Digital Library alpha testing [21 March 2008]
Sign in worked fine.
On the page to modify my profile:
my given name appeared in the text box for last name, along with my last name. The given name text box was empty. System seemed to accept my modifications of the preference page.
I did a little browsing just to get a feel for the site. Took a look at page "http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/64"; I was able to read it fine. Navigated away, and came back via back button on my browser. Now the page appeared blank. When I browsed backwards from there, every page I'd been to was blank.
I went back to your invitation and used the link you provided, and came to the same page as I initially reached (based on the address) but now it appeared blank.
So that pretty much stops me from doing any more with this tonight.
Bill--Q 23:08, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Submission Process [22 March 2008]
21 March 2008, 6:00 PM
Successfully uploaded file in Word Format (Will of Thomas Scudder.doc) Verfying the file by “Clicking on the filenames above. This will download the file in a new browser window, so that you can check the contents.” The file was apparently downloaded, but did not open in a browser window. Instead it was stored as a Word file in my download folder. A quick glance at that file showed that it looked correct.
2. I clicked the checksum button, and got a result “5f8219b082d80f12d6c5a9ed1fbb73cf (MD5)” I did not attempt to verify that the checksum was correct, (and I will guess that very few users would spend much time on this. “Checksums” would not be part of “Drop dead easy”. I would also imagine that most folks wanting to check to see if the file was downloaded correctly will just view the file and see if it looks correct. Eventually I'll check the "Checksum" to see if its right, but probably wouldn't do this routinely.)
3. I now find that the button sequence across the top of the page is actually clickable (contrary to earlier note), and will take you directly to whatever stage you need to look at, at least in a partially completed submission. Might not work if you are just starting a submission, and so haven't been to these stages. Will check this with a later submission to see how it actually works.
Q 18:18, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
test [19 March 2008]
A. Third "button" from left says "Describe". So does the fourth.
B. Button's look like they should be clickable, but are obviously not intended to be clickable---possibly need a different design so folks aren't confused. The "Buttons" are much larger than the "next" button below, which may be a bit confusing to some. (After you figure out how it works, though, it shouldn't be a problem.
C. Tried a submission of a fairly lengthy title, and the system hung, and eventually gave a message asking to try again, and if the problem peristed, submit a description. I tried again, Same thing.
Title was "Records of the First church in Huntington, Long Island, 1723-1779. Being the record kept by the Rev. Ebenezer Prime, the pastor during those years ; Containing lists of members of the church, and of baptisms and of marriages, a confession of faith, accounts of trials of members, and various other matters pertaining to the affairs of the church, with full index of names"
Message was "Internal System Error
The system has experienced an internal error. Please try to do what you were doing again, and if the problem persists, please contact us so we can fix the problem."
D. Tried a submission of a short title and the system gave a message "Error reading the source page (please try again later)"
--Q 09:10, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Viewing Records [22 March 2008]
1. "Simple Metadata Record"
A. Field “URL”----when the input page for this field is offered to the user, it needs to be clear that “URL” refers to the WeRelate Source article, not where this can be found on the web. This goes along with the point that “Source” refers to a WeRelate article title, and that the DigitalLibrary is intended to work with WeRelate articles. This may become intuitive when the link between the two is more clearly established. But right now the Digital library looks to be a separate entity.
B. This page does not have a convenient Title. Its apparently something like "Simple Metadata Record", but that doesn't appear on page. Perhaps no nvermind, but having a Title would make it easier to refer to this page.
2. Full metadata record http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/68?mode=full&submit_simple=Show+full+item+record
Sources [22 March 2008]
A. http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/67. This item includes the descriptive title that belongs to the succeeding item at http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/68. I presume that something has misaligned in the database.
