General - distributed environments

  • Effective web presence ...May 31, 2011 – We are growing used to the idea that simply making things available on the web does not necessarily make them widely discovered or discoverable. I have used the phrase 'search engine interoperability' in these pages already. This is a play on 'search engine optimization', which some do not like (although...read full entry...
  • VIAF design patternJanuary 03, 2010 – A blog entry by Paul Walk - An infrastructure service anti-pattern - drew some attention a while ago. He argues against a model in which a service provider independently develops APIs and a user interface, and in which, accordingly, the APIs are developed in advance of actual use or explicit...read full entry...
  • The two ways of Web 2.0 - retreadDecember 20, 2009 – [I first published this in March 2008, and still find it useful to think in terms of concentration and diffusion. I was reminded of the entry and prompted to 'recycle' it - despite its age - when I read the following sentence in a recent blog entry by Nicholas Carr...read full entry...
  • Network environmental issuesDecember 13, 2008 – I wrote a short piece for Portal last year. Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] The introductory remarks about the environment repeat many of the topics discussed in these pages in...read full entry...
  • A network generation ...November 17, 2008 – Further to notes about NetGen, Fintan O'Toole's wonderful remarks on public libraries, and networking and the Obama campaign, here is Fintan O'Toole on generations, networks, and the election. Thirdly, and closely related to this change, is the cultural impact of the internet. The fears expressed about the internet even a...read full entry...
  • LeVan on Yee on mashupsNovember 13, 2008 – I mentioned Raymond Yee's book on mashups a while ago and signaled that a fuller review would follow from my colleague Ralph LeVan. This has now appeared: Ralph reviews the book positively in the current issue of Ariadne. I can’t imagine a more comprehensive book on mashups. This book would...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0 againOctober 05, 2008 – I have just got around to looking at Programming Collective Intelligence [O'Reilly][Worldcat] by Toby Segaran. This fascinating book demonstrates how you can build web applications to mine the enormous amount of data created by people on the Internet. With the sophisticated algorithms in this book, you can write smart programs...read full entry...
  • TagCrowd: yet another tag cloud generatorSeptember 26, 2008 – Several services will now generate tag clouds for you based on a submitted URL or text. I suppose these make ideal 'cloud' services (ho, ho, ...). I have just come across TagCrowd. Here is what it makes of this morning's CNN home page. It is pretty clear what is on...read full entry...
  • Chrome linksSeptember 09, 2008 – The new Google Chrome browser has captured major attention since it was launched a few days ago. Here, without extensive comment, are links to some interesting posts about Chrome. Nicholas Carr considers strategic motivations .... To Google, the browser has become a weak link in the cloud system - the...read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • Disclosure and diffusion - synchronization and syndicationJuly 16, 2008 – David Bigwood on his blog stats: Making your content available in more places makes metrics hard. Before Bloglines, Google Reader, Facebook Blog Network, Planet Catalog, and all the rest I could get a feel for the number of readers. Didn't matter too much to me, this is done for my...read full entry...
  • Workflow is an intermediate consumerMay 31, 2008 – I have been using the following contrast in presentations for a while. This is to make a distinction between library services - or any other service for that matter - in a pre-network age, and such services now. Then: people were prepared to build their workflows around library services. Now:...read full entry...
  • QOTD: mobileApril 28, 2008 – I am writing a short piece on mobile communications at the moment and have been interested to see that the whole world is writing about the impact of mobile. The Economist has a very nice special section with articles on a range of topics (see the display panel on the...read full entry...
  • Google and OAI-PMHApril 24, 2008 – There is an interesting note on the Google Webmaster Central Blog: When we originally launched Sitemaps, we included support for the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) 2.0 protocol, an interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. In the meantime, however, we've found that the information we gain from...read full entry...
  • Live Mesh - as if you needed another post about itApril 23, 2008 – Microsoft has announced its Live Mesh initiative: you must have heard the rumble? Another network word to join grid, graph, and web. We will have to see how it rolls out, but it is a reminder of how much is at play as Google, Microsoft and a few others race...read full entry...
  • The big switchApril 01, 2008 – I have just finished Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch. Here is a sample: The complexity and inefficiency of the client-server model have fed on themselves over the last quarter century. As companies continue to add more applications, they have to expand their data centers, install new machines, reprogram old ones,...read full entry...
  • MicroformatsMarch 17, 2008 –  I recently installed the Operator extension in my browser. Operator leverages microformats and other semantic data that are already available on many web pages to provide new ways to interact with web services. [Operator :: Firefox Add-ons] Interesting to see it in action on the JISC National eBooks Observatory...read full entry...
  • MashupsMarch 13, 2008 – Raymond Yee is the originator of the useful triple "gather, create, share", and is known for his work on the Scholar's Box. He lectures at the UC Berkeley School of Information. I have just got a copy of his book: Yee, Raymond. Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web...read full entry...
  • The two ways of Web 2.0March 02, 2008 – I find Web 2.0 increasingly confusing as a label; no surprise there. This is not just because of its essential vagueness, but because I think it tends to be used in a couple of very different ways. Where this happens there is bound to be some confusion. Schematically, I will...read full entry...
  • Let me be open with you ...February 03, 2008 – 'open' is a word that usually needs to be qualified to be of any use in our conversations. Simply standing on its own it is not clear what it means. Unless qualified the word is like 'home made', 'new' or 'natural', a widely applied promotional label with little informational value....read full entry...
