Posting to Autocat
On 05/18/2011 12:05 AM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
I am sufficiently put off by the unilingual nature of XML, and past errors and failures in linkage, to be unintrigued by either.
Linkage within a given system, or linkage via the web for acquiring or updating data, is great; but depending upon outside linkage for each OPAC display?
It’s all too fragile for my taste, particularly in this time of increasing natural disasters due to climate change.
While I agree with the sentiment, it’s just the nature of the beast we are dealing with now. For every step we advance, we lose something as well. So, our society would pretty much collapse without electricity just for a few weeks. I confess that I’m sure I couldn’t survive, but I know that my grandparents or great-grandparents would have made it, although they might have thought it was a pain.
Nonetheless, libraries either will get on the boat or stay at home. Concerns always remain but the tradeoffs are worth it. For instance, I grew up in a tiny town in the middle of New Mexico and if I had had the full-text books available on the web today, and I had access to the entire courses of study put out so wonderfully by our colleagues in India http://www.youtube.com/user/nptelhrd, not to mention the Open CourseWare from all kinds of universities and learning institutions… why, my life would probably be quite different. That is, if I had been smart enough, and disciplined enough, to reach out and take advantage of them.
One of my best friends is a very well-known archaeologist, and he believes that our society will disintegrate just like Rome did. He thinks that all of this internet stuff can, and will, disappear just as quickly and as permanently as what happened with antiquity. Only a tiny percentage of what they created is still around.
That still doesn’t stop him from making some really great materials for the web!
To mention it once again, it is fairly easy to introduce redundancies into the system we would create so that if one site went down, another would become available. Information can be cached in a whole variety of ways, or saved in various ways, as we see in web browsers (the more modern ones) which allow you to save only the web page (HTML), or all of the files associated with the web page (COMPLETE). Various solutions can be implemented.