Computers in Libraries

Monthly magazine provides library information technology news and practical application.

Articles from Vol. 27, No. 4, April

A Dozen Primers on Important Information Standards
I like to promote the fact that Computers in Libraries magazine is "all technology, all the time." And this issue may be the best example of that, because it delves into the real nitty-gritty of information technology, getting down into the protocols,...
Atom, ASF, APP: What It Stands For: Atom Syndication Format, Atom Publishing Protocol
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? The Atom Syndication Format (ASF) defines a new XML-based syndication format for lists of entries in feeds. This follows in the wake of the popular explosion of RSS and its many incompatible variant versions, leading to the...
Caught in the Middle of the Format Wars
In last month's column on digitization and preservation, I noted that some people are concerned that the digital documents currently being created for preservation purposes may actually be inaccessible in the future if the hardware and software needed...
Caught in the Middle of the Format Wars: With Technologies Changing Quickly and Standards Being Adopted Slowly, How Is a Fiscally Prudent Librarian Supposed to Decide Which Media to Buy?
In last month's column on digitization and preservation, I noted that some people are concerned that the digital documents currently being created for preservation purposes may actually be inaccessible in the future if the hardware and software needed...
COinS: What It Stands For: Context Objects in Spans
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? COinS is a simple HTML publishing convention that describes how to mark up OpenURL links in Web pages. (If you're not familiar with OpenURL, a "Context Object" is the formal name of the package of metadata sent over an OpenURL...
Creating a Librarian's Info-Portal with Netvibes and RSS
What Web page comes up when your staff members open their Web browsers on the service desk or at their own desks? Is it the library's Web site? That's a good choice, especially if you have constantly updating news on the front page of your library...
MADS: What It Stands For: Metadata Authority Description Schema
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? MADS is an XML schema for an authority element set that can be used to provide metadata about agents (people, organizations), events, and terms (topics, geographics, genres, etc.). MADS was created to serve as a companion to...
MARC 21/MARCXML: What It Stands For: MAchine-Readable Cataloging/MAchine-Readable Cataloging in XML
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? MARC is a suite of data element sets that provides the mechanism by which computers exchange, use, and interpret bibliographic, authority, holdings, classification, and community information data. MARC originated as a Library...
MIX: What It Stands For: Metadata for Images in XML Schema
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? MIX is an XML schema for a set of technical data elements that is required to manage digital image collections. The schema provides a format for interchange and/or storage of the data specified in the NISO Data Dictionary: Technical...
MUVEing toward Accessibility
Recently, 3-D online multiuser virtual environments (MUVEs) have become very popular. In these online worlds, users have avatars (digital surrogates) that move around within the virtual world, interact with others and the virtual environment, build things,...
MUVEing toward Accessibility: "With Shrinking Budgets and the Challenge of Providing More Materials in Various Formats, It May Be Difficult to Select Which Accessibility Options to Offer."
Recently, 3-D online multiuser virtual environments (MUVEs) have become very popular. In these online worlds, users have avatars (digital surrogates) that move around within the virtual world, interact with others and the virtual environment, build...
MXG: What It Stands For: Metasearch XML Gateway
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? MXG is a RESTful Web service designed to allow content providers to expose their data to metasearch engines. Metasearch engines take user queries, send them to multiple content providers, and return a unified result to the...
Noted & Quoted
people * libraries * awards * promotionsNRC-Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRCCISTI) announced that Pam Bjornson is the new director general of CISTI.Most recently, Bjornson was CISTI's director of business affairs, where...
OpenSearch
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? OpenSearch is a lightweight standard for representing and sharing search results on the Web. It builds on the success of RSS and the Atom Syndication Format and the ubiquity of software and services that support RSS and ASF...
PREMIS: What It Stands For: PREservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? Developed by a working group of the same name, PREMIS commonly refers to a data dictionary that was developed as a specification with the goal of creating an implementable set of "core" preservation metadata elements that has...
RESTful HTTP: What It Stands For: REpresentational State Transfer and Hypertext Transfer Protocol
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? REST is a proposed style for thinking about and designing Web applications. It describes a cohesive, resource-centric view of resources published on the Web and how to follow the intent and specifics of HTTP very closely to...
Shrimp and Sushi Make Standards Palatable
I'm going to come right out and say it: Computing standards and protocols can make for some pretty bland reading. Some of you might even find it distasteful to study them. Yet, they are very necessary. They allow us to do computerized searches, to...
Super Standards and Substandard Standards
Last month I wrote about the problems with managing instant access to diverse files and file formats, and mentioned a few standards being used to improve file "packaging." It's a huge problem, and one to keep your eye on, because it will become more...
Sushi: What It Is and Why You Should Care
In summer 2005, a small group (1) consisting of two librarians (Tim Jewell and Adam Chandler), an ILS vendor (Ted Fons), and a representative from NISO, the National Information Standards Organization (yours truly) had an informal meeting in the lobby...
Thinking about Your Next OPAC
One of the hottest topics in the library automation arena is creating a vision of the next round of catalogs. I hear a drumbeat of complaint about the current offerings. While I think the criticism is often overstated, it's clear that the catalogs...
unAPI: What It Stands For: It's Not an Acronym, but It Implies "One API" (Application Programming Interface), or, More Playfully, "An Un-API," (I.E., Not Really an API)
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? unAPI is a convention for identifying and fetching objects from Web sites. It specifies an HTML pattern (in an ABBR tag) for rendering object identifiers, another HTML pattern (in a LINK tag) for discovering the API address,...
XMPP: What It Stands For: eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol: "Jabber" Is Often Used as a Synonym for XMPP, but It Also Refers to the Open Source Community That Developed XMPP
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? At its core, Jabber is an instant messaging protocol, similar to the protocols used by AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, etc., to pass messages back and forth. However, Jabber was developed and continues to grow as a open, community-driven...
ZeeRex: What It Stands For: ZeeRex Is Short for "Z39.50 Explain, Explained and Re-Engineered in XML." but More Importantly, It Rhymes with "T. Rex."
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? ZeeRex addresses two related problems: finding online resources to search and discovering how to use those resources. The focus of most ZeeRex work has been on the second of these goals, which solved by providing an XML schema...
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