Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 7, no. 4, April 1996

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  -

Contributors: Campbell Crabtree, John Ober, Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ] [ General ]

Electronic Publishing

Arms, Caroline. "Historical Collections for the National Digital Library: Lessons and Challenges at the Library of Congress" D-Lib Magazine (April 1996) [] -- The Library of Congress is embarked on a massive digitization program to make much of the cultural heritage of the United States available to its citizens through computer networks (and thus to the world as well). Arms outlines the program and provides background information, but the real meat of this piece is the "lessons learned and challenges posed," of which this article is part one. Anyone involved with digitizing projects, or who wishes to be, will find this article fascinating and revealing reading. -- RT

Peek, Robin P. and Gregory B. Newby, editors. Scholarly Publishing: The Electronic Frontier Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1996. ISBN: 0-262-16157-5. -- If academia is your major home or haunt and if you have more than a passing interest in the issue of electronic publishing, run -- don't walk -- to your nearest library (or independent bookseller) and check out what is probably THE definitive treatise on the topic. This is a collection of 19 papers that deals specifically with the future of electronic publishing and its impact on the academic world. Editors Newby and Peek assert that as publishing moves from a print-based paradigm to an electronic one, the very nature of scholarly communication is being challenged in ways that it has never been before. The book is divided into two parts. The first part "The Impact of Electronic Publishing on Scholarly Life" includes an article by Robert Silverman that discusses the effects of electronic publishing on the producers of academic knowledge and the need for academic performance and evaluation procedures to respond to the changing nature of scholarly communication. Also in the first part of this book, Stevan Harnad writes about peer review and scientific quality control in scholarly electronic journals. The second part of the book "The New Challenges" introduces some of the issues that are unique to the realm of electronic publishing (or at least not as common in the print world). Lisa Freeman discusses the role that university presses should continue to play within electronic publishing; L.W. Hurtado argues for an academically-based consortium that would create standards for refereed electronic journals; Brian Kahin tackles perennial legal issues associated with electronic publishing especially copyright. Other biggies who have contributed chapters to this book are such familiar names as Clifford Lynch, Ann Okerson, David Rothman and Ira Fuchs. -- MP

SGML Open Staff. "SGML in Education: The TEI and ICADD Initiatives" Computers in Libraries 16(3) (March 1996): 26-28. -- SGML Open [] is a consortium dedicated to promoting the use of SGML, an ISO standard for data encoding that enables value-added, reusable, platform-independent documents. This article, highlights two international efforts which are using SGML. TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) provides guidelines for encoding literary and historical texts. The TEI guidelines are meant to be flexible and scalable, able to accommodate any body of text and delimit salient features with markup, adding intelligence and meaning. ICADD (International Committee for Accessible Document Design) focuses on making textbooks available in formats such as Braille, large print and voice synthesis. SGML encoding not only provides structured access to documents that could otherwise be unavailable, but also makes that access more democratic. -- CJC

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Glaser, Mark. "Video Crawls onto the Internet" New Media 6(5) (April 1, 1996): 36-38 []. -- The most important topic of this article is not really the new video software discussed, but rather another emerging standard for delivering multimedia across the Internet: RTP (or Realtime Transport Protocol). Several software vendors offer their wares and agree to work together to use this industry-driven proposed standard. Whether a standards-based approach in this arena will work is unknown, but given the perceived market hunger for real-time moving image content on the Internet and thus pressure to be first, the effort is admirable as well as sensible. -- RR

Wilcox, Sue. "VRML 2.0 Takes Flight" New Media 6(5) (April 1, 1996): 19, 28 []. -- VRML, or Virtual Reality Markup Language, is an emerging standard for describing 3-D spaces and objects that can be rendered by VRML-capable software, including some WWW browsers. VRML, an area of confluence between the twin rivers of 3-D multimedia and the WWW, has naturally attracted a number of industry players from SGI, Sony, IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, and Apple to formalize the next incarnation of the standard, VRML 2.0. Differences between 1.0 and 2.0 are improved texture-mapping, dynamic object-behavior, links to outside scripts and multimedia (sound, movies), and a greatly increased range of software supporting VRML. Other differences include the capability for end-user interaction in VRML worlds via "avatars" (graphic equivalents of screen names), and storage of worlds in small OpenFlight databases. This last improvement requires storing the VRML info in a binary file instead of a standard SGML text file, and thus veers away from being a true hardware and software-independent standard. Therefore it may be an accepted extension, but not part of the formal standard. -- RR

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. "Imaging Helps Government Serve the People" Imaging Magazine [issn: 1083-2912] 5(4) (April 1996): 72-82. -- This article not only gives justification for use of imaging in government as a labor and capital-saving technology, but also provides detailed examples from the EPA, DOD, and two county and city government offices. The other aspect is, of course, the implicit case for improved service to the people; however, this cuts two ways, by improving government surveillance as well as freedom of information goals. Although this article is about the technology and does not explicitly delve into the social implications, it is useful in any case. -- RR

