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Just completed point-and-clicking to apply a minor config change to 212 collections in Ex Libris Alma because they decided not to provide an "update batch job" (unlike most of the other entity types) and instead offer an "E-collection quick edit cloud app"... which failed to update 18/20 and 41/50 of the collections in my first two test runs.

Guess I should have used the API. I just can't believe how hostile this program is.

So if you're wondering why I've been quiet for a while, it's because of this awful situation that has been playing out.

Apparently the layoff notices are being sent on Monday.

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How was Senate forced to approve this odious package?

By being told that if they said no, the university would close entirely. Duress and conflict of interest should have had the while thing ruled out of order, but apparently not.

I urged faculty Senators to resign from Senate rather than be complicit in this travesty, but AFAICT none resigned. I suspect many abstained.

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Yesterday our university Senate was forced to approve an academic restructuring package they didn't see until the meeting started, that cuts programs and will result in mass layoffs of tenured faculty and staff and leave students with no way of competing their original program.

And it was all in-camera, so none of the discussions or arguments will be part of the publicly available minutes.

The administration made a mockery of collegial governance and the bicameral model.

Social media, advocacy campaigns, FOSS tools 

We're running social media advocacy campaigns to support the faculty and staff at Laurentian University (MPOW, which declared financial insolvency one month ago).

Someone wanted to reach out to all those who tweeted one of our hashtags and was going to get a group to manually slog through the job.

Instead, half an hour later, via the power of twarc and jq, they now have a nice clean list. Thank you free & open source software!

twarc help plz! search vs. filter 

This has returned nothing for hours:

twarc filter 'laurentian -"Laurentian elites" -"Laurentian Elite" -"Laurentian consensus" -from:@LaurentianNews'

This works nicely and shows results within the past few minutes that should have been caught by filter:

twarc search 'laurentian -"Laurentian elites" -"Laurentian Elite" -"Laurentian consensus" -from:@LaurentianNews'

Am I doing something wrong?

Ex Libris Alma "support" 

November: report a console error due to an SVG file with an SVG element multiple ID attributes.

February: support says "We have replicated the error but have you noticed any functional effects?"

Me: "No, it prevents rendering ~100 SVG images, I can't tell if any functions have been affected.

Please, just fix it. I've diagnosed the problem for you, your devs should be able to resolve the problem with a single commit of a single line of code."

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If you weren't among the 33,600 people 😮 at online #FOSDEM this weekend, be advised: 100% #FOSS for online conferences is production ready *today*. Say NO to any Zoom (or other proprietary software) online events from now on. Demand software freedom!

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Rewatching "How I met your mother". The old version of Ted telling the story to his kids... That's set in 2020.

Their mother died from COVID, and the story is how they're spending the rest of quarantine.

That's canon now.

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Our administration has been lying to us for years and now they want to ignore our collective agreement and bi-cameral agreements on how the university shall operate:

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Google is a "cornerstone sponsor" of FOSDEM this year, which is being run entirely on Matrix, accessible on Android via Element, which has just been pulled from Google's Play Store. FOSDEM is in a week. This all makes perfect sense.

Err, math is hard. 2 weeks later, for a total of 3 weeks.

Should have just dumped the entire MARC dataset from Evergreen to remove it as a bottleneck. Oh well. Next time.

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1 week later and my script has compared almost 2M bib records, finding about 13,000 mismatches for our staff to check and possibly correct. Still churning. Maybe I should have parallelized it? But I'm not sure if either Alma or Evergreen would have been very happy with that.

Alma "support" ARGH 

In the initial report, I included JS console error messages pinpointing the problem, the URL from which the malformed XML comes, a sample of the malformed XML, and an explanation of what an unescaped & character means.

Everything that a reasonable tier 2 dev should need to take swift action. Not the kind of action that dismissively replies "yes the UI shows you that there wasn't a match"


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Alma "support" ARGH 

Wrote this in reply to a dismissive support response:

Any developer who understands the tiniest bit about XML would be highly disturbed to see an unescaped "&" character in an XML text node. Please find another developer to look at this problem report. Whoever looked at this one either didn't read past the second sentence, or lacks a basic understanding of XML. There is a basic defect that very badly needs to be fixed, both for technical reasons, and for usability reasons.

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There will be quite a few talks at FOSDEM 2021 which may be of interest to academics. The program is huge, so I will post links to some of the relevant talks below. #FOSDEM #academia #openscience #opensource #digital #education

Ah that feeling when you've been focused on all the wrong things all day then realize that you forgot to take your meds and, yeah, that checks out.

Better living through automation: generate your updated dates, too!

The most recent stanzas shown are from 2021-01-14, so why is OCLC's page claiming it was last updated on Oct. 24, 2019?

And why aren't they consistently using ISO-8601 date formats? :)

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