Brian Kelly, acting editor, reviews Exploit Interactive so far, summaries the content of the current issue and acknowledges a debt to Bernadette Daly, Exploit Interactive's founder editor.
Bernadette Daly, the co-editor of Exploit Interactive and the driving force behind issues 1 and 2, left UKOLN in September to return to North America to take up a post in Arizona. Before her departure Bernadette commissioned most of the content for issue 3. A tribute to Bernadette is given at the bottom of this editorial.
A peer review of the EXPLOIT project will take place in early November. The Exploit Interactive team are keen to ensure that information about the project is disseminated widely, and not just submitted in a report to the European Commission which is read by a handful of people. A brief report on progress to Exploit Interactive follows.
This is the third issue of Exploit Interactive to be published. Issue 1 was launched on 10 April 1999. Issue 2 followed on 29 July and Issue 3 was published on 25 October.
Although Exploit Interactive is intended to act as a web magazine, featuring articles on Telematics for Libraries projects and more general articles of interest to the broad Library and information community, it was felt important that the initial issues had a high profile and broad coverage in order to attract readership to this new problication, and also to appeal to potential authors. In this we feel that we have been successful. As can be seen from the figures in Table 1 the first three issues are much larger than might be expected from a web magazine.
|Issue||No. of articles||Approx. size (hardcopy)|
Articles published reflect a balance between Telematics for Libraries projects, other European Commission programmes, European Commission activities, other national projects, commercial organisations and, on a lighter note, a crossword puzzle. We have featured the ADVISER, CASA, CHILIAS, DEBORA, DERAL, ELISE II, EQUINOX, IESERV, LAURIN, LIBERATOR, LISTED, MIRACLE, MURIEL, PRIDE and VERITY Telematics for Libraries projects.
The design of Exploit Interactive was carried out by ILRT (Institute for Learning and Research Technology) at the University of Bristol. The success of the design can be judged from this unsolicited message received from CERN in September:
"Having had a look around at several web sites and e-journals, we found that you have managed to combine simplicity, elegance, completeness and advanced technical backing."
Exploit Interactive is hosted on a Windows NT server. Microsoft's SiteServer software is used as the web server. Server-side scripting based on Active Server Pages (ASP) is used to minimise the maintenance of the magazine (for example the navigational bars are included using ASP code).
Visual InterDev was used to create the ASP code. Visual InterDev was also used to produce the first two issues. However, although a useful development environment, it was felt to be too cumbersome for use in the production process and has not been used in this issue.
During the production of this issue we introduced a number of minor changes to the URL structure. As mentioned previously Exploit Interactive makes use of ASP technology to provide server-side scripting. In issues 1 and 2 use of ASP was noticeable in several of the hypertext links. We have recently discovered that this can cause problems if a web site is mirrored on a platform other than Windows NT. It can also cause problems with indexing, and ASP URLs tend not to be as memorable as conventional URLs. We have therefore moved the menu pages to separate directory areas, and make use of the server defaults (default.asp) to minimise use of URLs containing the .asp suffix. This should make the mirroring or archiving of Exploit Interactive much easier to implement.
Exploit Interactive aims to provide access to information. We will continue to publish quality, well-written articles about Telematics for Libraries projects and on related areas. However we are likely to cut back slightly from the numbers of articles published in the first two issues.
We will continue to make technical developments to the magazine. We hope to explore the use of metadata for the purposes of resource discovery, management and auditing.
We would also like to explore the possibilities of mirroring Exploit Interactive. As mentioned above, the web site has been modified slightly in order to facilitate mirroring. If any organisation would be interesting in hosting a mirror please send email to email@example.com.
We also will investigate improved procedures for the submission of articles. Currently articles are submitted by email. We would like to explore the provision of a web-based submission process to streamline the production process.
We will refine the user interface, including developments to the style sheets in order to enhance the accessibility of the publication. This editorial has passed the Bobby accessibility test  - we would like to ensure that all articles pass the test.
And last, but not least, we would like to develop feedback and discussion mechanisms to support Exploit Interactive.
The third issue of Exploit Interactive has the theme of Internationalisation and Accessibility. The coordination of the development of accessible web protocols is being carried out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We are pleased to feature an article on W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative - WAI.
One of the areas of work which the WAI coordinate is the development of tools to evaluate and repair web resources. Probably the best-known evaluation tool is Bobby, an application and web-based serviced developed by CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology). We are pleased to include an article which describes Bobby.
MIRACLE is an example of a Telematics For Libraries project which aims to provide digitised information for the visually impaired, through the creation of a world wide virtual library of music braille. Richard Tucker, the MIRACLE Project Coordinator, reports on developments to date.
The EU's Telematics Application Programme has funded the DESIRE project which aims to enable and enhance large-scale information networks for the research community. Marianne Peereboom describes how DESIRE is approaching the provision of multilingual support in subject gateways.
On the subject of multilingual resources, the Web Technologies column describes how automated translation facilities can be added to a browser and invites feedback on the effectiveness of this approach. As a trial a link to an automated translation service is provided from articles in this issue.
In addition to these articles, we also feature articles on the EQUINOX, DEBORA and TACIS Telematics For Libraries projects.
An overview of the UK's eLib (Electronic Libaries Programme) is given, together with a report on one of the current projects - BUILDER.
Our "Regular Columns" include two conference reports and a PubliCA report on developments in the Aarhus Municipal Libraries. "Behind the Web Site" features a report on CORDIS, the official EU research information service, and an analysis of National Focal Point web sites.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Exploit Interactive. Issue 4, which is due to be released at the end of January 2000 has the theme "Services for the New Millennium". If you would like to contribute to this issue please contact the editors at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Bernadette Daly Moves On To Pastures New
Bernadette Daly started work at UKOLN in June 1998. Although she was born in England, she moved to Canada as a child. The vacancy at UKOLN provided Bernadette with the opportunity to return to the UK.
UKOLN's involvement with the EXPLOIT project officially started in August 1998. Bernadette was involved with the project from the start, and attended the initial launch meeting held in Amsterdam.
Bernadette took responsibility for the launch of the magazine, and was heavily involved in the preparatory work including commissioning the design work and commissioning articles for issue 1. Bernadette produced the first issue. This involved a steep learning curve, as Exploit Interactive was produced on a Windows NT server platform running the SiteServer software - this was a new operating system and server software for UKOLN staff to master.
We wish Bernadette well in her new career as Branch Manager/Senior Librarian of the Fountain Hills Regional Library/Museum, Maricopa County Library District in Arizona.
We welcome your feedback on this editorial, this issue and our plans for future developments. If you would like to give feedback, use the Hypernews discussion forum or send email to email@example.com.
|Exploit-Interactive Hypernews Forum|
UK Web Focus and acting Exploit Interactive editor
University of Bath
Tel: +44 1225 323943
Fax: +44 1225 826838
University of Bath
Tel: +44 1225 826354
Fax: +44 1225 826838
Former UKOLN Information Officer and Exploit Interactive editor
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