B. http://www.werelate.org/dlib/browse?type=dateaccessioned&sort_by=1&order=DESC&rpp=20&submit_browse=Update There needs to be some simple explanatory information added about what various data elements refer to at
1. "Source" Refers to a specific article in the Source Namespace on WeRelate. 2. "Title" refers to a specific item within that source; eg., a specific page, or an identifiable record, etc. "Title" may not be the best choice for this since it can be confused with the title of the source
C. If the process used here is to add materials in the Sandbox, and then let the system add them from the sandbox into the Library itself, perhaps that needs to be explained. Or perhaps there are two entry ways envisioned? one through the sandbox, and one more directly? The sandbox approach seems reasonable since it adds a layer of security to prevent "bad" adds. If that's the approach to be used, perhaps a different name would be in order, as it has certain implications in the wiki worlds. (Ie, nothing you do in the sandbox is permanent--all changes are written in sand, (hence, "sandbox"), and nothing is retained long term.
D. Possibly there is a a need to create different types of "Source" cards in WeRelate itself. e.g.,
1. A book source 2. A journal/magazine/newspaper source 3. A Bible Record 4. A Census record 5. A vital statistic record for birth, death, marriage, burial, baptism, etc. 6. A Will 7. etc
Click on the appropriate item in a pulldown menu would take you to a page with text boxes for specific data elements unique to that kind of item.
One of the advantages of this would be that the end user wouldn't be presented with options for entering information that obviously didn't apply to the type of source they were working with---for example, asking for a volume number for a bible record, or the publisher for a will record. If you like I can draft something up that would give the basic information data fields needed for different record types
The button that says “show Full item”----is misleading. It suggests that clicking this button will show you the complete record content---ie, the record contained in the file that’s been stored here, rather than a more complete listing of MetaDataa. Perhaps “Show Complete Metadata” would be better
Collection home page
Browse buttons “Source and Title” and “Submission Date” are on staggerd lines. It would look better if they were on the same line. Once someone has subscribed to a collection, perhaps the offer for them to “subscribe”, should be replaced with “unsubscribe”. In the top pull down menu, perhaps the label “In:” might be replaced with “Select Collection” as being more intuitive. Consider replaceing “Search” with “Search this collection”. It’s a bit more bulky, and perhaps the simle label is better for that reason. Ditto “Browse” vice “Browse this Collection”
Full metadata record
Some how the description of another record has been entered on both the dc.title, and dc.browsekey. Possibly this happened during creation and was deliberate (though unintentional) by the user, or perhaps theres a problem in retrieval.
Submission Process [21 April 2008]
Possibly needs a page title : eg., Submission Process
I was going to play around in the sandbox at the DL and while going through the submission process, I decided I wanted to quit and go back to the Home page, but didn't see a way to quit the process other than closing the window down. Perhaps I overlooked it, but is there a "quit" link? --Ronni 12:26, 18 April 2008 (EDT)
There's a "Save/Cancel" button that means "Quit", but in looking into this I just realized that I neglected to add it to the "Select source" page. I'll add renaming that button to "Quit" and adding it to the "Select source" page to the todo list. I'm spending the next few weeks working on search and starting match/merge, so I probably won't work on the digital library todo list until May/June.--Dallan 11:18, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
License step [21 March 2008]
First item in text is labeled “There is one last step”. That might (or might not) make sense for some entry ways, but at first glance this is misleading. Its not the “Last step” that’s being discussed but the first thing to be done.
The options here include a good selection of possibilities, but I think one is dissappearing through the cracks. Specifically, there may be some items that are out of copyright, but have been obtained from a source that requires you to agree to a restrictive license. Ancestry’s “Census Images” being a case in point. While Ancestry allows individual users to reuse those images for their personal genealogy, I think they would draw the line at massive imports of their images into this Digital Library. There’s a grey area here, and some will argue that such restrictive licenses are not binding. No lawyer here, but I strongly suspect such arguments are smiply self serving, and if tested I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the counter argument, as that’s the one that I personally (and non-professionally) think would prevail. This is an issue that has been at least spoken to on the WeRelate watercooler, but I don’t think there’s a sound resolution on this at this time. The defacto position is that its OK as long as you are only supporting your own genealogy---which of course is what virtually everyone is currently doing. It’s a different matter when you start collecting these things in mass, and providing the mechanism to facilitate that may be a problem for you at some point in the future. One partial solution might be to include a button here that discusses this issue “Restrictive License Applies”, and have the discussion clearly explain that such items are being downloaded in specific support of someone’s personal genealogy, and are in compliance with the applicable restrictive license. My guess is that this would be perceived as a transparent fiction, but at least you’d be laying the ground work for why this might be OK. It’s a rationale. Whether its good or not is another matter. Eventually, I suspect that Ancestry and others are going to tighten up their restrictive license so that this can’t be done at all, but its all pretty grey at the moment. I presume you have a lawyer dealing with the legalities of running this site. Probably be a good thing to get a legal opinion on something like this.
