerpted below) that brought back memories of the mid-90s and the Internet growth explosion that spurred the deployment of NAT (Network Address Translation) devices, the shift in large scale Internet routing from a “Classful” system to a “Classless” system (called Classless Inter-Domain Routing, or CIDR), and fueled the (relatively) quick development of IPv6. The conditions are somewhat different from decades ago, but some of the solutions are the same. If you are interested in how the guts of the internet work, read on. I’ve expanded organizational acronyms and linked to documents and other helpful bits; this stuff is fascinating (in the same way that one can walk into the machine room and gaze in amazement at all of the lights blinking in just the right way to tells you it is all working together just fine).
Long time readers of DLTJ know that I rarely post commentary outside the realm of disruptive library technology to this blog, much less reflections of personal, non-work life. This will be an exception, though, because it straddles that boundary between technology and family. It is called REST for toddlers and it comes to us from the “dive into mark” blog. By way of explanation, REST (as a technology term, not as used in the sentence “parents with young children often which they had a chance to rest.”) is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, a way of constructing URLs so that they are useful outside the context of your current web browsing session (e.g. bookmarkable and/or e-mailable to someone else). REST rides atop the HTTP protocol, of which section 10 of the specification talks about response codes from clients to servers. What Mark has done is offer a real-life explanation of some of those response codes in the context of child-rearing. A sample:
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.
Attending: M. Anderson, U of Iowa; A. Laas, LexisNexis; Y. Han, U of Arizona; P. Howell, Western Michigan University; Y. Kaganovia, Princeton U; P. Murray, OhioLINK; K. Thompson, Smithsonian Libraries
Participants talked about their interest in JPEG2000 and their institution’s use of the standard: Western Michgan University is digitizing manuscripts and other special collections materials and using JPEG2000 for access; LexisNexis is using JPEG2000 in the maps portion of the U.S. Serials Set digitization program; the Smithsonian Libraries has started converting archival TIFFs to JPEG2000 and is considering use of the standard in the Biodiversity Heritage Library project (including a capability to cross-link taxonomic names in digitized text to oneline databases).
While in UNC-CH for JCDL I’ve had occasion to rant with/at some people about the state of the integrated library system marketplace — including, of course, how we got into the spot we’re in and how we might get out of it (and those people were kind enough to engage in the rant). Along comes a series of posts from Casey Bisson and Nicole Engard ultimately pointing back to John Blyberg’s “ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights” that is singing the same tune. There still seems to be a desire for a solution from an existing vendor, and in fact that was part of counter-points brought up by some on the receiving end of the ILS-must-go rant. (Paraphrased: ‘No one can satisfy the need of a library like a library automation vendor’ and ‘As libraries we’re not strong enough to take on the task of building the next ILS ourselves.’) Yet there does seem to be this mounting pressure to get control again over our data and how we present it to patrons.
During the cookies and lemonade break during JCDL this afternoon I surprised one of the well-respected elders of the field with this question: are we really making progress? are we winning a fight against entropy 1? I wasn’t out for a quote for publication at the time so I won’t reveal the individual’s name, but I will report that there was a chuckle then the reply “cautiously optimistic.”