WPopac Reloaded

I’ve re-thought the contents of the record and summary displays in WPopac. After some experimentation and a lot of listening, it became clear that people needed specific information when looking at a search result or a catalog record.

So now, when searching for Cantonese slang, for instance, the summary displays show the title, year, format, attribution, and subject keys of each result. And when viewing the record for A Dictionary Of Cantonese Slang you’ll get all of that and more.

Attribution? Yeah, the 245 subfield C that never gets much attention in our catalogs, but is so useful to actual humans who might want to read the work. Subject keys? Let’s leave that for another post.

On the downside, I let a bug sneak in that shows an empty list of 856 URLs in each record (records that do have 856s display properly). Though this may still be called an incremental improvement over my last version that didn’t show the 856s at all. Another bug is that records without publication dates are showing pub dates in (and getting filed under) year zero. Ironically, the most common source of this problem is in catalog records for websites.

Walt is among those that I think will appreciate these changes, but I’m anxious to point out, despite this gleeful post on the subject, how pedestrian these changes are. That is, anybody with a bit of skill with XHTML and PHP — say any of the thousands of people developing themes for WordPress — should be able to shape the record templates to their liking in moments.

My delay in this is a mixture of laziness, being too busy elsewhere, and simply wanting to see how things work. I’m amused, for instance, that I haven’t heard anybody ask for the ability to sort search results by date or author.

update: fixing the pubdate and 856 problems right now.