Article on Xerxes in Ariadne

There’s an article on Xerxes in the recent Ariadne. (Thanks to colleague Sue Woodson for alerting me to this).

Xerxes is the Metalib front-end that David Walker and I are the two main developers on.

David and I have tried to make Xerxes as easy to install and maintain as possible, keep the ‘TCO’ for people other than us as low as possible, and work with other installers to make sure their local customizations are kept as cleanly seperated as possible from common shared Xerxes code in order to make future upgrades go smoothly (this latter is one of my obsessions).

This takes a bit more work from the main developers, but David and I believe it’s important for building the Xerxes userbase and ultimate sustainability of the project, providing direct benefits to our own institutional users of Xerxes as well as helping the larger library community.

It’s gratifying to see that the folks at Royal Holloway, University of London appreciate the job we do of helping other Xerxes installers get started, and agree that we’ve successfully created a very low “total cost of ownership” for Xerxes.

(I wouldn’t have minded if they had mentioned me and David by name in their article though!  But appreciate the article nonetheless, thanks folks.)

I also found this quote from a Royal Holloway user entertaining and matching my experience (Ex Libris, are you listening?)

Feedback showed that many users found the interface less than satisfactory, with one user commenting that:

‘MetaLib is possibly the worst and most confusing library interface I have ever come across’


Royal Holloway, University of London

Of course, with Xerxes on top, I like to think that your federated search/database directory tool becomes one of the better library interfaces we offer!

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