oai/sru and ruby

biblio:~/Projects/ruby-oai ed$ ruby test.rb Loaded suite test Started ………. Finished in 171.247595 seconds.


So it’s been noted elsewhere that the latest ajaxy application out of google labs (Google Calendar) lacks support for the hCalendar microformat.

Perhaps it’s an oversight–but with all the high profile exposure microformats have been getting lately it’s kind of hard to imagine. But people have deadlines and some things just can’t make it into the first release–even at Google. The main thing, as Mark Pilgrim says is:

Sniping from the sidelines makes us look petty and insular. Instead
of making assumptions about big bad evil Google ignoring open
standards and locking users in, have we tried opening a dialogue?

I don’t know anyone at google so I feel like I’m doing my part by just blogging about how awesome it would be if they marked up their calendar data using hCalendar. As a full featured calendaring application on the web, Google Calendar could really enable downstream applications like the LiveClipboard if they simply added some class attributes and spans to the data they are already displaying.

In the long run I imagine it’s in Google’s best interests to promote microformats since their infrastructure would allow them to take best advantage of a system of distributed metadata. Here’s to hoping that it’ll be layered in sometime soon. In the meantime Scott and Mark have the right idea!

By the way, being able to enter a quick event in free text and have the time/location/description parsed as opposed to tabbing around in a complicated form is very nice.

Graham Patrick Summers

Graham Patrick Summers
Born: April 2, 2006 in McHenry, IL at 11:51 AM
Weight: 8lb 8oz
Length: 22 inches
Mother and Baby Healthy and Happy :-)

Details to follow!

Translation and a Citation Microformat

I can think of only one company that has the resources to embed translation links into the world’s existing body of printed material. What’s more, while they are at it they are going to markup the title page with a citation microformat…and get this…the microformat is based on a OpenURL XMDP profile so that it’ll interoperate with existing citation resolvers in use in libraries around the world…niiiice.


When I find the time I’m enjoying reading The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks which (so far) details a many-species galactic civilization in 4034 AD. The milieu includes an amorphous ancient species known as the Dwellers who live for millions of years on gas giant planets (like Jupiter) and have very, very long memories…and the best archives which other beings ocassionaly ‘delve’ into. It’s the usual Banksian genius. Last night on pages 100-101 I couldn’t help laughing at this segment that discusses standards bodies in the future. Apologies to Mr Banks for the extended quote…

The official was speaking the human version of Standard, the galaxy’s lingua franca. Standard had been chose as an inter-species, pan-galactic language over eight billion years ago. Dwellers had been the main vector in its spread, though they made a point of emphasising that it was not theirs originally. They had one very ancient, informal vernacular and another even more ancient formal language of their own, plus lots that had survived somehow from earlier times or been made up in the meantime. These latter came and went in popularity as such things tended to.

‘Oh no, there was a competition,’ the Dweller guide/mentor Y’sul had explained to Fassin on his first delve, hundreds of years ago. ‘Usual thing; lots of competing so-called universal standards. There was a proper full-scale war after one linguistic disagreement – a grumous and a p’Liner species, if memory serves – and after that came the usual response: inquiries, missions, meetings, reports, conferences, summits.’

‘What we now know as Standard was chosen after centuries of research, study and argument by a vast and unwieldly committee composed of representatives of thousands of species., at least two of which became effectively extinct during the course of the deliberations. It was chosen, astonishingly, on its merits, because it was an almost perfect language: flexible, descriptive, uncoloured (whatver that means, but apparently it’s important), precise but malleable, highly, elegantly complete yet primed for external-term-adoption and with an unusually free but logical link between the written form and the pronounced which could easily and plausibly embrace almost any set of phonemes, scints, glyphs or pictals and still make translatable sense.’

‘Best of all, it didn’t belong to anybody, the species which had invented it having safely extincted itself themselves millions of years earlier without leaving either any proven inheritors or significant mark on the greater galaxy, save this sole linguistic gem. Even more amazingly, the subsequent conference to endorse the decision of the mega-committee went smoothly and agreed all the relevan recommendations. Take-up and acceptance were swift and widespread. Standard became the first and so far only true universal language within just a few Quick-mean generations. Set a standard for pan-species cooperation that everybody’s been trying to live up to ever since.’

