Planet Cataloging

May 26, 2017

First Thus

British artist visits 16 lost libraries along the Silk Road in epic motorbike trip

Source: British artist visits 16 lost libraries along the Silk Road in epic motorbike trip | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post

I always enjoy articles about libraries and this one is about an exhibition about a tour the artist made along the Silk Road. Looks like a nice trip.

She didn’t take pictures of any monastery libraries. Here is one I took a few years ago of the Fontenay Abbey in Burgundy, founded in 1118. This little niche makes me aware of the scarcity and value we once placed on books.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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by James Weinheimer at May 26, 2017 09:12 AM

May 24, 2017

OCLC Next

To be a better librarian, break into museums and archives

2017-05-22 Library-Archives-Museums

An archivist, librarian and museum professional walk into a conference …

In 2016, 18 librarians, archivists and museum professionals came together as “field anthropologists” for the “Collective Wisdom: Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAM) Conference Exchange” to find out more about each other’s practices and cultures. They attended three major LAM sector conferences, working together to look for new opportunities for collaboration.

As an administrator to the Collective Wisdom cohort, I saw firsthand the group’s deep insights and renewed resolve to connect across all kinds of boundaries. They had never crossed paths before embarking on this experience—but by the end, they had cultivated “professional relationships and friendships that will endure well beyond this project.”

And their readiness to find intersections between each sector’s silos is testimony to a wider desire for collaboration among knowledge professionals. Reflections and recommendations for strengthening cross-sector community and collaboration are captured in their newly published white paper, “Collective Wisdom: An Exploration of Libraries, Archives and Museum Cultures.”


What are the secrets to cross-sector cooperation among libraries, archives and museums?
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Converging needs, practical advice

Through their conference observations, the group recognized convergence across the sectors on topics such as advocacy, digital technology and diversity/equity/inclusion. The white paper includes many practical recommendations for collaborative actions to take place on three levels, including:

Self/Individual

  • Immerse yourself in other sectors.
  • Join and/or follow LAM social media groups, blogs, listservs and websites (p A3).
  • Articulate the value to your supervisor of expanding your LAM horizons by attending a conference outside of your sector (p B10).

Institutions

  • Promote cross-sector service to board members, funders, the public and other stakeholders to foster and encourage enthusiasm for this kind of work (p A3).
  • Adopt policies that provide time and financial support to pursue continuing education and professional developments across LAM boundaries (p A5).

Professional/Field-wide

  • Create continuing education opportunities to explore topics of shared relevance and make them available to a variety of LAM professionals (p A6).
  • Develop a Library, Archives and Museum track/focus as part of a conference program (p B7).

Recommendations for conference organizers include ways to enhance cross-sector involvement and promote participation in conferences outside of their sectors. I encourage you to take any of these actions—you can help break through silos and cross-pollinate sectors. It’s good for you professionally and will strengthen all professions.

From wisdom to action

Taking their own advice, members of the cohort took concrete actions to connect across sectors and gain distinct benefits from their participation. Outcomes ALA-Conversation-Starter-sessionincluded:

  • redesigning a library website to remove divisions between library, museum and archive content (as this distinction isn’t helpful to users);
  • starting a joint museum/library professional development program focused on technology; and
  • a participating archivist actively contributing ideas to her Library Council Committee.

Several cohort members received professional opportunities (promotion, raises, new jobs) that they attribute, at least in part, to their participation in the project. Above all, there was unanimous agreement that they’d increased their ability “to have better conversations with colleagues from different sectors.”

Stronger together

The Collective Wisdom project was itself a demonstration of how cultural heritage institutions can work together on shared challenges. Cross-sector connection is happening in institutions, sometimes spontaneously, often based on an immediate need to join forces with another sector. The more this will to collaborate is endorsed and promoted by field leaders, the more vigorously we will reach beyond perceived boundaries.

In the words of a cohort member, “We all hold some pieces of a larger jigsaw puzzle that should create one picture if we can determine how they best fit together.”

This project was sponsored by the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums, a three-year project led by OCLC and made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The white paper and its appendices have practical recommendations for collaborative actions to take on multiple levels. Appendix A offers ideas and recommendations on three levels of leadership inspired by the LAB Layers of Leadership Framework—self/individual, institutional and professional/field-wide. Appendix B includes recommendations for conference organizers to enhance cross-sector involvement and for individuals to promote participation in conferences outside of their sector.

