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Paper details

Integrating and Extending Vyhledávač, an On-line Digital Library Aggregator and Search Engine (Workshop)

Matěj Laitl


We are proud to announce that Vyhledávač web application will be publicly launched during ULD conference. Vyhledávač is an accessible web front-end to multiple online libraries of digitalised books and other materials. Currently, Vyhledávač indexes contents of 9 online Czech libraries and lets any visitor perform searches in an unified and screen-reader friendly fashion. Once a publication is found, the user is given a link to appropriate library.

Vyhledávač is especially designed to crawl smaller libraries that don’t support professional-grade library querying protocols such as Z39.50, for those another independent project exists - Library Gateway for Visually Impaired [1] hosted at Masaryk University. Due to absence of such protocol support among smaller libraries, simple parsing of library web pages is used instead. The search engine functionality is additionally exported as a web service, allowing easy integration into any other web or client-side application.

Vyhledávač is being developed at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague (FNSPE CTU) [2] by a group of students and the development is supported by TEREZA, a centre for facilitation of university education for visually impaired students. One of the team and the key software developer, Matěj Laitl, will be present at the conference to introduce Vyhledávač, answer any question and to lead technical workshop.

Technically speaking, Vyhledávač is written in Java programming language and is divided into 4 parts: core (interface to internal database), gui (web front-end), webservice and importer, which is used to import book data from libraries into internal database.

The workshop will focus on 2 separate topics: writing a web service client and writing a parser for a new library. The participants interested in the first topic will learn how easy is to create their own Vyhledáč client using a high-level programming language. Knowledge of such programming language (Python will be used by the mentor) is required to actively participate. Bring your own laptop!

The second topic covers the situation when there is a need to add support for a new library into Vyhledávač and is suited for more advanced audience. Using a pre-created stub, participants will have a chance to code a parser, a part of Vyhledávač that downloads book list from a library, parses it and feeds found publications into core. Moderate Java programming experience and own notebook with NetBeans IDE [3] installed is needed to be able to join the coding. However, everybody is welcome to watch and ask!




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