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作者讨论了开源图书馆系统的问题。她认为,开源系统是一种最有效的方法,让图书馆员能实现自己的职业价值,并且让图书馆工作有可能应对未来的挑战。

思考开源

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译者:Nalsi 原文作者:K.G. Schneider
发布:2010-06-26 14:02:25 挑错
This Monday, 1:30-3:30 at WCC-146B, I am participating in yet another Ultimate Debate:  “Open Source Software – Free Beer or Free Puppy?”  The event features Marshall Breeding and Stephen Abram, and will be moderated by Roy Tennant. It has a hashtag of #ultdebate, and even John Berry will be there.

这周一中午的1:30-3:30,我会在WCC-146B参加了另一次终极辩论:“开源软件——免费的啤酒还是免费的小狗?” Marshall BreedingStephen Abram会参加辩论, Roy Tennant会担任主持。它有一个标签#ultdebate,甚至于JohnBerry也会来参加

  
    (Sidebar: Berry, how is it that four years is “enough” for our debate when you’ve been writing that column for hmmmm… how long? But no matter…)


The debate has the potential to be really dull or unusually interesting.  When I was invited to this event, I was just transitioning from spending a little over a year in a development and support company for open source software toward my new role as university librarian, and Stephen Abram would soon be leaving his high-profile job at Sirsi-Dynix for a position at Gale.

这个辩论可能会极端无聊,也可能会特别有趣。当主办方邀请我参加这个活动的时候,我刚刚在我新的工作(大学图书馆员)上干了一年多,之前我在一家开源软件的开发和维护公司工作。那时候,Stephen Abram也正要离开他在Sirsi-Dynix风光无限的工作,接手Gale的一个新职位。

  
I suspect some people expect me to renounce open source (get thee away, open code!), and others expect me to doggedly embrace it no matter what, like those annoying Apple cultics who would devour arsenic if it arrived in a rounded white plastic container with that familiar fruit emblazoned on its bottlecap.

我怀疑有些人期待我谴责开源(开放代码,滚吧!),其他人则期待我固执的拥护它,不管发生什么,就像那些讨厌的苹果拥护者一样——他们也会吃掉砒霜,只要砒霜装在一个白色塑料的圆盒里送到他们这,盒子盖上画着他们熟悉的那个水果标志。

  
At MPOW, I’ve been very busy with urgent priorities, from repairing bathroom exhaust fans and tearing out unneeded shelving to rebuilding relations with campus departments and on to creating Team MPOW — a 100% tech-literate, forward-thinking, entrepreneurial squad of library miracle workers.

在我工作的地方,我一直忙于处理紧急事务,从修理洗手间不转的电扇,到剔除不用的书架,到修复和校方的关系,再到建立工作团队——这个团队要100%的懂技术、能够向前看,而且有进取心。

  
My library management system… well, it works, which means I can stay focused on other stuff, and its contract is really, really long. That doesn’t mean we have no other choices–there’s always a buy-out, or even a walk-away option–but I am frying all those other fish. (The issues with long ILS contracts I will save for another post someday.)

我们的图书馆馆系统……恩,它运转良好。这让我能够关注其他的事情,而且这个系统的合同真是非常非常的长。这并不意味着我们就没有其他的选择——我们总是可以买断甚至于直接放弃这个系统,但是我有太多的事情要做。(我改天会写写我们ILS这个长合同的事情)

  
To me it boils down to who we are as a profession–not just now, but historically. I think companies that produce proprietary library software assume that libraries such as mine wouldn’t benefit from open source software because we would never be able to use OSS without paying for support services and we’d be very unlikely to engage with the development community to any great extent. But I think that’s like assuming that people who don’t use libraries don’t benefit from library service. We, LibraryLand, benefit from our hive mind, particularly in such a sharing profession.

对我来说,这个问题归结于我们图书馆员作为专业人员的身份。我觉得生产专有图书馆软件的公司有这样一个假定,图书馆(比如我所在的图书馆)无法从开源软件中受益,因为如果我们不购买支持服务便绝不能使用开源软件,而且我们非常不可能大规模的参与到开源软件的开发社区中。但是我觉得这就好比假设说,不使用图书馆的人就不可能从图书馆服务中受益。我们LibraryLand便得益于我们的集体思维(hive mind),尤其是在这样一个乐于分享职业中。

  
The fundamental problem with the proprietary software model is not one of evil ownership or grasping vendors. I’ve seen both of those occur in the open source software community. The problem with proprietary library management software–from a high-level perspective, profession-wide–is that it makes us stupid. It deprofessionalizes who we are and disengages us from tool creation.

