2010 Preconference Proposals

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Proposals for 2010 Code4LibCon Preconferences

Proposals will close Friday November 20 so we can finalize the list and add them to registration!

Please include a "Contact/Responsible Individual" name and email address so we know who is willing to put on the proposed precon.

  • Solr/Blacklight

This is a proposal for several pre-conference sessions that would fit together nicely for people interested in implementing a next-gen catalog system. Contact for organizing all of these: Bess Sadler -- bess@virginia.edu

1. Morning session - Solr White Belt Instructor: Bess Sadler (anyone else want to join me?) The journey of solr mastery begins with installation. We will then proceed to data types, indexing, querying, and inner harmony. You will leave this session with enough information to start running a solr service with your own data.

2. Morning session - Solr Black Belt Instructors: Erik Hatcher and Naomi Dushay Amaze your friends with your ability to combine boolean and weighted searching. Confound your enemies with your mastery of the secrets of dismax. Leave slow queries in the dust as you performance tune solr within an inch of its life.

3. Afternoon session - Blacklight Instructors: Naomi Dushay, Jessie Keck, and Bess Sadler Apply your solr skills to running Blacklight as a front end for your library catalog, institutional repository, or anything you can index into solr. We'll cover installation, source control with git, local modifications, test driving development, and writing object-specific behaviors. You'll leave this workshop ready to revolutionize discovery at your library. Solr white belts or black belts are welcome.

  • Serials Solutions Hackathon (Andrew Nagy, Harry Kaplanian) - full day or half day

Connecting Serials Solutions Fed Search, Link resolver or Summon to almost anything (such as OCLC, ILS systems, Drupal, whatever). Additionally, participants will have full access to the Summon API - providing search access to over 500 million academic documents. Serials Solutions staff will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate various technologies.

Two sessions on getting up to speed as a programmer. Intended for people relatively new to programming, or wanting to improve their skills from beginner to intermediate. If you're new to code4lib and are worried that the talks might go over your head, come to this session, and we'll be sure you're ready!

  • Hacker 101/102 - (morning, Dan Chudnov)

Are you an accidental hacker? Recent MLS grad who got handed all the web scripting duties because "those young people know all that stuff now"? Slid over from reference, tech services, or archives into "doing the tech stuff" because nobody else would? Humanities major who found a good job in the library but never wrote a lick of code before? Sole hacker in a sea of non-technical folks who never has anyone to look to for mentoring? Learned a lot on your own, but you still sometimes "just get stuck" at the same places in your code? If these descriptions sound like you, and you're coming to code4lib to build a better foundation of programming know-how for yourself, or you've already got some basics down and need to fill in some big gaps, this is the preconference for you. We'll cover some basic tenets of how code works and work through some fun, informative examples together. We'll also leave plenty of time for questions and will gear the session to what the people who attend want to learn.

Bring a laptop - everyone will write some new code in this session.

  • Hacker 201/202 - (afternoon, Dan Chudnov)

Picking up where 101/102 leaves off, we'll apply what we cover in the morning to practical library situations. Parse MARC records; stuff XML metadata into a database; query that data with SQL; put up a web interface to that query; replace it all with a Solr backend; dress up the web page with CSS and JavaScript. (Note: we're not going to focus on Solr for very long; if you want to focus on Solr, go to the dedicated Solr preconf sessions!)

Bring a laptop - everyone will write some new code in this session.

  • OCLC Web Services Boot Camp and Lightning Talk Demos (Contact/Responsible person: Roy Tennant, tennantr@oclc.org)

Full day thorough coverage of a suite of APIs and the essentials about the underlying technologies (e.g., SRU, CQL, Atom, OpenSearch, etc.) to get you going right away. Handouts on each service covered will be distributed that outline the essential information about each service.

There will also be time for you to show off what you've done to mashup library data in the past (not limited only to OCLC services), in a 5-10 minute presentation to help inspire ideas. We will also demonstrate some projects that others have done in the past.

Instructors: Don Hamparian, Ralph LeVan, Bruce Washburn, Roy Tennant

  • Koha Hackfest/Best-practices meeting (Contact/Responsible persons: Brendan Gallagher <info@bywatersolutions.com> and Ian Walls <Ian.Walls@med.nyu.edu>) - full or half day - working on Koha bugs and enhancements, discussing best practices to solve common workflow and technical issues, developing helper scripts for data migration, connection to external systems, etc.

  • Web Services & Widgets - Organizers: Godmar Back & Annette Bailey (Contact/Responsible person: Godmar Back (gback@cs.vt.edu) - a half day interactive workshop that explains how to create practical web services and widgets for libraries. The focus will be on creating web services for and integrating widgets into the services your library has already implemented and deployed (OPAC, Resolver, etc.). We will explain what is possible and how to do it, particularly for systems where librarians have limited or no control of the back-end. This workshop will be targeted at beginning-level programmers. Technologies covered will include advanced JavaScript/jQuery and JSON.

  • Evergreen Development Round table -- Organizer: Bill Erickson (erickson @ esilibrary.com) - Half day. Update on development, plans for future development, clearing paths for community involvement, documentation project, what's up with acquisitions, general Q & A, and more. As code4lib heads South again, Evergreen developers, users, and advocates will be there to meet it. The discussion will be a mix of general and technical.