[CODE4LIB] A/B Testing Catalogs and Such

2011-01-26 Thread Sean Moore
There's a lot of resistance in my institution to A/B or multivariate testing
any of our live production properties (catalog, website, etc...).  I've
espoused the virtues of having hard data to back up user activity (if I hear
one more well, in my opinion, I'll just go blind), but the reply is always
along the lines of, But it will confuse users!  I've pointed out the
myriad successful and critical business that use these methodologies, but
was told that businesses and academia are different.

So, my question to you is, which of you academic libraries are using A/B
testing; on what potion of your web properties (catalog, discovery
interface, website, etc...); and I suppose to spark conversation, which
testing suite are you using (Google Website Optimizer, Visual Website
Optimizer, a home-rolled non-hosted solution)?

I was told if I can prove it's a commonly accepted practice, I can move
forward.  So help a guy out, and save me from having to read another survey
of 12 undergrads that is proof positive of changes I need to make.


*Sean Moore*
Web Application Programmer
*Phone*: (504) 314-7784
*Email*:  cmoo...@tulane.edu

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library http://library.tulane.edu, Tulane

Re: [CODE4LIB] ILS short list

2010-04-08 Thread Sean Moore
Voyager, as of 7.0, does now have Bib and item level data through api


On Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 1:32 PM, Ryan Eby ryan...@gmail.com wrote:

 It would probably be worth putting your findings on the code4lib wiki
 if you end up getting very far.

 I had started a list awhile ago but never got around to getting more
 info/completing it. Here's what I have so far based on talking with
 people. The information may be out of date:

 Evergreen and Koha both have database access and various API's. Not
 sure on the hosted liblime koha.

 Built in. Can export Marc with bib, holdings and authorities records,
 though marc is often mangled (from person i talked to).
 *Database Access
 Built in. Uses Oracle and also provides entity-relationship diagrams
 and some pre-build views to help in development. Believe the oracle
 license is also included in the base price. Access is read-only.
 *API's and Web Services
 Built in. z39 access, however with SQL access you could likely build
 the API you need.

 * Export
 Built in. MARC21 or flat file formats. Unicode support is available as an
 * Database Access
 Mixed. No access to the embedded Informix database by default; API
 training is necessary for read-only access. Oracle is an extra option,
 but that only gives you a read-only license. For write access, you
 need a full Oracle license. SQL schema is supplied if you purchase API
 * API's and Web Services
 Mixed. Z39.50 is offered (not sure if it's an extra). API access is
 an extra - basically you pay for docs of Unix-like commands and the
 ability to pay for API support if you screw up. API training also
 gives you some access to the client/server wire protocol so you can
 roll your own. No Web services. Utterly unusable XML API (it basically
 wraps the wire protocol with no abstraction).

 * Export
 Built In. Can dump Marc or CSV files of specific field data
 * Database Access
 Extra. There is a Oracle option with an additional cost with the
 default being a proprietary database without access. From what I've
 heard the Oracle tables are not documented overly well. There also
 appears to be mysql used for some data as well.
 *API's and Web Services
 Extra. Z39 is offered as a product. There used to be an XML server but
 this appears to have been discontinued. There appears to be more web
 services in the works though they also appear to be additional
 products. XRecord is built in but doesn't easily allow access to
 attached items given a bib


  Anna Headley wrote:
  I am looking to find or create a shortlist of ILSes, open or
  that provide API access to bibliographic and item-level data.  I am
  only looking for ILSes that are used by academic libraries.
  Do you know of any resources that might be helpful?  I started with
  Marshall Breeding's 2009 Perceptions report, but it doesn't include much
  information about a given ILS.
  Or, do you use such an ILS in your library?
  So far my list is: Evergreen
  Thank you!!

Re: [CODE4LIB] PHP bashing (was: newbie)

2010-03-25 Thread Sean Moore
I remember watching a show once where they tested various tapes for
suitability of duct patching. Duct tape actually came in quite low on the

To provide lab data about which sealants and tapes last, and which are
likely to fail, research was conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Their major
conclusion was that one should not use duct tape to seal ducts (specialty
tapes are available for this purpose). (They defined duct tape as any
fabric-based tape with rubber adhesive.) The testing done shows that under
challenging but realistic conditions, duct tapes become brittle and may
fail.[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duct_tape#cite_note-5Commonly duct
tape carries no safety certifications such as
 or Proposition
which means the tape can violently burn, produce toxic smoke, ingestion and
contact toxicity, irregular mechanical strength, and low life expectancy for
the adhesive on the tape. Its use in ducts has been prohibited by the state
of California 
by building codes in most other places in the
U.S.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States However,
metalized and aluminum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum tapes used by
professionals are still often called duck/duct tapes.

- Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duct_tape#Usage_on_ductwork

So ... there you go.  However, according to the Mythbusters, it is good for
building sail boats and cannons.


On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:55 AM, Bill Dueber b...@dueber.com wrote:

 Also...it's pretty good for plugging leaks in ducts.

 On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:51 AM, Nate Vack njv...@wisc.edu wrote:

  On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM, Joe Hourcle
  onei...@grace.nascom.nasa.gov wrote:
   You say that as if duct tape is a bad thing for auto repairs.  Not all
   tape repairs are candidates for There, I fixed it![1].  It works just
   for the occassional hose repair.
  At the risk of taking an off-topic conversation even further into
  Peanut Heaven, automotive hose repair is actually one of the things
  duct tape is least well-suited to. The adhesive doesn't bond when wet,
  it's not strong enough to hold much pressure or vacuum (especially
  moderate continuous pressure), and it fails very quickly at even
  moderately high temperatures. And it tends to leave goo all over
  everything, thus adding headaches to the proper repair you'll still
  need later.
  Duct tape is OK for keeping a wire bundle out of your fan or
  something, but if you try to fix a leak in your radiator hose with it,
  you'll still be stranded and also have gooey duct tape adhesive all
  over the place.
  Extending these points to the ongoing language debate is an exercise
  that will benefit no one ;-)
  Cheers (and just get that hose replaced ;-)

 Bill Dueber
 Library Systems Programmer
 University of Michigan Library