专有软件模型的基本问题不在于万恶的所有权或者贪婪的系统商。这两件事我在开源软件社区中也曾见过。专有的图书馆管理软件的问题在于(从一个专业的高度来说)它让我们变得愚蠢。它贬低我们的专业,让我们远离创造工具的过程。

  
Conversely, every librarian who engages in tool creation to any degree improves the state of librarianship for all of us. This has been true since some guy in a toga put holes in a wall to store the papyrus, and it was true in the 19th century when we agreed as a profession on the size of catalog cards (which led to our early adoption of standards and network-level records), and it  is true in the open source community today.

相反,每一个不管以何种程度参与创造工具的图书馆员都为我们所有人提升了图书馆事业的状态。这件事情可以追溯到一些穿着长袍的古埃及人在墙上挖洞,储存纸莎草;还有在19世纪作为一个职业,我们就目录卡片的尺寸达成了一致(这产生了我们最早执行的标准,以及网络级的记录);在今天的开源社区中同样如此。

  
If you think that’s not the case, compare the discussion lists for proprietary products with open source products. I do that every day. For Evergreen, I observe librarians from all roles in their organizations thinking out loud about the tools they are building. For My Home Product, enquiries are limited to simple how-tos. I’m aware there’s a mindset that librarians don’t have the skills to engage with their tools–but I think we have created these librarians. Take someone who is fresh out of library school, put a brick wall between their tools and their services, and decades later you will have someone who has lost the ability to think in terms of tool creation. Invention of any kind is a muscular activity, one that requires constant use in order not to atrophy.

如果你觉得事情不是这样的,那么就比较一下专有产品和开源产品的讨论列表吧。我每天都比较二者。对于Evergreen来说,我的观察是,图书馆员,不管在各自的机构中从事何种工作,都会大声的说出他们对正在构建的工具进行的思考。对于我们的产品主页来说,人们的咨询局限在简单的“如何做某事”上。我知道人们有一种看法,认为图书馆员没有足够的能力,来参与创造他们的工具,但是我认为其实是我们创造了这样的图书馆员。比如一个人刚从图书馆学校毕业,然后你在他们的工具和服务之间垒了一道墙,几十年之后,你就会发现他已经失去了从创造工具的角度进行思考的能力。任何类型的发明都是肌肉运动,需要我们持续的使用才能避免萎缩。

  
One viable question is whether any of this matters. The debate on open source will probably focus on the integrated library systems most of us use. I mean no disrespect to library development companies of any type, but the local “book catalog” is a dwindling focus of our services (and the architecture of all current LMS’s, regardless of the openness of their code, is built around 20th-century workflows). Our e-services are key.

可是,有一个问题是,这些事情是否重要。关于开源的辩论可能会关注我们绝大多数人都在使用的集成图书馆系统。我无意对任何类型的图书馆开发公司不敬,但是本地的“图书目录”是我们各种服务中一个越来越小的焦点(当前所有的图书馆管理系统,不管其代码的开放程度如何,都是围绕20世纪的工作流程设计的)。我们的电子服务才是关键。

  
Some of you may say that projects such as OLE will replace the ILS. But I question how we can truly design new workflows when we have no insight into (and very little role in) the evolution of digital content in the next decade.

你们一些人会说,像开放图书馆环境(Open LibraryEnvironment, OLE)这样的项目将要取代图书馆集成系统。但是我要问,如果我们对于未来十年间数字内容的演进缺乏深刻的见解,我们又该如何设计新的工作流程呢?

  
Nevertheless, most of us continue to have traditional print collections and most of us need to move that stuff around–catalog it, check it in, check it out, etc.  Furthermore, engagement with library management software–even at a distance–keeps those invention muscles buffed and toned. It is a logical focus of our attention.

但是,我们绝大多数人会继续面对传统的印刷馆藏,而且我们绝大多数人都需要继续从事传统的工作流程——编目、借书、还书。进一步说,参与图书馆的管理软件——即便是在远程——能够让这些肌肉得到锻炼。因此,这个问题在逻辑上是我们应当关注的一个焦点。

  
If librarianship will survive the Big Shift, it will do so by reinventing itself. To reinvent itself will require many muscles of invention. And that, in the end, is why we need open source.

如果图书馆事业能够在这次大变动之后幸免于难,那么它是靠着重新发明自身才做到这一点的。重新发明需要大量发明的“肌肉”。而归根结底,这就是我们需要开源的理由。

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