EmeraldView is a front-end for the digital library software Greenstone. It is written in PHP5, using an MVC architecture with the Kohana application framework. EmeraldView runs "on top" of an existing Greenstone installation, without changing its files or operation at all. Thus one could run the standard Greenstone front-end and EmeraldView simultaneously. Conversely, either Greenstone or EmeraldView can be run independently of the other.
We would be overjoyed if you have any contributions or suggestions to share, particularly in design. You can reach our lead at email@example.com
We are aiming to solve several key weaknesses of the stock front-end:
- Greenstone's cryptic URLs of unusual size are a fail for user comprehensibility, search engine crawlers, bookmarking, etc.; for example, to display a certain page of a certain collection:
- Display customization is handled via a system of tokenized strings, and micro-templates referred to as macros. This system is so heavily scattered, nested and cross-referenced that it is quite difficult to conceptualize and modify how any given page is generated.
- Though extensive customization of the display is thus possible, there are some stopping points where modification and recompilation of the C++ source is required; this goes beyond the capabilities of the staff of many libraries who would be able to adjust PHP code like EmeraldView's.
- In short, it is impossible to follow the standard process of designing a site progressively through conception, Photoshop mockup, HTML mockup, etc. because the HTML generation is severely fragmented.
EmeraldView provides an MVC solution for Greenstone display, enabling user-friendly and arbitrary routing, ease of local code modification, and a theming approach familiar to modern web designers.
EmeraldView provides access via URLs such as:
We would love to hear from anyone interested in contributing anything - code, ideas, documentation, a better logo... Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We were not able to get regular ol' Greenstone working on our web host, so we are running EmeraldView alone; however, the same collection files could theoretically be made to work with Greenstone simultaneously.