February Executive Committee Report

This month, as you might imagine, has been dominated by work on the upcoming cataloging-staff client demo release. We’re progressing smoothly and steadily, and expect to reach our target release date of March 18th. Allow me to reiterate some of the features that we expect to have available in this upcoming demonstration release:

  • A MARC editor that enforces basic MARC rules, such as preventing repetition of non-repeatable tags or the creation of invalid subfields. The MARC editor will also have some text highlighting
  • Using this MARC editor, a cataloger can create a new title record or edit an existing one.
  • Limited searching; ability to locate and pull up records.
  • The ability to add, edit, or delete a copy or volume.

One thing I wanted to mention is that the permissioning schemes will not be in place at the time of this release. So, for example, we will not have restrictions on catalogers editing other systems’ records. We also won’t have “levels” of catalogers (cat1, cat2, in PINES terms) in this release. This is simply because there is no real user data or infrastructure in the system yet, and these permissions would (obviously) be based on that. However, expect this type of functionality to appear in the Alpha release this summer. There will, of course, be many other rough edges in this release because it is all still in a pre-alpha, early development state.

So, stay tuned for this upcoming release. Those PINES library staff on the PINES-DEV list will likely get a sneak peek before the official release date.

In other news, we’re finding that our new server-side hardware requirements and configuration will be much more cost-effective than our current setup, both in up-front purchase costs and in on-going maintenance and support. As we move further along in the development process and do more load testing, we will gain a better idea of what the optimal PINES/Evergreen server-side hardware should be. We expect to have a precise specification in late Summer or in early Fall and will elaborate on the hardware as things become more definite.

The software development staff is working hard towards the upcoming release, so we will not be present at the PINES Executive Committee meeting in Vidalia on March 4th. We are, however, planning presentations and discussions for the PINES Annual Membership Meeting in May.