$Header: /home/cvsroot/NetZ3950/README,v 1.14 2006/05/08 10:54:56 mike Exp $
Unless you need the Net::Z3950 API for backwards compatibility (i.e. you're building it because it's a prerequisite for an existing application) you should instead use the newer and better ZOOM-Perl module:
http://search.cpan.org/~mirk/Net-Z3950-ZOOM/ Its functionality is a strict superset of this module's, but it provides many additional features, including record-format translation, character-set handling and a properly documented asynchronous API. Because it is based on ZOOM-C, the ZOOM-Perl model inherits functionality from that module, and will continue to benefit from its further development. Finally, the ZOOM-C dependency allows the ZOOM-Perl code to be much shorter than Net::Z3950, and therefore easier to support: "The cheapest, fastest, most reliable components of a computer system are those that are not there" -- Gordon Bell.
If despite all this, you really do want Net::Z3950 rather than ZOOM-Perl, then read on ...
This module provides a Perl interface to the Z39.50 information retrieval protocol (aka. ISO 23950), a mature and powerful protocol used in application domains as diverse as bibliographic information, geo-spatial mapping, museums and other cultural heritage information, and structured vocabulary navigation.
Up to date information on this module can be found at
The Net::Z3950 module is free software, as described at
http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html It is made available under the GNU General Public Licence, version 2: see the file COPYING for details. (This is made explicit as of release 0.33, but it was always the intention.)
Net::Z3950.pm is an implementation of the Perl binding for ZOOM, the Z39.50 Object Orientation Model. Bindings for the same abstract API are available in other languages including C, C++, Java, Tcl, Visual Basic, Python and Scheme. There's more about ZOOM, including the specification, at
There are two (or three, depending on how you count them) prerequisites to building the Net::Z3950 module:
After installing any prerequisites, you know the drill:
perl Makefile.PL make make test make install
All of the documentation except this file is in the "doc" subdirectory. Run "make" there to regenerate the HTML versions of the POD documents, and start reading at doc/index.html.
Informal support is available directly from the author (see below) but since ``you get what you pay for'' and I'm doing it for free, there are of course no guarantees!
In general a better option is to join the Net::Z3950 mailing list at
http://www.indexdata.dk/mailman/listinfo/net-z3950 and discuss in that forum any problems you may encounter. I read this list, so I will see your messages; but you may get better help from others who have run into similar difficulties.
For those who require it, it's possible to buy professional, commercial support for this module, with well-defined support levels and response times, from Index Data, in collaboration with whom I wrote this module. See
http://perl.z3950.org/support/contract.html or email <firstname.lastname@example.org> for details.
Mike Taylor <email@example.com>
With lots of help, encouragement, design input, etc. from
Sebastian Hammer <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Adam Dickmeiss <email@example.com>