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CODE4LIB  November 2013

CODE4LIB November 2013

Subject:

Re: calibr: a simple opening hours calendar

From:

Simon Spero <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:07:47 -0500

Content-Type:

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[Untrue Facts: Banner was named after the Dr. Bruce Banner, because 1)
SMASH! and 2) most people just want to walk away to sad piano music. The
switch to Sunguard was intended to improve branding by associating the
project with things that are eventually going to swell up to destroy us all
before they finally die out.]

I agree with J-Rock; by capturing the generalities and exceptions, it
becomes easier to see what the Business Rules, and how far they may be from
Business Logic.

If there's an exception that has no ready justification, it's easier to
argue for a change.

"Is This Rule Necessary?"



On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 1:36 PM, Joe Hourcle
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Nov 27, 2013, at 11:01 AM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
>
> > Many of our academic libraries have very byzantine 'hours' policies.
> >
> > Developing UI that can express these sensibly is time-consuming and
> difficult; by doing a great job at it (like Sean has), you can make the
> byzantine hours logic a lot easier for users to understand... but you can
> still only do so much to make convoluted complicated library hours easy to
> deal with and understand for users.
> >
> > If libraries can instead simplify their hours, it would make things a
> heck of a lot easier on our users. Synchronize the hours of the different
> parts of the library as much as possible. If some service points aren't
> open the full hours of the library, if you can make all those service
> points open the _same_ reduced hours, not each be different. Etc.
> >
> > To some extent, working on hours displays to convey byzantine hours
> structures can turn into the familiar case of people looking for
> technological magic bullet solutions to what are in fact business and
> social problems.
>
> I agree up to a point.
>
> When I was at GWU, we were running what was the most customized
> version of Banner (a software system for class registration, HR,
> etc.) Some of the changes were to deal with rules that no one
> could come up with a good reason for, and they should have been
> simplified. Other ones were there for a legitimate reason.*
>
> You should take these sorts of opportunities to ask *why* the
> hours are so complicated, and either document the reason for it,
> or look to simplify it.
>
> Did a previous librarian have some regularly scheduled thing
> every Tuesday afternoon, and that's why one section closes
> down early on Tuesdays? If they're not there anymore, you can
> change that.
>
> Does one station requiring some sort of a shutdown / closing
> procedure that takes a significant amount of time, and they
> close early so they're done by closing time? Or do they open
> late because they have similar issue setting up in the morning,
> and it's unrealistic to have them come in earlier than everyone
> else? Maybe there's something else that could be done to
> improve and/or speed up the procedures.**
>
> Has there been historically less demand for certain types of
> books at different times of the day? Well, that's going to be
> hard to verify, as people have now adjusted to the library's
> hours, rather than visa-versa ... but it's a legitimate reason
> to not keep service points open if no one's using them.
>
> ... but I would suggest that you don't use criteria like the
> US Postal Service's recommendation to remove postboxes -- they
> based it on number of pieces of mail, and ended up removing
> them all in some areas.
>
> ...
>
> Anyway, the point I'm making -- libraries are about service.
> Simplification might make it easier to keep track of things,
> but it doesn't necessarily make for better service.
>
> -Joe
>
> * Well, legitimate to someone, at least. For instance, the
> development office had a definition of "alumni" that included
> donors who might not've actually attended the university.
>
> ** When I worked for the group that ran GW's computer labs,
> some days I staffed a desk that we had over in the library ...
> but I had to clock in at the main office, then walk over to
> other building, and once the shift was over, walk back to the
> main office to clock out. I got them to designate one of the
> phones in the library computer lab as being allowed to call
> into the time clock system, so I could stop wasting so much
> time ... then they decided to just stop having staff over
> there.
>
>
>
> > On 11/27/13 9:25 AM, Sean Hannan wrote:
> >> I¹d argue that library hours are nothing but edge cases.
> >>
> >> Staying open past midnight is actually a common one. But how do you deal
> >> with multiple library locations? Multiple service points at multiple
> >> library locations? Service points that are Œby appointment only¹ during
> >> certain days/weeks/months of the year? Physical service points that are
> >> under renovation (and therefore closed) but their service is being
> carried
> >> out from another location?
> >>
