The Public Access Computer Systems Review vol. 5 no. 7 (1994)

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    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1994) Bailey, Charles W., Jr.
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    A Gateway Between the World-Wide Web and PAT: Exploiting SGML Through the Web
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1994) Price-Wilkin, John
    The HyperText Markup Language (HTML) used by the World-Wide Web has limited markup and structure recognition capabilities. Only a small set of text characteristics can be represented, and few of these have any functional value beyond display capabilities. The HTML ANCHOR element supports hypertext links; however, it cannot retrieve components of a linked document, such as a single glossary entry from a collection of several thousand entries, without resorting to programs external to HTML and the Web server. In spite of these limitations, HTML and the Web are key technologies for libraries. The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) is a fullfeatured, standard markup language. HTML is actually an SGML Document Type Definition. Ideally, it would be possible to retrieve text documents marked up with the richer SGML tag set via the World-Wide-Web. This technical paper discusses how the Web can be linked to the PAT system, Open Text's search engine that supports access to SGML-encoded documents. This Web-to-PAT Gateway utilizes the Web's Common Gateway Interface (CGI) capability and SGML-to-HTML filter programs. After briefly overviewing key technical concepts, the paper explains the operation of the Web-to-PAT Gateway, using several examples of how it is employed at the University of Virginia Libraries, including access to text files such as a Middle English collection, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the Text Encoding Initiative's Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange.
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    A User's-eye View of the OPAC
    (The Public Access Computer Systems Review, 1994) Caplan, Priscilla
    My academic library is in the market for a new integrated library system. As part of this process we've done all the usual things, including drawing up wish lists of desirable OPAC features and using them to evaluate numerous systems. We've also taken two far more interesting steps. First, we actually asked the faculty what they thought were important features to have in an online catalog. (This was suggested by a faculty member.) Second, on three separate occasions we set up "demonstration stations"--terminals in the library connected to two or more of the systems under consideration--for hands-on use by faculty and students. Some of the systems were graphical, some character based. In some cases, we showed two versions of the same system. We provided comment sheets for signed or anonymous remarks, and staff were available nearby to give help or take reactions. We got a lot of input. The results probably won't be turned into a major motion picture anytime soon, but they aren't without interest either. Here are several lessons I've drawn from this experience. And no, I'm not naming names; if you think you can identify a sinning or virtuous system, keep it to yourself.