How to contribute

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Give a little something back...

There's a number of different ways you can contribute to the EPrints project. This page covers all the ones we can think of...

Always make an entry on http://files.eprints.org/ for your contribution, even if you don't upload the files. This will make it the one-stop place for people to find EPrints extensions.

Write a Plugin

There are a number of different kinds of plugin for EPrints.

Export Plugin

These are used to export the data in a variety of formats. They are quite easy to write, once you get started.

Import Plugin

These are used to import data into a repository. They can take datafiles directly, or they can take an ID of a record that can be retrieved in a known way, or a URL of a file, or... whatever.

These are a bit trickier to write than export plugins as parsing data is harder than just "print"ing it, but they are still reasonably straight forward.

Screen Plugin

These handle (almost) all the user interface screens. Pages like "Review" and "Profile" are just built-in plugins. You can add your own very easily.

Examples you could create...

  • Birds Eye View - a view of various statistics on the database, all in one page.
  • Spellchecking Tab - an additional tab in the item control page which checks the spelling on certain fields.
  • Bulk Delete tool - a tool which takes a list of eprintid's and deletes them all in a fell swoop.

Look at the existing Screen Plugins for an idea of how they work. They can be very simple.

Input Component Plugin

These handle how the workflow components are rendered. Built in components include the default (one field) component, the multiple fields component, the upload component, the subject component (which does pretty things to a field of type "subject") and the XHTML component. You can add your own or sub-class existing ones.

Convert Plugin

These are used for two things, currently.

  • Converting the full text of documents into utf-8 text for search indexing
  • Converting images and pdfs into thumbnails and previews

Some examples you could create:

  • RTF to utf-8 to allow rich text documents to be indexed.
  • Powerpoint to Thumbnail to allow thumbnail and previews of powerpoint slides
  • Video to Thumbnail/Preview to make a still preview of a video file.


Write an Autocompleter script or data file

If you created a useful data file for autocompletion, or even a new script!, other may gain from using it. They'll get ideas from just knowing it exists!

Write a Script

There are any number of useful command-line and cgi-scripts which could be written using the EPrints API.

Write a new Theme

EPrints supports "themes" for the basic layout. Creating a few variations will make the software more friendly to people using it for demos and provide some alternate starting points for peoples look and feel.

Translate EPrints into your language

A number of translations for EPrints v2 exist on http://files.eprints.org/ but these need updating for EPrints 3. Contact cjg@ecs.soton.ac.uk for advice on how to cut some corners (a good number of phrases remain unchanged from EPrints 2 so that should reduce effort. Contact us if you want a copy of the EPrints 3 phrases with as many as possible pre-translated using EPrints 2 data.

How to add your Translation

If you have translated eprints into a new language please package up the translated files with a file containing the GPL license called COPYING, and a file called COPYRIGHT which describes who owns the copyright of the translation (this may be important if we choose to package translations in the core, later).

You may also wish to add a README file adding additional details such as which files (if not all) were translated.

These files (just those you have translated, not all!) should be stored in a .tgz archive, with a name in this format:

eprints-2.3.4-translation-fr.tgz

To add the file, register on the EPrints Files repository - EPrints users should already know the rest!


Other neighbourly things to do

Report bugs

Oddly, we do like to hear about our mistakes. If you think you've found a bug then email either the eprints-tech mailing list or Chris directly at cjg@ecs.soton.ac.uk (send to the list if you feel it's useful for other people to know about it and discuss it).

Send all the information you have- what version of EPrints and instructions of how to recreate the problem. If you've figured it out, tell us how to fix it too!

Write How-to's

  • Done something new or unsual with EPrints?
  • Installed it on a new platform or in an unusual way?
  • Got annoyed figuring out how to do something, and wished there was a how-to?

Add a How-to to this wiki! It doesn't need to spend hours working on perfect layout and grammer (we can always fix that later). Put up useful information and step-by-step guides which you feel will help the next guy (or gal).

Hire EPrints Services!

We partly fund the development and support of the software through EPrints Services which may be hired for custom configurations, hosting and creating new features (such as those described on this page).

While EPrints will remain free software, we understand that different groups work in different ways. It's more economical for some to get us to add a new plugin or feature than to build it themselves. If so, great! Get in touch. Hiring EPrints Services benefits you, us (of course) and the entire community by supporting the project!