Archive for the ‘Systems’ Category
I was playing around with Yahoo Pipes today, and I decided to make a pipe that would let you search Google Books. It’s simple, but effective. With a little work, one could probably use it to embed a Google Book search in a website or Facepage. If you’re really creative, you can tweak one to embed in your OPAC. Enjoy. If you find any nifty uses for it, let me know in a comment. I would be interested to hear about it.
Well, I successfully distanced myself from Assembla today and moved my stuff to Basecamp. I had two projects that I closed out. Neither used very much space. One used about 2MB, and the other used about 25. It was a brief headache for me. All of my workers were used to Assembla and will now have to get used to Basecamp. I will still have to find hosting for my SVN repo. In the end, though, it’s worth it to me. Basecamp costs more, but it has a solid reputation. You know what you’re getting from them up front. They don’t say one thing, then switch directions. They don’t lure you in with a really great offer, and then take that away when you are used to using them. Assembla does, and I would rather not give money to a company that makes such rash decisions without considering the consequences to users.
I’ve been using Assembla for some time, and it looks like that day has now come to an end. On Friday, Assembla announced that the feature that attracted me to it in the first place is now coming to an end. Assembla will no longer be offering free, private accounts to its users. One of the really nice benefits of Assembla was the ability to have free SVN repositories. I have two Assembla accounts, and I will probably close them both. While I realize that for them this decision may simply be a matter of cutting the dead weight, for me it eliminates them as a possible candidate as a vendor in the future because I believe that I cannot determine reliably whether or not they will make additional unfavorable changes while I am paying. I realize that their rates are fairly reasonable, but in a sense, I feel betrayed by the changes in their terms of service. They have offered a product for free. People have used the product and are somewhat dependent upon it. Now Assembla holds these users over a barrell for the sake of exacting a measly $2 a month. I really wish they would have simply grandfathered in those who currently have free, private accounts with them.
I am sympathetic to Andy’s pleas that he has a family to feed and people to pay. I can understand that. These are difficult financial times, and people need to make money. Still, the reason that I decided to use Assembla at work and personally was because it was free. I didn’t abuse the system. I didn’t fill up a subversion repository with tons of data. And I was fully committed to buying a commercial space from them if I ever got to the point where I needed one. That has changed, now. I do not feel like I can trust their bait-and-switch style of business plan, and if I can’t trust a company’s business plan, I don’t feel like I can trust them with my data.
I am posting this just in case anyone has a similar problem. Here’s the deal. I’ve been running DSpace for my institution, and I set up script that would backup my database using pg_dump on a cron job. It was extremely inconsistent, mainly during the AM hours.
My command looked like this
pg_dump -f /PATH_TO_STORAGE/dspace_`date +%Y%m%d%k%M%S`.sql dspace
After troubleshooting it, I noticed that if I ran the command during the morning hours, I got the following error:
pg_dump: too many command-line arguments (first is "dspace")
Try "pg_dump --help" for more information.
So, I started tweaking the command. Basically, for some reason, pg_dump does not like the %k part of the command. When I changed it to the following, it seemed to work fine:
pg_dump -f /PATH_TO_STORAGE/dspace_`date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S`.sql dspace
I finally got the Archivists’ Toolkit configured on a Linux machine for testing. I installed the Linux version of AT with Java VM built in. It was a hefty download, but it seems to work well so far.
I did notice one small peculiarity. When I tried to install using the
sh ./InstallArchivistsToolkit.bin command from a terminal, the install would break, and I would get an error that began with
awk: error while loading shared libraries: libdl.so.2.
I did a little bit of searching and came across this post. Apparently, when using SUSE (I am using OpenSUSE) and sometimes Fedora, one encounters problems because of a line in the binary file. To quote the above post,
The problem is, when you try to open and fix the .bin file in a text editor such as vi, it somehow mangles the code.
To fix the program, here’s what I did. First, I backed up my installer to make sure that I didn’t have to redownload. Then, I installed GHex, the Gnome Hex editor. If you’re using SUSE, you can install it with Yast. If you’re using Fedora, you can probably install it with Yum.
After you install GHex, start it. Click on File, then Open, and open the InstallArchivistsToolkit.bin install file. Left click on the right panel (ie. the one with characters that make sense.) Click on Edit, then replace. Type
export LD in the right panel of the find section and
#xport LD in the right panel of the replace section. Click on replace all. Cancel out of the replace dialog and save the file.
You should be able to run the file now. However, if you have to make this modification, you will also have to modify more of the Archivists’ Toolkit files in the exact same manner. I had to enter my Archivists_Toolkit directory and change both the Archivists_Toolkit and the AT_Initialize_Database files as well in order to get the program to run correctly. If in doubt about any part of the program, run that part from the command line, and watch for the results. If it fails because of this error, you will see
awk: error while loading shared libraries: libdl.so.2 when it fails. If you see that, you know you need to edit the file.
For those interested in finding out more about the Archon Project, the project’s website now has a listserv and better documentation.
I mentioned earlier that the Archivist’s Toolkit had been released. Tomorrow, the Archon Project is scheduled to release version 1.10 of Archon. I played with version 1. It was easy to install and a very powerful tool. The digital library function was particularly promising. I noticed a couple of bugs in version 1 while testing it, so I didn’t put it into production. I am fairly certain that these bugs will be remedied in this latest release, and I cannot wait until I get the time to install and test it. All the folks at UIUC who were involved in this project need to be congratulated for their vision and vigor because they brought such a project into being. What an interesting and exciting time it is to be an archivist!
A library in Ohio just migrated to KohaZoom, the open-source version Integrated Library System. This particular version of Koha appears to be developed by a vendor, LibLime. You can see The system in action here.
Notice anything about it? That’s right, folks. It looks just like Amazon, and it uses Amazon images. Bye, bye, usability problems. Hello instant street cred with patromers.
Needless to say, I want one.
Francisco Partners, the company that recently completed a purchase of Ex Libris, also purchased Endeavor Information Systems. More information about the merger can be found here.
I am eager to see what this will bring forth.
For those who have not seen the news, Ex Libris is changing hands. Francisco Partners is purchasing EL. Francisco Partners also owns these companies. I am not sure what, if anything, this will mean for the future of the company. It appears that EL is the only library services vendor that Francisco partners owns.