Outcomes from the Web 2.0 Pow-wow 13th December 2007
The talk of the day mainly focused on Web 2 as a user-centric approach to creating web applications.
- The Richtags project have produced a wonderful interface to multiple EPrints repositories to facilitate social interaction.
- Connotea (Nature) already has an established EPrints user interface component
- ULCC has the SNEEP project and the Linnaean society repository. They have been developing comments and bookmarking facilities.
- The EDSPACE project is developing a user-centric approach to learning object repository.
- The FARAOES project are developing a repository user interface that follows the best-practice principles of Web 2.0 sites
Web 2.0 facilities could be (are already in some EPrints repositories) handled by external services (Digg, del.icio.us, Connotea). The advantage of this approach is that there is little complexity in the repository itself, but equally, there is little benefit (value add) that the repository can offer the user.
It may be better to implement tagging and comment and other facilities within the repository, so that (for example) items can be ranked by the number of comments, or their digg-style 'score'.
The accumulated commenting and tagging data that such an approach gathers might be better managed in separate user area - the user has their own area of the database where their comments an their tags are stored. There is already a user dataset in EPrints - perhaps its role needs to be enlarged.
Alternatively, these items can be managed as a separate table (by separate processes and user interfaces and services if necessary) and EPrints can just interpret the fields in the table as if they were readonly eprint metadata.
On the other other hand, EPrints can provide a category of metadata items that behave as normal (accessible through the standard API and user interface) but don't trigger changes in the metadata history or last-changed time. After all, an article doesn't change just because someone rates it.