closing the circuit

One of my early (1992) Internet projects was developing a client-server text searching system (WAIS, anyone?) for NASA Technical Reports, and I had so much fun I continued to develop more complex online scientific databases, user interfaces (UI), and build web servers. I still enjoy all things web: developing web content, working with content management systems, and UI design.

Scientific collaboration website

Developed the LaRC Creativity and Innovation website. The site encourages proposal development on scientific investigations through researcher collaboration. The site ran on a Sun Solaris server using the Slashdot code, Apache and MySQL; for client Computer Sciences Corp. under contract to NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) (2000).

NASA Scientific Digital Library Prototype

I worked with the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) Data Management Team and the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center to develop a digital library prototype for the 25-year ERBE research program. The program uses satellites to measure the radiative energy balance between solar radiation absorbed by the Earth and thermal radiation emitted back into space.

Tasks included planning for digitizing and ingesting legacy data, integrating NASA scientific thesaurii and taxonomies, long-term stewardship and migration strategies, search optimization, and standards-based development (accessibility, W3C validated markup, standardized metadata), all with an emphasis on user-centered design.

We used Open Text Corporation’s Livelink Discovery Server software (was BRS/Search) for the prototype, on a Sun Solaris server, the Apache webserver, and PERL for preparing and processing database content. All HTML/XHTML was WC3 validated. Developed for client Science Applications International Corp. under contract to NASA Langley Research Center (2003).

Search engine study and evaluations

I developed a comprehensive trade study of major commercial search engines and knowledge management tools, used by LaRC to implement LaRC-wide search services and in HQ’s nasa.gov search engine upgrade.

I benchmarked four top commercial web-based search engines: Verity, Ultraseek (now Verity Ultraseek), Convera Retrievalware, OpenText BRS/Search (now Livelink Discovery Server); for client Computer Sciences Corp. under contract to NASA Langley Research Center. (2000)

Online NASA scientific databases

These searchable databases required custom user interface design, legacy data conversion, data definition mapping, and metadata creation for more than 3 million records, integrated more than 2,000 PDF documents, and implemented policies for security and access control. The sites are:

ASAP, developed for the Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program, has more than 3 million documents integrated into the STI Center for Aerospace Information (CASI) servers.

SonicSearch, the High-Speed Research Program’s search site for scientific and technical working papers, conference papers, and research information metadata with original documents available in PDF.

HyperACCESS, the Hyper-X Program’s search site for scientific and technical working papers, conference papers, and research information metadata, with original documents available in PDF.

We used Open Text Corporation‘s Livelink Discovery Server software for the integrated search facility and database, on a Sun Solaris 8 server, the Apache webserver, and PERL for preparing and processing database content; for client Computer Sciences Corp. under contract to NASA Langley Research Center. (1999)

Software engineering manager

I defined, implemented, and customized eCRM software to support web-based software engineering issues management, and to publish solutions to an integrated knowledge base for secure customer access (using SunĀ® SolarisĀ® 8, Apache HTTP Server, Perl/DBI & MySQL); for Kabira Technologies, Inc.

Latest projects

WordPress/CMS: The Waynewood Recreation Association (Alexandria, VA) is launched, based on WordPress and open source software. Features include an integrated events calendar and a strategy to manage content and facilitate collaboration, with an easy user interface for editing and maintenance.

I love working with WordPress. I find it flexible and extendable, and the support community is large and very active.

Blueprint CSS: I now use elements of the Blueprint CSS framework for all of my projects, but with slightly more semantic names. I love the all-set-to-go CSS reset, typography best practices, form and print styles. It really simplifies layout development.

I developed the grid & cleaned up the UI for Trustys (a commercial social networking website built on Ruby on Rails which is, sadly, no longer around)) and converted Planning Powers to a templated grid layout. More projects are in the works.

AARP Bulletin website redesign and CMS migration

I was the UI Designer for AARP’s Bulletin website redesign. The Bulletin website is the companion to the popular Bulletin news magazine, distributed monthly to millions of AARP members. I developed the site’s custom features (JavaScript), and helped migrate the content from template-based Zope to the Day Software AG content management system, based on JSR 170 Content Repository for JavaTM technology API.

I teamed up with AARP’s Design Director, Usability Engineer, and our client to roll out the website on deadline. I also developed a sIFR version using AARP’s signature Boomer font (which unfortunately didn’t make it into production).

group of commenters