The post To be a better librarian, break into museums and archives appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Betha Gutsche at May 24, 2017 07:02 PM

May 22, 2017

TSLL TechScans

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Stephan Licitra


1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Hi, my name is Stephan Licitra. I am the Technical Services Librarian for the State Law Library of Montana. I received my MLIS in 2015 and so this is my first professional position in libraries. Before I received my degree I worked and volunteered in public, academic and special libraries. Wherever I was, I greatly enjoyed learning about that library and what made it special. 

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and no. I am charged with acquiring, processing, cataloging, discarding library materials, some reference, working with the ILS and vendors. Some pretty traditional stuff. But people not familiar with libraries associate Technical Services to mean computers, and programming; which I don’t do. 

3. What are you reading right now?
Currently, I am reading William Durante’s, "The Renaissance."

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I would spend the day tiding up the catalog records. As we are part of a larger consortium there are always more that can be done when it comes to data quality. Having good, consistent data will make it possible for great functionality in the future. 

by noreply@blogger.com (Lauren Seney) at May 22, 2017 08:00 PM

May 19, 2017

025.431: The Dewey blog

Dewey Update Breakfast and ALCTS Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group/Cataloging of Children's Materials Committee Meeting

Come hear about what's new in the world of Dewey from Julianne Beall and Alex Kyrios, Dewey editorial team members. Juli will give tips on how best to search OPACs using Dewey numbers, while Alex will review significant (and hot-off-the-press!) schedule changes from this year's DDC Editorial Policy Committee (scheduled for June 1213). He'll also explore changes being made to upgrade records with recent history information, which you will see in WebDewey. Bring your questions and comments—we want to hear from you! A joint meeting of the ALCTS Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group and the ALCTS Cataloging of Children's Materials Committee follows directly after.

Saturday, June 24, 7:00 – 10:00 am
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room

Register for this and other OCLC ALA events

by Alex at May 19, 2017 02:29 PM

May 18, 2017

OCLC Next

Kilts, gold, logos and more: OCLC 50th memories

50th-Anniversary-revised

Since 1967, OCLC members have worked together to make breakthroughs possible for library users across the globe. Throughout the year, we are celebrating this special anniversary by sharing memories and looking forward to the next 50 years of innovation and community building on behalf of libraries, archives and museums.

About a month ago, we put out a call for your stories, photos and memories from your history with OCLC. We are compiling a special 50th anniversary collection of contributions and will share many of them in social media and at events over the coming months. Here’s a peek at what we’ve received so far … but keep ‘em coming!

Hillsdale College croppedThe PC comes to the library

Submitted by Maurine McCourry, Ph.D., Technical Services Librarian at Mossey Library, Hillsdale College

The first installation of the M300 Workstation was at Hillsdale College in 1984. Judy Leising, now retired, is at the keyboard. Linda Moore and Dan Knoch, still librarians at Hillsdale College, are standing.

April 2011 Global Council Meeting croppedThe Scots invade Global Council

Submitted by Simon Bains, Head of Research Services and Deputy Librarian, University of Manchester Library

This photo from the April 2011 Global Council meeting shows EMEA representatives Simon Bains (left) from the University of Edinburgh at the time of the event, and Robin Green, University of Warwick, Deputy Librarian at the time of the event, now University Librarian. Delegates were asked to wear ‘national dress’ for an evening event and Simon and Robin went Scottish. Robin actually is Scottish but not Simon, who opted for a ‘Prince Charlie jacket and trews’ rather than go ‘full kilt.’

gold record croppedDoes your library have OCLC gold?

Submitted by Terry Brandsma, Information Technology Librarian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Each record that enters WorldCat is assigned an OCLC number. For years, when the number reached a million, it was called a Gold Record. On June 24, 1978, the four millionth record was entered into WorldCat from the Walter Clinton Jackson Library, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The record was for the 1963 thesis, Developing a conservation education program for the Ann Arbor public school system, and integrating it into the existing curriculum (K–12), by William B. Stapp.

passport for windows logo croppedGetting a Passport for design

Submitted by Barbara Szalkowski, Core Operations Librarian, South Texas College of Law Houston

In 1994, Barbara won the contest for designing the “OCLC Passport Software for Windows” icon. Her winning entry was used to launch this new software product, a telecommunications package with a graphical user interface that was used to access OCLC services.

