International Survey of Library Automation

Marshall Breeding has published the results of the “Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation” and I doubt they’ll make comfortable reading at SirsiDynix HQ (unless Scribe has got it right!)…

The products of SirsiDynix, Unicorn and Horizon, received low satisfaction scores from libraries responding to the survey. Unicorn, the company’s flagship ILS performed somewhat better than Horizon. 14% of libraries running Unicorn and about half of those with Horizon indicate interest in migrating to another system — not surprising considering SirsiDynix’s position not to develop that system into the future. Horizon libraries scored high interest in open source ILS alternatives. The comments provided by libraries running Horizon voiced an extremely high level of frustration with SirsiDynix as a company and its decision to discontinue Horizon. Many indicated distrust toward the company. The comments from libraries running Unicorn, the system which SirsiDynix selected as the basis for its flagship Symphony ILS, also ran strongly negative — some because of issues with the software some because of concerns with the company.

Voyager, Horizon, and Aleph 500 sites are the most likely to consider moving to Open Source (such as Koha or Evergreen).
If Open Source isn’t of interest, then the satisfaction levels amongst Polaris customers makes that a very attractive system to move to.

Horizon — the five stages of grief

Well, I finally passed through the “denial” stage yesterday evening (which was partly why I didn’t post the information I knew until the formal announcement), slipped in “anger” overnight (good job I can never remember my nightmares!), which I guess puts me firmly into the “bargaining” stage today…

I wonder if I rang up SirsiDynix and promised to be a nicer person or told them how much I love them, they might reconsider?

Unfortunately, this means I’ll either be in the “depression” or “acceptance” stage during my presentation at the CILIP: “Re-imagining the Library” Executive Briefing tomorrow.
I guess either is better than still being in the “anger” stage — 15 minutes of me on the stage shaking my fists at the heavens screaming “Why God? Why?!? Horizon 8.0 looked so beautiful with its funky Aqua style buttons! Take me instead!!! Wait a minute… Statue of Liberty? …that was our planet! You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!” might well go down as a memorable presentation, but not in a “good” way.
Anyway, if nothing else, the upcoming European Conference in May is going to be extremely interesting — if you haven’t done so already, get your space booked now!

HIP XML Parser (v0.01) – search parser

Okay folks – here’s the companion piece of code to the bib parser I posted a few weeks ago!
As with the previous code, this is alpha at best and should be treated as such.  However, if you have any suggestions then please feed them back to me.
As well as specifying your own $url, you can also tweak the $maxResults value to determine just how many results you’ll actually get back.  This will override the npp value in the URL — this means you should be able to lift a keyword search URL from HIP (which might just return sets of 10 or 20 at a time) and get the script to actually bring back as many results as you want (e.g. 100 or 1,000).
Continue reading “HIP XML Parser (v0.01) – search parser”

HIP XML Parser (v0.01)

This is some code that I’ve been meaning to make available for public consumption for weeks, but we’ve been up to our necks with our RFID tender at Huddersfield recently.
The basic idea is to convert the XML output of HIP 2 and HIP 3 into a Perl data structure, which you can then use to repurpose your bib data and searches for other uses (e.g. to provide an OpenSearch interface).
The first chunk of code I’m making available provides a function (parseBib) that will convert the XML from a full bib page into a data structure.  Given the v0.01, you should treat this as alpha code at best!
The above Perl script also contains some code to fetch the XML (using LWP) and will also dump (using Data::Dumper) the resulting Perl data structure to an output text file (dump_output.txt).  I’ve also uploaded the code as a CGI file that you can run to display the Data::Dumper output – e.g.:
Building an object-oriented database system : the story of O2 /
Just to get you started, here’s some further info…
Continue reading “HIP XML Parser (v0.01)”

Live OPAC search terms display

Another shameless hack inspired by the “Making Visible the Invisible” at SPL.
I’ve tweaked HIP to cache keyword search terms and then put together a couple of pages that display successful searches (in tasteful shades of purple and lilac) and failed searches (in gruesome greens). 
IE has a nice CSS blur, so I’ve coupled that with Ajax to provide a constantly updating web page where new terms appear at the front and then drop slowly to the back, becoming more and more blurred and darker as they recede (click to view full size versions):