This issue of Ariadne features the reappearance of "Get Tooled Up" - a section focussing on technical matters. Ian Peacock's article on the Robot Exclusion Protocol explains the importance of, and how to write, the simple files which prevent web robots from trampling all over your server - provided of course that they have been given some elementary house training before being let loose. Showing Robots the Door also features a fully operational parsing tool for exclusion files. Brian Kelly has contributed an explanation of XML in the What Is/issue15.? column currently living in the same section. Brian has also contributed an account of the key issues which were discussed at the WWW7 conference in Brisbane in his Web Focus Column. RDF, which was a major issue in Brisbane, surfaces again in Ariadne's pages in a report by Matthew Dovey on a UKOLN hosted half-day seminar held in Bath on the 8th of May.
A number of articles in the current Ariadne deal with resources and policy issues: for the web version, David Haynes contributes A National Co-ordinating Body for Digital Archiving?, which discusses the preservation of electronic documents, and the policies necessary to create archival services of value. In both versions of Ariadne John Maccoll reports on the UCISA conference, and his account of the event illustrates the changing priorities in resource allocation during the past few years. Two other articles common to both editions deal with the issue of resources: View from the Hill, featuring an interview with Anne Mumford, head of JISC ASSIST, and this month's Minotaur, in which Gordon Brewer re-examines the convergence of services issue.
Public Libraries Corner in this issue is a report on the American Public Library Association conference in Missouri, and illustrates how wired the US library community is, but observes the lack of co-ordination from the centre. Tracy Stanley tries out the Northern Light search engine in her regular column. This service is innovative in a number of respects, and not least because it is attempting to fund its operation through the supply of documents from an archive, rather than banner advertising. Lesly Huxley reports on a new satellite orbiting Planet SOSIG, which those in the social sciences will find of particular interest.
In addition to three eLib project reports distributed through two sections, there is the the usual cartoon page, the caption competition (returned), Checkout, with its reviews, and newsline, which in this issue covers a broad spectrum of items, including the UK government's response to the New Library: the People's Network report.
Isobel Stark has left Ariadne and has taken up a position as a subject librarian in the Library of the University of Bath. In practice this means that she now works in an office about 25 metres to the South West of her former desk, and is still often the first person I see in the morning. Isobel kindly contributed most of the items in the current newsline. Ariadne wishes her well in her new role.Philip Hunter
Ariadne Web Editor
University of Bath