  • Web-Scale development: "the data center is the computer"January 10, 2008 – More computing is happening in the cloud. Personal and corporate applications are being sourced from network based services. 'cloud' is a good way of describing the consumer experience: the consumer does not have to worry about the details of implementation or carry the burden of physical plant. However, it is...read full entry...
  • QOTD: clouds and controlJanuary 02, 2008 – A Wired interviewer asks Nick Carr when does the Big Switch from the desktop to the cloud happen? Carr: Most people are already there. Young people in particular spend way more time using so-called cloud apps — MySpace, Flickr, Gmail — than running old-fashioned programs on their hard drives. What's...read full entry...
  • InteroperabilityDecember 17, 2007 – Driving to yet another shopping opportunity this evening, I heard a story about 'e-prescriptions' on NPR. I was gobsmacked, as they say, when I heard a snippet from John Kerry, which included the word, interoperability, yes, that's interoperability. I looked up the transcript later: "We have the technology. We have...read full entry...
  • Moving to the network levelDecember 16, 2007 – It was an interesting week for announcements about network level services. Amazon announced SimpleDB: Amazon SimpleDB is a web service for running queries on structured data in real time. This service works in close conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), collectively...read full entry...
  • QOTD: a feed-based universeDecember 16, 2007 – The BBC website is a major network hub. It has been through a redesign and a beta site is available for inspection. The home 'page' becomes a "page composition layer". From a conceptual point of view, the widgetization adopted by Facebook, iGoogle and netvibes weighed strongly on our initial thinking....read full entry...
  • The personal to global traverseDecember 09, 2007 – Network services have accustomed us to move from the personal to the global. Think of iTunes. I have my own local library on my PC which I can synchronize with mobile devices. It is also tightly integrated with the global network iTunes. And the MiniStore uses aggregate buying patterns to...read full entry...
  • Some notelets on Facebook and the social graphNovember 22, 2007 – Some holiday morning notelets .... 1. The social graph in action. I felt a tremor in the social graph this week. A bundle of my Facebook befrienders attended the CETIS conference. I was suddenly aware of status lines, notes, imported blog entries. I had a sense of some of what...read full entry...
  • Search web serviceNovember 09, 2007 – Under the auspices of OASIS appears a discussion document about the 'search web service'. The Search web service is a means of opening a database to external enquiry in a standardized manner that facilitates discovery of query and response possibilities and makes it possible for heterogeneous databases to be queried...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhere, againSeptember 18, 2007 – The decision by the New York Times to open up for general reading the formerly for-fee TimeSelect parts of its website is being widely discussed. The rationale given is interesting. Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers increasingly find news through search, as well...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhereSeptember 16, 2007 – I have been using the phrase 'discovery happens elsewhere' in recent presentations. I think it captures quite nicely an increasingly important part of how we think about our services. No single website is the sole focus of a user's attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in...read full entry...
  • Syndicating moiAugust 22, 2007 – I was looking at Macenstein earlier. And was slightly surprised after a while to notice that amongst the Amazon ads appearing on the right were some for very familiar stuff. Turns out that Macenstein is feeding me my own personalized Amazon data. And it looks as if other people might...read full entry...
  • A catalogue in your faceAugust 01, 2007 – I was interested to see the Page Tools in the University of Alberta catalogue (look in the left hand bar below). A reader can send a correction or suggestion to the library: it would be interesting to know how many folks use this option and what types of suggestion are...read full entry...
  • Web worldJuly 20, 2007 – I answered a short questionnaire the other day on libraries and technology. I found myself wanting to rewrite some of the questions to avoid the sense they gave of technology as an external agent acting on libraries. Libraries are co-evolving with people's behaviors which are themselves being reconfigured in a...read full entry...
  • Microsoft in the cloudJuly 16, 2007 – There is a short piece about Microsoft plans for network level services on CNET. Not much detail and still indicating a direction rather than reporting a lot to look at. Nevertheless, it is an interesting direction. Microsoft is in the early stages of a plan that will see virtually its...read full entry...
  • Soft bibliographic powerMay 15, 2007 – Dario Taraborelli has a reflective post on the potential impact of tagging and social software on scientific communication. His particular interest is how such approaches might "challenge traditional evaluation processes".Online reference managers are extraordinary productivity tools, but it would be a mistake to take this as their primary interest for...read full entry...
  • OpenIDMay 11, 2007 – OpenID has been generating quite a bit of interest as a lightweight decentralized approach to identity management on the web. There is a nice overview article by Andy Powell (Eduserv) and David Recordon (VeriSign) in the current issue of Ariadne, with some reflections on OpenID in an e-learning environment. In...read full entry...
  • Old media got socializedMay 08, 2007 – Rupert Murdoch's short article in the current Forbes is being noted around the place. It is a quick read and worth a visit. Those of us in so-called old media have also learned the hard way what this new meaning of networking spells for our businesses. Media companies don't control...read full entry...
  • Amazon: a physical web serviceApril 27, 2007 – I was interested to read about this Amazon service:Since last fall, the program, Fulfillment by Amazon, has allowed independent sellers who list their goods on Amazon.com to use its network of more than 20 distribution centers around the world to fill orders. Now Amazon, which is based in Seattle, is...read full entry...
  • Student useApril 02, 2007 – I was very interested to read (via eFoundations) a note on the Ancient Geeks blog by Martin Poulter. He talks about what the students at the University of Bristol use the network for according to the University's network management folks. Facebook is the most popular site by hits, accounting for...read full entry...
