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Available software products
by projects funded by
Telematics for Libraries


Updated: 10 JUN 98


Introduction

Many of the RTD projects, supported by the Libraries programme, have resulted in software packages (or modules) to be used when implementing Library automation. These software packages are often made available for other implementors as freeware or shareware.

The following list of short descriptions and contact details, will give you guidance on how to retrieve these software packages. Please remember to check the precise conditions before using the software - as you e.g. might be requested to register before using the software.

And please remember that freeware and shareware is offered "as is" without any guarantees from the developers or the European Commission.


Projects with available software products

ARCA

The primary objective of ARCA is the implementation of an SR or Z39.50 target tool-kit with an architecture that makes it as simple as feasible to update existing OPACs with target functionality. The rationale behind this objective is that the introduction of SR has been slowed not by the origin side, but by the lack of SR-capable OPACs. The target tool-kit will be integrated in 2 general purpose library systems:

  • the SABINI system
  • the ISIS system of UNESCO

The secondary objective is the implementation of an SR client application over existing SR origin software and toolkits, taking as much advantage as possible of modern GUI technology such as TCL and TK.

For further information, please contact the project coordinator Mr. John Favaro: (email removed) .


CASELIBRARY

The objective of CASELIBRARY is to develop a modular toolset enabling library staff to set up user interfaces corresponding to their particular needs. A modular expert system server will permit configuration of user access through interchangeable communications objects. The user is not held to any particular commercial system but is given the ability to integrate all the services needed in a single customised interface.
A set of software tools specifically required by the library community will thus be created for multiplatform, multidatabase information access systems based on modern GUIs (graphical user interfaces). The toolset design will permit extension to other library systems and platforms.

CaseLibrary has made available a beta version of its information retrieval software which may be downloaded free of charge in the form of a self-extracting archive from the CASELIBRARY or by anonymous ftp from ftp.sbu.ac.uk/pub/znavig/zn10e.exe .
The software allows users of PCs running Windows 3.x or Windows 95 to search a wide variety of library catalogues and databases via the Internet using the Z39.50 international standard for information retrieval.
Further information are given in the press release or can be obtained from: (email removed) , LITC

An interesting independent comparative assessment of the CaseLibrary client Znavigator is available on the Web at: http://www.dstc.edu.au/RDU/reports/zreviews/z3950-client-survey.html#znavigator


CHASE

Character set standardisation (CHASE): feasibility tests for migration strategies to UNICODE. The project aims to advance the adoption and implementation of the new character set standard (ISO 10646 Level 3, equivalent to UNICODE) by national bibliographic services through testing the technical and economic implications of migrating to the standard. Test-beds will be created of bibliographic data from the partner organisations converted to UNICODE and delivered via different media to a limited, representative sample of users. The tests will enable national libraries and others to gauge the extent of the work required to convert their databases from existing character set standards to UNICODE and give an idea of timescales and costs, including costs for analysis, set-up and running.


EUROPAGATE

This project aims to build and operate a pilot service through which users can access ANSI Z39.50 and ISO SR servers which provide on-line access to catalogues. Users requests will be handled over widely available data networks (e.g. public X.25, IXI and TCP/IP-based networks) using existing clients which incorporate the ANSI and ISO standards. Requests will also be processed via e-mail and World Wide Web.

An ISO SR - ANSI Z39.50 gateway will also be designed and implemented to enable queries from Z39.50 clients to be forwarded to ISO SR servers and vice versa. This will enable all relevant servers to be accessible to users of this service.

The following EUROPAGATE are available from the EUROPAGATE consortium:

  • ISO-SR/ANSI-Z39.50 Gateway
  • e-mail to Z39.50 Gateway
  • web to Z39.50 Gateway


HELEN

The project investigated a number of issues related to conversion between the Latin and Greek alphabets and the representation of the Greek character set with an emphasis on conversion of bibliographic data. Its aim was to make Greek language material throughout the European Community more widely available and to develop advanced transliteration software that copes with the problems of the use of different and sometimes non-reversible transliteration schemes.

Software for translitaration between Latin and Greek is available for downloading.


HYPERLIB

The project aimed to improve access to the on-line services of a major university library by implementation of hypertext interfaces to a variety of information resources including the OPAC (online public access catalogue).

Hypertext interfaces to suit detailed pre-defined user requirement specifications were designed and developed. Issues such as language independence, the move to PC type environments for library end-users, graphic user interfaces (GUIs) versus VT100 type interfaces and standards for data markup and hypertext were examined and evaluated.

The currrent version of the HyperLib Toolkit allows the production of hypertext books in HTML format from an SGML instance. These SGML instances should be conformant with the HyperLib DTD and can be produced with any SGML editor, such as Author/Editor from SoftQuad. The same SGML instance can also be used to generate PostScript files for hardcopy output. As this part of the software is currently under revision, the HyperLib Toolkit only handles the HTML output.

The HYPERLIB toolkit can be downloaded from the web.


SOCKER

The SOCKER project is concerned with the Search and Retrieval (Z39.50V3) communication protocol for networked based access to distributed library catalogues (and other databases). An implementation of the protocol known as the SOCKER KERNEL, has been developed together with two origin or client applications which allow for searching various SR or Z39.50 compliant targets or servers.

The purpose of the software is accessing and searching different library catalogue databases using a common interface, i.e. a single query can be generated to search multiple databases over the network without having to repeat it specifically for each database. This type of functionality will enhance the efficiency and usability of future library network services.

The results of the project consists in an implementation of the SR/Z39.50V3 protocol - the SOCKER kernel - which is being used by three origin applications also built within the project:

The SOCKER kernel is made available for no cost in the testing period of the SOCKER project. While the software will be made widely available for testing , it needs to be stressed that this is not public domain software, but software developed and owned by the developer, i.e. UNI-C.


SR TARGET PARAGON

Project Paragon aims to provide library users with a single gateway to three major sound archive catalogues via Netscape and the World Wide Web.

The common interface is based on an implementation of the international SR (Search and Retrieve) standard already established for searching libraries' on-line catalogues. The Project will be evaluating the suitability of this standard (as well as its American equivalent, Z39.50) to the special needs of the users of sound and media archives.

Project PARAGON aims to improve access to archival collections of sound recordings by creating a prototype SR (Search and Retrieve) target which can be mounted on existing on-line catalogue databases.

Although a number of libraries are implementing the SR protocol at this time, the special feature of PARAGON is that it will test the applicability of the protocol to the special needs of sound recordings. Cataloguing and data formatting standards have been developed more recently and are less uniform than those for printed materials.

Additional information is available from:
Ms Brite CHRISTENSEN-DALSGAARD
UNI-C
Oluf Palmes Alle 38
DK-8200 ÅRHUS
e-mail: (email removed)


USEMARCON

At the (national) libraries in the European Community about ten different standards of MARC formats are being used. The goal of the project is to develop a toolbox able of converting bibliographic records from any MARC format into any other format through a central conversion format: UseMARCON. For usage of the toolbox no programming experience will be required.

The objectives of the project are:

  • to produce a data-driven generic converter;
  • to enable the user, via a user-friendly interface, to define how the conversion is to take place between the source and the destination formats.

Software is stored on the anonymous ftp server of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek at: ftp://ftp.konbib.nl/pub/usemarcon/


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