ITAL Volume 21, Number 1, March 2002

Special Issue: Open Source Software

JEREMY FRUMKIN, Guest Editor

Table of Contents

Guest Editorial

Balancing the Playing Field
JEREMY FRUMKIN

Feature Articles

Open Source Software: A History
DAVID BRETTHAUER

Possibilities for Open Source Software in Libraries
ERIC LEASE MORGAN

The Open Source ILS: Still Only a Distant Possibility
MARSHALL BREEDING

MARC It Your Way: MARC.pm
ANNE HIGHSMITH, MARK JORDAN, EILEEN LLONA, PETER E. MURRAY, AND EDWARD SUMMERS

The EOR Toolkit: An Open Source Solution for RDF Metadata
HARRY R. WAGNER

Open Source, Open Standards
KAREN COYLE

Software Reviews

Software Reviews

Index to Advertisers

Axonix

infoUSA

Library Technologies

OCLC

Pacific Data Conversion

University of Washington


Guest Editorial

   Guest Editorial: Balancing the Playing Field (p. 2)
JEREMY FRUMKIN

Editor's Note: Full text available.

Jeremy Frumkin ( frumkinj@u.library.arizona.edu) is the Meta-data Systems Librarian for the University of Arizona Library's Digital Library Initiatives Group, Tucson.


Feature Articles

   Open Source Software: A History (pp. 3-11)
DAVID BRETTHAUER

In the thirty years from 1970 to 2000, open source software (OSS) began as an assumption without a name or a clear alternative. It has evolved into a sophisticated movement that has produced some of the most stable and widely used software packages ever produced. This paper traces the evolution of three operating systems: GNU, Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), and Linux, as well as the communities that have evolved with these systems and some of the commonly used software packages developed using the open source model. It also discusses some of the major figures in OSS, and defines both free and open source software.

Editor's Note: Full text available.

David Bretthauer ( dave.bretthauer@uconn.edu) is the Network Services Librarian, University of Connecticut, Storrs.



   Possibilities for Open Source Software in Libraries (pp.12-15)
ERIC LEASE MORGAN

This short essay, based on a presentation given at the 2001 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, enumerates a number of possibilities for open source software (OSS) in libraries and how it can be leveraged to provide better and more effective digital library collections and services.

Editor's Note: Full text available.

Eric Lease Morgan ( emorgan@nd.edu) is Head of the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department at the University Libraries of Notre Dame, Indiana.


   The Open Source ILS: Still Only a Distant Possibility (pp.16-18)
MARSHALL BREEDING

Marshall Breeding ( breeding@library.vanderbilt.edu) is Library Technology Officer for the Heard Library at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.


   MARC It Your Way: MARC.pm (pp.19-26)
ANNE HIGHSMITH, MARK JORDAN, EILEEN LLONA, PETER E. MURRAY, AND EDWARD SUMMERS

MARC.pm ( http://marcpm.sourceforge.net) is a piece of open source software (OSS) developed by librarians for librarians. In this article you will find a description of what exactly MARC.pm is, followed by a series of descriptive pieces written by librarians in the field who have used MARC.pm. Some of these descriptions contain program code, which may baffle those who are not already familiar with the Perl programming language, while other pieces explore some of the intricacies of the Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) format that may be new to noncatalogers. If at any time you feel overwhelmed know that you are in good company, and keep in mind that the aim of this article is simply to show how a piece of OSS is being used in different library environments.

Anne L. Highsmith ( AHIGHSMI@lib-gw.tamu.edu) is Consortia Systems Coordinator at Texas A&M General Libraries, College Station. Mark Jordan ( mjordan@sfu.ca) is Librarian/Analyst at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada. Eileen Llona ( ellona@u.washington.edu) is International Studies Computer Services Librarian at the University of Washington, Seattle. Peter E. Murray ( pmurray@law.uconn.edu) is Computer Services Librarian at the University of Connecticut Law School, Hartford. Edward Summers ( ed@cheetahmail.com) is a Software Engineer with CheetahMail, New York.


   The EOR Toolkit: An Open Source Solution for RDF Metadata (pp. 27-32)
HARRY R. WAGNER

Despite its unprecedented growth in popularity, the Web has failed to live up to expectations regarding its usefulness as a research tool. Technology has not kept pace with the growing number of Web sites. Libraries, the recognized experts in research and information management, have been unable to take an active lead in solving this problem. A solution is proposed, using the Resource Description Framework (RDF), an evolving metadata standard, in a collaborative open source environment that will enable libraries to take a more active role in the development of applications and services focused on improving the discovery and management of electronic resources.

Harry Wagner ( wagnerh@oclc.org) is a Senior Consulting Systems Analyst with the OCLC Office of Research and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, Dublin, Ohio.


   Open Source, Open Standards (pp. 33-37)
KAREN COYLE

When people speak of open source software they are referring to computer code - programs that run. But code is only the final step in the information technology process. Prior to writing code the information technology professional must do analysis to determine the nature of the problem to be solved and the best way to solve it. When software projects fail, the failure is more often than not attributable to shortcomings in the planning and analysis phase rather than in the coding itself. Open source software provides some particular challenges for planning since the code itself will be worked on by different programmers and will evolve over time. The success of an open source project will clearly depend on the clarity of the shared vision of the goals of the software and some strong definitions of basic functions and how they will work. This all-important work of defining often takes place through standards and the development of standards that everyone can use has become a movement in itself: open standards.

Editor's note: Full text available.

Karen Coyle ( www.kcoyle.net) is a Systems Developer at the California Digital Library, Oakland.



Software Reviews (pp. 38-39)

ProCite 5.0 & Reference Manager 9.5

   Editor's note: Full text available.