  • Moving to a 'single business' systems environmentMarch 26, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has made an interesting report available, National Library of Australia IT Architecture Project Report, March 2007. [pdf] Here is the declared purpose:The aim of this report is to define the IT architecture that will be needed to support the management, discovery and delivery of the...read full entry...
  • QOTD: William Gibson on cyberspaceFebruary 21, 2007 – William Gibson gave us 'cyberspace' as a word. Here is his latest note:The thing that's going to be quaint about "cyberspace" (that already is, really) is the inherent assumption that it's a realm unto itself; that it's in any way elsewhere or other. [William Gibson]...read full entry...
  • NFX: Weinberger interviews O'ReillyFebruary 11, 2007 – David Weinberger has a nice hotel lobby interview with Tim O'Reilly on the FastForward Blog (which is devoted to Enterprise 2.0 discussions).Tim O’Reilly, creator of the Web 2.0 meme, says that organizations have been slow to understand how “network effects” can benefit their business if applied internally as well as...read full entry...
  • ScapesFebruary 01, 2007 – Google announced a while ago that they were 'deprecating' their SOAP Search API in favour of an Ajax based search syndication strategy [as reported by Brady Forrest]. One motivation for this, it was speculated, was that the SOAP API-based syndication of search did not support their ad-based revenue model. Why?...read full entry...
  • Moving compound objectsJanuary 29, 2007 – Herbert sent me a pointer to the report [pdf] of the first OAI-ORE Technical Committee meeting. From the website blurb:ORE will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access...read full entry...
  • Music libraryJanuary 28, 2007 – I was listening to the audio for the ALA Top Tech Trends session on the LITA Blog. Cliff Lynch discussed the emergence of personal libraries and used music as an example. This reminded me that I had spent an interesting while (well, an hour or so) looking at the iTunes...read full entry...
  • QOTD: getting in the flowJanuary 07, 2007 – Niall Kennedy argues that 'search is not a zero switch cost'. Even if a strong competitor emerges for Google they will have to do quite a bit of work given the steps Google has taken to embed itself in various user flows:Google is spending billions to integrate its search products...read full entry...
  • Web scaleJanuary 05, 2007 – I like the expression web-scale. It is used heavily by Amazon and others in discussion of their 'platform' services like S3 and EC2. Here is a description of EC2, Amazon's on-demand computing infrastructure:Call it "utility computing" or "Web-scale computing" or "on-demand infrastructure." Whatever the case, Amazon is hoping that its...read full entry...
  • Business mashupsNovember 19, 2006 – Business Week had an article on business mashups a few days ago. Here is one of their smaller examples. For any company mulling mashups, there's a growing variety of case studies. Caryn Truitt owns Cookies, a small Seattle shop that sells cookie-baking gear. She keeps track of inventory using an...read full entry...
  • Web servicesNovember 13, 2006 – I have a short article about web services and some of the work OCLC Research has done in this area in the current issue of Next Space, the OCLC newsletter. There is also a general article by my colleague Tom Storey about 'moving to the network level'. Thanks to Science...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0 : a quick readNovember 04, 2006 – The Guardian supplement has a feature on Web 2.0 where they interview the founders of a set of internet companies (delicious, flickr, bebo, wordpress, blogger, Wikipedia, writely, netvibes, digg, and others). Interviews are short and each is asked what they think Web 2.0 is, what was their 'big idea' (to...read full entry...
  • QOTD: MIT and SouthamptonNovember 04, 2006 – The MIT - Southampton research collaboration around 'web science' has been much noted:The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) will generate a research agenda for understanding the scientific, technical and social challenges underlying the growth of the Web. Of particular interest is the volume of information on the Web that documents...read full entry...
  • Book BurroSeptember 29, 2006 – Book Burro by Jesse Andrews was runner up in our software competition. I had seen mention of it before but had not tried it. I have just installed it and is is indeed very nice, as Liz Lawley, one of the judges, discusses. It is a FireFox extension which overlays...read full entry...
  • D2D in OhioSeptember 20, 2006 – Our close neighbor, Peter Murray, of Ohiolink, has been posting about Service Oriented Architectures. He has just been elaborating with some examples of how one might organize an integrated discovery to delivery experience across a set of independently managed services. In his example, WorldCat, OhioLink, and local library systems are...read full entry...
  • A little learning ...August 21, 2006 – A couple of resources about learning, services and the network:Scott Wilson has a nice roundup of thoughts and examples under the heading elearning and web services [pdf].Edufilter is a new blog from Dave Tosh and Ben Werdmuller, the principals in Elgg:Edufilter has been set up as a resource for those...read full entry...
  • Registries: the intelligence in the networkAugust 20, 2006 – Interaction between systems and services on the network requires intelligence. Intelligence about what is in the environment (search or resolution targets, for example), about how to interact with found entities (addresses or interface specifications, for example), about who is authorized to do what, and so on. Think of two parallels....read full entry...
  • Writing on the networkAugust 17, 2006 – I have just done a longish summary-sort of entry about Microsoft's take on what Ray Ozzie calls the 'services transformation'. I wrote that entry, and am writing this entry, using Window's Live Writer. This is a nice example of the services transformation in action: I am using a local application...read full entry...
  • Moving to the network level: MicrosoftAugust 17, 2006 – Of the big Internet age companies, Microsoft is in many ways the most interesting. It has to find a way of straddling its desktop legacy and the new world of web services. In this context, the recent presentation by Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's newly elevated Chief Software Architect, at the MSFT...read full entry...
