Appendix B Glossary of terms




Unix program used to configure the Greenstone software installation package to suit your system


Windows feature that starts a program automatically whenever a CD-ROM is inserted

Boolean query

Query to an information retrieval system that may contain AND, OR, NOT


Accessing a collection by scanning an organized list of metadata values associated with the documents (such as author, title, date, keywords)

Greenstone program used to build collections


Process of creating the indexing and browsing structures that are used to access a collection


Programming language in which the majority of the Greenstone software is written


Making uppercase and lowercase words look the same, for searching purposes


Common Gateway Interface, a scheme that allows users to activate programs on the host computer by clicking on web pages

CGI script

Code associated with a button, menu, or link on a web page that specifies what the host computer is to do when it is clicked


Directory in which CGI scripts are stored


Greenstone code module that examines document metadata to form an index for browsing


Set of documents that are brought together under a uniform searching and browsing interface

Collection configuration file

File that specifies how a collection is to be imported and built, what indexes and language interfaces are to be provided, etc.

Collection server

Program responsible for providing access to a collection when it is being used

Configuration file

See collection configuration file, main configuration file, site configuration file


Concurrent Versioning System, a scheme for maintaining source code used throughout Greenstone


Greenstone tool for viewing a GDBM database as text (see GDBM)

Demo collection

A subset of the Humanities Development Library, distributed with the Greenstone software and used for illustration in this tutorial

Digital library

Collection of digital objects (text, audio, video), along with methods for access and retrieval, and for selection, organization, and maintenance


Development Library, A Greenstone collection of humanitarian information for developing countries


Basic unit from which digital library collections are constructed; it may include text, graphics, sound, video, etc.

Dublin core

A standard way of describing metadata

Fast CGI

Facility that allows CGI scripts to remain continuously active so that they do not have to be restarted from scratch every time they are invoked

Filter program

That part of a Greenstone collection server that implements querying and browsing operations

Format string

A string that specifies how documents and other listings are to be displayed in Greenstone


Standard way of encoding the Chinese language


Gnu DataBase Manager, a program used within the Greenstone software to store metadata for each document


Gnu Image-Manipulation Program used (on Unix) to create icons in Greenstone


Greenstone Markup Language, an XML-compliant format used for storing documents internally

Gnu license

Software license that permits users to copy and distribute computer programs freely, and modify them—so long as all modifications are made publicly available


The name of this digital library software


Abbreviation for Greenstone Digital Library


Operating system variable that represents the top-level directory in which all Greenstone programs and collections are stored ($GSDLHOME on Unix systems)


Operating system variable that represents the operating system currently being used ($GSDLOS on Unix systems)


Greenstone program used at import or build time to generate the OID of each document


HyperText Markup Language, the language in which web documents are written

Greenstone program used to import documents


Process of bringing collections of documents into the Greenstone system


Information structure that is used for searching or browsing a collection


Windows program, used by Greenstone CD-ROMs, that allows a system to be installed from a CD-ROM

Main configuration file

File that contains specifications common to all collections served by this site


Descriptive data such as author, title, date, keywords, and so on, that is associated with a document (or document collection)


Managing Gigabytes, a program used by the Greenstone system for full-text indexing, that incorporates compression techniques (see Witten, I.H., Moffat, A. and Bell, T. Managing Gigabytes: compressing and indexing documents and images, Morgan Kaufmann, second edition, 1999)


MG program for building a compressed full-text index


MG program for querying a compressed full-text index

Greenstone program that creates and initializes the directory structure for a new collection

New Zealand 
Digital Library Project

Research project in the Computer Science Department at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, that created the Greenstone software (


Object Identifier, a unique identification code associated with a document


Programming language used for many of the text-processing operations that occur during the building process


Message sent to a system to determine whether it is running or not


Code module for handling documents of different formats, used during the importing and building processes


Set of conventions by which a Greenstone receptionist communicates with a collection server

Ranked query

Natural-language query to an information retrieval system, for which the documents that match the query are sorted in order of relevance


Program that organizes the Greenstone user interface


Rich Text Format, a standard format for interchange of text documents


Accessing a collection through a full-text search of its contents (or parts of contents, such as section titles)


See Collection server and Web server

setup.bat,, setup.csh

Script used to set up your environment to recognize the Greenstone software

Site configuration file

File that contains specifications used to configure the Greenstone software for the site on which it is installed


Stripping endings off a query term to make it more general


Standard template library, a widely-available library of C++ code developed by Silicon Graphics


Greenstone program used at build time to create the GDBM database


Standard scheme for representing the character sets used in the world's languages


The United Nations University; also used to refer to a Greenstone collection created for that organization

Web server

Standard program that computers use to make information accessible over the World Wide Web


A standard format for structured documents and data on the web (the Greenstone Markup Language is an XML-compliant format)

Copyright © 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 by the New Zealand Digital Library Project at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

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