D. “Click on one of the buttons at the bottom of the page.”
The buttons are at the side of the page, not the bottom. It might be convenient for experiened users if you placed a button strip near the top of the page, before the explanatory material. But perhaps you want to be sure everyone has had to at least allowed their eyes to pass over the explanatory text on the way to finding the right button. Not convenient, but perhaps necessary.
Under “Are you the author?”
"derivative works" Probably needs a link to something explaining what a derivative work amounts to, and doesn’t amount to. You explained it once to me, and that was good enough for me to know what I might or might not be able to do, but I don’t think the phrase is sufficiently intuitive that others would immediately understand the limitations and potential.
Source entry step
Tried to submit the following: MySource:Will of Thomas Scudder (1657/58)
Message came up to give a title of a Source on WeRelate.
a) Possibly need to make it clear that only sources already in the Source: namespace on WeRelate can be used.
b) I presume that eventually there will be an option when you create a source on WeRelate to go to the digital library and download an item from that source.
c) When the warning message popped up a white rectangle was superimposed over the field, partially obscuring the input box for the “source page title”. Dissappeared when I edited the input box, which is good. But it shouldn’t have been displayed in the first place.
d) I converted the MySource item to a source item, and resubmitted, without problem.
First "Describe" step [23 March 2008]
a) “Enter the URL of an image or record upon which this submission is based.” Not sure why this is here. Seems like this is going to be added automatically based on the WeRelate Source page. Asking for it here seems i) to increase work unnecessarily, ii) invite people adding in other links to places on the web, that will be subsequently ignored. So I left this blank to see what would happen if I entered nothing at all
b) Entering nothing at all did not create a problem
Second "Describe" Step [25 March 2008]
1. it’s a fair bit of work adding every persons name mentioned. I probably would not do that routinely.
2. A white rectangle obscured most of the last five input boxes, though I could click on the pull down’s and see the choices. Couldn’t review the choices made after selecting something, as the rectangle obscured the boxes.
3. In the second describe step there's a pull down menu for "Subject". The menu items are things like Biography, Cemetery Record, Will, etc.
a) "Subject" doesn't exactly correspond with the content of the menu. This is more like "Type of Format" or "Type of Record" which we've discussed elsewhere.
b) The list of items in the menu seems quite comprehensive, but I noticed a missing item, namely "Letter" or "Correspondance". There are probably other things that can be routinely expected to show up as well, but we'll probably only ferret them out when the issues arises. That will reveal itself as soon as people start using the Digital library on a day to day basis. Q 15:49, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
Searching User Space [21 March 2008]
21 March 2008, 9:45 AM
Page shows at top: “User community Community home page …. Introductory text …. Collections in this community” … Copyright Text”
B. There’s no “Introductory text to go along with the caption “Introductory Text”. I assume this is a place holder waiting in the wings to be filled.
C. “Collections in this community” seems a bit obscure. What’s shown is a list of users. Presumably each user has a collection of sources that they are working on. I would guess that this will be clarified in the introductory paragraph.
D. The list of users (or perhaps that’s “List of Collections of users” is in fairly large type face. As more users/Collections are added this may be awkward. Recommend smaller font.
E. I don’t know what is meant by “copyright text”. Is this something that’s going to be added, or is this a statement that the text on the page is copyrighted? In anycase, is this desirable on a wiki? Perhaps this is leftover from Dspace incarnation.
2. Quolla6 Collections Home Page http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/58
A. When I do a search in the search box, but leave the search field empty, I get result of “1”---which might (see item C) be the number of articles I’ve created in this area.
B. After I do a search, I end up on a page from which I can do more searches, but I can’t return to “browse mode”, without backclicking. Recommend that an option be put in to allow the user to continue from this point by browseing if they wish.