  • Retrospect: You can run but you can't hideJuly 10, 2006 – The video [wvx] of my presentation at the University of Edinburgh is now available. I have received several kind comments and enquiries - surely it wasn't two and a half hours long ;-) I still cannot get used to the fact that many presentations are often not 'private' to you...read full entry...
  • Amazon Web Services Solutions CatalogJune 26, 2006 – I was recently pointed at the Amazon Web Services Solutions Catalog, an interesting list of applications which mobilze Amazon Web Services to generate various service offerings. Welcome to the new Amazon Web Services Solutions Catalog. Developers are constantly innovating with Amazon Web Services to build software that empowers a multitude...read full entry...
  • Recombinant modularityJune 21, 2006 – I have been using the word recombinant on and off to refer to changing structures in a network environment. What we see at various levels - from organizations to schema - is growing modularization accompanied by flexible reconfiguration of those modules. Remixing and mashups have some of the same sense...read full entry...
  • Registries, research and jobsJune 09, 2006 – A colleague drew my attention to an advert for a Bioinformatics Curator at the University of Manchester, which interestingly touched on several different issues that have been on my horizon recently. Here is an excerpt from the ad:We have an opportunity within the highly successful myGrid project for a bioinformatics...read full entry...
  • The Amazon platformMay 22, 2006 – Jim Gray of Microsoft interviews Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, in the current issue of ACM Queue. It is a very interesting discussion of the importance of the service-oriented approach at Amazon, and also gives a fascinating glimpse of internal working practices. Vogels suggests that Amazon is primarily a technology...read full entry...
  • No user interfaceMay 19, 2006 – Amazon recently released its S3 service - a network storage system. Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. [Amazon.com Amazon Web Services Store: Amazon S3 / Amazon Web Services]It...read full entry...
  • Share, find and playApril 30, 2006 – A while ago I wrote about how we needed to design around the network, rather than around individual applications. The BBC is heading that way. They want to support a share, find and play mode of working, where users assemble BBC materials on-demand and have a space for sharing their...read full entry...
  • Addressable - accessibleApril 30, 2006 – I suggested a while ago in these pages that one reason for the wide use of Wikipedia was that it was an 'addressable knowledgebase'. Entries enter the web conversation because they are referencable, they are on-web. In this context I was interested to read in Bubblegeneration: In many cases, communities...read full entry...
  • WebCiteApril 26, 2006 – Alf Eaton sent me a note about WebCite in the context of my discussion of the integrity of citation in a digital environment. WebCite® is an archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure...read full entry...
  • Excitations ...April 23, 2006 – In these pages a while ago I wrote about Wikipedia as an addressible knowledgebase: a part of its great attraction is that one can invoke elements of that knowledgebase with a URL. Jerry MacDonough made the reasonable point that one cannot rely on a URL to have a stable referent...read full entry...
  • The network is the sunApril 11, 2006 – There is an interesting discussion about how to make the catalog visible on the open web on Web4Lib at the moment, specifically on how users might find their way back from Google to library resources. A theme is that it is also important to make library resources visible in the...read full entry...
  • The semantic waveApril 06, 2006 – I was interested to see this picture in a recent presentation on the Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee. It is a nice way of showing recent developments and anticipated movement. Of course, not everybody would see the wave moving in the way shown here, but that is another discussion. The...read full entry...
  • Link traffic - the top 1000April 05, 2006 –  I spoke [ppt] about our Top 1000 list at the Reading 2.0 meeting where it was picked up and blogged by Tim O'Reilly. This gave it considerable exposure. See the spike in traffic centred on 3/17. It was picked up in several places, including in a short post on...read full entry...
  • An addressable knowledge-baseMarch 30, 2006 – There has been a lot of discussion about Wikipedia of late. Much of this has been about 'authority'. There is another major issue at play here as well, which is really quite interesting for libraries. Let me step back a moment to talk about the URL. The URL is the...read full entry...
  • ServicesMarch 22, 2006 – In the interests of expanding our vocabulary to cover new aspects of the current environment, here is yet another helpful suggestion ;-) In the Web 2.0 world of lightweight service composition, we want to make functionality available through web services interfaces so that it can be readily recombined with other...read full entry...
  • Lightweight service compositionFebruary 16, 2006 – Science Library Pad helpfully pulls together and comments on several pieces by Jon Udell on the orchestration of lightweight services in the browser. Lightweight service composition is Udell's phrase for the growing ability to easily combine functionality from different machine interfaces within natural user workflows. He is looking at working...read full entry...
  • Smart aggregationFebruary 01, 2006 – A while ago I was thinking about the development of bibliographic record exchange in terms of the following progression: standardization, commoditization, aggregation, syndication. Standardization is necessary for commoditization and aggregation. Syndication involves creating service over the aggregated resource. And this progression seems to apply to other activities as well. I...read full entry...
  • Self-aggrandRSSmentJanuary 15, 2006 – Geoff Harder has made a very nice presentation about RSS available [pdf]. He refers to NADD (Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder) and RII (Repetitive Information Injury) ;-) The slides are well done: it is a pity that they are only available in PDF. RSS is everywhere, and is consumed both by...read full entry...
  • The loss of innocence and Web 3.0December 27, 2005 – I spent a little while looking at the Norad and Google Earth Santa tracking features with my seven year old son on Christmas Eve. To my suprise his main question to each in turn was "How does this site make money". I did not know whether I should laugh or...read full entry...
  • Structured blogging and coinsDecember 20, 2005 – When I saw the discussion about structured blogging I thought of Coins among other things. And, hey, now I read this....read full entry...
