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Archive for February 2012

BS 8581 and all that jazz

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BS 8581-1 is the catchy name for the emerging British standard that is / was XCRI-CAP. Members of BSI committee IST/43 (trips of the tongue, no?) have been applying their brains to the text on the XCRI-CAP wiki, suitably transmogrified into BSI-speak.

I hope we haven’t lost too much of the meaning. It’s something of a truism that technical jargon renders comprehension more difficult. And then we have to add in plentiful references to *other* standards, specify dread namespaces and generally make it indigestible. We have a second document, BS 8581-2 that describes guidelines and recommendations for how to use the standard.

However, we do end up with an unambiguous document that developers and information management specialists can use. And that is the main objective.

BS 8581 will be available for public scrutiny – all things being equal – by around the end of March 2012.


Written by benthamfish

February 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Leap2A Review

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When JISC asked us to carry out a review of Leap2a usage, I was quite keen. In the current financial climate, all work is fair game, and the project looked interesting and very focused, even if the time scale was tight.

Leap2a is an interoperability specification for data in the ePortfolio domain. It was developed and implemented by a range of practitioner organisations (some academic, some commercial) under the auspices of JISC funding and CETIS supervision. The spec was designed, developed and delivered over 3 phases of projects, which included testing for its efficacy in practical environments. Major ePortfolio products, such as PebblePad and Mahara provided Leap2a functionality. This work was completed in 2009.

But what’s the uptake in terms of usage by real people? This was one of the primary questions for our investigation.  Our method has been to draw up a list organisations using Leap2a and simply to ask them. We’re using a  series of semi-structured telephone interviews, then reviewing and analysing the responses in an attempt to gain some understanding of both qualitative and quantitative usage.

The draft report  is due out by Friday 10 February, and I’m hoping that wider publication will follow on shortly thereafter.  Watch this space!

Written by benthamfish

February 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Leap2A

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Welcome to Alan’s new work blog

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I hope you’re not in the wrong blog!

Anyway, welcome to my new work blog. New as at 8 February 2012, so it may not be new any more.

If you want to find out a bit more about the basics of who I am and what I do in my “working” life, drop it at my website: http://www.alanpaull.co.uk.

My name is Alan Paull, aka benthamfish. I’m an information manager, primarily working in UK higher education as an independent consultant. I have my own small company, APS Ltd, which employs me, my wife Charlie (Information Officer), and my daughter Jennifer (Projects Officer).

I’ve started this blog as a reflection of this part of my working life. I also have a games blog at: http://benthamfish2.wordpress.com/.

Feel free to comment on any of my posts.


Written by benthamfish

February 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized