Jason Puckett With great power comes great bibliography.

29Oct/08Off

Opposite approaches to interoperability

George Mason U has released a brief official statement about the Reuters/Zotero lawsuit.  I take particular note of this part: "the creators of the Zotero project strive to serve the scholarly community and to respond to its needs in an age of digital research ... it should be as easy as possible for Zotero users to move to and from the software as they wish, without friction" (emphasis mine).

This seems pretty fundamental to me -- researchers, and users in general, want and need technological tools that interoperate with one another smoothly.  It's something I emphasize in my Zotero workshops, that it's easy to use alongside EndNote in various ways, or in collaboration with EndNote users.  In broader terms, that's also why I'm such a fan of RSS as an example of portable content that can be easily used outside of its original context.

Anyway.  In better news: Blackboard Announces Free Tool to Interconnect Its Software With Moodle, an Open-Source Competitor.  Blackboard seems to be taking the opposite approach from Reuters by allowing instructors to embed Moodle content within the Blackboard interface.  See, this is how you keep academic customers happy: make your tool play nicely with the other stuff they use, so they have a motivation to remain your customers.

As a long-time user (and admittedly not a fan) of Blackboard, I was impressed and surprised by this move.  Props to Blackboard.

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