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Share your code

Mar - 17 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

John Blyberg has a post about Library 2.0 Websites (worth a looksie) in which he calls for us to share our code with one another (among many other things):

We ought to be developing on open-source then turning around and making our work freely available to one another. We are libraries after all, we ought to act like it, not just in the stacks and at the circulation desks, but in the server rooms and IT departments as well.

It was this that caught my attention. I whole heartedly agree that we should be sharing our code – but my problem is that I write my code for my library and when you look at it, it may give you ideas, but I can’t see you being able to easily port my code into your library’s site without some major work – so in addition to sharing our code, we have to learn how to write sharable code – by “we” I mean “I” :)

Anyway, if anyone wants me to share code that we’re using on our Intranet or our site, I’d love to – just keep in mind that I don’t know if it’s in sharable condition.

4 Responses so far.

  1. Dave Pattern says:

    Hi Nicole

    I know exactly what you mean – a lot of the code I’ve developed for our OPAC and is bespoke and tailored for our setup (which is Apache2/mod_perl2/MySQL).

    In this case, I think it’s best to simply share the ideas and detail how you went about implementing it. Often times, it can be quicker to write your own version from scratch (using someone else’s ideas) than to try and re-write someone else’s code.

    If you do share code, then just remember to provide as much info and comments in the code as possible.

    An alternative is make a simpler version of the code available. For example, the code that displays floor plans on our OPAC is quite complex, but I was able to knock together a much simpler JavaScript version that any Dynix customer can add to their OPAC:

    http://www.daveyp.com/blog/index.php/archives/4/

    Hope that helps!
    Dave

  2. Dave Pattern says:

    Hi Nicole

    I know exactly what you mean – a lot of the code I’ve developed for our OPAC and is bespoke and tailored for our setup (which is Apache2/mod_perl2/MySQL).

    In this case, I think it’s best to simply share the ideas and detail how you went about implementing it. Often times, it can be quicker to write your own version from scratch (using someone else’s ideas) than to try and re-write someone else’s code.

    If you do share code, then just remember to provide as much info and comments in the code as possible.

    An alternative is make a simpler version of the code available. For example, the code that displays floor plans on our OPAC is quite complex, but I was able to knock together a much simpler JavaScript version that any Dynix customer can add to their OPAC:

    http://www.daveyp.com/blog/index.php/archives/4/

    Hope that helps!
    Dave


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