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DeWitt Clinton On The Birth of OpenSearch

OpenSearch is a common way of querying a database for content and returning the results. The idea is that it brings sanity to the proliferation of search APIs, but a realistic view would have to admit that we’ve been trying to do that since before the development of z39.50 in libraries decades ago, and the […] » about 900 words

Technology Scouts At AALL

I’m honored to join Katie Bauer, of Yale University Library, in a program coordinated by Mary Jane Kelsey, of Yale Law’s Lillian Goldman Library. The full title of our program is Technology Scouts: how to keep your library and ILS current in the IT world (H-4, 4PM Tuesday, room 274). My portion of the presentation […] » about 300 words

The Social Software Over There

Amusing. One one side of the world is Jenny Levine, the original library RSS bigot, pushing libraries to adopt new technologies from the bottom up, and here on the other side of the world is NewsGator offering their products for top-down adoption. Why are law libraries interested in NewsGator? Could it be that social software […] » about 100 words

PHP5’s SimpleXML Now Passes CDATA Content

I didn’t hear big announcement of it, but deep in the docs (? PHP 5.1.0) you’ll find a note about additional Libxml parameters. In there you’ll learn about “LIBXML_NOCDATA,” and it works like this:

simplexml_load_string($xmlraw, 'SimpleXMLElement', LIBXML_NOCDATA);

Without that option (and with all previous versions of PHP/SimpleXML), SimpleXML just ignores any < ![CDATA[…]]> ‘escaped’ content, such as you’ll find in most every blog feed.

The Bathroom Reader

Somebody at Gizmodo found this Agence France-Presse story about the intersection of American surfing and bathroom habits in The Hindustan Times. It’s based on a report by the USC Annenberg School‘s Center for the Digital Future. For five years running now, the center has tracked internet use (and non-use) in a 2,000 household representative sample of America (choosing a new sample each year).

This year, researchers found: “Over half of those who used Wi-fi had used it in the bathroom.”

Gizmodo is going a little farther than I’d initially care to by asking readers to comment on their behavior, but I found this gem that reminds us that this may just reflect the evolution of our media: “The laptop in the john is the new newspaper for the millennium.”

I apparently have too many neatnik issues to go down that path, but rather than devolve the discussion, I’d like to point out that this Center for the Digital Future report appears to be a good complement to OCLC’s latest report and the regular stream of reports from the Pew Internet Project.

Now back to the funny: RSStroom Reader.

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 […] » about 300 words

Wikipedia API?

I want Wikipedia to have an API, but it doesn’t. Some web searching turned up Gina Trapani’s WikipedizeText, but that still wasn’t exactly what I wanted. A note in the source code, however, put me back on the trail to the Wikipedia database downloads, and while that’s not what I want, I did learn that […] » about 200 words