Archive for July, 2009

We have a new addition at work – a server for testing and development (mercifully, my suggestion to name it “dev-ergreen” didn’t stick). There were some initial ideas for this new server, including:

  • allowing staff to test out new features and upcoming versions of Evergreen; and
  • providing us with a proper place to test our own enhancements and developments.

While those forward-looking objectives are still planned, the first thing I did was rather more conservative: I tested our backup recovery procedure. If our production server spontaneously combusted, how quickly would we be able to restore our services? (After e-mailing the fire department, of course.) Although we have backed up our data from day one, we had not yet tried the backup restore procedure from bare metal.

We restored our data to the development server without a hitch. While doing so, it occurred to me that this is something that open source software makes incredibly straightforward. There’s no concern about obtaining permission from a vendor to install another copy of the ILS on a second server, or moving the data from the production to the development server. Both can be running copies of the ILS without any extra money being spent on licenses. Additionally, new versions of the ILS can be tested without having to sign NDAs and obtaining vendor permission.

As a result, we now have a separate system with a copy of our production data, ready for testing by us and our staff…and I can sleep a little bit more soundly.

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The Piece of Paper

It has barely been three months but school seems so far away. Or it did, until my diploma arrived in the mail.

I know it’s just a piece of paper and that my graduation was never really in doubt…but it’s comforting to have it in hand all the same.


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III Linking Policy

I was recently going through Innovative’s web site and, out of curiosity, clicked on the small “Legal Notices” link at the bottom of their front page. It instructed me to “PLEASE READ THESE ‘TERMS OF USE’ CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEB SITE”. It occurred to me that, if they truly wanted all visitors to read the legal notices before using the site, they should probably either feature the link more prominently on the front page or force a redirect to make sure everyone has a chance to read it beforehand. Most of us aren’t accustomed to reading EULAs for websites.

What got my attention was their “Links Policy”. Apparently, you are not allowed to link to III’s site unless you follow specific rules, including:

  • “(i) any link to the Web site must be a link clearly marked “Innovative Interfaces” OR “iii.com”;
  • “(iii) the link must “point” to the URL (www.iii.com) and not to other pages within the Web site”;
  • “(vi) Innovative Interfaces, Inc. reserves the right to revoke its consent to the link at any time and in its sole discretion.”

That means that if you want to point someone to a specific III product, such as Millenium or Encore, you are, according to III, not allowed to provide them with direct links. Evidently, Google doesn’t respect their policy either (of course, it might help if III provided a robots.txt file to help support their links policy).

It’s got a bit of a “Fight Club” ring to it: “The first rule of the Millenium web page is you don’t link to the Millenium web page. The second rule of the Millenium web pages is you don’t link to the Millenium web page.

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