IUG 2009 – Some Secrets of Successful Scripting and Statistics

Harvey Hahn

Arlington Heights Memorial Library


Another really good session. Lot’s of detailed work here. Grab Harvey’s presentation materials.


Script imitates what a person would perform. The script performs a series of Windows actions that often involve entering, modifying, or deleting data.


Dumb scripting cannot respond to what appears on the screen.

Smart scripting can read the data on the screen and can react to screen behavior "intelligently".


Scripting considerations

A script can send keystrokes faster than Windows can process them

Programmers need to insert delays after Send commands to permit Windows to catch up

The delay value should be at least 2/10ths of a second


Millennium scripting tip

If there is a keyboard shortcut available, USE IT before trying mouse clicks. Keyboard shortcuts are the easiest and most reliable.


A script must wait until a given window is ready for action.

It might also need to check for the possible appearance of an optional window.

Watch out for surprise windows with error messages.


If you can highlight it you can read it. If you can’t highlight it, you cannot.


The standard way of getting data off the screen is by highlighting it and copying it.

It’s standard practice to clear the clipboard before copying any data to it.

IUG 2009 – Encore Implementation – One Academic Library’s Experience

Christopher Brown, Elizabeth Meagher, Sandra Macke

Penrose Library, University of Denver


This library didn’t do any advance publicity in advance of their Encore deployment. They just turned it on and let it run. There was only one complaint from a single faculty member.


With this approach they felt that the system was intuitive enough that patrons would just "get it," and that has proven to be the case.


Professors can use community tagging as a way to create virtual reserves.


The library selected keyword searching as the starting point for several reasons.

More Google-like

Works quite well for known-item searching

Is much faster than regular catalog

Has no limits to result set (traditional opac maxes out at 32,000 results)


During the implementation, they found that serials appear at the top of the results sets. This library considers this an added bonus to Encore.


The library hope to make their catalog become the ultimate reference tool for their institution. Along with this, they have a goal to make the searching the OPAC at least as easy as browsing the reference shelves.


The library currently has about 250 tags created through the community tagging system.


The library rolled out what was a fairly canned implementation of Encore. After rolling out, they began revising the catalog based on input rolling in from students and reference librarians.


Encore also helped reveal things relevant to database maintenance. For example, when a feature film showed up with a 3-D object facet, this threw up a red flag that something was wrong. When you’re skimming through records and facets, you can look for the things where only one item appears. Surprisingly, this helps problems bubble to the surface so that they can be found and corrected.


An audience question led to a reiteration of the point that the Penrose Library just put this out there. They bought it, turned it on, and let the public have at it. From Christopher: "Customers today understand that. Google does this all the time. They put something out there, and if it breaks, it breaks. We did it that way, and I would do it again."


"The first day out of the box it’s pretty good. Then you just tweak it."


Encore cannot handle all of the JavaScript enhancements that are possible in the traditional catalog.

The New ILLiad 8.0 Interface

Genie Powell – Atlas wants to show what is happening with ILLiad 8.0 while it is under development rather than completely finishing the product and then unveiling it to a lot of surprise and disappointment.


The current Atlas plan is to have no additional updates between 7.4 and 8. This upgrade is primarily dealing with the ILLiad staff client.

The ILLiad client doesn’t really look like everything on staff computers because it’s running on code that was written twelve years ago. ILLiad 8 will be a complete code rewrite. Atlas is planning the design so that users can run the 7.4 and 8.0 clients side-by-side.

The new code rewrite will give new plug-ins for scanning and database connectivity. The rewrite will also help streamline the amount of time that you have to spend talking to the database. Many of the changes are under-the-hood and not immediately apparent. However, there will be a new look to the client. There will be no database changes in the 8.0 release.

Under ILLiad 8.0 the status list is in alphabetical order at first use. Users can rearrange the list and put it in the order that is meaningful to them. Users can also create their own categories and move certain statuses under that category. This can be done for the entire department or for a single user.

Under the new user interface, the barometer can be removed if a particular user doesn’t want to see that report. There will also be an option for fast user switching: staff can switch between multiple users without having to completely close the client and re-login.

ILLiad 8 is using the ribbon concept adapted from Office 2007. Anything users want to do on a form is available from a ribbon. Search forms will search multiple data fields from a single search box. Search results open in tabs so that users can see multiple search results within a single client.

Staff users can move, rearrange, and rename the layout of elements on the screen. There is also an option to restore the layout to the default settings.

In ILLiad 8 the print option uses the selected Word file, an Excel spreadsheet instead of a DBF file, and it will print directly to the default printer without ever actually opening Word. With the change the chances of you losing the data source in the Word file are practically nil.

Under ILLiad 8 the plan is to put e-mail templates in the database rather than have them exist as separate text files.

Atlas plans to release the ILLiad 8.0 preview in spring 2009.

With the move from 7.3 to 7.4 there will be some small database changes. The new client will run under Windows XP or Vista. Current problems in web reports will be resolved with the 7.4 upgrade.