On Nov 9, 2007 7:42 AM, Carl Grant <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'm seeking some help understanding here.   From my perspective
> (again, that of a long time vendor of "commercial software" having
> recently moved to "commercial service for OSS software") this is
> exactly what a number of us (LibLime, Evergreen, Index Data, CARE
> Affiliates) are *trying* to do.   We're not only providing the
> services to allow libraries to adopt open source, we're also doing
> the marketing and selling that libraries seem to require before
> they'll even consider the option.

I think this is extremely important for the library world right now,
far more important than any current standard, model or prototyping
exercise ; support the vendors going Open Source. Don't think about it
for too long ; we must grab this opportunity *at all cost*, because,
frankly, it's the only chance we've got to set ourselves straight
again. The only way to get away from the suppressed and locked-down
legacy-driven world we currently live in is to embrace openness,
especially when it's coming from vendors (who's by that very token
asking us to work *with* them this time instead of just buying their

There's a slight clause here, though, for the vendors ; you *must*
adopt web services for *every* part of your solutions. I know that
this often goes against the grain of a "proposed system" (a system
that holistically solves a problem space) but the truth of the matter
is that you will never make your system work spot on for everyone, and
we need the reassurance (even if we never use the option) of going in
a different direction or using someone else's solution for a
particular problem. By allowing a more open development model the
library world will love you and gladly give you money for support and
further development. Consider the openness even a token more than a
reality option.

Here's a quick list of things I see crucially happening ;

* The library world has to come together to create a common language
for these web services, an ontology if you will. We must decide on a
few good (and possibly already existing) protocols and dictionaries.

* Vendors must settle on a development model for web services (and I'd
humbly suggest a REST model) and not be afraid of opening up or
segmenting their holistic solutions into sharable / interchangeable

* Get some outside experts in to handle usability and interaction
design, and open source the result. Create a consortium or
interest-group for library systems usability and user experience.

* Make sure we've got a *clean* cut of technology between business
logic and the user interface. Enforce low-key semantically-rich XHTML
and use CSS everywhere.

Here's to dreaming.

 Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic Maps
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