[greenstone-users] GS3 format feature

From Greenstone Team
DateThu Jul 28 13:46:09 2011
Subject [greenstone-users] GS3 format feature
In-Reply-To (fc25da1d6e780-4e2dbe27-drexel-edu)
Hi Barbara,

The Greenstone 3 interface and the way it works with its own format
statements are being slightly revised in the upcoming GS3 release.
However, in the meantime, I found that the GS3 manual is the best source
to consult on the topic of its particular style of format statements. A
couple of other documents were prepared as well, by one of the
developers who worked with GS3's XSLT stylesheet flow a couple of years

The links to the mentioned documents are:

- http://www.greenstone.org/docs/greenstone3/manual.pdf
Try chapter 2. I'd start at section 2.3 on p.18 and read until the end
of the chapter (which terminates at the end of section 2.5 on p.31).
Plus you may also find it helpful to look on p.71, which is a table
about "Format statements: Greenstone2 vs Greenstone3". This is quite
useful to understand the GS3 specific "gsf" statements.

- The other two are by Maxime Ro?ast and can be found linked off
They are called "Greenstone 3 Interface Transformations Library: Basic
Documentation" and
"Greenstone 3 Skins++ Technical Documentation Maxime Ro?ast"
They are nice short documents, which are well-illustrated and explained.

I am not all that familiar with GS3's format statements myself (I've
just started encountering them recently), but the process consists of
several stages of XSLT to produce HTML as the final output. It all
starts in GLI's Format pane when you're working with a *GS3*
installation. Select "Format Features" to the left and look at the
format statements for the topmost feature of "browse".

The format statements you see at this stage tend to be a combination of
html and GS3 specific format instructions in XML that start with <gsf:
... >. Internally, these tend go through at least two rounds of
transformations by having XSLT applied to them: gsf statements get
expanded to XSLT statements and then, combined with other (internally
defined, but I believe editable) XSLT statements that also get expanded,
the final XSLT to be applied to a document is produced. This is then
applied to a document in GS3 which produces the final HTML for display.

The latest release of GS3 will perhaps come out with the first version
of a graphical tool visible from the GS3 browser interface, which allows
users to have a more direct approach to editing the underlying format
statements in GS3 than users fiddling manually with XSLT files. If
included in the upcoming GS3, I am told it is likely to be turned off by
default since it has not been tested extensively. I am unable to tell
you more about it, since another GS3 developer here has worked on it
(who is now on a longholiday), and I am not familiar with its
capabilities yet.

Finally, and this is only if you want more details on the XSLT involved,
you will need to look inside web/interfaces which contains several
"skins" (most are deprecated, with "oran" being the development skin
that will be visible by default in the upcoming release). The
"transform" folder in a "skin" folder will contain the XSLT files used
to transform the format statements into more general XSLT. I have
recently been looking at files in this area like "config_format.xsl" and
"classify.xsl". The former expands and translates gsf statements into
XSLT, and the latter (in tandem with classifiertools.xsl) works
specifically on browse classifiers.

If you still have questions after going through those documents, tell us
so and I will send our number off-list.

All the best,

Barbara King wrote:
> Hi,
> I am using the book, How to develop a DL and I knew it was geared to
> the GS2 DL, but I want to build my collection in GS3. However, now
> that I am about to format, I noticed that on pages 470 - 480 (etc.) an
> onward, that I cannot follow along due to the difference in the format
> mode between both the GS2/3. Wish your book would have included steps
> for both GS2 and GS3 -- would be so much easier to practice. I guess
> that the time of publishing and the latest development of GS3 was a
> factor along with other reasons.
> Please, if possible, would you happen to have a written document on
> the steps that one would need to take for using the format feature in
> GS3 as I am determined to understand the newest model and would
> appreciate it if you could forward these steps to me?
> A quick response would be greatly appreciated as I am working on a
> final paper for my INFO 657 Drexel course, (MLIS) which was meant to
> compare the capabilities of GS3 over GS2. I did use GS2 before, loved
> it, but now am excited in testing GS3 and its new features of XML and
> the use of METS.
> Also, is it possible to call you for a quick chat, if so, please
> provide your number and a good time to call -- so greatly appreciated.
> Please help soon.
> Thanks for your support,
> Barbara
> ba36@drexel.edu <mailto:ba36@drexel.edu>
> 709-647-3971
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