Author Archives: Mark Eaton

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Into the strangeness

There’s a lot of strangeness writing JavaScript for the web. The edge cases are sometimes mind-bending. This is sometimes not the fault of JavaScript itself, but can be due to the other, non-JS things that the browser is doing. I ran into such problems recently when modifying a widget that provides access to our library’s […]

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LibGuides

These days, I’m really working hard at improving the library’s web presence. In part, this means moving more content over to LibGuides. As a result, we’re using more of the features of LibGuides, specifically lots of custom JavaScript and CSS. It’s nice to be tapping some of these more advanced features, and it has been […]

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Nanogenmo 2020

November is Nanogenmo, or National Novel Generation Month, a cheeky variant on the more well known Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that during the month of November, you write code that produces a 50,000 word novel. Most of the “novels” produced are of course unreadable. But it’s a great opportunity to […]

Posted in books, nanogenmo | Leave a comment

Website committee

I was recently appointed chair of our library’s website committee. I am honored to take on this role, as I feel that working to improve our library’s web presence is one of the most useful contributions that I can make to our library. It is also work that I like doing. I can see how […]

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Further into Alma

This week I dug into Alma a bit further, and learned how to do things like make sets and run jobs. I know I’m a bit behind the curve on this – other CUNY librarians have been doing these things for months – but it felt good to level up and figure this stuff out. […]

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Building incrementally

As soon as I finished the Open Journal Matcher and released it to the world, I wanted to rewrite it from the ground up. When I looked at the code, it was clear that so much could be improved: from better variable names, to clearer flow, and more concise functionality. I had to resist the […]

Posted in journal recommender | Leave a comment

Slow down, be thorough

Since (for now) the Open Journal Matcher is built without using a proper task queue, I’ve been spending a lot of effort handling the various errors thrown by my Google Cloud Function. This is both satisfying and annoying: it is nice to catch and handle each error properly, but it takes some digging to figure […]

Posted in api, google, journal recommender | Comments closed

On variable costs

Now that the Open Journal Matcher is live and receiving traffic, I’m wondering how much it is going to cost to keep running. There isn’t an obvious answer. Mostly this is because Google Cloud Functions scale with your project. This is definitely good for scalability and availability, but it makes it much more difficult to […]

Posted in budgeting, google, journal recommender | Comments closed

On scaling

I’ve been using PythonAnywhere to host web projects for some time now, and while I am very happy with the service, one of its weak points is scalability. This is especially problematic when trying to handle unpredictable spikes in traffic. While there are plenty of platforms that will scale seamlessly along with your traffic, PA […]

Posted in pythonanywhere | Comments closed

Alma

Recently, CUNY libraries migrated to Alma, our new library services platform. Alma is a pretty mighty piece of software. It can manage many, many library functions. Given how much it does, it amazes me that it works. I would love to look at the codebase for a bit, just to get a sense as to […]

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