WC 25 anniversary croppedA paperweight for a heavyweight database

Submitted by Phil Salvador, Visual Media Collection Coordinator, American University Library

While doing some ‘spring cleaning,’ Phil and his colleagues found this WorldCat 25th anniversary paperweight, which the library community received in 1996 to celebrate the silver anniversary of the cooperative’s database.

mumtaz croppedThe lab that leads to librarianship

Submitted by Mumtaz S. Memon, retired librarian, Pakistan

In 1979, Mumtaz received her introduction to cataloging and computers in the OCLC lab at the University of Hawaii. This experience prepared her for a career in librarianship and helped her lead her library in the transition to the MARC21 standard.

What memories can you add? The 50th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year. Thousands of you from all over the world have been a part of the success of this cooperative, and we encourage you to be a part of this historic event. Send your thoughts, memories, stories and pictures to fifty@oclc.org. Please keep in mind that by submitting photos, you confirm that you own the image rights and agree to OCLC using them in our communications.

Join your colleagues and celebrate this momentous occasion and the milestones yet to come.

The post Kilts, gold, logos and more: OCLC 50th memories appeared first on OCLC Next.

by OCLC at May 18, 2017 07:13 PM

May 17, 2017

TSLL TechScans

Preservation of Electronic Government Information Project (PEGI)

A recent article in Against the grain highlights PEGI - the Preservation of Electronic Government Information Project.  This project is a two year initiative designed to address the growing awareness of the "serious ongoing loss of government information that is electronic in nature." Participants include the Center for Research Libraries, the Government Publishing Office, the University of North Texas, the University of Missouri, and Stanford University.

Historically, the print production workflow for government information helped insure that content was sent to NARA, GPO and depository libraries for preservation. Now that most government information is disseminated digitally, production workflows are variable, resulting in a larger volume of  "fugitive" publications.

According to the PEGI project narrative, the focus of of the project is "at-risk government digital information of long term historical significance." The project proposes focusing on "activities of triage, drilling down into agency workflows ... and undertaking advocacy and outreach efforts to raise awareness of the importance of preserving digital government information."  The project intends to undertake a comprehensive environmental scan, provide recommendations for information creators, and create and educational awareness and advocacy program.

A final goal is to create a PEGI Collaborative Agenda to identify collaborative actions to "make more electronic government information public, preservable, and preserved in multiple environments that include distributed sites in academic libraries and other heterogeneous locations that are indexed, contextualized and usable."

by noreply@blogger.com (Jackie Magagnosc) at May 17, 2017 08:11 PM

Library of Congress Releases Digital Catalog Records

The Library of Congress announced is making 25 million records from its online catalog available for free bulk download. This is the largest such release in the Library's history. The records can be found at loc.gov/cds/products/marcDist.php, and they are also available at data.gov.

From the Library's announcement:

“The Library of Congress is our nation’s monument to knowledge and we need to make sure the doors are open wide for everyone, not just physically but digitally too,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Unlocking the rich data in the Library’s online catalog is a great step forward. I’m excited to see how people will put this information to use.”

The new, free service will operate in parallel with the Library’s fee-based MARC Distribution Service, which is used extensively by large commercial customers and libraries.  All records use the MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging Records) format, which is the international standard maintained by the Library of Congress with participation and support of libraries and librarians worldwide for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form.

The data covers a wide range of Library items including books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, maps, music and visual materials.  The free data sets cover more than 45 years, ranging from 1968, during the early years of MARC, to 2014.  Each record provides standardized information about an item, including the title, author, publication date, subject headings, genre, related names, summary and other notes.

by noreply@blogger.com (Emily Dust Nimsakont) at May 17, 2017 06:48 PM

Coyle's InFormation

Two FRBRs, Many Relationships

There is tension in the library community between those who favor remaining with the MARC21 standard for bibliographic records, and others who are promoting a small number of RDF-based solutions. This is the perceived conflict, but in fact both camps are looking at the wrong end of the problem - that is, they are looking at the technology solution without having identified the underlying requirements that a solution must address. I contend that the key element that must be taken into account is the role of FRBR on cataloging and catalogs.

Some background:  FRBR is stated to be a mental model of the bibliographic universe, although it also has inherent in it an adherence to a particular technology: entity-relation analysis for relational database design. This is stated fairly clearly in the  introduction to the FRBR report, which says:

The methodology used in this study is based on an entity analysis technique that is used in the development of conceptual models for relational database systems. Although the study is not intended to serve directly as a basis for the design of bibliographic databases, the technique was chosen as the basis for the methodology because it provides a structured approach to the analysis of data requirements that facilitates the processes of definition and delineation that were set out in the terms of reference for the study. 