> >> When you have these edge cases sorted out, how do you display it to
> users
> >> in a way that makes any kind of sense? How do you get beyond shoehorning
> >> this massive amount of data into outmoded visual paradigms into
> something
> >> that is easily scanned and processed by users? How do you make this data
> >> visualization work on tablets and phones?
> >>
> >> The data side of calendaring is one thing (and for as standard and
> >> developed as the are, iCal and Google Calendar¹s data formats don¹t get
> it
> >> 100% correct as far as I¹m concerned). Designing the interaction is
> wholly
> >> another.
> >>
> >> It took me a good two or three weeks to design the interaction for our
> new
> >> hours page (http://www.library.jhu.edu/hours.html) over the summer.
> There
> >> were lots of iterations, lots of feedback, lots of user testing. ³User
> >> testing? Just for an hours page?² Yes. It¹s one of our most highly
> sought
> >> pieces of information on our website (and yours too, probably). Getting
> it
> >> right pays off dividends.
> >>
> >> I don¹t know if you¹d find it useful (our use cases are not necessarily
> >> your use cases), but I ended up writing up the whole process as a blog
> >> post
> >> (
> http://blogs.library.jhu.edu/wordpress/2013/07/anatomy-of-an-hours-page/).
> >>
> >> -Sean
> >>
> >> ‹
> >> Sean Hannan
> >> Senior Web Developer
> >> Sheridan Libraries
> >> Johns Hopkins University
> >>
> >> On 11/26/13, 6:41 PM, "Barnes, Hugh" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Great edge case, thanks for sharing that one!
> >>>
> >>> I think currently that could only be _encoded_ as a separate opening in
> >>> the CSV file for loading into the database, which won't work because of
> >>> my assumption. There simply isn't a way to express it. The relevant
> >>> fields for the load file are startdate, enddate, opentime, and
> closetime,
> >>> the last two being formatted as only "hh:mm", so it's assumed they
> relate
> >>> to each single day in the range.
> >>>
> >>> However, I edited a "closes" field value directly in the test database,
> >>> and to my surprise it rendered sensibly. I would have thought it would
> be
> >>> rejected by a validity test I have which checks that the day portion of
> >>> the start and closing datestamps are the same [1].
> >>>
> >>> I can't justify spending time on this in the near future, since it's a
> >>> use case we are unlikely to need here. However, I'll log an issue, or
> you
> >>> may. Thanks again.
> >>>
> >>> Cheers
> >>> Hugh
> >>>
> >>> [1]
> https://github.com/LincolnUniLTL/calibr/blob/master/lib/app.php#L113
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of
> >>> Bohyun Kim
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, 27 November 2013 11:28 a.m.
> >>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] calibr: a simple opening hours calendar
> >>>
> >>> Hugh,
> >>>
> >>> Thanks for sharing. A quick question. If a library opens past midnight,
> >>> does that count more than one opening a day or no?
> >>>
> >>> ~Bohyun
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Nov 26, 2013, at 5:04 PM, "Barnes, Hugh" <[log in to unmask]
> >
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi folks
> >>>>
> >>>> I took a calendar script posted to this list by Andrew Darby some time
> >>>> ago and made some changes. I don't think there is any of Andrew's code
> >>>> left, so I've rebranded it with an acknowledgement. (If I had my time
> >>>> again, I might have coded it from scratch rather than built it over
> >>>> Andrew's script, but that's somewhat academic.)
> >>>>
> >>>> The whole scoop is in the readme on Github:
> >>>> http://github.com/LincolnUniLTL/calibr
> >>>>
> >>>> TLDR: With PHP, MySQL, some fiddling and data entry, you can publish a
> >>>> library opening hours calendar on your website in more than one
> language
> >>>> if you wish. It's a little quicker to enter common period patterns
> than
> >>>> it used to be in Google Calendar. The output is more accessible,
> >>>> customisable, multilingual, semantic, and hopefully more extensible
> >>>> (iCal etc) than previously.
> >>>>
> >>>> Here's a branded reference implementation:
> >>>> http://library2.lincoln.ac.nz/hours - it won't necessarily reflect
> the
> >>>> latest version.
> >>>>
> >>>> Use it, improve it, feed back, or log issues right there on Github if
> >>>> that works for you.
> >>>>
> >>>> Many thanks to Andrew for providing the foundation!
> >>>>
> >>>> Cheers
> >>>>
> >>>> Hugh Barnes
> >>>> Digital Access Coordinator
> >>>> Library, Teaching and Learning
> >>>> Lincoln University
> >>>> Christchurch
> >>>> New Zealand
> >>>> p +64 3 423 0357
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> ________________________________
> >>>> P Please consider the environment before you print this email.
> >>>> "The contents of this e-mail (including any attachments) may be
> >>>> confidential and/or subject to copyright. Any unauthorised use,
> >>>> distribution, or copying of the contents is expressly prohibited. If
> you
> >>>> have received this e-mail in error, please advise the sender by return
> >>>> e-mail or telephone and then delete this e-mail together with all
> >>>> attachments from your system."
> >>
> >>
>

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