[LibX] LibX with subscription WorldCat catalog?

John Bickar johnbickar at stanford.edu
Mon Apr 14 16:16:26 PDT 2008

Thanks for the information, Godmar. Converting the POST form to GET 
failed with a 404 error for me. I will see if any of the folks here who 
handle the OCLC subscription have any documentation that I can use.

Also FWIW, our link to WorldCat is 
http://firstsearch.oclc.org/fsip?dbname=WorldCat&done=referer, which is 
what led me to believe that our access was IP address-based (and 
therefore I could set it up as a custom catalog in LibX).

-John Bickar

Godmar Back wrote:
> To answer this question, let me step back for a minute.
> LibX, when installed on a client's computer, will contact a particular
> resource directly using the URL and method configured.  The server
> hosting the resource will directly communicate with the client and
> assign appropriate credentials. Many resources restrict access by IP
> address - in this case, the server will see the IP address of the
> machine the client is currently using. So in most cases, there are no
> issues.
> When configuring LibX and using the auto-detection box, however, our
> server at libx.org (which is really a VT-owned machine, aka
> libx.cs.vt.edu, with a VT IP address) will try to contact the resource
> for you. At this point, it's treated like a VT machine. It will then
> try to infer the URL and method to access this resource.
> This setup works peachy when a resource looks only at the IP address
> to determine eligibility for a service and when the URL and method to
> access a resource are the same from anywhere (and if, of course,
> Virginia Tech has a subscription to the resource being probed.)
> However, it can break down in a number of ways: for instance, a
> resource could recognize a client's IP address, then redirect to a
> different URL: say, for instance, firstsearch.oclc.org/vt when I came
> from a VT address but firstsearch.oclc.org/stanford for Stanford
> users.  If we detect firstsearch.oclc.org/vt from our server, and you
> include this in the configuration, your users will be going to the
> wrong URL that won't work for them.
> Another issue are resources that encode session ids in the URL. In
> those cases, the URL that's detected would be the current session URL
> assigned to our server during the probing. This URL likely won't work
> for you at all, or at least not for long.
> These are all inherent limitations in the auto-detection. To address
> them, we'd have to develop and install a plugin on the client computer
> before users could configure a LibX edition. Then this client plugin
> could connect to the resource during the auto-detection process. This
> is, however, future future work for now.
> What you can do now is trying to find out if there's a URL template
> that can be used to search this resource.
> - Install the web developer extension:
> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60
> - go in your browser to the search form you'd want users to search
> from the LibX toolbar.
> - choose the option "FORMs: POST -> GET" in the web developer extension
> - do your search using search terms xyzzy
> - copy and paste the URL to which the search led you; replacing xyzzy with %Y
> - set this up as a bookmarklet for a "Keyword".
> FWIW, FirstSearch is linked to as
> http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/topic=all;done=www.lib.vt.edu/;FSIP
> from the VT library site.  Going there, however, leads me to a page
> where I need to choose a database first.
> Maybe there are some librarians on this list who know the "deep
> linking" syntax for this service?  Maybe OCLC provides documentation
> to libraries who have subscribed to it?
>  - Godmar
> On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 12:22 PM, John Bickar <johnbickar at stanford.edu> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>  I've been asked by one of the librarians here to add our subscription
>>  version of WorldCat to the LibX toolbar. When I use the
>>  firstsearch.oclc.org that pops up in the Auto-detect, I get thwarted by
>>  an authorization and password screen.
>>  I've got the public WorldCat working pretty well, but the subscription
>>  one is defying me.
>>  Is it possible to get LibX to search a subscription catalog, or does it
>>  need to be publicly available? And if it's possible, how would I get
>>  started doing that?
>>  Thanks,
>>  John Bickar
>>  --
>>  John Bickar, Ed.M.
>>  User Services Technology Specialist
>>  Cubberley Education Library
>>  Stanford University
>>  johnbickar at stanford.edu
>>  650.725.1131 (office)
>>  650.796.4637 (mobile)
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  Libx mailing list
>>  Libx at mozdev.org
>>  https://www.mozdev.org/mailman/listinfo/libx

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