DUG/HUG – Thursday

Thursday started with a demo of Web Reporter from Phil Coles – here’s my notes from the session:

  • 140 reports supplied as standard
  • reports processed on the Web Reporter server, using live data from the Horizon database (i.e. no data mining)
  • reports can be scheduled to run overnight
  • reports can be exported as PDF, Excel, CSV, etc
  • new reports can be created from scratch, or you can use one of the existing templates
  • current version of Web Reporter is not Unicode compliant, however the Horizon 8 version will
  • no knowledge of SQL required
  • handles non-January financial years
  • SQL can be imported from ReportSmith

This was followed by a presentation from Eric Keith (VP Operations, SirsiDynix US) about the company’s current and future developments – my notes from the session are available here.
Finishing off the morning sessions, Polly Dawes (Bradford), and Ian Haydock & Jan Broad (Staffordshire) ran a session about Telecirc – including a live demo via mobile phone! We’re hoping to finally get Telecirc running live at Huddersfield by the start of the new term.
Starting off the afternoon, Phil Coles gave a short presentation about HIP 4 and Horizon 8 before attempting a live demo – unfortunately technical gremlins caused one or two problems with the demo. Here’s my notes about HIP 4:

  • works with Java v1.4.2, although Dynix are currently testing it with more recent releases of Java
  • allows pickup locations, search types, limits & sorts, and search location defaults to be set
  • built in spell checker and thesaurus
  • borrower history display
  • list of new and/or top circulating items
  • tighter integration for consolidated searching
  • Lucene indexing/search engine

…and about Horizon 8.0:

  • FRBR support
  • MFHD (MARC Format for Holdings Data) support
  • e-commerce integration
  • Electronic Resource Management (ERM) module
  • one-click sorting of colums
  • more integration between Horizon 8.0 and Web Reporter
  • new acquisitions workflows available
  • notes fields are all 1,500 characters (although Phil thought this can easily be increased if required)
  • EDI functionality built into Horizon (i.e. no need to use separate FTP software)
  • graphical serials prediction

This was followed by “Moving to MARC21”, with Ray Delahunty (Dynix UK), Polly Dawes (Bradford) and Ian Jennings (Huddersfield). It highlighted the two extremes of converting to MARC21 – Bradford had very few problems running the conversion under Dynix ILS, but the Huddersfield conversion (under Horizon) was a long and fairly painful process! Hopefully future conversions under Horizon will be much smoother.
The last session of the day was “My Favourite SQL” with Tim Fletcher (Birkbeck) and myself. I’ve uploaded my presentation (“Using SQL to Create Web Based Reports & Applications”) here. I’ll upload the advance notices Perl script as soon as I’ve finished debugging and documenting it.
Towards the end of the session, Anders F̴k (Link̦ping University) gave a quick demonstration of their web based reports (which uses Microsoft .Net and Crystal Reports) Рvery impressive stuff!

DUG/HUG – Wednesday

In the morning, Jill Osborne from Dynix gave a very impressive demonstration of the new HIP 4 administrator interface.
One of the biggest problems I found with HIP 3 (and below) was doing the admin configuration – the options were here, there and everywhere. HIP 4 brings everything together into a single (fairly) intuitive interface. If this is a taster of things to come with Horizon 8.0, then the wait will be well worth it.
There’s some more notes from Jill’s presentation here.
The afternoon saw a very honest keynote speech from Peter Gethin. Peter’s style might not be to everyone’s taste, but it marks the start of what should be an interesting few years for SirsiDynix.
If anyone is looking for the “Systems Managers Forum” presentations from Tim Fletcher and myself, then you can find them here.

An evening in Exeter

After a fairly uneventful cheap flight down from Leeds/Bradford, we’re here in breezy Exeter for the DUG/HUG 2005 Conference.
Sadly, the nearest bar (in Hope Hall) only seems to be open for an hour every day. So, a group of us headed down in to Exeter for some sight-seeing and pub grub at the Ship Inn – supposedly one of Sir Francis Drake’s favourite haunts.
Ship Inn, Exeter Ship Inn, Exeter

replacement inactive tab GIFs

The default GIF images used in HIP 3.04 for the inactive tabs only really work if you stick with the grey colour. Once you change that background colour, they no longer match:

