Just a quick thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion.  I've been a lurker for I think a couple years and have learned tons just being on the list and trying to absorb what I can without having any real coding experience (anyone ever hear of Dr. Scheme?  That's the language I used in Comp Sci 101, but I'll agree that what little theory I had there was INVALUABLE).  But the thought had somehow never entered into my head to just ask for a good starting point.  So extra thanks to Wayne for getting the ball rolling, and I'll second the call for a wiki thread... 

And, for what it's worth, I'm working on wrapping up an "environmental scan" of discovery interfaces for NLM (part of my fellowship year) and an awful lot of stuff I saw on this list (and NGC4LIB) informed it.  You can see the slides on Slideshare here:

(The one specific example I can think of right now being Jonathon's FindIt, which is linked to on slide 15...oh, and the Brooklyn Museum API...)
So, thanks!  And maybe one day I'll be able to contribute.

Amy Donahue, MLIS
Associate Fellow
National Library of Medicine
Bldg 38 Rm 2N-05A MSC 3818
(301) 594-7527
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-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ed Summers
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 2:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Long way to be a good coder in library

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 1:18 PM, Wayne Lam<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> So i start browsing on the internet about what OAI, Solr and all related
> thing without a direction, reading books on what Semantic web is and
> subscribe some mailing list of interesting projects. But for a newbie like
> me, it was a bit like information overflow for me. There are so many
> technology that are new to me and i am afraid that by the time i manage to
> "know" it, that became an old-fashion already. I am wondering if there are
> some way that i can learn it in a structural way.

The first step is admitting that you are unable to understand *all*
the crazy library technology lingo, and that library-technology
environment as a whole has become unmanageable. :-)

Seriously though, I think what David said earlier can't be over-emphasized:

2. Don't forget to look at trends outside of "Libraryland". A lot of
professional library discussion takes place in an echo chamber, and bad
ideas often get repeated and gain credibility as a result. Librarians
usually overstate the uniqueness of their organizations and professions.
When the question, "What are other libraries doing?" arises in
addressing a technical problem, don't be afraid to generalize the
question to other types of organizations. Too often, the answer to the
question, "What are other libraries doing?" is "Failing." Emulate for
the sake of success, not conformity.