Mar 15

Today: 15-Mar-2010: More Meeting-o-rama

Category: today

My entire day seemed to revolve around meetings. Started off at 9am with the team meeting and being informed that I’m being put onto yet another task as well which takes priority over everything else. The unfortunate thing about politics higher than you is the fact that you get pulled all over the place. Such is life unfortunately. New work, new tasks and new integration targets.

The next meeting was a pseudo meeting for myself where I filled in a few more HEAT requests for the day. I had three, including one requesting to install HEAT at the suggestion of Luke Drury. I’m told it is only used in ICT related business. Such is life, I guess Service Desk really enjoy rerouting all of my HEAT jobs.

Following this was a meeting with one of the Faculty Librarians about Access All Databases (AAD) and looking at options. AAD is an application that has been picked up from elsewhere and repurposed by the Library and it shows. It is in dire need of a rewrite and it scares me how badly the entire item is structured. We’ve got some changes and we’ll have a demo at the relevant meeting later in the week. Lucky us! More work likely but no time to clean it up properly.

Next on the list was the ePrints meeting, the last for the quarter. We did alright this quarter and most things were completed acceptably. There are some outstanding items and a few things left but all in all it wasn’t too bad. Was a relatively quick meeting which also makes me happy as well and I got to lunch at a reasonable hour instead of being horribly late.

After lunch I ended up doing some quick support and investigation as to why something wasn’t displaying properly in our library catalogue. Looks like a data error but you can never be cetain about these things. We’ve changed the data but it will take a while for everything to flow through due to the design of the system.

From here the next meeting was to work with ePrints with an ICT staff member to implement a feature that I had previously built into ePrints. Whilst I was working on the Author ID project within ePrints one of the needs was to reference a data set that was stored and managed outside of ePrints, namely the department tree. To do this I created a new field type called the “ExternalItemRef” which extended from the built in “ItemRef” field type. ItemRef links ePrint datasets together and allows you to do references which is cool, ExternalItemRef does the same thing but instead of using an ePrints defined data set, it works with any particular table that is available to the system within the same database as ePrints. You define the name of the table, the key for the table (a unique integer value) and then a text value for it that is then displayed. This gets processed by the field and neatly integrated into ePrints. Further to this I have a widget that permits the user to have a popup dialogue displayed to enable searching of item results. The popup dialogue was itself new functionality that I added to the system to enable searching on the various tables easily. Because it is a popup it can present information in my mind a lot easier than a simple AJAX drop down list. The thing that took the longest was in fact loading the data from an Excel spreadsheet into the MySQL database but after a bit of work it was easy enough to do and we’ve got instructions for next time. The trick appeared to be not using Excel but – free software to the rescue. Also regular expressions are amazing at data transformation. I need to do some more practice at loading data into MySQL and work out more effecient ways of doing it but I feel I’ve got it figured out enough for this situation.

The afternoon was spent reviewing the various systems that are available internally, looking at their issues and working my way through my horrific inbox. So many little things that need doing, cleaning up and fixing. One day at a time!

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