I still ask myself, "What will we have done in six, twelve, and
eighteen months from now in order to make more people aware of the
benefits of standardized search as we have defined it?"
Unceremoniously, I suggest the following things, listed in no priority
* Apply for one or more grants - The purpose of these grants is not
so much to develop/enhance the protocol, but rather to explore methods
for exploiting the protocol (i.e. additional SRW/U gateways to other
search engines, SRW/U interfaces to other collections of content, SRW/U
libraries written in [insert your favorite language here], the
development of generic SRW/U clients that transform search results into
different flavors of output, the creation of a union catalog/index,
* Build relationships with other interested groups - Are any of our
employers members of the DLF, ARL, CNI, SPARC, Vendor Initiative for
Enabling Web Services (VIEWS), etc? If so, then these groups represent
communities to whom we can build relationships and share our message.
* Distribute a Powerpoint presentation - This interactive file would
literally define, outline, and illustrate the benefits of SRW/U.
"Interactive" and "illustrates" are the key words. This file would be
not only informative but entertaining as well.
* Facilitate a number of workshops - These hands-on tutorials (in
venues like DLF Forums, JCDL, ECDL, ALA/LITA, etc.) would provide ways
for decision-makers as well as implementors to ask experts about the
in's and out's of SRW/U as well as see first-hand how it works.
* Implement a conformance tester - The implementation of a
conformance tester will make developer's work easier and build
confidence. It will provide the means for an implementor who is
developing something in [insert your language here] to move ahead more
quickly. Think of it as a means for providing an SRW/U Seal of
* Tighten up the documentation - We all know the advantages and
disadvantages of SRW and SRU. I suggest the protocol(s) get frozen for
a specific period of time, re-write the documentation according to the
frozen specification, and supplement the documentation with
* Write a number of articles - In academia articles are the most
accepted form of promotion. What's more, the written word is literally
a form of communication transcending space and time. You can write an
article and subsequently share your ideas to people across the globe a
year later. Very powerful. The library community abounds with venues to
write articles about SRW/U. There are other communities as well. We
could enumerate publications, divvy them up, and submit articles
Do y'all have any additional ideas? Do I see any hands out there
volunteering to participate and/or lead some of these efforts?
Eric Lease Morgan
University Libraries of Notre Dame