I'm open to seeing new approaches to the ILS in general. A related
question I had the other day, speaking of MARC, is what would an
alternative bibliographic data format look like if it was designed with
the intent for opening access to the data our ILS systems to developers
in a more informal manner? I was thinking of an XML format that a
developer could work with without formal training, the basics of which
could be learned in an hour, and could reasonably represent the
essential fields of the 90% of records that are most likely to be viewed
by a public library patron. In my mind, such a format would allow
creators of community-based web sites to pull data from their local
library, and repurpose it without having to learn a lot of arcane
formats (e.g. MARC) or esoteric protocols (e.g. Z39.50). The sacrifice,
of course, would be loosing some of the richness MARC allows, but I
think in many common situations the really complex records are not what
patrons are interested in. You may want to consider prototyping this in
your application. I see such an effort to be vital in making our systems
relevant in future computing environments, and I am skeptical that a
simple, workable solution would come out the initial efforts of a
standardization committee.

Just my 2 cents.

- David

David Cloutman <[log in to unmask]>
Electronic Services Librarian
Marin County Free Library 

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Peter Schlumpf
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2009 8:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Something completely different


I have been lurking on (or ignoring) this forum for years.  And
libraries too.  Some of you may know me.  I am the Avanti guy.  I am,
perhaps, the first person to try to produce an open source ILS back in
1999, though there is a David Duncan out there who tried before I did. I
was there when all this stuff was coming together.

Since then I have seen a lot of good things happen.  There's Koha.
There's Evergreen.  They are good things.  I have also seen first hand
how libraries get screwed over and over by commercial vendors with their
crappy software.  I believe free software is the answer to that.  I have
neglected Avanti for years, but now I am ready to return to it.

I want to get back to simple things.  Imagine if there were no Marc
records.  Minimal layers of abstraction.  No politics.  No vendors.  No
SQL straightjacket.  What would an ILS look like without those things?
Sometimes the biggest prison is between the ears.

I am in a position to do this now, and that's what I have decided to do.
I am getting busy.

Peter Schlumpf

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