The Georgia Open-ILS folks released the Evergreen Cataloging Demo today, a preview of what’s coming. You can install the client in Firefox and try it out against their database. It’s well worth a run through. XUL really does allow you to build a usable administrative interface: it’s fast, full-featured, nice. You’ll forget you’re in your browser.

Playing around with it connected with a discussion on XML4Lib to prompt the question: how long, how long will we put up with MARC? When will we say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, and bury it? The Evergreen interface does wonders to enable you to do things no innocent person should have to do, like inserting a subfield indicator before you enter a subtitle. We don’t have to live this way!

I’ve been building a MODS editor with Cocoon Forms and trying to make it as full-featured as possible, but lately I’ve started wondering whether the server-side approach is necessary any more. This is the year of Javascript, after all, and Ajax is on everyone’s lips. Should I try to master XUL? XForms? It’s hard to know where to put your energy. I’ve been getting by with little PHP and less Java, and a lot of XSLT, for the last few years, but maybe it’s time to branch out. Just as long as I don’t have to learn Perl.