Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 8, no. 11, November 1997

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

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

Contributors: Christof Galli, Kirk Hastings, Terry Huwe, Margaret Phillips, Richard Rinehart, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant

[ Digital Libraries ] [ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia & Hypermedia ] [ Networks & Networking ] [ General ]

Digital Libraries

"Z39.50: Part 1- An Overview" Biblio Tech Review October 1997 ( -- If you're anything like me, you know vaguely what Z39.50 is about but if someone asked you to explain it you'd feign deafness. Well, get ready to regain your hearing. This brief piece will soon have you speaking Z-speak in no time. After reading this, you should not only be able to understand why you keep hearing about it, but you will also be able to drop utterances like "Z-client" and "Z-server" with both abandon and authority. It may not make you the life of the library cocktail party, but you will be much sought after if your library wants to link other databases to your library catalog interface. -- RT

Zamparelli, Roberto. "Copyright and Global Libraries: Going with the Flow of Technology" First Monday 2(11) (November 3, 1997) ( -- Instead of trying to make Internet users conform to copyright laws by ever more powerful protections against copying and unauthorized downloading, Zamparelli proposes a different approach. He argues that a single, relatively expensive access fee should open the gateway to a "global library" with unlimited downloading privileges. The system would also have built-in incentives for profit-sharing by authors, new modes of advertising, and an array of user benefits. At the heart of his argument is a belief that "policing" cyberspace may be too labor-intensive and might in fact chill discourse; instead, he says, we should build incentives that reward compliance, and see what happens. -- TH

Electronic Publishing

Dudrow, Andrea & Joanna Pearlstein. "XML Format May Fortify Web Content" MacWeek 11(2) (November 3, 1997): 1,7 ( -- This article updates readers on the latest companies to announce products supporting the new XML standard-in-progress. XML, a simplified subset of SGML, is a method of encoding the structure and content of documents. XML can be used in conjunction with HTML to offer 3 advantages: its extensibility lets users create their own tags; its structure can support object-oriented hierarchies; and it can be validated, so documents can be checked for validity. In addition, XML will allow web documents to be searched in more precise ways and the content can be sorted and delivered in pieces instead of only as entire web pages. The article predicts future adoption by vendors and that XML will augment rather than replace HTML. -- RR

Grout, Catherine & Tony Gill. "Visual Arts, Museums & Cultural Heritage Metadata Draft Workshop Report" Visual Arts Data Service & Arts and Humanities Data Services ( -- AHDS and its subset VADS are UK-based organizations exploring, and thankfully documenting, issues involved in creating, managing, and delivering arts and humanities data in electronic environments. This report is the result of a workshop to "..examine the descriptive information needed to enable the discovery of visual arts, museums and cultural heritage resources on the Internet, particularly in the form of digital images." In particular they wanted to find out if the Dublin Core had any value as a content discovery tool for such data, and if so, in what forms and what applications. This report is very detailed; covering a variety of areas, and reporting on sub-committee break-out groups. -- RR

Hobohm, Hans-Christoph. "Changing the Galaxy: On the Transformation of a Printed Journal to the Internet" First Monday 2(11) (November 3, 1997) ( -- Hobom explores a journal's experience with publishing a web-based edition. The journal, INSPEL, is published by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). He lends a concrete, real-world feeling to the intellectual dilemma facing journal publishers in cyberspace. How, for example, should markets be segmented? Should access be limited to certain audiences? How to handle pricing? The answers aren't always clear, but if you've ever worked with publishing deadlines and budgets, this analysis will make you think about the potential, and the pitfalls. -- TH

Powell, Thomas A. "Extend the Web: an XML Primer" Internet Week no. 691 (November 24, 1997): 47-49 -- This primer will be a valuable resource for anyone involved in authoring, managing, or delivering web-based content. It is a relatively in-depth look at the emerging XML standard, covering a bit of history and background, related URLs for more information, and examples of how XML actually works, including existing tools and plans for tools to implement XML. The article takes a realistic view, and makes a good introduction to XML. -- RR

Multimedia & Hypermedia

Gibbs, Simon and Gabor Szentivanyi. "Index to Multimedia Information Sources" German National Research Center for Information Technology ( -- This web resource is an invaluable index of information and tools for multimedia. The site breaks down resources into categories first by media type (audio, video, etc.) then by type of resource (FAQs, conference proceedings, tutorials, newsgroup, articles, tools, etc.) -- RR

Networks & Networking

Danner, David and Paul W. Taylor. "Principle and Practicality: Funding Electronic Access to Washington State Government Information" Journal of Government Information 24(5) (Sept/Oct 1997):347-359. -- This article, written by two policy advisors for the State of Washington Department of Information Services, argues that electronic access to government information should be funded by appropriate user fees allowing for cost recovery. Based on court rulings, the authors differentiate between the content of public records, which should be accessible in the least costly format, and the delivery of government information, which does not have to occur in the most convenient form (i.e. electronically) to satisfy the public's right to access of information. The authors also point out that in many cases it is not individual citizens who are primary users of electronic information, but commercial users. Thus, providing free electronic access would constitute a taxpayer subsidy to commercial customers. In addition, difficult economic circumstances may prevent state legislatures from providing sufficient or lasting funding to develop an effective electronic infrastructure. The authors see the development of cost-recoverable services as a fair and appropriate mode of funding electronic access systems and recommend that policy makers allow agencies to recover costs for electronic services. -- CG


Ream, Dan. "Glitch Management for Internet Instruction" Internet Trend Watch for Libraries 2(11) (November 1997) ( - If you do not immediately know what this article is about from the title, this article is not for you. If, on the other hand, images of projection bulbs burning out, computer cables with the wrong connectors, and other such technical calamities pop into your brain, you're the one that needs to know what this article has to say. As a long-time Internet instructor, I've seen my share of technical glitches -- enough to know that what Ream says in this piece is well worth heeding. In particular, his four "universal rules" are excellent advice: 1) Always have a plan B, 2) Know your equipment before it's too late!, 3) Know your technicians on a first name basis, and 4) Prepare your mind. One thing you can do to prepare your mind is to read this article. -- RT

Current Cites 8(11) (November 1997) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright © 1997 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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