  • QOTDDecember 18, 2005 – I have just reread Paul Graham's piece on Web 2.0 which has some nice things in it, including:But there is a common thread. Web 2.0 means using the web the way it's meant to be used. The "trends" we're seeing now are simply the inherent nature of the web emerging...read full entry...
  • Repository frameworksDecember 16, 2005 – Herbert Van de Sompel and colleagues at LANL have been writing about the aDORe architecture for a while (see [pdf] for example). They have now released software to implement an aDORe archive.The aDORe Archive is a write-once/read-many storage approach for Digital Objects and their constituent datastreams. The approach combines two...read full entry...
  • IdentifiersDecember 07, 2005 – A couple of things come together ... I was going to do a short post on the renaissance of interest in identifiers based on the approval by the IESG of the Info-URI, and on the growing awareness that we need to consistently identify the entities in our environment (institutions for...read full entry...
  • Link-addressible artifactsDecember 07, 2005 – I mentioned the other day that a part of the value of Flickr was that it made images citable, or, in the term suggested by Jon Udell in a nice post about media, 'link-addressible'. Jon's last sentence below (my emphasis) is a nice statement of the importance of 'citability'.In my...read full entry...
  • Flickr valueDecember 01, 2005 – I sometimes find it helpful to state the obvious .... One of the major values of Flickr is that it is a low-entry mechanism for making photos 'citable'. You can give them a URI, a handle, that can be copied and exchanged, and which makes it that much easier for...read full entry...
  • Where is the web?November 21, 2005 – Some commentary on how the experience of the web will move from one where destinations dominate to one where lightweight client-side approaches shape presentation and consumption. This is a world where links matter more: services built on URLs, maybe Coins, .... From Darwinian Web:The explosion I am talking about is...read full entry...
  • Do you mesh here often?November 21, 2005 – Every now and again you read something that shifts your thinking a little. This happened to me just now when I read the following from Ray Ozzie, CTO at Microsoft:As an industry, we have simply not designed our calendaring and directory software and services for this "mesh" model. The websites,...read full entry...
  • Programmable webNovember 07, 2005 – Programmable Web is a:web-as-platform reference site and blog delivering news, information and resources for developing applications using the Web 2.0 APIs. [ProgrammableWeb: About]It includes a list of APIs, a list of mashups, and other stuff. The list of APIs includes the Library of Congress SRW interface, described as 'information database...read full entry...
  • Building on other platformsNovember 04, 2005 – I have wondered elsewhere in these pages what issues would one face if one tried to build out library services on top only of general web-based tools (bookmarklets, extensions, toolbars, ...) and services (Flickr, Del.icio.us, Google, ...). I proposed it as an interesting thought experiment, in light of the need...read full entry...
  • Nature technologyOctober 25, 2005 – There is an interesting presentation [ppt] by Timo Hannay of Nature Publishing Group on the UC Berkeley Database Group Seminar pages. This shows how a major publisher is thinking about what it means to be a service in a network environment. It discusses how they are looking at structure and...read full entry...
  • Authentication and authorizationOctober 09, 2005 – The Task Group on access management from the NISO Metasearch Intiative - chaired by my colleague Mike Teets - has made a very useful report [pdf] available. This provides a framework within which to examine existing authentication and authorization methods, and describes those methods. It encapsulates nicely current understanding of...read full entry...
  • Making data work - Web 2.0 and catalogsOctober 04, 2005 – Tim O'Reilly has just made available a suggestive piece about Web 2.0, which provides many points for the library community to ponder. One of these comes back to a concern I raise regularly in these pages: making data work harder. He is discussing the use of data, and notes how...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0 againOctober 02, 2005 – Here are some Web 2.0 definitions. In common seem to be the idea of a platform or platforms which mobilize collective co-creation capacity, and support on-demand availability of recombinable data and services. Tim O'Reilly: Web 2.0: Compact Definition?">Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0...read full entry...
  • Changing expectationsSeptember 28, 2005 – Four years in the US, and the lease was up on our car. Now that we have a credit history, and the junk mail to prove it, replacing it proved easier than first time round. This afternoon, I played my first CD in the car. Appropriately for the times, it...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0September 26, 2005 –  Tim O'Reilly presents a Web 2.0 'MemeMap', the result of some brainstorming at a recent event. This places some familiar concepts (services, not packaged software; remixable data source and data transformations; data as the 'Intel inside') in useful frame. My eye was drawn to 'harnessing collective intelligence', as it...read full entry...
  • Business week web - socializing, sharing -- and creatingSeptember 19, 2005 – Noted in several places, Business Week talks about what the web has become:The Web is no longer for idle wanderings or passive viewing. It's about socializing, sharing--and creating [BusinessWeek Magazine: Best of the Web Special Report and Survey Results]There are articles on various aspects of changing web experiences and technologies....read full entry...
  • Browser integration of searchSeptember 17, 2005 – Interesting post on the Amazon Web Services Blog:Microsoft's IE blog is reporting on the behind the scenes efforts which lead up to the recent announcement that IE7 will support A9.com's OpenSearch interface. You can read even more about this on the A9 blog. [Amazon Web Services Blog: Behind the Scenes...read full entry...
  • From web page to web platformAugust 25, 2005 – A brief Cnet article broadly reviews some current developments as companies develop more platform services: making data and services available through programmatic interfaces so that they can be recombined within other applications. eBay, for example, already gets more than 20 percent of its listings via programs created by outsiders to...read full entry...
