University of Sydney
David J. Ritchie
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
* have read the paper?
* are Librarians?
* are Webmasters?
* are Library Administrators?
* are Managers of Organizations with >1 web server
About: Laboratory organization of web servers and Library organization of its web server
* Comparison/Contrast of approaches, styles, drivers of content for two servers very different in intent.
* Homework assignment: please read document
* Comments by e-mail or otherwise welcome
a large laboratory - 7,000 network nodes, >20 independently operated web servers
a small, special purpose library, 15,000 book volumes, 250 journals, high electronic literacy among its readers
An example of things to come?
Similarities with any island of web sites - E.g. Tasmania
"Yes Minister, It's on that Web thing," AW10-01
The Laboratory: many servers
The Library: just one (at present)
It's not the number of web servers that is important...
It's the number of independently operated web pages...
=> need for coordination
=> responsibility for content
* Command and Control
* Education and Empowerment
Organization's Overall Web Structure
concerned with command and control issues
who is responsible for content?
who can change content?
who can read what on server?
Library server - particularly a reference service server
concerned with education and empowerment of
readers and staff
how can we provide the best info to readers?
how can we respond quickly to reader needs?
how can we make it easy for those directly
helping readers change and adapt info?
* Precise mix is dependent on personality of org.
stockholder interests, lots of money
=> command and control
Government supported, pure research Sites
taxpayers, researchers, knowledge mission
=> a middle road
academic freedom, student role
=> education and empowerment
Important to bring this discussion to institutional consciousness
What have those in audience seen in this area?
Research & Development Approach = E&E
Research and Development Approach
Visibility of Web sometimes results in demands for fully engineered web server before any idea how to use.
Must provide opportunity for E&E, R&D, or whatever in order to develop vision for solutions.
Opportunities to "just do it, try it, prototype it, pilot it..."
Involve Librarians as well as Computer Professionalsto insure "reader-relevant" vision for library applications.
But: Variability can be an element of the architecture.
E.g. The Library page in order to stay reader-relevant had variability as an element of its architecture.
* Control the top level pages
* Command "line management responsibility" for server operation and content for independently managed servers linked to the top level pages.
Establish "local webmasters" as point of contact
* Create a "Work in Progress" page in order to legitimize an area where content is held to a different "work in progress" standard.
Expect collaborations to manage their own collaboration private matters. Too hard to do this from a site webmaster perspective.
* Establish the "one hop" rule to require "local webmasters" to explore all pages that are "one hop" away from their pages and vouch for appropriate content.
(NEW since paper written)
Architecture and policy are still evolving...
* Note a "Publication Page" (actually a whole server is in the process of being developed (e.g., for completed work-not work in progress...))
* Reader need driven
* On a platform (Mac) that the Library staff can entirely manage and update...(empower...)
* Variability of content a part of architecture...
* Both the Work in Progress pages and the Library's pages are not elaborate and have minimal graphics in order to provide quick information even for slow links...and to maximize information content...it is for people at work!
* Note that Library Automation has entered a new era where the automation system is no longer central.
Instead, an information market place has taken hold and the "point of purchase" has changed from being Library Administrator selected to reader selected.
Interchangeable browsers, standards and interoperability are very important to the maintenance of this desirable state of affairs.
The economics has profoundly changed as a result. See the document for additional details.