Carl Grant, President of CARE Affiliates, left a comment on my recent OpenTranslators announcement raises questions post. The comment refers to an in-depth response that Grant posted on his blog. I’m writing this post to bring attention to Grant’s response, to encourage everyone to read it and join in the conversation, and to respond to the response.

The response is well thought out and well articulated. Writing many posts myself I appreciate the time Mr. Grant spent crafting his response, in particular on a Saturday night. This shows quite a dedication to his company and to this industry. I agree with the majority of the content of the response and I still have several concerns.

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Yesterday, CARE Affiliates issued a press release announcing a new product offering. A snippet of the announcement is this:

CARE Affiliates announced a new product, in conjunction with its strategic partners, Index Data and WebFeat, called OpenTranslators. OpenTranslators is intended to reshape the way libraries select and use federated search and metasearch technology. OpenTranslators will allow libraries to use the federated search interface of their choice to access over 10,000 databases using SRU/SRW/Z39.50.

I have lots of questions about the offering but here is what is clear. CARE is a company in the business of providing products and services to libraries and information centers based on open source software. Index Data develops, customizes and supports open source information retrieval software, including federated search software. WebFeat is a developer of proprietary federated search software. WebFeat has a large number of translators (connectors to SRU/SRW/Z39.50 databases). CARE, in collaboration with Index Data, has developed a gateway to provide access to these WebFeat translators.

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