[Olpc-open] Working on a repository system for Nepal's OLPC pilot

Bryan Berry bryan.berry at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 11:16:24 EST 2007

Ed that's a great idea, to set up the use cases and to use RoR or
Django . You could use those frameworks for the UI but you really need a
mature and __scalable__ back-end for the library, particularly when a
real e-library will have an immense amount of distibuted storage,
metadata, and enhanced search capabilities. I don't there is any single
ruby 'rail' or django 'snippet' that can provide all of those :)

On Thu, 2007-12-13 at 08:11 -0800, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
> Bryan Berry wrote:
> > I have put a lot of work these two weeks into building a prototype
> > library for Nepal's pilot of OLPC. It is my understanding from an e-mail
> > conversation with S.J. that OLPC hasn't decided on a repository system
> > for the library. For the time being I am much more concerned about the
> > back-end of the library than the user interface. I don't think that it
> > will be incredibly hard to design a simple user interface for kids to
> > search a repository. The harder part is to find a powerful back-end that
> > will be able to accommodate our needs as they grow over time.
> > 
> > I have posted an image of the prototype on to OLE Nepal's blog
> > http://nepal.ole.org/home/?q=node/104
> > 
> > I think this current UI will be good for teachers. I will need a much
> > simpler one for kids.
> > 
> > After some cursory research, there appear to be three leading
> > open-source repository systems
> > 
> > 
> > Eprints
> > 
> > Dspace -- used in OpenCourseWare, and
> > 
> > fedora -- not to be confused with Fedora Linux 
> > 
> > I will also be testing out the DiVA repository set up by SF State some
> > time next week, thanks to Sameer Verma. I had to get something up and
> > running by this Friday (Dec. 14th) per a self-imposed deadline.
> > 
> > Being the incredibly lazy person that I am, I did not go to the trouble
> > of installing and testing each one of these repositories. Instead I
> > spent half a day reading reviews, blog posts, and news group discussions
> > comparing various repository packages. After reading this evaluation of
> > the leading three repository systems and watching this video, I decided
> > to try out fedora.
> > 
> > After many painful hours I got fedora set up. Actually, it is quite easy
> > to set up fedora, which is a pure web service. I found installing the
> > most popular UI Fez rather difficult to get set up. I see this
> > decoupling of service and UI as a strong positive in fedora's favor. We
> > need a very simple kid-friendly UI for kids, a more advanced one for
> > teachers, and a very advanced one for the people who will load materials
> > into the library. 
> > 
> > I would love to hear from someone who actually knows about repository
> > systems and can explain to me the benefits of one system over another. I
> > will be in the US for 5 weeks starting Dec 16th and one of my goals will
> > be to really understand online libraries so I can build an awesome one
> > for Nepal. 
> > 
> > I have put a rough install guide on how to set up fedora with the Fez UI
> > on Ubuntu. There are already install guides for fedora and Fez but I
> > encountered several problems during the install. 
> > 
> > So, I would love to hear from people who actually know about these kinds
> > of systems. 
> > 
> > By the way, e-Pustakalaya means "e-Library" in Nepali. The title in the
> > upper-left of the screenshot reads the same in Devnagari script.
> > 
> Is there a set of "requirements/use-cases" for such a repository 
> somewhere? It might be easier to build something specifically for the 
> XO, rather than modifying one of the current ones, using a rapid web 
> application development toolset like Rails (Ruby) or Django (Python). I 
> don't know any Django developers, but I do know a lot of Rails developers.

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