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CODE4LIB  August 2013

CODE4LIB August 2013

Subject:

Re: Separate library CMS systems vs Campus-wide CMS systems (was [CODE4LIB] LibGuides: I don't get it)

From:

Joshua Welker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:21:38 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (199 lines)

Okay, thanks for the background on Contribute. I am new here and haven't
really used it before. I only know what I gathered from the documentation
online.

If Contribute is most powerful in conjunction with Dreamweaver, that is
another strike against it in my book. I have not had very good experiences
with Dreamweaver from a code maintainability standpoint. Maybe the people
whose code I was maintaining just did not use Dreamweaver to its fullest
potential, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth nonetheless. No
spaghetti code for me, thanks.

Josh Welker


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Wilhelmina Randtke
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Separate library CMS systems vs Campus-wide CMS
systems (was [CODE4LIB] LibGuides: I don't get it)

Avoid Contribute, if possible.  A Dreamweaver and Contribute framework
makes for a very flexible website.  But... the Contribute editor accounts
have to be very locked down or else there will be some problems with the
two programs playing together.  In Contribute, it is possible to enable
editing as text, which gives you all the power of fingers on keyboard
coding.  However, a site done in Dreamweaver with templates and other
structural awesomeness pretty much rules out edit as text in Contribute.
If you go in and edit as text with Contribute, it is very easy to
accidentally disassociate a page from the Dreamweaver template.  Then when
there is an update to the template, you have problems.  Most likely, your
page will kick back to what it looked like the last time it was in
compliance with the template.  There may also be some problems editing
pages that use spry widgets, so some of the awesome looking things that
are easy in Dreamweaver are off the table in Contribute.

The alternative to edit as text is to allow you to insert code snippets in
Contribute, but then going in and editing them later is annoying.  Like
every CMS ever, Contribute will insert some white space or garbage at
times.  And with no way to edit code, you can't fix these issues.

When you say there are no plugins or scripting for Contribute, that's not
true of the program.  That's how your campus has configured things.  It's
a political issue, not 100% tech.  But they have very good technology
reasons to lock down the Contribute accounts, from Dreamweaver and
Contribute not working well together.  A politically favorable main campus
which wants to serve does best by not giving you enough rope to hang
yourself, and no matter how techy you are, it's easy to do that in
innately buggy Contribute.

-Wilhelmina Randtke


On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 8:21 AM, Joshua Welker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Does anyone have any suggestions as to where the library should or
> should not compromise when it comes to using an institutional CMS
> rather than a custom library one? We are going through this process
> right now. Our web pages are currently all in static HTML and
> LibGuides. I am wanting to move to Drupal, and campus IT wants us to
> move to their Adobe Contribute platform. AFAIK, Contribute does not
> allow for any server-side scripting and does not have any sort of
> plugin system, and I am very concerned that Contribute would harm the
> library's ability to effectively integrate its online resources into a
> single web portal (server-side caching, indexes, scheduled tasks, etc).
>
> I know the answer to this question is "it depends," but I am hoping
> others can share the fruits of their experience.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Josh Welker
> Information Technology Librarian
> James C. Kirkpatrick Library
> University of Central Missouri
> Warrensburg, MO 64093
> JCKL 2260
> 660.543.8022
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Jimmy Ghaphery
> Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:49 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LibGuides: I don't get it
>
> I have followed this thread with great interest. In 2011 Erin White
> and I researched many of the issues the group has been hitting on,
> demonstrating the popularity of LibGuides in ARL libraries, the locus
> of control outside of systems' departments, and the state of content
> policies.[1]
>
> Our most challenging statement in the article to the library tech
> community (which was watered down a bit in the peer review process)
> was "The popularity of LibGuides, at its heart a specialized content
> management system, also calls into question the vitality and/or
> adaptability of local content management system implementations in
> libraries."
>
> One of the biggest challenges I see toward creating a non-commercial
> alternative is that the library code community is so dispersed in the
> various institutions that it makes it difficult to get away from the
> download tar.gz model. Are our institutions ready to collaborate
> across themselves such that there could be a shared SaaS model (of
> anything
> really) that libraries could subscribe/contribute to? The barriers
> here certainly aren't technological, but more along the lines of
> policy, governance, etc.
>
> As for Research Guides in general, I see a very clear divide in the
> public/tech communities not only on platform but more philosophical.
> From the tech side once it is all boiled down, heck why do you even
> need a third party system; catalog the databases with some type of
> local genres and push out an api/xml feeds to various disciplines.
> From the public side there is a long lineage of individually curated
> guides that goes to the core of value of professionally knowing one's
community and serving it.
>
> [1] https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/article/view/1830
>
> best,
>
> Jimmy
>
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Galen Charlton <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 6:53 AM, Wilhelmina Randtke
> > <[log in to unmask]
> > >wrote:
> >
> > > There's not a lock-in issue with LibGuides, because it's used to
> > > host pathfinders.  Those are supposed to be periodically revisited.
> > > One of
> > the
> > > big problems is that librarians will start a guide and never
> > > finish, or make one then never maintain it.  Periodically deleting
> > > everything is a good thing for pathfinders and subject guides, and
> > > people should do it anyway.  No one's talking about tools for
> > > digital archives, which have
> > lock
> > > in issues and are way more expensive.
> > >
> >
> > Lock-in doesn't have to be absolute to be effective, it just has to
> > has raise the bar sufficiently high to make users think twice about
> > migrating away.
> >
> > This applies even if the data to be moved is transitory and constantly
> > changing.   For example, if a library has been diligently updating
their
> > pathfinders, but wants to switch platforms, if there were no way to
> > export them to load into the successor system, the effort of redoing
> > them or doing a lot of copy-and-pasting could be prohibitive.
> >
> > As a general statement -- and I know that this battle has been
> > bitterly fought in the ILS space -- I believe that *all* library
> > software services, whether based on F/LOSS software or proprietary
> > software, should provide a way for the library to obtain a full dump
> > of their data, in an accessible format, at no additional charge.
> >
> > I see that LibGuides advertises the ability to make local backups of
> > individual pages and also provides (via a paid add-on module) an XML
> > export function.  I don't know if SpringShare will also provide free
> > one-time exports on request, but I would hope they do.
> >
> > Of course, even if one has the data in hand, data migrations can
> > still take a lot of time, effort, and expertise.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Galen
> > --
> > Galen Charlton
> > Manager of Implementation
> > Equinox Software, Inc. / The Open Source Experts
> > email:  [log in to unmask]
> > direct: +1 770-709-5581
> > cell:   +1 404-984-4366
> > skype:  gmcharlt
> > web:    http://www.esilibrary.com/
> > Supporting Koha and Evergreen: http://koha-community.org &
> > http://evergreen-ils.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Jimmy Ghaphery
> Head, Digital Technologies
> VCU Libraries
> 804-827-3551
>

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