[greenstone-users] Newbie with general questions about Greenstone.

From Newman, Linda (newmanld)
DateMon, 6 Oct 2003 15:12:33 -0400
Subject [greenstone-users] Newbie with general questions about Greenstone.
Hello Greenstone users:

I have been trying to educate myself in the last few days about Greenstone,
and have read the FAQ and skimmed all of the pdf documents and the archives
of both discussion lists. I am a librarian with some technical background.
I have not yet tried to install Greenstone.

I came up with the following list of questions. Any answers or explanations
or tips could save me some time and would be greatly appreciated! I also
apologize in advance if the answers to these questions can be found in the
documentation -- if so, just point me in the right direction!

1 -- Sizing issues:
Are there any size limits (number of items, number of meta-data
categories, etc.) applicable to Greenstone collections, either as specific
limits, or targets that if exceeded could affect performance? What are some
examples of the largest collections?

2 -- Image Collections:
It appears to me that Greenstone was originally conceived for digital
libraries of texts, but has also been adapted to digital image collections.
Is this right? In this regard:
*One of the documents referred to the "ImagePlug" being only available
for Unix Platforms. Is this current info?
*Are there any image formats supported by browsers that are not
supported by Greenstone?
*Has Greenstone been successfully integrated with any Image Server
platforms, for delivering high resolution images, such as Mr. Sid, or
TrueSpectra, or using the JPEG2000 format, for larger resolution images?
*Our primary interest is in an Open Source solution for searchable,
web-based collections of digital images. Are there any other open-source
solutions (other than Greenstone) that we should review?

3 -- Import:
I found some documentation about importing texts, but nothing about
importing pre-existing databases -- such as an MS Access database, or MySQL
database -- although I found one mention of a Perl Plugin. Can anyone
clarify with your experience, or provide pointers to the documentation?

4 -- More on Import:
We have a specific project in mind for one of our next digital collections
which will be a simple image collection with only a few basic indexes, and
low-resolution images, but with a large number of items -- over 500,000.
We are considering contracting for off-site work, for both the image
scanning and data entry. What would be the best format for an off-site
vendor to use for data entry -- an MsAccess database(s), an xml file for
each item, or both? -- so that the data could later be batch imported into a
Greenstone collection? And, how do we record, in this dataset created
off-site, the file and path name for each image, so that the correct links
between indexes and images will also be present when batch importing the
data and images later into Greenstone?

5 -- Export:
How would one export a Greenstone collection to other platforms? Are all
of the item data and indexes stored in GDBM as one would think of a
'traditional' database, so that one could 'export' records from GDBM? Or,
is only summary collection data stored in GDBM? Suppose that after building
a Greenstone collection, we needed to also share our records and images with
a consortium-based image/digital server that was not using Greenstone. How
could we export records, images and data in a standard way?

Again, I know how busy everyone is, and I greatly appreciate any and all
answers to these questions!

-- Linda Newman
University of Cincinnati Digital Press