September 11, 1996
Agenda to be announced
1996 Public Documentation
With Fall 1996 just around the corner, it is once again time for library units to check their supplies of HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus public documentation. What follows is a review of OIS documentation policies and information about new and revised documents that are currently available.
HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus information sheets OIS offers a large selection of information sheets on specific topics for both HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus. Complete lists of these are available from the OIS Web site. Point your Web browser to:
and then select either the HOLLIS or HOLLIS Plus choice. The following information sheets are new or recently revised:
These sheets are available as WordPerfect files (for downloading) or as Acrobat PDF files (for viewing and printing). The WordPerfect files are compressed; after downloading, you will need an unzip utility to decompress them. Before making a large number of copies, check that the formatting of these sheets is correct. Different software and hardware configurations can influence the appearance of these wordprocessed files. To view and print the Acrobat PDF file versions, you will need an Adobe Acrobat Reader that is integrated as a helper application with your Web browser. Information about unzip utilities and the Adobe Acrobat Reader is available from the OIS Web site. Consult the HOLLIS Public Documents via Acrobat article in this issue for more information on Acrobat technology.
For FAS, the academic year begins September 16th. Other Schools start even earlier. OIS urges public services staff to acquire whatever information sheets they need in August and have them copied as soon as possible. Units which use the University’s central copying service, be advised that there could be long delays for copy orders submitted on or after the beginning of September.
If you have questions about public documentation or OIS distribution policies, please contact Patti Fucci in OIS.
For the last eight years, WordPerfect has been the “native” file format for HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus public documentation. Documents were distributed in print, and more recently are available as downloadable WordPerfect files available from the OIS FTP and World Wide Web sites. Distribution of print documents wasted paper and presented logistical problems for OIS. Electronic distribution of FTP files was an improvement from the OIS perspective, but still presents obstacles for library staff (FTP capability, decompression software, and a compatible wordprocessor are all necessary to print the downloaded WordPerfect file at your local printer).
OIS now offers Acrobat PDF file versions of the HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus public documents. This new option offers some advantages to OIS and to libraries over either print or FTP distribution. What follows is a description of Acrobat and an explanation of why OIS has chosen to deliver documentation as PDF files.
What is Acrobat?
Acrobat is the name for a family of document interchange software products written by Adobe Systems Inc. The underlying file format is the Portable Document Format (PDF). A wordprocessed document that OIS would normally print and distribute can instead be converted into a PDF file, which represents the exact appearance of the printed document. The PDF file can then be viewed and printed by anyone with Acrobat Reader software. Since the PDF is platform-independent, and Reader software is freely available for a variety of platforms (Windows, Macintosh, UNIX), documents can be exchanged freely between users of those platforms.
Converting existing wordprocessed documents into PDF files is a relatively easy process involving some special software (available at a reasonable price) from Adobe Inc. Graphics, photos, typefaces and page layouts do not lose anything in the translation, preserving the look and feel of the original document. More information about producing PDF files can be found at Adobe’s World Wide Web site (http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/).
In order to view or print a PDF file, you must install Adobe’s Acrobat Reader software and configure your World Wide Web browser to use it. A version of the Acrobat Reader is available for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX workstations. Acrobat Reader software can be downloaded for free from Adobe’s World Wide Web site (http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/readstep.html). This site also contains detailed installation notes.
The Acrobat advantage
While Acrobat is not a total solution, there are still advantages to offering PDF files as an option. The biggest advantage is the preservation of a document’s page layout, fonts, and graphical elements regardless of the computer platform on which the document is viewed and printed.
File transfer is not necessary to acquire a PDF file — just installation of the Acrobat Reader. PDF automatically compresses files for more efficient storage and transmission but no special decompression software is necessary to use these files. The biggest disadvantage of Acrobat for some users might be the need to install the Reader in order to view and print PDF files. But the installation procedure for Windows and Macintosh workstations is relatively easy and there are detailed installation notes at the Adobe Web site to assist. There are also system performance issues; i.e., Adobe lists minimum system requirements to support the Acrobat Reader that users will want to consider.