The use of an entity-relation model was what led to the now ubiquitous diagrams that show separate entities for works, expressions, manifestations and items. This is often read as a proposed structure for bibliographic data, where a single work description is linked to multiple expression descriptions, each of which in turn link to one or more manifestation descriptions. Other entities like the primary creator link to the appropriate bibliographic entity rather than to a bibliographic description as a whole. In relational database terms, this would create an efficiency in which each work is described only once regardless of the number of expressions or manifestations in the database rather than having information about the work in multiple bibliographic descriptions. This is seen by some as a potential efficiency also for the cataloging workflow as information about a work does not need to be recreated in the description of each manifestation of the work.

Two FRBRs


What this means is that we have (at least) two FRBR's: the mental model of the bibliographic universe, which I'll refer to as FRBR-MM; and the bibliographic data model based on an entity-relation structure, which I'll refer to as FRBR-DM. These are not clearly separated in the FRBR final report and there is some ambiguity in statements from members of the FRBR working group about whether both models are intended outcomes of the report. Confusion arises in many discussions of FRBR when we do not distinguish which of these functions is being addressed.

FRBR-Mental Model


FRBR-MM is the thinking behind the RDA cataloging rules, and the conceptual entities define the structure of the RDA documentation and workflow. It instructs catalogers to analyze each item they catalog as being an item or manifestation that carries the expression of a creative work. There is no specific data model associated with the RDA rules, which is why it is possible to use the mental model to produce cataloging that is entered into the form provided by the MARC21 record; a structure that approximates the catalog entry described in AACR2.

In FRBR-MM, some entities can be implicit rather than explicit. FRBR-MM does not require that a cataloguer produce a separate and visible work entity. In the RDA cataloging coded in MARC, the primary creator and the subjects are associated with the overall bibliographic description without there being a separate work identity. Even when there is a work title created, the creator and subjects are directly associated with the bibliographic description of the manifestation or item. This doesn't mean that the cataloguer has not thought about the work and the expression in their bibliographic analysis, but the rules do not require those to be called out separately in the description. In the mental model you can view FRBR as providing a checklist of key aspects of the bibliographic description that must be addressed.

The FRBR report defines bibliographic relationships more strongly than previous cataloging rules. For her PhD work, Barbara Tillett (a principal on both the FRBR and RDA work groups) painstakingly viewed thousands of bibliographic records to tease out the types of bibliographic relationships that were noted. Most of these were implicit in free-form cataloguer-supplied notes and in added entries in the catalog records. Previous cataloging rules said little about bibliographic relationships, while RDA, using the work of Tillett which was furthered in the FRBR final report, has five chapters on bibliographic relationships. In the FRBR-MM encoded in MARC21,  these continue to be cataloguer notes ("Adapted from …"), subject headings ("--adaptations"), and added entry fields. These notes and headings are human-readable but do not provide machine-actionable links between bibliographic descriptions. This means that you cannot have a system function that retrieves all of the adaptations of a work, nor are systems likely to provide searches based on relationship type, as these are buried in text. Also, whether relationships are between works or expressions or manifestations is not explicit in the recorded data. In essence, FRBR-MM in MARC21 ignores the separate description of the FRBR-defined Group 1 entities (WEMI), flattening the record into a single bibliographic description that is very similar to that produced with AACR2.

FRBR-Data Model


FRBR-DM adheres to the model of separate identified entities and the relationships between them. These are seen in the diagrams provided in the FRBR report, and in the section on bibliographic relationships from that report. The first thing that needs to be said is that the FRBR report based its model on an analysis that is used for database design. There is no analysis provided for a record design. This is significant because databases and records used for information exchange can have significantly different structures. In a database there could be one work description linked to any number of expressions, but when exchanging information about a single  manifestation presumably the expression and work entities would need to be included. That probably means that if you have more than one manifestation for a work being transmitted, that work information is included for each manifestation, and each bibliographic description is neatly contained in a single package. The FRBR report does not define an actual database design nor a record exchange format, even though the entities and relations in the report could provide a first step in determining those technologies.