  • Desktops againAugust 22, 2005 – I write about intrastructure below, to refer to emerging ways of tying together data and applications in simple ways. RSS is an example, and we have seen a growth in the use of FireFox extensions, toolbars, and so on. I wrote:There is a danger that the desktop will become too...read full entry...
  • RecombinanceAugust 16, 2005 – Dan Farber writes:Martin refers to what I'm calling the recombinant Web (I'm probably not the first to utter the phrase) as Web mash-ups in his story. It's not exactly the same as the music-related definition of mashing together a few pre-existing songs into something new, but it has the same...read full entry...
  • RSS, Mozilla and mortalsAugust 11, 2005 – Dan Farber interviews Chris Hoffman, Director of Engineering at the Mozilla Foundation. The headline says that Mozilla wants to make RSS usable by 'mere mortals'.He said that he doesn't have plans for blogging or wiki projects, but that the Mozilla Foundation is looking at developing a next generation of communications...read full entry...
  • Search interfacesJuly 27, 2005 – Another paper from Dan Rehak. A useful comparison of machine interfaces for search. There are several available interface specifications, protocols and APIs for repository search and information retrieval. This document compares key characteristics of these to inform selection or profiling of one or more of these specifications for use within...read full entry...
  • Libraries, maps and platformsJune 27, 2005 – Thom previews Mike Teets' library mapping demo on the evolving Product works page. This page will be enhanced in coming weeks to showcase various of the ongoing initiatives which will find their way into OCLC services. Google Maps seems to have sparked a growing interest in location-based services, partly because...read full entry...
  • Subscribe is the new searchJune 27, 2005 – Well maybe a bit of an exxaggeration ... ... but it is interesting reading the Microsoft discussion about how subscribe has joined browse and search as modes of interaction. This seems to be resonating, for reasons which will be clear to anybody who has set up watchlists in Technorati or...read full entry...
  • The participation ageJune 20, 2005 – One of the interesting things about the major current web platforms - eBay, Amazon, Google, Yahoo! - is that they involve, in different ways, some element of co-creation by their users. We are also seeing an explosion in tools and services for social networking, information sharing and disclosure, and commentary....read full entry...
  • Greasemonkey, Silkworm and xISBNJune 19, 2005 – xISBN is another web service we provide. It takes an ISBN of an item as input and returns ISBNs for other items in the same work-set. So, it is a way of finding ISBNs for multiple editions, translations or other versions of the same work. It has proven to be...read full entry...
  • Of portals and portletsJune 09, 2005 – General purpose portal frameworks are becoming widely deployed. uPortal and Oracle Portal are examples. This is turn has driven interest in portlets, and in the portlet technologies WSRP and JSR 168. A portlet is a 'pluggable' user interface to a remote service. Portlets are a means by which several 'channels'...read full entry...
  • BackstageMay 11, 2005 – Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!: they are all massive data presences on the web. In various ways, they open up access to that data through RSS and Web Services so that others can build out on top of their data, recombining it in new services. Now the BBC has taken a...read full entry...
  • Remixing and RSSMay 09, 2005 – I talk about remixing and RSS below. And along comes a nice example from Yahoo! and Apple. Powered by an RSS feed, Jeremy Zawodny's comment is "remix away"!Dashboard is a framework for building lightweight "widgets" which pull in data from a variety of sources and display them in interesting ways...read full entry...
  • Recombinance all the way up ... remixing all the way downMay 06, 2005 – I have been using recombinance quite a lot in the last year or two to talk about how network flow affects structures. You can tell that I am generationally challenged: I should be saying remixing, which is cropping up in places in the same sense. This is happening to structures...read full entry...
  • Just how simple?May 05, 2005 – So, thinking about some recent posts .... In the Bosworth presentation [ppt] mentioned below, the following desirable attributes of a 'web of data' are proposed: simple, standard, sloppy, and scalable. This is based on his view of what has made the web successful. Constrain choices and keep it simple. As...read full entry...
  • RSS againMay 03, 2005 – Peter Scott sent me a note about his useful RSS Compendium. Looks as if Peter will be active in his 'retirement' ;-)...read full entry...
  • RSS: really something significantMay 03, 2005 – RSS has captured the headlines ;-) There have been a couple of major ripples in recent months:A9 introduced OpenSearch, a method for exchanging searches and results between applications. RSS is the format used for results. Adam Bosworth, the influential developer currently working in a senior role at Google, delivered a...read full entry...
  • SOA Reference ModelApril 21, 2005 – This may be of interest in the context of general discussion of Service Oriented Architectures:In February 2005 OASIS formed the SOA-RM TC (Service Oriented Architecture Reference Model Technical Committee) and assigned it the responsibility of developing an SOA Reference Model. The reference model will not be tied to any particular...read full entry...
  • Systems in the network worldApril 06, 2005 – The last year has really made it clear that library systems sit in a broader network environment. The emerging integration challenge is integration with the systems environment of the user. This makes it more important to think about the broader network systems environment. As I look at that broader environment,...read full entry...
  • DecisioneersMarch 13, 2005 – A post on Loosely Coupled offers a model of web services layers from 'routers' (the messaging layer where we tend to focus at the moment) to 'decisioneers' where business requirements are fed into the architecture. Attention is starting to shift from the lower levels of SOA -- where people argue...read full entry...
