One of the medical conditions I suffer from is the common “not-enough-hours-in-the-day-itus” — bits of software and new stuff gets prototyped or developed to the proof-of-concept stage, and then put to one side when something more important comes up.
This is something I originally coded in January 2006, briefly blogged about in mid February, then got slightly miffed when Hennepin County Library went live with something similar, and finally almost managed to forget all about it!
Anyway, I’ve dusted off the code and plugged it into ye olde OPACeth. All I can do now is sit back and see if anyone will actually use it!
It’s a very simple hack and I’ll happily post the code if anyone wants it. It’s just a couple of small Perl scripts — one to set up new alerts, and another to periodically process all of the existing alerts.
Here’s how it looks from the end user’s point of view:
- User runs a keyword search (general, title, author, etc), for example “xml”. At the foot of the results is a link to create a new email alert…
- The server periodically re-runs the search (e.g. in the early hours of a Sunday morning) and compares the latest results with the previous ones. If anything new has been added to the catalogue, then it sends out an email alert to the user…
If anyone is interested in the code, let me know. It should work fine on both Horizon and Dynix — all you need is a web server to run the Perl scripts on.