Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Major Revision Coming to EADitor

After sitting dormant for more than a year, I have begun a significant revision of EADitor.  Some aspects are being completely rewritten to gear the software toward a 1.0 release shortly after the finalization of the next version of EAD.  I'll provide a short overview of the new and improved features.  First and foremost, I have migrated the project from Google Code to GitHub, which is a major step in making the code more maintainable in the long run.  The new URL is https://github.com/ewg118/eaditor.

Migration to latest Solr and Orbeon

I am migrating EADitor into the latest versions of Solr and Orbeon.  With this comes some general improvements to performance and aesthetic style.  The public user interface and the backend XForms interface have become detached from each other, making it easier to customize the public UI without affecting the backend UI, which is more scalable for higher resolution monitors.  The previous version of EADitor depended on three Solr indexes.  Two have been eliminated, leaving just one for the public interface.  The administrative interface relies more heavily on XQuery for pagination and search, and the controlled vocabulary index has been eliminated since term lookups will be performed directly on the id.loc.gov APIs, rather than through autosuggest powered by the Solr index operating in a silo.

EAD v3

I have reviewed the recent beta release of the EAD schema.  I will begin coding support for the beta schema by the start of next week so that when the final schema is released in a few months, I'll only need to make some minor edits to the XForms and XSLT scripts.  My aim is to support EAD v3 editing and publication in EADitor as immediately as possible, which will undoubtedly be well ahead of the competition.  EADitor will support the upload of EAD2002 schema or DTD-based finding aids, which will be preprocessed into EAD v3-compliant files for editing.

API integration

Currently, EADitor supports lookups on VIAF for corporate and personal names and Geonames for geographic terms.  LCSH terms could be linked to subjects in finding aids by performing lookups on an out-of-date Solr index.  I plan to expand this functionality significantly.  Yesterday, I extended EADitor to tap into search services for the Pleiades Gazetteer of Ancient Places, particularly useful for georeferencing archaeological archives.  Lookups can be performed directly on id.loc.gov for subjects and genreforms.  I can incorporate other relevant Library of Congress APIs.  The Getty is due to release their thesauri in the form of linked open data eventually, and EADitor will be extended to query their APIs as well.  And, of course, EADitor will query NAAC web services (the National Archival Authority Cooperative, the eventual evolution of SNAC) for personal, corporate, and family names as soon as the services are available (admittedly, EADitor 1.0 will likely be released well ahead of NAAC).

Component-Level Publication

Currently, EADitor supports the traditional form of EAD publication and dissemination: finding aids are published and searched as a single Solr document and viewed as a whole.  I plan to add in support for publishing individual components (series, items, etc.) as atomically searchable and displayable documents.  Additionally, EADitor does currently support the publication and display of MODS records, and will soon support editing and uploading of MODS as well.

Export/Linked Open Data

EADitor already supports OAI-PMH integration, with finding aids represented as fairly simple Dublin Core fragments.  I plan to support more robust export serializations in RDF.  The integration of LCSH, Pleiades, VIAF, Geonames, Getty, etc. URIs into the EAD v3 records directly will enable much better linked data functionality for archives--both on the finding aid and component levels. Since individual components will be represented in RDF (and other export formats, like MODS), components will have individually addressable URIs.  I'd like administrators of EADitor-based archival collections to be able to provide their data to major harvesters of cultural heritage content in supported standards out of the box, whether compliant to the Digital Public Library of America or the Pelagios project, for archives with a significant level ancient world geographic content.

Enhanced Flickr Support

EADitor supports linking to flickr images in the daogrp once a flickr API key has been inputted into the configuration file.  I'd like to take this to the next level by extending the interface to send machine tags back to flickr for VIAF, Geonames, Pleiades, etc. identifiers associated with the photographs, providing greater metadata context within flickr itself.

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