Umlaut (software)

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Umlaut is an open source front-end for a link resolver for libraries, which deals with advertising services for specific known citations. It runs as Ruby on Rails application via an engine gem. Umlaut accepts requests in OpenURL format, but has no knowledge base of its own, and is intended to be used as a front-end for an existing knowledge base. Currently only SFX is supported (using the SFX API [1] ), but other plugins can be written.


How it works

Umlaut accepts an OpenURL query and the user's IP address, and determines if there are available link resolvers for that address. Umlaut then tries to enrich the item metadata by querying additional sources of information depending on what the original request includes. [2]


Related Research Articles

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates more readily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices with the underlying network protocols. By providing a worldwide, distributed directory service, the Domain Name System has been an essential component of the functionality of the Internet since 1985.

Proxy server Computer server that makes and receives requests on behalf of a user

In computer networking, a proxy server is a server application that acts as an intermediary between a client requesting a resource and the server providing that resource.

APT (software) Free software package management system

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Zero-configuration networking (zeroconf) is a set of technologies that automatically creates a usable computer network based on the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) when computers or network peripherals are interconnected. It does not require manual operator intervention or special configuration servers. Without zeroconf, a network administrator must set up network services, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS), or configure each computer's network settings manually.

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard web search-engines. This is in contrast to the "surface web", which is accessible to anyone using the Internet. Computer-scientist Michael K. Bergman is credited with coining the term in 2001 as a search-indexing term.


nslookup is a network administration command-line tool for querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to obtain the mapping between domain name and IP address, or other DNS records.

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An OpenURL is similar to a web address, but instead of referring to a physical website, it refers to an article, book, patent, or other resource within a website.

OpenID Open and decentralized authentication protocol standard

OpenID is an open standard and decentralized authentication protocol. Promoted by the non-profit OpenID Foundation, it allows users to be authenticated by cooperating sites using a third-party service, eliminating the need for webmasters to provide their own ad hoc login systems, and allowing users to log into multiple unrelated websites without having to have a separate identity and password for each. Users create accounts by selecting an OpenID identity provider and then use those accounts to sign onto any website that accepts OpenID authentication. Several large organizations either issue or accept OpenIDs on their websites, according to the OpenID Foundation.

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Umlaut may refer to:

OpenDNS Domain name system provided by Cisco using closed-source software

OpenDNS is an American company providing Domain Name System (DNS) resolution services—with features such as phishing protection, optional content filtering, and DNS lookup in its DNS servers—and a cloud computing security product suite, Umbrella, designed to protect enterprise customers from malware, botnets, phishing, and targeted online attacks. The OpenDNS Global Network processes an estimated 100 billion DNS queries daily from 85 million users through 25 data centers worldwide.

WebCite is an on-demand archive site, designed to digitally preserve scientific and educationally important material on the web by making snapshots of Internet contents as they existed at the time when a blogger, or a scholar cited or quoted from it. The preservation service enables verifiability of claims supported by the cited sources even when the original web pages are being revised, removed, or disappear for other reasons, an effect known as link rot.

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SFX was the first OpenURL link resolver or link server. It remains the most widely used OpenURL resolver, being used by over 2,400 libraries.

Herbert Van de Sompel

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An OpenURL knowledge base is an extensive database containing information about electronic resources such as electronic journals or ebooks and their availability and accessibility. Using the knowledge base, an OpenURL link resolver can determine if an item is available electronically and what the appropriate copy for a user is.


  1. Rochkind, Jonathan (2008). "Umlaut: An Open Source Link Resolver Front End". ELUNA 2008, 30 July - 1 August 2008, Long Beach, CA.
  2. Tennant, Roy (Nov 15, 2006). "Linking, Not Thinking". Library Journal. 131 (19): 32.