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Re: Hotel booking for ZIG meeting at the British Library, Boston Spa

From: Sebastian Hammer <quinn@indexdata.dk>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 12:18:29 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Mike Taylor <mike@tecc.co.uk>, www-zig@w3.org
Hi all,

Many thanks to Mike for breaking radio silence on my behalf... my laptop 
went down in flames week-end before last so I've been pretty isolated in 
terms of email, and I've also not been able to get a tutorial description 
ready for Ray -- I'm really sorry for any scheduling problems caused by this.

Mike has also described our ideas for the event eminently well. I'd just 
add that at Ian Ibbotson has also promised to help out and talk some about 
Z39.50 and Java.

I think it's also important to point out that we're not directing this at 
programmers exclusively. We're planning to spend most of the early part of 
the day talking about general Z39.50 issues -- introducing the protocol, 
implementation experience, possibly profiles. We'll do that with as little 
mention of ASN.1 as possible, because we don't think that is relevant to 
understanding the protocol, and as much talk as possible about concrete, 
real-life experiences and problems at the semantic and user level.

When we've covered the basics, we'll talk more about how to use it in 
practice, starting from things requiring zero programming experience, and 
then moving into the more sophisticated tools. People with no interest in 
programming whatsoever are excused when the funk gets too thick. Focus will 
be on freeware tools that anyone can go home and download and play with 
after the tutorial.

Our hope is that both programmers and untechnincal to semi-technical people 
will go away with something useful. And yes, we will try, to the best of 
our abilities, to be clever and witty.

So a quick list of bullets might go like this:

o Introductory section
-- the fundamentals of Z39.50
-- Problems and challenges
-- Deployment in libraries; national profiling efforts

o Practical deployment
-- Building Z39.50 gateways for non-programmers.
-- Perl-programming, object-oriented APIs for Z39.50
-- Z39.50 and Java.

preliminary list of speakers: Ian Ibbotson, Mike Taylor, and Sebastian Hammer.


At 10:51 06-09-2001 +0100, Mike Taylor wrote:
> > Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 12:22:54 -0400
> > From: Ray Denenberg <rden@loc.gov>
> >
> > Sebastian is planning the tutorial, and we'll have more details soon
> > (hopefully before the hotel deadline).  He has told me that the
> > tutorial will focus on pragmatic issues and try to counter the
> > "Z39.50 is hard" perceptions by showing how easy it actually can
> > be.
>Since Sebastian doesn't seem to be breaking radio silence at the
>moment, I may as well throw in the fact that I've been asked to
>present a part of the tutorial.  The idea will be to look at how to
>build Z39.50 client applications using an Object-Oriented API (for
>which bindings exist to two languages with more to come), hopefully
>showing how "easy things are made easy, but hard things are possible"
>(to paraphrase one of the guiding goals of Perl.)
> > It will probably not address the details of ASN.1 to the same level
> > as earlier tutorials but rather in a more summary fashion.
>Absolutely.  I wouldn't be surprised if the tutorial doesn't cover or
>even mention ASN and BER at all -- if one thing has become clear in
>the last year or so, it's that no-one wants to know about them :-)
>Seriously, those are topics for people who want to build new low-level
>toolkits.  Our feeling is that there are already several of those
>around, and that the sort of people who are likely to want to write
>new ones will not be coming to the ZIG tutorial to find out how!  We
>very much want to focus on easy ways to _deploy_ Z39.50 -- much as web
>tutorials tend to focus much more on how HTTP can be deployed to solve
>real problems rather than on how to converse with (or build!) an HTTP
>Hope that helps anyone who's trying to make up their mind whether to
>come to the tutorials.  I promise to be as witty as I can in my
>session, and also to give out free chocolate to everyone who attends
>  _/|_   _______________________________________________________________
>/o ) \/  Mike Taylor | <mike@miketaylor.org.uk> | www.miketaylor.org.uk
>)_v__/\  "Adjectives are like spices, to be used for flavour, with
>         care: not to kill the essential flavour of the sentence" --
>         Rheal Nadeau.
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2001 06:26:20 UTC

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