Long time lurker, first time poster here.
I've been turning over this question in my mind for a few weeks now, and Joe
Hourcle's postscript in the Online PHP Course thread has prompted me to
finally try to ask it. =)
I'm interested in hearing how the members of this list have gone about
choosing development platforms for their library coding projects and/or
existing open source projects (ie like VuFind vs Blacklight). For example,
did you choose a language you already were familiar with? One you wanted to
learn more about? Does your workplace have a standard enterprise
architecture/platform that you are required to use? If you have chosen to
implement an existing open source project, did you choose based on the
development platform or project maturity and features or something else?
Some background -- thanks to my undergraduate computer engineering studies,
I have a pretty solid understanding of programming fundamentals, but most of
my pre-LIS work experience was in software testing and did not require me to
employ much of what I learned programming-wise, so I've mostly dabbled over
the last decade or so. I've got a bit of experience with a bunch of
languages and I'm not married to any of them. I also kind of like having
excuses to learn new ones.
My situation is this: I would like to eventually implement a discovery tool
at MPOW, but I am having a hell of a time choosing one. I'm a solo
librarian on a content team at a software and information services company,
so I'm not really tied to the platforms used by the software engineering
teams here. I know a bit of Ruby, so I've played with Blacklight some, got
it to install on Windows and managed to import a really rough Solr index.
I'm more attracted to the features in VuFind, but I don't know much PHP yet
and I haven't gotten it installed successfully yet. My collection's
metadata is not in an ILS (yet) and not in MARC, so I've also considered
trying out more generic approaches like ajax-solr (though I don't know a lot
Scriblio. My options are wide open, and I'm having a rough time deciding
what direction to go in. I guess it's kind of similar to someone who is new
to programming and attempting to choose their first language to learn.
I will attempt to head off a programming language religious war =) by
stating that I'm not really interested in the virtues of one platform over
another, moreso the abstract reasons one might have for selecting one.
Have any of you ever been in a similar situation? How'd you get yourself
unstuck? If you haven't, what do you think you might do in a situation like