Thursday, July 5, 2007

New books RSS feeds

Many thanks to the Wyoming State Library for posting the URL format for Sirsi catalogs. Using this information, I was able to create RSS feeds via Feed43 for both new books and new movies. Since the feeds are captured from the HTML created by the catalog, I have to create links into the record using a keyword search pulled from the titles, so it isn't perfect, but it works 90% of the time.

Feed43 lets you customize which parts of the HTML you want in the RSS feed, and even gives you the ability to format and move these strings. Since the catalog is pretty "goopy," this functionality was essential. The other "easy-to-use, put-in-a-URL and we'll-create-the-feed" sites just didn't know how to deal with the chaos that is the catalog output.

Now to format the feed to put on the website...

Monday, May 14, 2007

C is for CMS

Content management systems. So many to choose from and everyone seems to have their favorite. (Or the one that they adopted and then fell in love with, making it difficult to find any real comparisons.) Many libraries seem to be using Drupal, but Plone and Joomla are often mentioned as well.

I've decided to start playing with Joomla (and if I say it enough, I may actually remember the name instead of calling it Oompa and getting that song in my head...) Not a completely random choice, as I tried Drupal first, encountered a blip installing it, and, while I was waiting for a reply from my web hosting service, came across this blog post comparing Drupal and Joomla. Joomla seems to have a more user-friendly administration interface.

I have a week between classes: plenty of time to devote to a little project that could end up saving us a lot of time during the busy season. Progress reports to follow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Making Meebo for ME!

Thanks to Greasemonkey and, I am now a proud owner of the Meebo Message Notification, by T Fast, which will blink the browser window running Meebo to alert you to an incoming message. This makes it more like IM, which is very good at visual alerting.

In preparation from starting chat reference on Meebo, I'm also looking into PhraseExpress, which will put commonly used phrases at your fingertips, like Word autotext, but usable from any program (including websites). It seems to be an icon in the system tray that you can use to select the phrase.

I'd like to use this to put a few chat-handy phrases such as, "I'm still working on your question, can you wait a little longer?" Silence is so loud in the chat world.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007