Friday, August 31, 2007

some weeks, you feel like you've just survived

This week was the first week of classes and it seemed more stressful than other first weeks. We put redirects in place for some directories for resources that we'd migrated from our former Etext Center collections to the Repository. We didn't give as much notice as we could have there and some folks were surprised. We also formally announced that our Etext and Geostat Centers no longer exist and are part of our Scholars' Lab. Those announcements required some redirects. Things then went briefly wrong with the redirects. There was a wrinkle in updating links in our catalog records -- in some cases we weren't migrating individual texts, instead pointing to LION, so where would the links go? And the redirects meant that records weren't going to as granular a location as they were before.

The increased load of the first week of classes caused some text delivery issues, but helped us find what appears to be a bug in Joost that was the cause of mysterious problems in the past that we now have worked around. Two tools the used to exchange data easily didn't anymore (but we found the cause immediately). An old assumption about what regions we included in our simple text search was proven false by some newly migrated texts and we had to make a mid-week change. One of the text sets that we migrated was missing what turned out to be a vital element from its styled delivery. We tried to be nimble in our responses, occasionally briefly breaking something else with a fix, but our amazing team worked hard to address everything quickly.

I know of two outstanding issues to resolve, then we're set until we start the process to completely replace our searching infrastructure and interface. We've got a prototype BlacklightDL almost where it needs to be to start seriously planning the swapout project. Another change management challenge ...

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