Monday, June 18, 2007


I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at the Charlottesville beCamp:

The recap hasn't been populated yet, but will eventually be fleshed out:

I got to know a lot of folks that I should have already met in the last five years, including some folks that I see walk by my office almost every day without knowing who they were. I also met a lot of folks from the greater community that's not the University. I had a great time even though I'm not a hard-core coder type. My fears of appearing an outsider and having nothing to contribute besides going on ice-buying runs were unfounded.

The planning was a bit chaotic at times -- next time we need to make sure that only the event is free form, not the implementation. Companies stepped up to the plate to be sponsors, and lots of folks pitched in on the setup and cleanup and making sure that the trains ran on time (you know who you are!). There will be another beCamp!

Erik Hatcher gave an overview of Blacklight, including some of the developing BlacklightDL work. I took part in some great discussions:

  • How we understand what to build (on setting and iterating through specifications during development)
  • Reputation on the Net (building it and protecting it)
  • Agile methods (Scrum in particular)
  • How to Screen Scrape (I was curious what non-Library folks use screen-scraping for -- mostly feeds and filtering)
The Agile methods discussion was one I was particularly looking forward to, because the Library is working with OpenSource Connections on BlacklightDL and they employ Scrum procedures. Eric Pugh from OSC led the discussion, and I got more insight into the process that I am currently part of. I very much need to look into this as a potential mode for our development operations.

The reputation on the Net discussion was a livelier one than I expected, given that it was opposite a session of various REST APIs. One man had had his identity spoofed in a blog and hate messages associated with his name, some were really concerned about privacy, some wondered if messages they posted while in college would ever age off the Net, and others were concerned about how to develop their reputation online, and how to identify their varied work and handles over time as all being one person. It's personal name disambiguation! Bess and I remembered a paper we saw at JDCL in 2006. There was also some discussion about Spock. I pointed out just how much is already available from public records, as I found when I searched my own name in It's interesting how little we think about what can be easily discovered about ourselves.

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