Too funny. I love how the ‘perfect’ language was created by a race that extincted themselves. Just goes to show that perfection ain’t everything…

reading 2.0

Reading 2.0 slipped under my radar, but I guess that was the idea: to let people from O’Reilly, Los Alamos National Labs, OCLC, The Internet Archive, Adobe, Yahoo, Harvard and Elsevier hobnob away from prying eyes. I haven’t seen any audio/video for the event but Tim O’Reilly has a nice fly on the wall summary of what went on.

It’s refreshing to see library technologies/concepts such as OpenURL, OCOinS, OAI-PMH, FRBR, METS and Dublin Core starting to be talked about in the context of a larger information environment. For example I had no idea that Yahoo is harvesting data from the Internet Archive using the OAI-PMH protocol. And I didn’t know Yahoo is starting to leverage microformats, but should’ve guessed considering the recent news about Flickr starting to use hCard.

All in all these are exciting “lowercase semantic web” times we’re living in. And it’s interesting to watch some of the things people you know have worked on starting to catch on. Hopefully Reading 2.0 was just the start of this ongoing collaboration. Case in point, I just heard Robert Sanderson say in #code4lib that he’s visiting the a9 folks to talk about opensearch and sru. This is just the sort of cross-fertilization we need going on in library land.

#code4lib logging

Since the code4lib conference the #code4lib irc channel has gained a lot of new voices with new ideas. In fact dsalo and ksclarke have already said all I can think of saying on the topic of the changing culture of the #code4lib channel.

Some people have suggested that some of the ideas, such as a journal, doing outreach/consulting work, etc will require the irc channel to clean up its act. I know that I’ve had moments in irc where I’ve lost my cool, or said something that I regret later…yesterday in fact.

So, for my own selfish purposes I would like to see a public log of the channel. It’s been kind of a defacto rule that there are no public logs for the two years #code4lib has been going…but I think it might be time to add them. My reasoning is:

  1. it would require me to clean up my act, or at least be conscious of when I’m being erratic and telling the logging bot to go “off the record”. This is how #swhack logs operate with some success.
  2. it would allow people with lives to scan the logs looking for stuff and get other work done
  3. it would encourage international participation by people who aren’t online with the (Eastern|Central|Mountain|Pacific) Standard Tribe
  4. and most importantly it would allow for interesting consuming applications

At any rate I think that code4lib changing is a good thing. Afterall, an organism that has ceased changing is umm, dead. I guess we should have a vote or something :-)

learning programming w/ python

Programming For Newbies With Python

Begins: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 at 1:00 PM

Ends: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 at 3:30 PM


Loyola University

Chicago, IL

Link: details

Here's an interesting event for promoting python as a first-language. Below is an excerpt from mtobis' email announcement:

The Chicago Python User Group (ChiPy) with the kind cooperation of the Computer Science Department at Loyola University of Chicago will be offering a free introduction to computer programming using the Python language. I'm looking for people who would be interested in taking up computing as a serious hobby. The final impetus to present this was presented by a father-son team who want to learn to program together. I would welcome teenagers or adults. Parent/teen pairs are especially welcome. Children under the age of 13 may attend if accompanied by an adult but for most pre-teens this may prove too challenging. On the other hand, professional programmers will find the pace too slow. You need no coding experience at all, but you shouldn't be unfamiliar with a computer altogether. A small amount of exposure to HTML would be helpful. The first meeting will be an introduction to the power of Python, and an organizational meeting. By the time you leave you will have written a small and amusing piece of working software. We'll also poll the group about your interests, and decide on where and how often we should meet in the future, and set up some online communication to keep each other in contact. We will probably meet every second Saturday.

Tags: chicago python

(py)?lucene 1.9

So on March 1st lucene v1.9 was released and the next day pylucene v1.9 is released. Nice work!

I guess there are a bunch of methods that are deprecated in 1.9 which will dissappear entirely in v2.0. Now would be a good time to update usage…