Archive for January, 2012

Sam’s Greenstone Blog 27/1/2012

sjm84. Friday, January 27th, 2012.

This week I have been touching up on a few unfinished features. One of these was the mapping features that I can’t remember whether or not I have written about before. Basically, if your documents have coordinate information (i.e. latitude and longitude information) we now have a feature that will map those documents on a map. This feature can now be really easily enabled. We will write some documentation on this when we get the chance.

The new theme is also added which makes Greenstone 3 look a lot nicer. We’re still working on the ability to allow easy theme changing. We need to get the authentication working before we can enable this feature, as only the collection administrator should be able to change the theme.

Next week I will experimenting with trying to get more standard URLs in Greenstone 3 (e.g. http://localhost:8383/greenstone3/dev/collection/demo/document/HASHc5bce2d6d3e5b04e470ec8) rather than what we currently use.

P.S. If you’re wondering why there is no update from Anu this week, it is because she is away in India for 5 weeks on holiday.

Sam’s Greenstone Blog 20/1/2012

sjm84. Friday, January 20th, 2012.

One of the things we have been doing this week is deciding the best way to handle user authentication in Greenstone 3. We have a very basic system in place at the moment but we would like something more robust. At the moment we are investigating using the authentication system in the web-server we use for Greenstone 3 (Apache Tomcat). We need to make sure it has the flexibility we require so that collection administrators have the power to allow/prevent users access to the collection as well as (possibly) access to individual documents.

I have been continuing to assist the masters student I mentioned last week. We have been working on a way to download and replace parts of a collection via the web interface. We think that this functionality may be useful if you want to add/replace an image or run an image through your own OCR program for example.

Finally, I have been further adding to Greenstone’s CGI metadata capabilites, filling in any holes that are missing in the API. As part of this I have started developing a Javascript API which should (theoretically) make using these CGI calls a lot easier.

Sam’s Greenstone Blog 13/1/2012

sjm84. Friday, January 13th, 2012.

My time this week has mostly been spent helping out one the masters students here in our lab. I have been helping her develop the ability to tag photos and text in the Greenstone 3 collection she is working on. This has resulted in us enhancing our Greenstone 3 (and also Greenstone 2) CGI capabilities at the same time to get this working correctly. This upgrade was needed so that we could save metadata to the index, archive and import directories easily from Javascript. Some of the functionality was already there but functionality like the ability to remove metadata from the import directory (for example) was missing.

One problem we had to get around was the fact that you cannot reliably specify the position of a piece of metadata that you want to change/delete in a metadata.xml file because of the way import metadata is handled in Greenstone. We decided that a good way to get around this is to have to specify the previous value of the piece of metadata that you want to change/delete. The only problem with this approach is if you have more than one identical piece of metadata, do we delete just one? or all of them? Most likely we will add an option to specify what to do in this situation.

Next week I will most likely be working on some authentication functionality for Greenstone3.

Sam’s Greenstone Blog 6/1/2012

sjm84. Friday, January 6th, 2012.

Happy new year to all Greenstone users! We’re back at work now after a couple of weeks off over the holiday period and already we’ve got a few new things lined up.

In Greenstone we try very hard to make the modification of the look and feel of collections as easy as possible.  Unfortunately this often requires knowledge of web standards like HTML, CSS and Javascript, and in the case of Greenstone 3 it is also helpful to have knowledge of XML and XSLT. We understand that many Greenstone users will have very little knowledge of these topics, so we are looking at incorporating a very simple way of changing the appearance of a Greenstone collection.

JQuery UI has a system called ThemeRoller that allows you to create your own visual theme via an easy to use web interface. You can then download the required files to use that theme in your own website. We are currently experimenting with making Greenstone 3 compatible with these themes (which are made up of a CSS file and some images). So far it is looking promising and will hopefully prove to be a welcome addition to Greenstone 3.

It has been a short week this week so there’s not a lot to report, but next week I shall be continuing on this development as well as (most likely) starting to write some up-to-date documentation for Greenstone 3, as we have made it our goal this summer to spend a large part of it working on Greenstone’s documentation.