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

Samuel Klein sj at laptop.org
Thu Dec 13 12:00:55 EST 2007


Fedora is a good choice.  It's pretty flexibile, supports versioning
of items and streams, and is being actively developed.  And it is 
particularly scalable.


(It also runs the tibetan & himalayan digital library: 
http://www.thdl.org/index.php :)

Ed, to your point, there are some features important to the XO environment 
that major repository systems don't provide out of the box; but those can 
be provided these on top of existing repositories (including those at 
existing libraries whose choices we can't change).

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On Thu, 13 Dec 2007, Bryan Berry wrote:

> 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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