I have just fixed a bug for the library’s database of the Musical Insitute of the University of Hamburg. The bug was introduced with an update to a new php version on the server side of the university. When solving their issue I also fixed an issue that prevented my Schall & Rauch iPhone app from working correctly. So for everyone who is using the app – it’s back to life!
Happy searching to everyone : )
I have decided that edsync² will be free from now on. Enjoy!
Get it on the Apple App Store edsync²
The University library of the city of Kiel has joined the list of supported libraries. If you are a student there, be sure to check out edsync or edsync² and give some feedback on your impressions. And whether or not it’s working… I had no access to a test account, so feedback is highly appreciated. You can also write an email. The address can be found here.
Finally, my dear friend and host has granted me permission to create subdomains for elbedev.com.
By now I got:
- http://wiki.edsync.elbedev.com/ – EDsync support wiki
- http://edsync.elbedev.com/ – Everything else about EDsync
- https://blog.elbedev.com/ and http://b.elbedev.com/ – This blog
On 28th September I held a short talk about EDsync at a meeting of the “Facharbeitsgruppe Lokale Geschäftgänge – Technische Infrastruktur” at the library of the University of Hannover. The FAG-TI is a gathering of people organizing the libraries’ IT infrastructure within the GBV, Common Library Network of the German States Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thüringen and the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage. They are quite interested in bringing their services to mobile devices. The libraries within GBV make use of OCLC’s OPAC, a web service that allows library guests to see a list of loans and charges and so on. The service is hosted on the libraries’ servers. EDsync is an app for iOS I made available on the App Store in July last year. As far as I know my App is the only one of its kind concerning native apps running on mobile devices and offering an exact match of OPAC functionality. So back to the event: I held this talk and showed some slides. I made a pdf out of those. If you’re interested and a student/guest occasionally visiting one or more of the supported libraries you may want to have a look at the pdf. The texts are in german language but there’s a ton of screenshots (in english : ) ), so you won’t be bored even if you don’t speak german – yet. I think the slides give you a good overview of the app’s functionality. You might have seen it on the App Store but refrained from downloading it as you were not sure what it’s all about. In this case, here you are: download the slides as pdf .
The new version of the SDK has just been released on 7th September and supports Anonymize IP. As I am concerned about your privacy I will incorporate the new feature in the upcoming versions of edsync as well as edsync². I hope to make those versions available as early as mid November this year. Here is a very brief description of what Anonymize IP does: Google Analytics iOS SDK: Anonymize IP
EDsync² is equipped with the same feature set as EDsync for iPhone except it will come without advertisement. Also, it represents the next version of the base application. This results in some benefits concerning usability. I have mentioned most of the changes to UI and features in recent posts. Here is a short list of recent changes.
– landscape mode (for search’s library selection view)
– buttons (search)
– table cells (list of loans, charges, favorites, search results)
– history for 15 recent search queries
– getting information about a search result nicely displayed in a table
– making online resources available in web view (open PDFs directly in the app)
Please note that the detail view for a search result may omit some information available in the ‘real’ catalogue. Most common fields such as shelf mark, title, author, publisher,… will be shown.
You may obtain EDsync² on the App Store
Have I mentioned the display of pdf right in the app – at the tap of your finger?
[update: it’s available]
I have decided to improve the catalogue search. It’s going to be quite nice.
Displaying your recent search queries is a new feature of Search. If you have searched for “Janosch AND tiger AND Little-Tiger-Verl.“, for instance, a results list will be presented to you. Each entry showing the title/subtitle, the kind of media (a book, map, sound storage medium, etc.) and the availability. The availability is not necessarily showing the availability correctly as I found out. It’s the availability the catalogue is suggesting, in some cases if there are many volumes of one item, there still might be a copy available although the catalogue displays “not available“. The new feature comes in quite handy if you are to compare sets of search results. It shows the search string and the number of results that query will dump. You can easily insert the recent queries’ texts into the search bar to add a string by tapping ‘insert‘ or tap on ‘insert & search‘ to retrieve a list of the results for exactly that search string.
Pressing the Results list button will switch between the result list and the recent queries list
Showing availability information directly in the results list
The all new recent queries list with the option to either insert text only or insert & search
The OPAC supports something like the recent searches feature, called the clipboard – as far as I could see it supports saving up to 100 items but does not save the query itself. For EDsync I am planning to make search result items ‘bookmarkable’ so you will be able to save any result and its information to your device.
This brings me to the current state of search result details retrieval – a nerve-stretching process. I can, after all, extract most of the relevant data out of the html:
0 – PPN:
1 – 647676222_blank>alt=”ber den Zitierlink knnen Sie diesen Titel als Lesezeichen ablegen oder weiterleiten” title=”ber den Zitierlink knnen Sie diesen Titel als Lesezeichen ablegen oder weiterleiten” border=”0″>
2 – 647676222
3 – Titel:
4 – “Das Volk versteht das meiste falsch …” Nachdenken über Kurt Tucholsky / Kurt Pätzold
5 – Verfasser:
6 – Pätzold, Kurt (Historiker) *1930-*
7 – Ausgabe:
8 – 1. Aufl.
9 – Erschienen:
10 – cvtourl>”>Berlin Verl. Das Neue Berlin
11 – Umfang:
12 – 95 S. ; 18 cm, 129 g
13 – Schriftenreihe:
14 – Spotless ; 239
These pieces of data have to be displayed in a tableview in a somehow beautiful manner now. I am reasoning about the implementation as it should be more informative or at least better to read than the simple html webpage as it is currently practiced. This would be such a nice enhancement to Search! I’ll let you know when this update is out for review. It will make your life easier – so stay tuned 🙂
[update: it’s available]
I have been working on EDsync for iPhone the last few days and this is what I did:
First, a funny comment, that came across:
// prepare the database query
// have to add 1 to the index for each query because GBV starts counting at 1 (first 10 results’ indices are: 1…11)… what the _ ?!
Ok, now the interesting part – screenshots 😉
There is a nice activity view that will fade in to notify about any actions like library updates, account activation/update going on.
I have also spent some time making table cells in the loans, the charges & the bookmarks view more informative and gave them a neat look. Bookmarks will survive not only account deactivation but completely removing an account won’t hinder a bookmark knowing that there is an account it belongs to and the other way ’round.
The only pieces of work currently left are search and the map view. There is about 15% of users making use of the library search and I am thinking about improving it before I send this update to review. Search does not feature landscape mode in a satisfying way and there has been and still is a huge gap between usability of search and the rest of the app. The map view is also causing some pain. It is not as severe as search as the map will not be displayed for all libraries but there is still great potential hidden in this simple view. I guess that, if at all, I will improve search in favor of the map view. For this update. Next update will of course arrive 😉
Have a nice day & happy syncing.