Quality

MySQL 5.1 Released, Community Takes Stock

MySQL 5.1 is out as a GA release, but with crashing bugs that should give likely users pause. Perhaps worse, the problems are blamed on essential breakdowns in the project management: “We have changed the release model so that instead of focusing on quality and features our release is now defined by timeliness and features. Quality is not regarded to be that important.”

Still, people are finding inspiration in OurDelta and Drizzle. Competition from those braches/forks and criticism from the community are sure to help re-align the MySQL core, or provide a reasonable alternative if Sun/MySQL can’t deliver. In the meanwhile, the High Availability MySQL blog is worth following.

Don’t Mistake Me (Please)

Over at KLE’s Web 2.0 Challenge I was surprised to learn:

Both Bisson and Stephens are so excited about this concept of Web 2.0 they have not taken a good look at what they can’t do for our libraries. …with all this new technology we can not forget that what is the most important in our libraries is the personal touch. We are one of the few institutions left that still offers individual attention.

KLE is doing some cool things, so I can tell this isn’t an offhanded rejection of Web 2.0 concepts, but the criticism makes me feel as though I’ve been missing my target somehow.

We wouldn’t accept poor service at the desk or over the phone, why should we treat our patrons so poorly online? I don’t think we’ve yet figured out what “good service online” is yet, but that’s what I’ve been focused on. Make no mistake, the future of libraries demands outstanding service everywhere we serve our users.

[tags]web 2.0, library 2.0, lib20, service, quality, libraries, criticism, online, good service, good service online[/tags]

Nature Concludes Wikipedia Not Bad

Fresh from Nature: a peer reveiw comparison of Wikipedia’s science coverage against Encyclopaedia Britannica:

One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to 4 million entries, is now a much-used resource. But it is also controversial: if anyone can edit entries, how do users know if Wikipedia is as accurate as established sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica?

Several recent cases have highlighted the potential problems. One article was revealed as falsely suggesting that a former assistant to US Senator Robert Kennedy may have been involved in his assassination. And podcasting pioneer Adam Curry has been accused of editing the entry on podcasting to remove references to competitors’ work. Curry says he merely thought he was making the entry more accurate.

However, an expert-led investigation carried out by Nature — the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica’s coverage of science — suggests that such high-profile examples are the exception rather than the rule. (link added)

Go read the whole story.

Is Search Rank Group-think?

Way back in April 1997, Jakob Nielsen tried to educate us on Zipf Distributions and the power law, and their relationship to the web. This is where discussions of the Chris Anderson’s Long Tail start, but the emphasis is on the whole picture, not just the many economic opportunities at the end of the tail. […] » about 400 words