[SPT/CWIS] making changes to CWIS database

Mark Jordan mjordan at sfu.ca
Sun May 8 11:22:55 CDT 2005

Hi Jeremy et al,

On Fri, May 06, 2005 at 10:38:40AM -0400, Herr, Jeremy wrote:
> 	Also, I would be really curious to know if other people have
> made substantial additions/changes to CWIS, and if these are posted in
> some central location.

For some time I have been thinking about how to extend CWIS to become a general-purpose digital _object_ collection
manager -- that is, an application that leverages CWIS's excellent metadata, user interface, and user managment
functionality, but also allows people to manage collections of digital images, scanned books, digital video, etc. as
opposed to arbitrary URLs. Existing general-purpose open source tools that fulfill this function now include
Greenstone and Fedora; application-specific tools include DSpace and Eprints (both are for institutional
repositories). The leading commercial application is ContentDM. My interest in this type of general-purpose but
content-oriented digital library application stems from having developed a collection manager that I've substantially
refactored for several different collections (see http://edocs.lib.sfu.ca/projects/Cartoons/ and
http://edocs.lib.sfu.ca/projects/Doukhobor-Collection/ for two of these), combined with a growing reluctance to
continue refactoring the code each time we develop a new collection.

Many Open Source applications have adopted a "plugin" framework that allows developers to create their own
functionality without having to modify the primary application. Recently I've been playing with various blog and
website Content Management Systems and am impressed at how well this framework works. Some examples of PHP/MySQL
applications that use this type of plugin architecture are Drupal (http://www.drupal.org/) and WordPress
(http://wordpress.org/). It seems to me that CWIS, which provides a solid set of core functionality, would be an
excellent base for a wide variety of plugins. The applications Jeremy and I describe are just two and like Jeremy I
would be interested in hearing from others who have considered adding to or modifying CWIS to fine-tune it to their
particular application.


Mark Jordan
Acting Coordinator of Library Systems
W.A.C. Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone (604) 291 5753 / Fax (604) 291 3023                 
mjordan at sfu.ca / http://www.sfu.ca/~mjordan/


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