(Hopefully) coming soon — HIPpie

In the last couple of months, I’ve had several email exchanges with Dynix & Horizon libraries who were interested in using some of the “2.0” features that I’ve added to our OPAC at Huddersfield, but the technical challenges (setting up an extra web server, MySQL database, etc) would have been too much.

I’ve been thinking for a while that some of the features could be done if someone else (e.g. me) were to handle the techie stuff. All the library would need to do would be to add a few lines of JavaScript to the relevant XSL stylesheets…

hippie

HIPpie was the best name that I could think of in the bath last night, and (unless the SirsiDynix lawyers come down on me like a tonne of bricks) it stands for HIP patron interface enhancements (HIP being the product name of the Dynix and Horizon OPAC).

It’s still mostly vapourware (i.e. I haven’t finished writing the code yet), but if you’re running HIP version 2 or version 3 and you fancy adding any of the following to your OPAC, then please get in touch (email d.c.pattern [at] hud.ac.uk):

  • RSS feeds for keyword searches
  • “did you mean” spelling suggestions
  • email alerts for keyword searches
  • user reviews
  • user ratings

I’ve deliberately picked features that I don’t think are being offered via other channels (e.g. LibraryThing for Libraries or Jim Taylor).

Unfortunately HIP version 4 was never released in the UK, so I’m not sure how easy it would be to add the features to that version, but if there’s someone out there who’s familiar with the stylesheets and is willing to experiment…?

HIP is the only OPAC I’m intimately familiar with, but if other people can figure out ways of making the features work with other products, then that’d be cool.

HIPpie will be offered for free and will hopefully stay that way, unless it becomes incredibly popular.

Like I say, it ain’t ready yet, but please get in touch if you’re interested in testing it once it’s ready!

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12 comments
  1. As someone who has watched the enhancements you have created on your HIP at the University of Huddersfield … with envy & with only 10 hours tech support a week in a single large-site secondary college … this would be so appreciated. Let’s hope it can happen.

  2. Ian said:

    As ever, count me in!

  3. CH said:

    You are writing: “HIP is the only OPAC I’m intimately familiar with, but if other people can figure out ways of making the features work with other products, then that’d be cool.”

    Do you plan to make a fact sheet or something else with the most important technical data that would be needed to implement your HIPpie in other OPAC systems?

    BTW: Great work!

  4. Definitely!

    A couple of the features (RSS and email alerts) might not be transferable, as they make use of the fact that HIP 2 & HIP 3 can output XML.

    User ratings and comments should work with any system, as long as there is something which uniquely identifies each bibliographic record in the OPAC (e.g. a bib number).

    The “did you mean” suggestions could also be set up as a web service — i.e. you fire off a word and it responds with an XML file of suggestions.

  5. Sara said:

    Thank you so much for this Dave. As you know, Moonee Valley library is very interested and are very grateful to you for opening up these possibilities for our catalogue.

  6. Tim said:

    Great news Dave. Sometimes I still wish I had a library system of my own to play with!

  7. We’re a consortium of academic libraries in Michigan, USA, and would be very interested, too!

  8. Tom said:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m a long-time reader but a first time poster 🙂 of your awesome blog. We’d love to help test this at Wyndham!

  9. Richard said:

    Dave,

    I tried to email you but your inbox was full. I was wondering if you know of any libraries that have made use of Web 2.0 in their OPACs and what packages are availabe for them. I am aware of Encore and Polaris but as far as I am aware they are still in development.

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