SearchWorks development has been quiet on the surface for the last few months, but quite active behind the scenes. We’ve spent the last two quarters doing a technology switch "under the hood." Specifically, we replaced the VuFind engine (http://www.vufind.org/) that powered the first iteration of SearchWorks with Blacklight (http://blacklightopac.org/). Both are open-source projects with similar faceted-search features, but Blacklight has some clear advantages for Stanford, including better maintainability and a common technology platform for future digital library applications.
- support for non-MARC records, so you can search and display materials not currently handled in Socrates, such as images, geographic data, and EADs;
- different views by domain or by discipline (e.g. Music, Earth Sciences);
- specific displays and behaviors by content type;
- some immediate benefits that greatly improve usability, such as improved facet performance and better "did you mean?" suggestions.
Perhaps most importantly, Stanford University is a full partner in Blacklight's ongoing development, which means we can both influence the future direction of the project and more easily take advantage of enhancements added by other partners.