[Server-devel] Fwd: Simple Digital Library Index System

Mike Dawson mikeofmanchester at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 01:00:20 EDT 2009

Hi Martin,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you...

I just did the training for this for our team here on the ground
yesterday.  So they will probably have the first library built early
next week (about Monday).  Then we can upload that as a demo.

The way it's designed is that the Java program just runs once to
generate the indexes. As mentioned it has two passes - one pass goes
through the content in the folders, extracts the meta data that it
can, and then puts a xml file with the same name next to the original
file with Dublin Core Meta Data.  The next pass uses XSL to transform
this into XHTML pages for browsing.  There is a final XSL pass that
supports internationalization of the interface and applying a frame
'template'.  This can then be served by bare apache.

Using XSL it would also be quite easy to generate different views - so
one view could be a XHTML based browsing index, the other could be
more like repo indexes, etc.

Also because we generate XHTML as well it can even just be copied by
whatever means.  Also of course we have just generated plain old
static files, so any system can work for replication (rsync, ftp
mirror, whatever).

We are using Nutch to provide a search system though - this runs
through Tomcat, which does indeed have some overhead.  However one can
put this through an apache using mod_cache and tweaking the expires
time in accordance with the index frequency - that way if a teacher
tells kids to search for a given item the search system won't be hit
50 times.

Hope that answers some questions - we shall look forward to putting up
the demo library asap.



On 30/07/2009, Martin Langhoff <martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> This sounds interesting. It is something I was hoping to implement
> somehow, using IMS-CP (or similar) plus a repository scheme copied
> from the Debian "apt" repository format, or the yum repo format.
> Both repo formats are fantastic for this, very rsync, http and cache
> friendly, super-scalable and distributable, etc.
> The plan was (is?) to use the upcoming Moodle v2 "repository plugins"
> infra to build client and server sides, but with the "protocol" being
> just a trivial-looking repo format, any existing system can be a
> "server". Unfortunately Moodle v2 will take a long time to be ready.
> (I've reviewed GreenStone in the past, and worked with Fedora - the
> _other_ one - , eprints and a few other ones. I was not impressed with
> any of them.)
> Not sure how this project is designed and implemented. If it does
> something like the above, fantastic. It'd mean that the software
> maintains the repo (which is served by bare apache), but does not need
> to be running permanently. The resident memory footprint of Java is a
> bit of a no-no for the XS.
> In any case, it might need client code for the Moodle side so that the
> content is easy to integrate into the "topic of the day" and learning
> narratives...
> cheers,
> m
> On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM, Sameer Verma<sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Mike Dawson <mikeofmanchester at gmail.com>
>> Date: Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 1:03 AM
>> Subject: Simple Digital Library Index System
>> To: devel at lists.laptop.org
>> Dear All,
>> In Afghanistan we wanted to have a system that would make it as simple
>> as possible to make a relatively large, replicated digital library
>> accessible locally on the school server (external bandwidth here is
>> about 64kbps per school).  In addition we wanted something that was
>> very fast and easy to add content to (e.g. not having to type meta
>> data again hundreds of times).
>> We looked at Greenstone in particular - but that was relatively
>> complex to setup and also would have been tricky to automate adding
>> content to it / distributing it.  Moodle is really designed more for
>> class / learning management.
>> The system that we have made is based on Java / XSL - it makes digital
>> libraries a breeze, not requiring any kind of database etc on the
>> server:
>> I have made a wiki page at:
>> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/SimpleDigitalLibraryIndex
>> I would be interested in using OLPC project hosting for this - I
>> looked at the Contributor's program on the wiki.  We have laptops here
>> :) - just need project hosting.  As per the status note in the wiki I
>> do have a version now that more or less does the trick - quite a few
>> things to tidy up and formats to add support for.  As soon as possible
>> I shall put up a demo version on our server (hopefully later this
>> week).
>> Regards,
>> -Mike
>> _______________________________________________
>> Devel mailing list
>> Devel at lists.laptop.org
>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
>> How does this compare to the Moodle approach? Can't we do the same in
>> Moodle
>> although in the case of Moodle, one has to create courses and do so
>> manually.
>> Sameer
>> --
>> Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor of Information Systems
>> San Francisco State University
>> San Francisco CA 94132 USA
>> http://verma.sfsu.edu/
>> http://opensource.sfsu.edu/
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> --
>  martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>  martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
>  - ask interesting questions
>  - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
>  - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff
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