  • The world is the web to the end of itJanuary 23, 2005 – Adam Rifkin's long Weblications post is a richly suggestive rumination on where we are and where we are going network service wise. At one stage he maps the trajectory of Adam Bosworth's career as exemplary of a more general direction:I believe Adam's journey represents the evolution of the software industry...read full entry...
  • Amazon web servicesDecember 26, 2004 – A growing number of businesses are building out on top of the Amazon platform. A couple of interesting discussions of this trend are noted here, one which draws comparisons to Google, the other with eBay. An article in MIT Technology Review:While companies such as Google and Microsoft are also experimenting...read full entry...
  • Services on the networkDecember 22, 2004 – Several posts ago, I suggested that on the network everything is a service. I have said this at a couple of meetings recently, and registered some blank expressions. A part of this is that the specialised sense of service (an interface to functionality on the network) is not the first...read full entry...
  • Service registry and UDDINovember 13, 2004 – The latest edition of the Collection Description Focus Newsletter has an update on the JISC IE Service Registry. The IESR is currently accessible on the web at http://iesr.ac.uk/registry/ and through Z39.50 (details at http://iesr.ac.uk/registry/docs/iesrZ3950.html). An OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) repository of IESR records is currently under...read full entry...
  • Unplug and playNovember 06, 2004 – I find unplug and play a useful phrase in talking about service-oriented development directions. My use of it derives from Phil Wainewright's Loosely Coupled site:The progression is that web services are providing the infrastructure for service-oriented architecture, which enables enterprises to begin to assemble new composite applications by joining together...read full entry...
  • Outsourcing and web servicesOctober 17, 2004 – An entry on the Zapthink website discusses the relationship between outsourcing and service oriented architecture (SOA). The combination of the SOA and outsourcing trends reflects the maturation of the IT industry. Before the industrial age, companies built products and tools on a one-off, customized basis, but with the emergence of...read full entry...
  • Web futuresOctober 10, 2004 – BBC report on The Web 2.0 Conference has some interesting snippets. Experts at the event said the next generation of the web will come out of the creative and programming communities starting to tinker with the vast pool of data the net has become. Speaking about what this future will...read full entry...
  • Charging for web services?October 10, 2004 – Loosely Coupled discusses whether Amazon will be able to successfully charge for web services as they announce the launch of a for-pay web services platform. Will it be possible to extend the micro-payments model for content to services?No one has yet established a successful model of charging for on-demand services....read full entry...
  • Amazon and e-bay: programmable websitesOctober 02, 2004 – I had not seen the phrase 'programmable websites' before coming across this article. Amazon and eBay Inc. have cemented themselves as hubs of commerce when it comes to consumer online shopping. Now they're emerging as hubs of software-development activity, where openness breeds innovation and innovation generates sales. "We think Web...read full entry...
  • Overview of web servicesSeptember 25, 2004 – A full overview of web services specifications. This white paper provides an introduction to the Web services architecture. It describes the design principles underlying the architecture and foundational technologies for Web services. Features are described and linked to the specifications that formally define them. This paper also serves as a...read full entry...
  • More on RSSAugust 26, 2004 – Wired magazine on the growth and diversifying appeal of RSS. "RSS is at the edge of a huge acceleration in adoption," he said. "The early users have been bloggers, which have clearly exploded geometrically.... The next adopters are online content publishers. Corporations are starting to use the technology. This is...read full entry...
  • Reading RSSAugust 24, 2004 – Steve Gillmor makes an interesting observation about the uptake of RSS. I wonder what proportion of readers of popular blogs consume them via RSS and how many actually visit the website. This phenomenon coupled with the emergence of the search engine as the user's preferred entry point further distances people...read full entry...
  • Google as a platform againAugust 24, 2004 – Steve Gillmor extends the notion of Google as a platform. Some extracts:One way to handicap Google is to deconstruct the notion that Google's intellectual property is bound solely to search. In fact, it's bound to the emerging platform known as software-as-a-service. Fellow IPO salesforce.com offers a hosted software service, which...read full entry...
  • Portal landscapeAugust 09, 2004 – PEPC 2004: The Conference provides a good snapshot of institutional portal developments. Increasingly, the library and other service organizations have to relate to a wider integration agenda as universities and other organizations aim to build congenial network environments for students and faculty. The library sits alongside access to student records,...read full entry...
  • Adam Bosworth on keeping it simpleAugust 08, 2004 – Adam Bosworth discusses how the user focus changes in moving from BEA to Google, and how this influences thinking about how to build services. it is interesting to me how this focus around simplicity in the services world could carry through even to the plumbing people use. For example take...read full entry...
  • The phone as centreAugust 02, 2004 – Jonathan Schwartz, COO and president of Sun, has become very visible as a blogger. Here he is on technology (on ITConversations). It reminds me of the comment attributed to Alan Kay that technology is what has happened since you were born.And right, my point, there's money there and as evidence...read full entry...
  • Middleware dark matterJuly 28, 2004 – Steve Vinoski of Iona says ... As I noted nearly two years ago in this column, many distributed integration applications, including much of the software running the Web, are based on "middleware dark matter,"[2] which consists of dynamic languages like Python, Perl, and PHP. Not only is this phenomenon still...read full entry...
  • Network application platformsJuly 25, 2004 – One of the most interesting developments of the last year or so has been the emergence of Amazon, Google, eBay and others as application platforms, computational and communication hubs around which partners can develop business opportunities. eBay made some announcements at its Developers' Conference in June. "By allowing and encouraging...read full entry...
  • Spolsky on MicrosoftJune 18, 2004 – Spolsky on Microsoft has been noticed in several places:However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income...read full entry...
