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Thanks for the details. So that's about 50 URLs per hostname? If you are fishing around for ideas about another post I would be really interested to hear how you assembled the list of hostnames, and are going to be maintaining it over time--although I imagine it is a work in progress. Keep up the good work!
Thom, this is terribly exciting. Congratulations to you and OCLC Research for getting things this far. It's an amazing achievement.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2012 on VIAF Dataset at Outgoing
I'm a librarian and a software developer, so I really enjoyed this. Thanks! One thing I would add with my librarian hat on relates to these points you made about ebooks: They always require a reading device. They may be encumbered with copy protection. They may be in a format your reader cannot understand. These characteristics of ebooks, and bits generally, typically make it harder for libraries to archive ebooks than physical books. The content of the book is inextricably bound up with the software needed to make it readable. I guess it is still early days, so we may (already?) see backwards compatible reading devices that are able to render older formats. From this perspective its great to see Kindle Format and EPUB reusing HTML, which (given the Web) will probably have reading devices for a while. Or perhaps ebook platforms will migrate data for us behind the scenes, and the readers will just need to deal with the latest/greatest format. I imagine some combination of the two will be what we see. But maybe a lot will get dropped on the floor, especially when you consider DRM. The situation now is quite different with physical books. Like you said, when you buy a physical book you can do whatever you want with it, including put it on a shelf, and walk away for years and years, and come back later and read it. As a thought experiment, consider how different it is to put an EPUB on a filesystem, walk away for 20 years, and come back and open it up and read it. Maybe just think about one year. I guess a lot goes into making sure the shelf is there for 20 years as well, funding for the library, disaster preparedness, etc. But the nature of that is so radically different to the set of concerns that arise when preserving ebooks. There are a lot of opportunities here I think for new library platforms, like those in the cloud at Apple, Amazon, Google, etc. I personally hope we'll also see best practices and tools that allow smaller collections emerge at the local and personal level...and that there will still be a role for public, academic and government libraries in all this. On that note, your point about ebooks: They cannot be donated to libraries. got me thinking of UnglueIt, which is a (just starting) crowdfunding platform for creating openly licensed (Creative Commons) ebooks for existing print books. The idea being that maybe we can all work together to make the Web into a library for ebooks. Full disclosure: I have consulted for UnglueIt in the past, so I guess this is a bit spammy, but I thought you might be interested.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
Ouch. Your work has been very useful for me in trying to understand the dimensions of what people mean when they say "Linked Data". Possibly of interest: Ian Davis kicked off a little thread over on SemanticOverflow to see what that community thinks generally about Atom at Linked Data:
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2009 on The Linked Data™ Police at dretblog
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Nov 21, 2009