Introducing Blacklight VUFIND VS BLACKLIGHT

Introducing Blacklight
Boon Low, NeSC, The University of Edinburgh
25 January 2011
• Faceted search (Solr)
• User services, in addition to Solr discovery
– Search history, saved search
– Bookmarking, folders
– Exports
• Blacklight is a discovery interface for library catalogue, digital repository front‐end, single‐search interface • Similar to VuFind, it is essentially a front‐end for Apache Solr
• Therefore the UI cleanly separated from the underlying repository or data store(s).
User services: search history
• Search History ‐ VuFind and Blacklight
• Blacklight ‐ available to quest
• VuFind – required authentication, not obvious in UI • Basic login
• Advanced features in development: advanced search, date range limits, CQL searching
User services: saved search
Saved Search – VuFind and Blacklight, for logged in users
VuFind saved search at the bottom of search results
Blacklight saved search through the search history page
Once logged‐in users access saved searches through a direct links in UIs (both) User services: Bookmark
• Bookmark/Favourites: both offer this to logged‐in users, with the same annotation services: tag, note.
• Both VuFind and Blacklight offer direct links to bookmarks; but VuFind access not obvious (‘Your Account’)
• Folder: new feature from Blacklight for all users inc. guess to temporary ‘mark’ items ‐> group export, bookmark
User services: Other
Faceted Search UI
• Export: Blacklight and VuFind both provide options to export items, e.g. citation, SMS, email, RefWork, EndNote
• VuFind export one item at a time; Blacklight provides individual and multiple items export via Folder • VuFind provides user comment/reviews, Blacklight does not
• General differences in Blacklight and VuFind front‐pages
• Most VuFind UIs are simpler, do not include browse or facet listing
• Browse and facet listing are more common in Blacklight front‐page
– Not without issues, facet listing usability and usefulness
– Perhaps more suited to digital repository cf. OPAC?
• UVa Blacklight
• LSE VuFind
Blacklight Search Results
• UVa Blacklight
Blacklight Item Page
• UVa Blacklight
• LSE VuFind
• LSE VuFind
• Blacklight at Hull
Various Blacklight UIs • Blacklight at Hull
• Blacklight Project Demo
• Stanford University
• UX2 Blacklight mobile web: Edinburgh University
Blacklight Technology
Blacklight is a Ruby on Rails
application containing both the
Blacklight engine and local
• Blacklight application topology supports local customisation and overrides
– Layout, look and feel, e.g. UX2 Mobile Web
– Controller: custom behaviours, e.g. integrating with Google Books for images and previews Local Code
Local code augments and
overover-rides (where needed) the
BL engine
A Rail Engine (self(self-contained
pluginplugin-in) holds Blacklight’
default views and logic.
Holds digital objects.
May or may not have
its own user interface.
Solr index
An underlying Solr index holds
metadata from sources of
• Git – keep to update with the latest development from Blacklight project
Source: Stanford University, Digital Library Systems (OR10)
Ruby on Rails, Git – debate!
• Model‐View‐Controllers (MVC) design patterns capable of supporting many different views of the same application
• Productivity?
• Learnable
“Learnable: went from 1 to 8 Ruby savvy developers in one year (no new hires), 1 week learning curve to basic proficiency”
‐ Stanford University
• Git – distributed version control system
Project Blacklight:
Codebase: Mailing list: blacklight‐, @boonious
• Developer session this afternoon, 1330:
– Installing and hacking Blacklight user interface
– Apache Solr search platform, index CERN Library catalogue