[Web4lib] Getting catalog software vendors to make more useable
lars at aronsson.se
Sat Jul 16 17:31:02 EDT 2005
Jenne Heise wrote:
> Have any groups or institutions compiled a list of user interface
No, of course not. And automobiles don't come with timetables.
Buses and trains have timetables, and good quality in mass
transportation means they're "on time". But ask the passengers if
they'd prefer that the bus is there "when needed" and then goes
"as fast as possible" not making any unnecessary stops. The focus
on synchronized timetables is not at all related to the users'
needs, but comes from inherent drawbacks of buses and trains.
The "software crisis" (see Wikipedia's definition) that has been
going on since the 1960s is related to the fact that software
developers have to meet "lists of requirements" instead of
fulfilling users needs. New trends such as "extreme programming",
"agile development" and "rapid prototyping" try to fix this, but
can do so only to some degree. If you want to sell a library
system, you have to sell it to a library, and they are going to
buy from a vendor that meets their (the library's, not the users')
list of requirements. If you have a better idea, you cannot sell
it, because you don't sell library systems to library users.
Paved roads and bike lanes are also "mass transit systems", but
where a bigger portion (the vehicle) is left to the individual.
A similar (dis-integrated) model for libraries could be achieved
if the library published their MARC records for public download,
so users could import them into a search system they run on their
own personal computer. (A different solution would have to be
used for loans and reservations.)
Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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