Using Acrobat files
The process of acquiring a document via Acrobat works something like this: a staff member interested in acquiring a copy of the information sheet for the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals connects to the page on the OIS Web site which lists HOLLIS Plus public information sheets. After the user selects the Avery PDF file with a mouse click, his/her Web browser detects the request for a PDF file and starts up the Acrobat Reader. The image below illustrates how the first page of the Avery information sheet would appear to the user.
The Acrobat Reader allows the user to navigate through the document, zoom in or out, block and copy text, and print all or a portion of the document to an attached printer. The printed document will include all of the original formatting and needs no further editing. The user does not have the option of modifying the original file.
PDF files will be one additional option for distribution of HOLLIS and HOLLIS Plus public documentation. Libraries may still choose to download the WordPerfect files or request printed master copies from OIS.
It is likely that Adobe Acrobat will grow in popularity as a method of delivering page images — some library staff have probably already come across U.S. Federal tax forms as PDF files. Increasingly, electronic newsletters and journals are being delivered as PDF files. At some point in the near future, one or more resources available from HOLLIS Plus will probably require an Acrobat Reader to view its data.
by Julie Wetherill
At least 20 Harvard libraries now have home pages on the World Wide Web. To make it easier to find these sites, the Harvard University Library (HUL) recently sponsored development of a central home page of library home pages. Anyone interested in viewing this site should point their Web browser to:
This Home Page contains links to individual Harvard library home pages. There are currently 20 separate home page links, arranged alphabetically, by Graduate School, and by subject.
This site is also available from the VINE (under “Library Resources”; http://www.harvard.edu/home/library) and will eventually be available from HOLLIS Plus.
The HOLLIS Plus Working Group (a subcommittee of HAAC) has administrative responsibility for this site. Regular maintenance is the responsibility of OIS. Comments about this site, or suggestions for additions, can be sent to Julie Wetherill in OIS.
Harvard Libraries offering Web Home Pages
A new release (version 1.0) of the interface to the JSTOR (Journal Storage Project) service became available in June. (JSTOR is a HOLLIS Plus resource that provides electronic access to back issues of an increasing number of core journals in economics, history , and other disciplines.)
This version of JSTOR will include an improved search interface and enhanced system performance, as well as new graphics. Many of these changes are based on helpful feedback received from librarians and researchers at JSTOR sites.
Perhaps the biggest change will be that JSTOR will begin to make use of the frames options now supported in Netscape and NCSA Mosaic. The frames option will allow a static toolbar to always be available at the left of the screen when searching or browsing JSTOR. All JSTOR options will remain available to those who use browsers which do not support frames.
The JSTOR librarians thank those who have contributed valuable comments which helped them prepare for this update to JSTOR. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact them at the University of Michigan:
At the end of June, 38,263 invoices completed before 7/1/95 were weeded from the HOLLIS Invoice file. This weed was a normal part of End-of-Fiscal-Year processing. No fiche were distributed as part of this process. If you have any questions, contact Linda Marean in OIS.
of you who have to add long contents notes to HOLLIS records are aware
that each note can be no longer than a single HOLLIS screen. 17 lines
of data per note is a good, safe rule-of-thumb — if you need more space
than that, use multiple 505 fields. When more than one 505 field is
necessary, only the first 505 field tells whether the contents are complete,
incomplete, or partial. This indicator refers to all the contents notes
taken together, for example, if in 3 contents notes you have supplied
the complete contents of the item, use the value ‘0’ in the first 505
field first indicator. For second and subsequent 505 fields, use first
indicator value ‘8’ (No display constant generated), e.g.:
505/2:80: ‡g vol. 24. ‡t The history of Washington County — ‡g vol. 25. ‡t State manifest and birth record (1764-1977).
Please contact Robin Wendler in OIS if you have any questions.
OIS needs your assistance in evaluating a FirstSearch enhancement recently completed by OCLC.
Back in the Fall of 1994, OIS arranged for several focus groups to evaluate the FirstSearch user interface. One result of these meetings was a list of the what Harvard librarians liked and disliked about this interface. OIS forwarded this to OCLC.
Recently, Jennifer Faure from OCLC Reference Division got back to us with an enhancement that she thinks satisfies one of the criticisms from our original evaluation.
The enhancement involves the FirstSearch Print command. One of our criticisms was that the FirstSearch Print command did not actually print records directly to a local printer. OCLC has made modifications to make this possible.
