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Monthly Archives: April 2006

This is some code that I’ve been meaning to make available for public consumption for weeks, but we’ve been up to our necks with our RFID tender at Huddersfield recently.

The basic idea is to convert the XML output of HIP 2 and HIP 3 into a Perl data structure, which you can then use to repurpose your bib data and searches for other uses (e.g. to provide an OpenSearch interface).

The first chunk of code I’m making available provides a function (parseBib) that will convert the XML from a full bib page into a data structure.  Given the v0.01, you should treat this as alpha code at best!

http://www.daveyp.com/blog/stuff/xmlparser/bib.pl

The above Perl script also contains some code to fetch the XML (using LWP) and will also dump (using Data::Dumper) the resulting Perl data structure to an output text file (dump_output.txt).  I’ve also uploaded the code as a CGI file that you can run to display the Data::Dumper output – e.g.:

Building an object-oriented database system : the story of O2 /

Just to get you started, here’s some further info…

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A couple of weeks ago I added logging to five of our OPAC tweaks to see if they were being used, and also which is the most popular.  We’re not in a particularly busy period at the University, so I would expect usage to be higher during peak periods.  Also, I only logged clicks coming from our 46 dedicated catalogue PCs and I’ve excluded stats from the weekends.

So, here is the top five countdown (cue suitable “Top of the Pops” music — I’ll plump for Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love“):

Number 5 – Other Editions

On average, we got 6 clicks per weekday on the “other editions” links.

Number 4 – Keyword Suggestions

On average, we got 14 clicks per weekday on the “serendipity” suggestions.

Number 3 – Similar Subjects

On average, we got 36 clicks on the “items with similar subjects” suggestions.  Interestingly, the number of clicks has risen consistently throughout the 2 week period — we’ve not advertised any of these features, so people are using them when they stumble across them.

Number 2 – Also Borrowed

On average, we got 154 clicks on the “people who borrowed this, also borrowed” suggestions per day.  This ranged from a minimum of 105 to a maximum of 199 clicks on any single weekday.

Number 1 – Spelling Suggestions

On average, we got 222 clicks on the “did you mean?” spelling suggestions per day.  This ranged from a minimum of 155 to a maximum of 279 clicks on any single weekday.

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This is in response to an email Anne Barnard posted to the Horizon-L mailing list:

I have my global settings session timeout set to 5 minutes, and my search timeout set to 2 minutes. I’m starting to get complaints from remote users that they timeout to quickly. How long are other libraries making their settings? We’re a public library and people frequently walk away without logging out.

I didn’t see anyplace where this could be set for profiles rather than globally.

Assuming that your public OPACs have a specific range of IP addresses allocated to them (e.g. you’ve set them up on their own subnet), then it’s possible to tweak the expiretimer.xsl to only use the timeout for those machines:

expiretimer.xsl

…the bits you need to add are shown in red, and you’ll need to amend the IP address accordingly.

If you need to check for multiple IP addresses, then simply expand that if statement, e.g.:

if(ip.indexOf(" 10.2.8")>0 || ip.indexOf(" 10.2.9")>0)

…will only run the timeout for IP addresses starting with 10.2.8.* and 10.2.9.*

There’s probably quite a few ways of achieving the above, so please let me know if you’ve got a simpler method!

The usual notes apply:

  • this worked fine with HIP 3.04 UK, but may not work with any other release
  • make sure you back the file up before editing
  • try it on a test HIP installation first
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