Some of you may have read my previous postings on the subject of
the IWF Metadata Harvester:
I worked on developing this package as part of a government-sponsored
employment program in Germany. My contract with the IWF Wissen und
Media gGmbH has now ended. However, the IWF has generously allowed me
to publish my work under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and Free
Documentation License (FDL), so that I can use it in a project of my
own, now that I am no longer employed. The IWF may continue
developing the original package.
The IWF Metadata Harvester was developed for a particular purpose. In
my own work, I plan to take a different approach. For one thing, I
will be developing for a GNU/Linux system rather than a Windows
system. I have submitted the project to the GNU Project of the Free
Software Foundation for approval, and hope that it will be accepted.
This implies that it will have no non-free dependencies. I have
started looking into free databases to use instead of Microsoft SQL
Server. I also plan to place more emphasis on stability and error
The working name for my project is "Metadata Exchange Utilities" (and
I hope to append "GNU" to the front of it). I say "Exchange" rather
than "Harvesting" because a logical extension would be for it to
provide data as well as retrieving it.
I believe that an entirely free package (in the sense of the GNU GPL)
that retrieves (and possibly supplies) metadata could be of use to
libraries, archives, museums, other institutions, and individual
researchers. Under the terms of the GPL and FDL, providers of data
could distribute the package without having to register or make
special licensing arrangements. Using free database software will
make it possible for me to include it in the distribution of my
package, if desirable. It might also be possible for libraries, etc.,
to provide pre-filled databases to users, or the databases could be
filled upon installation.
I would like to find out whether such a package would be of interest
to libraries, etc., and if so, what features they would like to have.
For the IWF Metadata Harvester, I was working on retrieving data in
Pica format from a Z39.50 server. I'm not sure how much interest
there is in Pica data, so that I'm considering switching over to
Ideally, I would like to continue this work under the auspices of a
library, museum, or other institution; preferably, but not
necessarily, in the US, Canada, or Europe.
Any comments or questions would be very welcome.