Before describing the modified Print function, note the following caveat. The success of this process depends on the ability of your telnet client to accept “direct print” requests.
OCLC already knows that the telnet clients usually found on Windows 95 and Windows NT workstations are not capable of handling “direct print” requests. We have also discovered that Microsoft-based telnet clients on Windows 3.x workstations usually will not accept “direct print” requests. For example, I use the Windows/PCTCP telnet client and the modified Print command does not print records directly to my printer. Lastly, Macintosh workstations using NCSA telnet do not work; specifically, invoking the improved Print function causes the FirstSearch session to freeze.
Theoretically, non-Microsoft telnet clients and many non-Windows telnet clients should be able to handle this process. According to OCLC, this process either works smoothly without additional software configuration on your part, or it does not work at all.
With all that said, here is how the improved Print function works:
you retrieve a set of results in a FirstSearch database enter:
full vt [record number or range of records]: example:
The “vt” parameter initiates a direct print request, sending all records directly to your local printer. The records will scroll across the screen with no forward prompts between records.
Please try this process out on your local workstations that have printers. Of course, if all of your workstations use flavors of telnet that have already been identified as incompatible with this function, then no need to attempt evaluation.
OCLC is interested in feedback on this enhancement. Please send any comments or questions to Julie Wetherill in OIS. Thanks for your assistance.
There is little new to report in terms of new releases of the McGill TCP3270 client used to access the HOLLIS mainframe systems. For the Windows platform, OIS continues to endorse versions 2.5 or 2.6 of McGill. Later releases are available but field tests have revealed significant problems.
McGill now has a Macintosh verson of McGill. OIS has acquired a copy for testing, but results are not promising. Field testers have identified significant problems with the latest release (3.12). Feedback regarding these problems will be forwarded to McGill Systems Inc.
Contact a member of the OIS Network and Desktop Systems Group (Lesly Corrielus or John Maher) if you have further questions.
In July, the OW database (Old Widener Collection) plummeted to an all new low of 85,000 records.
Theoretically, OW could shrink down to nothing when Recon ends in December 1996 (that is right, six months from now).
Practically, however, a large percentage of what is left in OW probably represents records that will never match data coming out of the Recon process, for one reason or another. A small clean-up operation may be necessary at the very end to finally dispatch OW to the great online catalog in the sky.
Fiscal Year Change-Over
This is a summary of the database changes which relate to the fiscal year rollover.
1.In the Item Record, Charges YTD now pertains to the current fiscal year.
2.In Payment Data, records for FY95 have not yet been removed from the database. The payment data table should only have the current fiscal year and all of the previous fiscal year. We are in the process of scheduling this rollover and will keep users posted through the hdr-users mailing list.
A good example of when and how to be aware of NULLs is seen when searching the Payment Data table for unapproved invoices. The Invoice Record Status field contains one of two possible values, X or NULL. X indicates an approved invoice. If you want to search for unapproved invoices, you need to search for Invoice Record Status
Searching for Invoice Record Status not equal to X will NOT work because the NULL value is a value that does not exist and therefore can be found only if you specify IS NULL in your query.
CUTTING AND PASTING RESULTS
At times, cutting and pasting rows of results is preferred over saving results in a file. To do this, simply highlight the results you want and pull down Edit...Copy to copy the selection into the clipboard. Then, Paste the selected results into the application where you want to use them. Note that the results will be formatted using the current setting of Results...Results Options. If these options are not what you want (for example, they are set up for creating comma-delimited output), choose Results...Results Options and re-configure the options.
Results can be Cut and Pasted into qualification on a query, as long as the list of values does not exceed approximately 1,500 rows. For example:
1. Select rows of the HOLLIS Number column. Check Results...Results Options to remove field separators or other special characters.
2. Edit...Copy, or press CNTL+C to copy the values into the clipboard.
3. Position the cursor in a qualification box for HOLLIS Number and use Edit...Paste, or CNTL+V to paste the list into the qualification box..
Questions, comments or ideas for future technical tips? Call or email Martha Creedon, or send email to the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLLIS training for library staff takes place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 1280 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 404. Staff members may sign up for these training sessions as a series or as needed. Please contact Patti Fucci in OIS (495-3724) for more information or to register for a session.