Bernhard Eversberg EV at
Mi Mai 24 08:51:43 CEST 1995

Hello Dr. Vanlanduyt,

you wrote,
> 1. OPAC-version?
>         I've the impression that the question about the OPAC-module isn't in
> discussion. We follow our students and expire that without any instruction=
>  they
> have a lot of problems esp. about combined search. With a little workgroup
> we suggest following ameliorations of the OPAC-module.
The general experience in Germany seems to be that patrons do have a 
few initial difficulties but these are usually overcome within a very 
short time. After that, every unnecessary step in the use of the OPAC
is considered a nuisance. Having a menu appear and a choice to be 
made from it EVERY time the OPAC is called, instead of just typing in
one's search term and be done with it, is quickly found a distracting
detour. After all, what patrons want is not the catalog but the 
media, and the less effort it is to use the catalog the better.

> b) We suggest that the in the bottom of the screen: some extra lines should
> be available to explain the combined search strategy and to explain more
> clear to get more information.

This comes up when you press F1 or '?', and only then - because after 
some very short time you no longer need the extra lines at the 
bottom, they just take up space which is better made available for 
index and record display.

> c) To press SHIFT+F9 or SHIFT+F8 is a rather difficult action for people
> unfamiliar with computers. With ANSI.SYS we 've changed Shift+F9 and
> Shift+F8 with F9 and F8 (we don't use index F8 and F9)
That's up to you, of course.

> d) At this time, you 've just to type your search word when your index is
> choosen. We should suggest that at the screen is more clear and that
> immediately a little box appear to type in your search word. Why shouldn't
> it appears as follow:
> F2: Searching on authors, institutions...
> --------------------------------------------------------------
>                                               ________
>                 Type in your search word:     hghdgshd
>                                               ________
>                 =3D If you want to combine with something else:
>                       1. press enter and then /
>                        2. go to the other index and select the second
>                                 search word
>         ------------------------------------------------------
>         1 abb
>         1 abbkj
>         12 abblmmme
>         ...
>         ---------------------------------------------------
>         F8: Show short title        F10: END
>         ESC: Restart - more information
This, and some more important demands, must be dealt with in the not 
so distant future. Heinrich Allers earlier today mentioned the 
deficiency in boolean searching, a very important topic. All of this 
is taken very seriously, but we must take one step at a time, and 
there's always much more on the agenda than just the APAC program.

> 2. Relational structure
> At this time it is for me very unclear how double information can be
> avoided. F.e. (we 're a music-library): we 've a database of 12.000
> componists with birthdate, nationality etc. How should the databank be
> organised that it isn't necessary to type in each record all the information
> of the componist?=20
You probably haven't yet seen the "bolero" documentation and demo 
database. (You can telnet to, username "opac", password
"opac", then enter command "bolero") There are authority records for
composers, and in the title records you just enter the composer's
identifier, like  #52 _m  instead of  #52 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus.
I happen to believe that the "bolero" method of dealing with 
authorities is among the best possible methods and generates very 
little redundancy.

> 3. We're still looking for colleagues, using Allegro-C in Music-libraries.=
> =20
This is only just beginning in Germany, and none of the current 
users, to my knowledge, have e-mail yet.

> 4. In BOLERO the most difficult question isn't solved. It is about the
> strength of a composition (2 violons, 3soprano's...) We've constructed a new
> strategy for this problem (at this time used in the famous Koninklijk
> Conservatorium of Brussels 1.000.000 scores!): put in one field information
> on different levels:
> 4+symf: V1 H3 <Sopr1 Fagot1 Hobo2>=20
> You have here three levels: 4+symf means: 4 solists + symnfonical orchestra
> V1 H3: 1 vocal and 3 holzbl=E4sers=20
> Sopr1: 1soprano; 1 fagot; 2 hobo's.
> With the magnific indexing possiblities is it quit simple to find a work=
>  for:
> 3 solists whereoff 1 trumpet and 2 bas.
> There are special cases, but most of them were solved.
There's the #30m field for musical classification codes. You can enter
#30m 4+symf: V1 H3 <Sopr1 Fagot1 Hobo2>
and you get all of these elements entered into index 7.

It is possible that some (very little) extra documentation, carefully 
thought out, in combination with translations of H10, H11, and 
UIFA, will be all you need to make the "allegro" or "bolero" 
OPAC popular with your patrons. To set up a sophisticated database 
meeting all special musical requirements is a daunting task, whatever 
the system's name may be. There's room for improvement, even with the
"allegro" kernel components, but I think we've come a long way.

Hope this helps,


Bernhard Eversberg
Universitaetsbibliothek, Postf. 3329, 
D-38023 Braunschweig, Germany
Tel.  +49 531 391-5026 , -5011 , FAX  -5836
e-mail  B.Eversberg at

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