FRBR-DM uses the same mental model as FRBR-MM, but adds considerable functionality that comes from the entity-relationship model. FRBR-DM implements the concepts in FRBR in a way that FRBR-MM does not. It defines separate entities for work, expression, manifestation and item, where MARC21 has only a single entity. FRBR-DM also defines relationships that can be created between specific entities. Without actual entities some relationships between the entities may be implicit in the catalog data, but only in a very vague way. A main entry author field in a MARC21 record has no explicit relationship to the work concept inherent in the bibliographic description, but many people's mental model would associate the title and the author as being a kind of statement about the work being described. Added entries may describe related works but they do not link to those works.

The FRBR-DM model was not imposed on the RDA rules, which were intended to be neutral as to the data formats that would carry the bibliographic description. However, RDA was designed to support the FRBR-DM by allowing for individual entity descriptions with their own identifiers and for there to be identified relationships between those entities. FRBR-DM proposes the creation of a work entity that can be shared throughout the bibliographic universe where that work is referenced. The same is true for all of the FRBR entities. Because each entity has an identified existence, it is possible to create relationships between entities; the same relationships that are defined in the FRBR report, and more if desired. FRBR-DM, however, is not supported by the MARC21 model because MARC21 does not have a structure that would permit the creation of separately identified entities for the FRBR entities. FRBR-DM does have an expression as a data model in the RDA Registry. In the registry, RDA is defined as an RDF vocabulary in parallel with the named elements in the RDA rule set, with each element associated with the FRBR entity that defines it in the RDA text. This expression, however, so far has only one experimental system implementation in RIMMF. As far as I know, no libraries are yet using this as a cataloging system.

The replacement proposed by the Library of Congress for the MARC21 record, BIBFRAME, makes use of entities and relations similar to those defined in FRBR, but does not follow FRBR to the letter. The extent to which it was informed by FRBR is unclear but FRBR was in existence when BIBFRAME was developed. Many of the entities defined by FRBR are obvious, however, and would be arrived at by any independent analysis of bibliographic data: persons, corporate bodies, physical descriptions, subjects. How BIBFRAME fits into the FRBR-MM or the FRBR-DM isn't clear to me and I won't attempt to find a place for it in this current analysis. I will say that using an entity-relation model and promoting relationships between those entities is a mainstream approach to data, and would most likely be the model in any modern bibliographic data design.


MARC v RDF? 


The decision we are facing in terms of bibliographic data is often couched in terms of "MARC vs. RDF", however, that is not the actual question that underlies that decision. Instead, the question should be couched as: entities and relations, or not? if you want to share entities like works and persons, and if you want to create actual relationships between bibliographic entities, something other than MARC21 is required. What that "something" is should be an open question, but it will not be a "unit record" like MARC21.

For those who embrace the entity-relation model, the perceived "rush to RDF" is not entirely illogical; RDF is the current technology that supports entity-relation models. RDF is supported by a growing number of open source tools, including database management and indexing. It is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard, and is quickly becoming a mainstream technology used by communities like banking, medicine, and academic and government data providers. It also has its down sides: there is no obvious support in the current version of RDF for units of data that could be called "records" - RDF only recognizes open graphs; RDF is bad at retaining the order of data elements, something that bibliographic data often relies upon. These "faults" and others are well known to the W3C groups that continue to develop the standard and some are currently under development as additions to the standard.

At the same time, leaping directly to a particular solution is bad form. Data development usually begins with a gathering of use cases and requirements, and technology is developed to meet the gathered requirements. If it is desired to take advantage of some or all of the entity-relation capabilities of FRBR, the decision about the appropriate replacement for MARC21 should be based on a needs analysis. I recall seeing some use cases in the early BIBFRAME work, but I also recall that they seemed inadequate. What needs to be addressed is the extent to which we expect library catalogs to make use of bibliographic relationships, and whether those relationships must be bound to specific entities.

What we could gain by developing use cases would be a shared set of expectations that could be weighed against proposed solutions. Some of the aspects of what catalogers like about MARC may feed into those requirements, as well what we wish for in the design of the future catalog. Once the set of requirements is reasonably complete, we have a set of criteria against which to measure whether the technology development is meeting the needs of everyone involved with library data.

Conclusion: It's the Relationships


The disruptive aspect of FRBR is not primarily that it creates a multi-level bibliographic model between works, expressions, manifestations, and items. The disruption is in the definition of relationships between and among those entities that requires those entities to be separately identified. Even the desire to share separately work and expression descriptions can most likely be done by identifying the pertinent data elements within a unit record. But the bibliographic relationships defined in FRBR and RDA, if they are to be actionable, require a new data structure.

