code4lib day 2

(Notes by Mads and Jørn, showeled in by Toke, let’s hope we find the time for proper edits later – we’re running very fast here, but it’s great)

Keynote: Sebastian Hammer

Journals and books will disappear faster than we think.

Maybe we don’t need to follow market forces – sometimes they fail. We need to do more of the boring stuff – ie. less code, more standards.

The libraries need to be more proactive.

What (local) libraries do well:

  • Preservers of cultural heritage
  • Conveyers of authoritative information
  • Supporters of learning and research
  • Pillars of democracy

Libraries need to be the more open alternative to the commercial players – ask questions, put up a fight.

It needs to be a lot easier to put systems together – standards are needed for collaboration.

Systems and organisations need to surrender data freely.

The Open Library Environment
Lifting the ILS up to be a more integrated part of existing system – ie. if there is already an aquisition system, then talk to that, integrate with existing single sign on solution. The is no code yet from the Open Library Environment, but many plans for architectural components.

OLE is defining the core Service-Orientede architecture – but are very interested in feedback, and for that they have put up a survey

A running system is 2 to 3 years away.

Blacklight as a unified discovery platform
“Yet another next-generation catalog”. Very much about serendipity. A lot of the “aha”-moment come when you are browsing – and that is being taken away from the users by just giving them the exact electronic versions, and there is currently nothing there to replace this serendipity.

Solr as a backend, so it has relevancy ranking, facetting, unicode support, etc. All of which are great for the user experience. Blacklight also has permanent URLs, RSS-feeds, and more. Allows RESTful access to their data to make it easier for other people to do mashups.

No single interface can fit all – ie. chemistry students have different need than students from the music department. So they have made specific search

interfaces available to help answer the common questions posed by the different, for example searching by musical instruments. Create new fields when indexing to facilitate searching, for instance based on the year the music was composed they create groups of genres.

Blacklight also contains all the data from their Fedora installation using gsearch so they get live updates to their Solr index.

Items from collections have different behavior, ie. a scanned picture is displayed differently than a scanned book.

Cooperates with Vufind to index marc in Solr (solrmarc), and also do a lot with marc4j. Standardizing on jangle.

A new platform for open data – web services – Galen Charlton (LibLime)

  • libraries agree with principles
  • not all have the staff
  • sell sevices

open data – the final frontier

  • libs provide licences but not open dt th cm

open library project

open data commons licence

interface libs for UI’s

  • free browserbased cataloging service
  • pazpar2
  • webservices – to interact with – push/pull records
  • push records to create standardized access
  • support for SRU/OpenSearch search
  • multiple formats (XSL transformations) MARC/dc/mods

Extended biblios – the open source web based metadata editor – Chris Catalfo

  • implementing plugins to extend biblios.
  • loads any plugin defined in biblio’s config file
  • example – create editor plugin
  • example – adding Extjs/documents using CouchDB as backend
  • example – listening to events

What we talk about when we talk about FRBR – Jodi Schneider

We talk about different things when talking about FRBR

if I refer to a book – different place but no connonical version. We would like one place. Same with lib catalogue – can i get it. FRBR as obout relationships.

Weak idea of FRBR:

  • group manifestation
  • work – manifestation relation
  • work state grouping – xISBN/LibraryThing service (group manifestation service)
  • status of FRBR work set grouping

There is more to it

  • work set grouping does not say anything about contents

Less weak FRBR:

  • open library –> example of work identifier (instead of just grouping)

Strong FRBR

  • we must have items and expressions related back to work and manifestation

example: LC FRBR display tool

  • beyond just works and manifestion

example: VTLS catalogue

  • collections by works/manifestations (all of author)
  • figure /group 1&2&3 enteties (the complete FRBR notion)
  • connect and remix, link up with other systems representaion of FRBR i RDF (IFLA, Davis&Newman), LIBRIS linked data (FRBR related tag),,

We are going for a (re)usable biblioegraphic universe!

What can we do?

  • demand strong FRBR
  • build linked data (freebase)
  • create the algorithms – share under open license

Complete faceting
Toke held a good and very technical (read super geeky) talk on Summa’s faceting system. Of course some people didn’t understand a word he said (thats not nescessary a bad thing) but those who did get it were very excited. Toke was a very ‘in demand’ person after his talk. We are looking forward to seeing which opportunities this will bring.

The Rising Son – making the most of Solr


  • java is not slow, measure.


  • omitNorms, omitTf

query parsing

  • “it depends”

Data import

  • …DIH, Solr Cell, CSV, LuSql…..
  • SOLR ruby mapper

request handler

Solr as IR toolkit

  • frontend to Lucene


  • geo searching, submit lat/long queries


  • Solr 1.4 perfomance – dramatically advance in performance. Multi select facets.

User interface

  • “the interface is the app”. Abanded the bottom up (data to app). Think app. first and bring it down (app to data).

SolrJS library – standard AJAX components

Lucid articles – tutorials – podcasts – blog

FreeCite – An open source free-text citation parser
example – Brown searchable database – no citation links
first step is parsing the data to the relevent fields. FreeCite handles this.
FreeCite has a webservice API.
What does FC do?
response: OpenURL – ContextObjetct and JSON. “This is rocket surgery” –> the data is not clean (would be trivial if the data was wellformed). E.g. letters in volume, title and jounal name after each other.

Great facets, like your relevance, but can I have links to Amazon and Google Book Search  – squeezing more out of the OPAC

Goldrush discovery UI, a lot of examples. “But we want more!”. Lots of individual similarity and that gives low reuse. We need component like extension. The answer is JUICE. Examples of contents pulled in via Iframes, oplæsning, fadedown integrated on the web site (greasemonkey way).

JUICE (supported by Jquery) –> metadefs –>panels –>extension
– a few JS lines ingested to the page


  • easy to copy/paste
  • easy to create new by modifying
  • shares OPAC specific knowledge
  • very little product specific dependencies
  • open source

Freebasing for fun and enhancement – Sean Hannan

REST, Returns JSON.
Example: Acedemy ward winners: FreeBase schemas defines the fields. Acre – templating. Subquering – open a new JSON block and query again.

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