nostuff library catalogue using the Talis Platform

You may have already seen that a while a go I had a little play with the Talis Platform, and specifically a ‘store’ on the platform called ukbib which holds bibliographic records. I’ve written some pages on learning about the various parts to the platform. I had seen on the Talis Developer Network (TDN) various web services, but they all blurred in to one, the pages linked to above first work out the simple ones (e.g. linking to catalogues, holdings etc), this helped clear up the different bits that are available.

The pages then move on to playing with the ukbib ‘store’ which returns XML, you can then use XSLT to turn this in to (x)html.

So, after playing with XML, XSLT, and improving my CSS along the way, I can show the very first ‘work in progress’:

demostration of the library catalogue search.

[update: see here for an updated version]

All very early days, layout is quite basic and a number of things don’t work.

Things that don’t work (or sometimes don’t work):

  • The options on the right are based on the first ISBN found. Some recordshave several ISBNs andthe first one may be a ‘odd’ one, therefore searching Amazon, Wikipedia, libraryThing based on the unusal ISBN will probably produce either no result or the wrong item.
  • “See Books by” Author search on the bottom right hand side doesn’t work. The formating of the author’s name is probably not helping, and because this is being done in XSLT I can’t call [the php function] urlencode to turn the author names in to nice strings for the URL.
  • Some of the Subject searches don’t work or return odd results. This will hopefully be simply to fix.
  • holdings from libraries are not there yet.

Things you can do:

  • in the google-style search box you can prefix any field name to the front of a search term, e.g. Title:”programming perl”
  • title:programming title:perl author:wall

  • subject:”DDC: 005.72″

  • You can basically use any field name, I didn’t write this, it is part of the way the platform works, see here for more.

  • link to the same item (if we have the right isbn, see above) on a number of other web sites, including wikipedia, Amazon, LibraryThing etc (let’s face it, this isn’t rocket science).

This is very much a work in progress, will hopefully have another update soon.

Now I need to find out why the above search uses “author:wall” when the underlying xml uses ‘creator’ not ‘author’. hmmm.