Well, the future of ILS is to use general computing standards without
making library's own. 

Essentially, from a computing theory view, a graph is the way to present
all the info (i.e. a graph can represent a tree, or a line. When you
look at MARC, it is a linear computing model.) Graph is powerful, but
graph theory can be difficult and extremely complex. Some of them are NP
hard problem. 

I think that RDF based standards (DC? Or something else or maybe no need
for just one metadata standard )can be used to maximize
interoperability, allow further information discovery and at the same
time provide suitable description for different type of materials. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Karen Coyle
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 10:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Something completely different

Cloutman, David wrote:
> 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
> the intent for opening access to the data our ILS systems to
> in a more informal manner? I was thinking of an XML format that a
> developer could work with without formal training, 

Well, speaking of 'without formal training' -- I posted this to the Open

Library technology list, but using the OL, which is triple-based and 
open access, I was able to create a simple demo Pipe of how you could 
determine the earliest date of publication of a book (with an interest 
in looking at potential copyright status). Caveat is that the API I'm is

still pretty stubby, so it only retrieves on exact title (this will be 
fixed sometime in the future).

The pipe is here:


> 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
> 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
> of course, would be loosing some of the richness MARC allows, but I
> think in many common situations the really complex records are not
> patrons are interested in. You may want to consider prototyping this
> your application. I see such an effort to be vital in making our
> 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
> Peter Schlumpf
> Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2009 8:40 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Something completely different
> Greetings!
> 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.
> 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
> crappy software.  I believe free software is the answer to that.  I
> 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.
> 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
> I am getting busy.
> Peter Schlumpf
> Email Disclaimer:

Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
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ph.: 510-540-7596   skype: kcoylenet
fx.: 510-848-3913
mo.: 510-435-8234