Monday, October 20, 2008

Update to Monitoring Script

When we last updated the software for our system highlighted in the
Sept. 2008 issue, we noticed that our monitoring script had some issues.
This was related to a regular expression found in the script. I'll spare
the details and just provide a link the new updated script:


Monday, October 13, 2008

MyLibrary is about creating relationships

MyLibrary is more about creating relationships than it is about personalization and customization.

When MyLibrary was made available in 1997/8 the application was all about creating "my pages". Since then it has matured and evolved. First and foremost, it is not a turn-key application like it was previously. Instead, it is more like a digital library framework and toolbox akin to Fedora, just written in Perl. Second, with the advent of object-oriented programming techniques, MyLibrary is about four types of things: 1) resources, 2) patrons, 3) librarians, and 4) facet/term combinations. The first three things are are well-known to us librarians. The fourth is not.

Using facet/term combinations it is possible to create strong relationships between resources, patrons, and librarians. By "cataloging" resources, patrons, and librarians with facet/term combinations it is possible to address things like:
  • The resources I curate are...
  • My patrons are...
  • The resources recommended for me include...
  • This resource is like that resource...
  • My librarian is...
  • People like me include...
Moreover, facet/term combinations are not just about subjects and formats. They can also be about audiences, resource tools, true/false values, academic classes, dates, genres, etc. By "cataloging" resources, patrons, and librarians with these sorts of facet/term combinations it is possible to create relationships between them in a much fuller way than what we are doing now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Update on PDF accessibility

Dear readers,

from the submitting of the original work for the article, many things have happened in the publishing world. Mainly XML is spreading its domain more and more in many areas, one of them the accessibility fields, of course.

For PDF three remarkable things could change the landscape:

- The inminent approval of PDF/UA standard as an addendum to ISO 32000-2 [1]

- The Adobe Mars project and its downloadable plugin to convert back and forward PDF documents to XML documents => This could open many possibilities to include PDF in XML workflows [2]

- The CWA 15778 report [3], on document processing for accessibility, showing many scenarios in which PDF is included in an accessible multichannel publishing workflow

Adobe is working hard to enhance its flagship format and Adobe 9 includes the optimization of file size for PDF files, a long desired option.

Still, authoring tools fall short in their capacity to process PDF and XML for accessibility. Adobe InDesign is pushing hard against QuarkXPress for its better support to XML.

Other formats in the accessibility world have take their place: DAISY and its component DTBook [4], with free conversion tools from Microsoft Word and Open Office, is also pushing hard.

Will PDF maintain its niche position? the discussion is open.

Mireia Ribera