  • eBay platformMay 27, 2004 – Google, Amazon and eBay are increasingly becoming large scale computational platforms available to other applications through web services. See recent announement from eBay. At this week's Microsoft Conference, eBay and Borland Software Corporation (Nasdaq: NM: BORL) announced a new relationship that will provide Borland developers with access to tools and...read full entry...
  • Who owns the dataMay 09, 2004 – An interesting set of blog entries discuss the centralised massive presence of Google in the loosely coupled web world. Is control of computing power or data more important? Not quite either, says Phil Wainewright: Once this happens, it'll matter less and less where the computing physically takes place, since computation...read full entry...
  • Suber on OAI and ORMay 03, 2004 – Some nice remarks by Peter Suber in his latest SOAN:As I read the news, both halves of this prediction are coming true. On the one hand, mainstream, non-academic search engines are looking for ways to index scholarly content. Starting with OAI-compliant archives and CrossRef-compliant publications is a natural, both because...read full entry...
  • OAI and ApacheApril 21, 2004 – The aim of the project is to create the mod_oai Apache software module that will expose content accessible from Apache Web servers via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The mod_oai project is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. [mod_oai]...read full entry...
  • Amazon web services revenueApril 09, 2004 – An article on the use of web services in enterprise integration has the following interesting snippet about Amazon:An example of the business value of Web services is Amazon.com. Amazon.com is using Web services to make its system capabilities available to others who in turn use Amazon to sell products to...read full entry...
  • Loosely coupled on Amazon and RSSMarch 07, 2004 – The Amazon RSS feed has been noted widely. Here is the Loosely Coupled story:The other thing that's interesting is that this is the first mainstream example of a retailer using RSS to disseminate its product catalog. Every item in those feeds carries a price, with a direct link to a...read full entry...
  • Info URIJanuary 19, 2004 – Cliff Lynch noted the Info URI press release with these words:While I don't usually repost press releases to this list, I wanted to share the news on this, in part because it represents an important new step in collaboration ACROSS standards organizations, and in part because I think the work...read full entry...
  • Amazon web servicesDecember 23, 2003 – Interesting report on Amazon web services. Some points: they make REST and SOAP interfaces available. REST is much the more popular (85% of calls). a major driver was the need to provide better data access to partners. Existing apporaches were "expensive and brittle". key was the idea of having a...read full entry...
  • Shibboleth and library portalsDecember 18, 2003 – Shibboleth is a federated system of authentication and authorization that can address many of these issues. When institutions and vendors join together in a Shibboleth federation, the library gateway no longer needs to mediate the authentication interaction between library users and resources, and it can use attributes available through Shibboleth...read full entry...
  • Web services and DialogDecember 05, 2003 – "The information industry is changing, and we are at the forefront of the transformation," said Roy M. Martin, Jr., Dialog president and CEO. "Today, the imperative is to offer the tools necessary to integrate information into in-house networks and professional and consumer services on the open Web. We must reach...read full entry...
  • Another CIPNovember 19, 2003 – Several colleagues met with Norbert Lossau of Bielefeld University this morning. Norbert is on a tour of US universities and Jay arranged for him to visit OCLC. Bielefeld is working with FAST -- the text search company -- to create library gateway services. One of the interesting things they are...read full entry...
  • Unplug and playNovember 11, 2003 – I think this is a very nice phrase to describe some of what is happening as we look at service oriented approaches.Implementing an SOA leads to agile application assembly, which is a new approach to application development, maintenance and integration that I like to call 'Unplug and play': "... achieved...read full entry...
  • Trip Report - DLF Steering Committee and NDIIPPOctober 30, 2003 – The October DLF Steering Committee meeting included a presentation from Laura Campbell (LC) and Clay Shirky (consultant) about NDIIPP. There was considerable focus on the technical architecture being developed. They were not able to talk about the current solicitation (they can only answer questions submitted in writing). Final decisions about...read full entry...
  • ZDnet on federated identityOctober 30, 2003 – Article by Dan Farber overviewing some recent developments in federated identity management. Interestingly, he does not mention Shibboleth. The most interesting and promising development I encountered at Digital ID World was Ping Identity. The 12-person company, led by CEO Andre Durand, offers SourceID an open source platform for deploying federated...read full entry...
  • Amazon inside MicrosoftOctober 23, 2003 –  By integrating Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com Research Services for Microsoft Office System will provide Microsoft Office System users with convenient and seamless access to Amazon.com from within Microsoft productivity applications via the Research Task Pane. Users will be able to access Amazon.com information and make purchases without launching a...read full entry...
  • Recombinant libraries and special collections in ShelfLifeOctober 21, 2003 – The October 16 issue of ShelfLife refers to my forthcoming article on portals (now on the website):This article explores the design and use of portals in a library environment. It discusses the motivations for building portals, it discusses portal architectures and typology, and it examines the user environment in which...read full entry...
  • Common servicesOctober 20, 2003 – JISC has issued a call for proposals for studies in digital rights management, authorization, institutional profiling and other services. This is in line with growing interest in "common services" or what JISC calls shared services. The JISC Shared Services Programme: To enable portals and other presentation services to make sense...read full entry...
  • Explaining web services to your CEOOctober 20, 2003 – Web services are self-contained business functions that operate over the Internet. They are written to strict specifications to work together and with other similar kinds of components. Some of the more established functions at this stage are messaging, directories of business capabilities, and descriptions of technical services. But other functions...read full entry...