Greenstone is a suite of software which has the ability to serve digital
library collections and build new collections. It provides a new way of
organizing information and publishing it on the Internet or on CD-ROM.
Greenstone is produced by the New Zealand Digital Library Project at the
University of Waikato, and distributed in cooperation with UNESCO and the
Human Info NGO. It is open-source software, available from
http://greenstone.org under the terms of the GNU General Public
The New Zealand Digital Library website (http://nzdl.org) contains numerous example
collections, all created with the Greenstone software, which are publicly
available for you to peruse. They exemplify various searching and browsing
options, and include collections in Arabic, Chinese, French, Maori, and
Spanish, as well as English. There are also some music collections.
Greenstone runs on Windows, Unix and Mac OS X. The distribution includes ready-to-use
binaries for all versions of Windows, and for Linux and Mac OS X. It also includes
complete source code for the system, which can be compiled using Microsoft
C++ or gcc. Greenstone works with associated software that is also freely
available: the Apache Webserver and PERL. The user interface uses a Web
browser: typically Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.
Many document collections are distributed on CD-ROM using the Greenstone
software. For example, the Humanity Development Library contains
1,230 publications ranging from accounting to water sanitation. It runs on
minimal computing facilities such as those typically found in developing
countries. The information can be accessed by searching, browsing by
subject, browsing by titles, browsing by organisation, browsing a list of
how-tos, and by randomly viewing the book covers.
Greenstone is specifically designed to be highly extensible and
customisable. New document and metadata formats are accommodated by writing
"plugins" (in Perl). Analogously, new metadata browsing structures can be
implemented by writing "classifiers." The user interface look-and-feel can
be altered using "macros" written in a simple macro language. A Corba
protocol allows agents (e.g. in Java) to use all the facilities associated
with document collections. Finally, the source code, in C++ and Perl, is
available and accessible for modification.
|| Extensive documentation for the Greenstone software is available.
There is a mailing list intended primarily for discussions about the
Greenstone digital library software. Active users of Greenstone should
consider joining the mailing list and contributing to the discussions.
To subscribe, go to https://list.scms.waikato.ac.nz/mailman/listinfo/greenstone-users.
To send a message to the list, address it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to ensure that this software works well for you. Please report any
bugs to email@example.com
in the works
|Greenstone 3 is a complete redesign and reimplementation which
retains all the advantages of Greenstone 2 (the current version)--for example,
it is multilingual, multiplatform, and highly configurable. It
incorporates all the features of the existing system, and is backwards
compatible: that is, it can build and run existing collections without
modification. Written in Java, it is structured as a network of
independent modules that communicate using XML: thus it runs in a
distributed fashion and can be spread across different servers as
necessary. This modular design increases the flexibility and
extensibility of Greenstone. The new version is expected to be
available for experimental use by 23 December 2003. An initial design for
the system is outlined in "The design of Greenstone 3: An agent based
dynamic digital library" (download
The Greenstone software is a collaborative effort between many
people. Rodger McNab and Stefan Boddie are the principal architects and
implementors. Contributions have been made by David Bainbridge, George
Buchanan, Hong Chen, Michael Dewsnip, Katherine Don, Elke Duncker, Carl Gutwin, Geoff Holmes, Dana McKay, John
McPherson, Craig Nevill-Manning, Dynal Patel, Gordon Paynter, Bernhard Pfahringer, Todd
Reed, Bill Rogers, John Thompson, and Stuart Yeates. Other members of the New Zealand
Digital Library project provided advice and inspiration in the design of
the system: Mark Apperley, Sally Jo Cunningham, Matt Jones, Steve Jones, Te Taka
Keegan, Michel Loots, Malika Mahoui, Gary Marsden, Dave Nichols and Lloyd Smith. We would also like to
acknowledge all those who have contributed to the GNU-licensed packages
included in this distribution: MG, GDBM, PDFTOHTML, PERL, WGET, WVWARE and XLHTML.
Kia papapounamu te moana
kia hora te marino,
kia tere te karohirohi,
kia papapounamu te moana
may peace and calmness surround you,
may you reside in the warmth of a summer's haze,
may the ocean of your travels be as smooth as the polished greenstone.
Greenstone is a semi-precious stone that (like this software) is sourced
in New Zealand. In traditional Maori society it was the most highly prized
and sought after of all substances. It can absorb and hold wairua,
which is a spirit or life force, and is endowed with traditional virtues
that make it an appropriate emblem for a public-domain digital library
project. Its lustre shows charity; its translucence, honesty; its
toughness, courage; and the sharp edge it can take, justice. The carved
piece used in the Greenstone Digital Library Software logo is a patu
or fighting club, and is a family heirloom of one of our project members.
In hand-to-hand combat its delivery is very quick, very accurate, and very
complete. We like to think these qualities also apply to our software, the
razor sharp edge of the patu symbolizing the leading edge of
New Zealand Digital Library Project
Department of Computer Science,
University of Waikato,