Updates on ADS Interfaces and the Announcement of Bumblebee

by Guest on July 20, 2015

ADSBumblebeeAlberto Accomazzi (@aaccomazzi) is the Program Manager of the NASA Astrophysics Data System based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a tool for finding astronomy and planetary science publications. ADS currently has three different interfaces:

  1. ADS “Classic” — the one you all know and love,
  2. ADS “Labs” or “2.0” — the first interface to an updated search engine, and
  3. ADS “Bumblebee” — currently under active development.

We are very pleased to introduce Bumblebee! This interface is in the beta stage of development and is ready for more users. It features a clean look and powerful search and filtering operations but it is indeed a beta and still has some quirks and bugs. However, there are some features which we think you’ll find so useful, we want to tell you about them as soon as possible. Over the next couple months, we plan to highlight some of these features in a series of blog posts, so stay tuned!

The search engine that powers  Bumblebee enables faster and more complex searches than Classic. Classic is well suited for things like finding articles by author or title, but it lacks the ability to examine citations, search full-text, or progressively filter results.  We are incorporating all of the features found in Labs and Classic into Bumblebee and are anticipating that Labs will be deprecated and replaced by Bumblebee by the end of 2015.

Never fear, ADS Classic will remain available and supported for the foreseeable future. However, while bug fixes are being applied, Classic is not undergoing any new development. In the very far distant future, long after you and your postdocs have retired, when Classic is deprecated, all abstract page URLs will remain fully functional and so there will be no broken links and no need to change your links to ADS.

The myADS notification service will remain unchanged for the moment. In the next year or so we expect to provide an even better custom notification service using the same technology which underpins Bumblebee.

If you want to be on the bleeding edge and help us run Bumblebee through the paces, please check out the Help Pages for instructions on how to search and give it a go. We welcome your feedback on Bumblebee via issues on the Github repo, tweets to @adsabs, or email to adshelp@cfa.harvard.edu.

All of Bumblebee’s code is publically accessible on Github and issues and pull requests are always welcome. The API powering Bumblebee is also available to users and we are planning to publish the documentation for it soon. If you would like to develop widgets or applications to interface with ADS services, you can generate an API Key by creating an account and navigating to the API Token section in Settings. We are looking forward to future hack days and seeing what the community builds with these services!

Questions or comments about these ADS services? Let us know in the comments!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John July 20, 2015 at 8:49 am

Worth noting that Bumblebee seems to require Google Analytics. If you’re running an anti-tracking tool (like Ghostery, for example) you’ll reach a page which says “Loading ADS Interface…”, and there it will stop: the interface will never load.


2 Alberto Accomazzi July 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Hi John, we have been using Google Analytics in ADS classic for quite a while as well, so that should not be the problem. I use Ghostery myself and with the default settings things seem to work ok on current versions of Chrome and Firefox. If you can provide us with some info on your setup we’ll be happy to look into the problem.

3 John July 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm

I’m using Safari 8.0.7 on a Mac.

When the page starts loading, it looks as if you’re pulling in a module called “google-analytics” using require.js. Ghostery is blocking it loading. In the web inspector, I can see it polling every 50 ms for 10 seconds to check if it has loaded. After that, it simple announces a load timeout and gives up. See the screenshot at http://urchin.earth.li/~jds/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-22%20at%2019.16.45.png. I don’t speak Javascript, but from the looks of it I’m guessing that there’s nothing which is set up to handle the exception thrown in defaultOnError.

If I tell Ghostery not to block Google Analytics, this loading page is replaces after a couple of seconds with Bumblebee.

If would be useful, I’m happy to repost this on your GitHub issue tracker — I simply mentioned it here so that any other readers who find themselves in the same boat won’t have to waste 5 minutes figuring out why nothing was loaded.


4 Alberto Accomazzi July 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Hi John,

Thank you for the detailed report. I just turned this into a github issue, so no need for you to do so at the moment: https://github.com/adsabs/bumblebee/issues/515
Feel free to add details if you have additional information to share.

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