Karpinski, Richard. "Easy Audio on the World Wide Web" Communications Week (Interactive Age supplement) [issn: 0746-8121] no. 606 (April 15, 1996): IA3, IA5. -- This is a fairly detailed introduction to three software packages available for authoring audio for use on the Web; most do so in real time, and better yet, inexpensively. Some of these solutions do not require a separate audio server software component, just the authoring and converting package and a WWW server. The sidebar gives a brief introduction to audio file formats and other technical details. A detail not mentioned in the article is that at least one of the applications mentioned, ToolVox, will probably use the proposed real-time transfer standard (RTP) since it is from a vendor acquired by Netscape as part of its LiveMedia solution, which uses RTP. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Balas, Janet. "Beyond Veronica and Yahoo!: More Internet Search Tools" Computers in Libraries 16(3) (March 1996): 34-38. -- While no search tool can find everything, often, the more of them you try, the more information you find. This article mentions some useful tools for finding what you need on the Internet. Resources include sites for finding Internet Service Providers (The List -, email addresses (Four11 -, newsgroups (InterLink - and mailing lists (List of Lists - interest-group-search.html, TILE.NET - lists/, and Indiana University Search for Mailing Lists - Editor's Note: No longer available; it points to Lizst at -- CJC

Banks, Julie, Linda Carter, Carl Pracht. "Library Luncheon and Update: Teaching Faculty about New Technology" The Journal of Academic Librarianship 22(2) (March 1996): 128-130. -- Through a series of luncheons and formal update sessions sponsored by the library at Southeast Missouri State University, faculty learned about a variety of electronic resources available in the library. As a result of the sessions, faculty began to integrate what they'd learned into their instruction. -- MP

Conte, Ron Jr. "Guiding Lights" Internet World 7(5) (May 1996): 41-44. [URL for the links from this article, not the article itself:] -- These days there are hundreds of search tools available for free on the Web. From searching for someone's email address to a finding a shareware software program, there are often several tools to choose from. This article is chock-full of URLs for different kinds of search tools, organized by broad category. The categories include search engines, directories, what's new, email addresses, gopher archives, software search, newsgroups, and metasearches. The one glaring omission is a category for the increasing number of commercial full-text search services such as Electric Library [] and NLightN []. -- RT

Day, Pam A. "Internet Resources in Folklore and Folklife" College & Research Libraries News 57(4) (April 1996): 204-207. -- A selective list of Internet resources in folklore and folklife, this list is strong in the areas of Southern culture and Arthurian and medieval folklore with references to association homepages, discussion groups and electronic journals but seems to entirely omit any references to resources on urban legends (alligators in sewers, etc.) or contemporary folklife (personalized license plates, swear words, etc.). -- MP

Phillips, Carl D. "Energy Resources on the Internet" College & Research Libraries News 57(3) (March 1996): 142-146. -- Another handy C & RL News guide to Internet resources, this month focuses on energy resources. It contains the usual list (conveniently annotated) of directories, government agency web sites and newsgroups and discussion lists. -- MP

Pratt, Gregory F., Patrick Flannery and Cassandra L.D. Perkins. "Guidelines for Internet Resource Selection" College & Research Libraries News 57(3) (March 1996)): 134-135. -- A working group of librarians at the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center recognized the responsibility that libraries have to evaluate and select resources regardless of media; at the same time, they realized that unlike the traditional world of books and journals, Internet resources lack the publishing industry's filters. Therefore, the group developed a set of guidelines for Internet resource evaluation and selection which they added to their collection development policy and which they have reprinted in this month's issue of C & RL News. The six points of this concise list of criteria (which includes such items as quality & content, relevancy, ease of use and more) along with the discussion of unique challenges associated with collection development on the Internet should prove to be an invaluable resource for many information professionals. -- MP

Vander Meer, Patricia Fravel. "Enhancing University Administrators' Awareness of the Web: A Library Perspective" Computers in Libraries 16(3) (March 1996): 50-56. -- This article makes a case for academic librarians to find Web applications that are useful to the campus community and present informational sessions to promote Web awareness among campus administration. The author suggests that by using and promoting this new technology, the library will be seen as a strategic resource in times of shrinking budgets. Resources given as examples include sites for university admissions applications, access to grades and class schedules and campus security information. -- CJC

Venditto, Gus. "Search Engine Showdown" Internet World 7(5) (May 1996): 79-86. [URL for the links from this article, not the article itself:] -- Finally. Someone who understands the difference between a Yahoo and a Lycos. Venditto describes and rates the seven best robot-built Web search tools. He includes a lot of good background information in the tool descriptions as well as searching tips. A table summarizes the features of each tool. Although he either did not know about or chose not to discuss Alta Vista's quite powerful search features, this article is nonetheless one of the best summary articles on the key Web search tools I've seen. -- RT


Ubois, Jeff. "Agents of Change: A New Agenda" Internet World 7(5) (May 1996): 61-66. [URL for the links from this article, not the article itself:] -- In this interview with Don Norman of The Design of Everyday Things and Things That Make Us Smart fame, we discover all over again things that we knew (intuitively perhaps) but had forgotten amid the day-to-day necessity of dealing with our computers. Norman, who is now VP of Advanced Technology at Apple Computer is trying to make computers go away. He would prefer that we spend our time focusing on the work we are doing and stop futzing with the device we are using to do it. More power to him. This is an interesting and thought-provoking interview that is well worth the time of anyone who has ever used a computer. And if you're reading this, that's you. -- RT

Current Cites 7(4) (April 1996) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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