Not only that, but the two corner GIFs are actually a different colour (more olive/brown than grey):

You can call me “sad”, but things like that niggle me! 😀
So, after a few minutes with Paint Shop Pro, I’ve come up with some replacement GIFs that use transparency to match whatever background colour you use for your inactive tabs:


If you too are niggled by your default GIFs, then you can download the replacement ones here: inactive_tab_GIFs.zip
You’ll need to overwrite the existing files, which are normally located in the “appserverjbossserverdefaultdeployhipres.warimages” directory:

…all of this assumes you’re on HIP 3.04 – so it might not work with other versions. Also, don’t forget to back up the original images (just in case!)
On a similar vein, I replaced the tab GIFs on our HIP a while ago with slightly more rounded 3D versions, although I’m not sure anyone actually noticed the change!

new Universal box set

Universal have announced a new box – “Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection“.
Initial reports suggested that it would simply be a repackaging of the 14 existing region 1 releases, along with a bonus 15th disc of new material.
However, a new press releases has confirmed that although the DVDs will still contain the previously releases extras, the film transfers will be new digitally re-mastered versions.

Universal Studios Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection for 4th October 2005 priced at $119.98 SRP. This 15 Disc collection brings together 14 Hitchcock classics plus a bonus disc in a special gift set collection.
All 14 films are digitally re-mastered for the best quality ever with all bonus features from the existing releases carried across. The films are: Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubth, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot.
The all-new bonus disc showcases Hitchcock’s films, career and legacy, while the set is presented in ultra-premium velvet packaging which includes a 36-page collectible book.
[source: DVD Times]

Hopefully this will mean anamorphic US releases of Psycho and Vertigo!

improving the "setfocus" JavaScript

HIP3 contains some JavaScript that sets the focus to the search box everytime a page is loaded – this means you can start typing text straight in to the box.
However, if you’ve already done a search, then it can be frustrating for the user to have the page suddenly jump to the top (especially if they are using the back button to return to a list of search results). In fact, it make more sense for the JavaScript to only set the focus on the initial search screens.
Here’s a quick hack that disables the JavaScript “setfocus” function for search result and full bib pages:
Open up searchresponse.xsl file and find the <body> tag (it’s around line 230)
A few lines down you’ll find the onload attribute code – this tells the web browser to execute the startTimer and setfocus JavaScript functions as soon as the page has loaded:

<xsl:attribute name="onload">startTimer();setfocus();</xsl:attribute>

Replace that entire line of code with the following:

<!-- disable the setfocus for search result pages -->
<xsl:if test="not(boolean(/searchresponse/yoursearch))">
<xsl:attribute name="onload">startTimer();setfocus();</xsl:attribute>
</xsl:if>
<xsl:if test="(boolean(/searchresponse/yoursearch))">
<xsl:attribute name="onload">startTimer();</xsl:attribute>
</xsl:if>
<!-- end of changes -->

Save the searchresponse.xsl file and check your HIP to see if the change works!
The usual notes apply:

  1. this worked fine for our UK HIP 3.04
  2. back up your original searchresponse.xsl file before you make any changes!
  3. if you’ve got one, try it on your test HIP server first

Busiest month yet!

Just looking at the weblogs for May 2005 and it was the busiest month yet for the site – for the first time ever, the site used over 3GB of bandwidth.
Not surprisingly, the majority of the bandwidth was taken up with images (2.42GB of JPGs, GIFs & PNGs).
There’s also been an increase in the number of people trying to link directly to images hosted on the site (known as leeching), but the web site is set up to disallow that so they’ll normally see this instead:

By my reckoning, there are 16,975 images on the site. Of those, 3,522 are DVD screen grabs and hi-res DVD packaging scans.
A bit thanks to everyone out there who’s spread the word about the site – it always gives me a little buzz to see people linking back to the site 🙂

More screen grabs added to the site

I’ve added the two remaining DVDs from the French “Hitchcock – Le Maître du Suspens” box set to the site:

Although I had high hopes for this box set, it’s let down by the poor quality English audio language track on Lady Vanishes (Une Femme Disparait) and the enforced French subtitles.
Unless you speak French, then the older German Early Years box set is still the recommended purchase (plus it contains Downhill and The Lodger).
Speaking of things French, I’ve also added details of the bootleg release of Waltzes from Vienna to the site.