Library-Related Geekery

Ryan beat me to reporting on the interesting new services at the Ockham Network (noted in this Web4lib post). The easiest one to grok is this spelling service, but there are others that are cooler.

He also alerted me to a Perl script to proxy Z39.50 to RSS. Though for those more into PHP (like me), I’d like to point out the YAZ extension from the folks at Index Data.

This extension offers a PHP interface to the YAZ toolkit that implements the Z39.50 Protocol for Information Retrieval. With this extension you can easily implement a Z39.50 origin (client) that searches or scans Z39.50 targets (servers) in parallel.

The module hides most of the complexity of Z39.50 so it should be fairly easy to use. It supports persistent stateless connections very similar to those offered by the various RDB APIs that are available for PHP. This means that sessions are stateless but shared among users, thus saving the connect and initialize phase steps in most cases.

Clearly, if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d get around to compiling YAZ into my PHP and actually build something with it. Though without Z39.50 on my own ILS, the incentive is understandably diminished.

Finally, I’ve gotten an answer about indexing cat dates in III so they can be used in searches or sorts. The answer is mostly “no,” but I go into a little more detail at LibDev.