Tag Archives: events


Last month I was lucky enough to attend the BiblioHack event at Queen Mary, University of London, 13th – 14th June, 2012.

BiblioHack was a two day event on hacking and sharing ideas about open bibliographic metadata. I joined a group that was working on the BibServer software. I wanted to extend the m-biblio software so that I could export my references to BibSoup, an instance of the BibServer software.

This involved:

  • Supporting the BibJSON data format.
  • Updating the user interface in the ‘Export’ part of the application.
  • Adding an user interface to capture and manage information needed to interact with BibSoup.
  • Add code to handle the interaction with the BibSoup server.

This turned out to be a really productive exercise.

I though the code for handling the export of data was well designed so that it was easy to add support for additional export format. My confidence wasn’t justified :). After trying to update the UI on Wednesday afternoon, I decided to spend the evening completely refactoring that part of the application. I was then in a much better position on Thursday to implement code that could send a bibliography to BibServer. At one point Mark MacGillivray of Cottage Labs was updating the BibServer software while I was updating the m-biblio software. We were *almost* there when we ran out of time. At the moment, I can send a bibliography to BibSoup and it will accept it, but BibSoup fails to display it. I’m not sure what the issue is and I’m waiting for Mark to have time to look at the issue from the BibSoup end.

Despite failing at the last hurdle, the m-biblio code for exporting was in a much better shape than before. In addition, I suspect getting the data to appear in BibSoup will be a simple fix.

Oh, I was interviewed at the event ..

DevCSI Bibliohack Interview: Mike Jones from UKOLN on Vimeo.


I recently attended the Dev8D conference (14 – 16 February, 2012) which is primarily aimed at developers working in Higher Education, but also attracts developers from other sectors. The conference is a mix of invited speakers, delegates offering talks, workshops and tutorials. The event is free for the attendee and is funded by JISC and other sponsors. The Professional Development Group of IT Services at the University of Bristol were kind enough to fund my travel, accommodation and subsistence.

One of the great aspects of the conference are the whiteboards where delegates can offer to do talks or ask for talks. In the afternoon, those sessions that attracted the most interest went ahead – you put a mark next to a session you were interested in with a marker pen. One such session was the really informative session by Owen Stephens and Thomas Meehan on library data. I’ve started accessing library data for m-biblio and they provided a really useful session on MARC and why library catalogues provide the information in a certain format. The session was a rich mine of information on systems, tools and formats!

For a more detailed report on the event, see my personal blog.