as seen at freshmeat: "User interface changes, including early support for variable window sizes, smoother pagination, etc. Executable renamed from to gutenbook." see for more.

Prospero 1.24 available

several more bug fixes taken care of in the latest release available from the Prior Health Science Library at OSU. of note also is that "Through October 11 , 1999, about 200 different organizations from 17 countries have downloaded



For those of you who've not seen recent developments in Electronic Thesis or Dissertations (ETD) systems, check out and for an overview. There's also a new version of ETD-db,'s package for managing ETD archives (thanks to Charlie G. for the pointer). Anyone know if these folks are in tune with the Open Archives Initiative?

CDS/ISIS: tell us more

I've now seen CDS/ISIS and its variants mentioned in several places and am still confused about what it is but here's a brief description nonetheless. from the UNESCO ISIS page: Micro CDS/ISIS is an advanced non-numerical information storage and retrieval software developed by UNESCO since 1985 to satisfy the need expressed by many institutions, especially in developing countries, to be able to streamline their information processing activities by using modern (and relatively inexpensive) technologies. The software was originally based on the Mainframe version of CDS/ISIS, started in the late '60s, thus taking advantage of several years of experience acquired in database management software development." take 2, from the CDS-ISIS user forum site: "Mini/Micro CDS/ISIS is a text retrieval program, designed and distributed free of charge by UNESCO. It is widely used for bibliographic (and other) databases throughout the world, and especially in developing countries." If I understand all this properly, it is basically a non-relational database environment commonly used by libraries and other largely nonprofits (20,000+ of 'em) throughout the world. I pulled down the unix version but can't quite make heads or tails of it. Somebody please explain more... update: collected comments from all who offered are available here.


as seen at freshmeat: "Major rewrite with lots of changes, including becoming object-oriented. All database handling was moved to the separate class. Ability to change the quantity of searches (now between 1 and 10), and to change the maximum quantity of references (now 20 to 400) added. A text area for the user to write a note to the authors was added. There are no longer empty accounts generated." read more at the BioMail Home Page



as seen at freshmeat: "mod_litbook is an experiment in web page referencing whereby portions of a much larger document can be referenced and retrieved (e.g., the King James Bible)." The author further describes it as combining influences from Jakob Nielsen, Xanadu tumblers, and Zope. Links to all and a demo based on the bible are available at the mod_litbook site.

Prospero 1.26

From Eric: Prospero 1.26 is out. New features include "conversion of a single page number, or a range of page numbers, from an Ariel document into individual PDFs, for removing the invoice that sometimes comes with an Ariel document or when several documents come in a single Ariel transmission. [Prospero also] now allows import from a monochrome PDF/TIFFs uncompressed or compressed using a CCITT Group3/4 Fax compression scheme."



gnujake is the GNU Jointly Administered Knowledge Environment. It seeks to support the management of and linking between online resources and descriptions thereof.

HT00 Tutorial & Greenstone-2.13


Great to see that there's going to be a tutorial on "How to build a digital library using open-source software" at the upcoming ACM Hypertext '00 conference. Reading through the speaker's bio I found Greenstone,'s collection backend. Looks like several implementations are running already, too. It would be great to post a conference report from a willing attendee... (hint hint :)

muscat-0.1.0: Dialog Corp IR library

as seen at freshmeat: "Open Muscat is a high performance open source search engine library. It implements the probabalistic model of information retrieval, and is designed for use in applications ranging from full scale Web search engines to searching through email archives." what this doesn't say: muscat comes from the Dialog Corp. and what it also doesn't say: the muscat 'version' of the GPL is missing a significant section of the Real GPL, including the final paragraph which states "This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs." which, apparently, Dialog doesn't understand, because they explicitly solicit requests for commercial licenses as well. somebody please tell them about the LGPL...

[Update, years later: IIRC, the post author was an idiot. This was a legit use of the GPL.]