The relationships are included in RDA but are not implemented in RDA in MARC21, basically because they cannot be implemented in a "unit record" data format. The key question is whether those relationships (or others) are intended to be included in future library catalogs. If they are, then a data format other than MARC21 must be developed. That data format may or may not implement FRBR-defined bibliographic relationships; FRBR was a first attempt to redefine a long-standing bibliographic model and should be considered the first, not the last, word in bibliographic relationships.

If we couch the question in terms of bibliographic relationships, not warring data formats, we begin to have a way to go beyond emotional attachments and do a reasoned analysis of our needs.

by Karen Coyle (noreply@blogger.com) at May 17, 2017 11:13 AM

May 15, 2017

TSLL TechScans

Library Systems Report 2017

The Library Systems Report by Marshall Breeding was released earlier this month.  This report "documents ongoing investments of libraries in strategic technology products made in 2016." It lists any mergers and buyouts for 2016 as well as a look into open source ILS products.  This report was written from a survey requesting details about vendor's organization, sales performance, and narrative explanations of accomplishments. It also includes information taken from press releases, news articles, and other publicly available information.  Breeding sums up the overview of the report in his first paragraph:
"The library technology industry has entered a new phase: business consolidation and technology innovation. Development of products and services to support the increasingly complex work of libraries remains in an ever-decreasing number of hands. Not only have technology-focused companies consolidated themselves, they have become subsumed within higher-level organizations with broad portfolios of diverse business activities. The survivors of this transformed industry now bear responsibility to deliver innovation from their amassed capacity. Modern web-based systems delivering traditional library automation and discovery capabilities are now merely table stakes. Real progress depends on building out these platforms to support the new areas of service emerging within each type of library."
The full report can be read here: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2017/05/01/library-systems-report-2017/.

by noreply@blogger.com (Rachel Purcell) at May 15, 2017 03:10 PM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit update

I’ve posted updates to MarcEdit Windows and Linux.  The change log is as follows:

  • Bug Fix: SRU Processing — when setting custom profiles, the custom information wasn’t being saved in the integration query tool
  • Enhancement: Export Delimited Text Translator: If you set a position that isn’t available, the program will print the text [null]
  • New Feature: Introduction of context help. Help searches all commands on a window as well as a local help using the Levenshtein distance searching algorithm to perform more natural language queries. This will be the default help system in MarcEdit 7.

 

Information about the new help feature can be found here: http://blog.reeset.net/archives/2150

–tr

by reeset at May 15, 2017 04:21 AM

May 13, 2017

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit 7’s new Help System: A first look

Over the next few months, as I work on MarcEdit 7, I’ll be periodically slipping some of this functionality in the MarcEdit 6 series to give folks an opportunity to provide feedback.  The new Help system is the first of these kinds of improvements.  I’ll be using the last remaining updates in the version 6 series to get feedback, so by the time MarcEdit 7 is released, this is a mature, and useful process.

So what is changing?  Well, I’m adding a context specific question and answer service.  You’ll see it on the Main window, the MarcEditor, and the MARC Tools windows.  For example:

The highlighted red box is a user interactive help service.  Currently, the service indexes all the menus and actions in the program, as well as leverages a local knowledge base.  As the user types their question, the service sorts through potential answers, and offers them back to the user.  For example, searching for validation, and you see the following results as you type:

If you user selects a function — the program will automatically open that tool.  If the user selects a menu item, the menu item will be displayed as a context menu below the search like:

These menu items will function as if they were selected from the normal menu dropdowns, but they take the user directly to the requested functionality without having to jump through the screens.

Finally, in addition to menus and functions, there is a webservice that connects to my youtube channel, the knowledge base, and hopefully (eventually) the listserv.  This service will additionally provide responses, so users can jump out to web resources or videos showing potentially interesting content.  The idea behind the new system is to provide users with a better method to get to know the program, and to transition from a menu based user interface, to more of a search/discovery based system.  Presently, the current contextual help system has been taught the answers to approximately 500 topics.

Oh, and one last thing — while the tool won’t support this in the initial versions, by MarcEdit 7, the tool will not only index the english function names, but international names as well.  So if the user has applied a language file, the tool will utilize those labels in addition to the english l labels.  The idea being that this will allow non-native speakers an easier option to get help.

This will show up in the next update of the MarcEdit 6 Windows/Linux update.  It will be incomplete, but this work will continue to be revised and refined as I work towards the Fall 2017 MarcEdit 7 release.

 

–tr

by reeset at May 13, 2017 04:34 PM