C. When I browse my own collection I get the message “There are no entries in the index for Collection "Quolla6". Thought there was at least one entry in this collection. In fact, Dallan pointed it out. So today its gone. D’unt understand.
D. When I return to my User page from this point (following link Quolla6) I do get back to my user page. However, when I changed the pulldown to search “All of Dspace” or “User Community”, I get the message “There are no entries in the index for Collection "Quolla6".
I suspect that its not responding to the menu items after searching Quolla6 space. (When I go to MyDSpace area I can search Quolla6 DSpace just fine. Q 16:17, 21 March 2008 (EDT))
Q 16:08, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Simplfied skin; introduced bug [21 March 2008]
I just installed a simplified skin and introduced a bug: the "Recent Submissions" list on the left-hand side of Community and Collection homepages does not always show the recent submissions for the community/collection you are looking at. I know what the problem is. I'll fix it tomorrow morning.--Dallan 19:26, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Several questions regarding entering extracts from microfilm [21 March 2008]
I have decided to abstract data from microfilm for 24 families from Richland County, South Carolina and submit the abstracts to the digital library. I have not started this project and I have a few questions before I begin. I first establish a source in the Wiki. Then may I type the abstract in Word and then upload this to the digital library? I intend to complete one family abstract and upload, etc.
Will one eventually have other categories in the digital library or will these abstracts always remain under my name (community)? Richland County, South Carolina could be the community name.
Also in abstracts it is generally accepted to use a question mark enclosed by square brackets when uncertain of a word or phrase; and one also uses square brackets to clarify data or to add a comment. May I use square brackets and the question mark; if not what does one suggest using?
I usually share my abstracts with other societies and sites. I assume this is permissible as long as I use the license of use for the digital library and specify that the society, etc. must accept this usage or not have the data. --Beth 19:54, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Submissions List [22 March 2008]
21 March 2008, 10:15 PM
1. New skin
A. helpful, and substantial improvement. "Signed in as" display particularly good to have.
B. Looks like the link bar at the top is misaligned. Would look better if the search box, "Signed in as" , and Sign out links were all on the same line as "Home", "Search" etc.
2. Testing the "Browse function"
A. Source, Title, and Submitted Display
i) I see I should have picked a different "Source" for the Will of Thomas Scudder. In this case, the Source should (perhaps?) have been GenForum? The "Item" is the will of Thomas Scudder, but I got it from a message on GenForum. If I'm confused about what to put, I'm sure others will be as well.
ii) Might be helpful to indicate which collection the item is in.
iii) recommend smaller font.
iv) I changed the number of results per page to 100. Looked like it changed accordingly, but there was a huge difference in the appearance of the display. Specifically, the width of the "Source" column shrunk, and the "title" column expanded. NAppears that the HTML is adjusting to fit a really long title---which happens to be where you spliced the long title for Records of First Church of Huntington, onto a source "Elizabeth A. Powell Diary". This may be a no nevermind, but the jump from one layout to the other was disconcerting. The smaller font would minimize the problem, but perhaps a fixed field width would be better.
B. Browseing by Source and Title,
1. Tested the "Jump to" Function. i) the letters you select from seem to be mismatched with where you go. For example, if you select "B", expecting to get a list of sources beginning with the letter B, you actually get a list beginning with the letter A . Similarily, selecting "X" gets you a list begining with "W". if there was something in the list of items that began with the particular letter, but if not,
ii) It looks like if no titles begin with the letter you select, you get a list of things that begin with the letter "R". Not sure that's the exact rule that's prevailing, but what you probably should be getting is something like "Nothing matches your selection".
iii) sometimes you get more than just the matches you were seeking. For example, pressing X (in lieu of W), you get a first entry beginning "Will...", which is good, but then you also get things begining with "S", "R", etc. sort of in reverse alphabetical order.
iv) The browse function is described as "By Source and Title", but the jump to function seems to be strictly "Source". Perhaps the "Jump To" function needs to specific which of the two will be searched for retrieval. Conceiveably it would be useful to select either "Source", "Title" as the basis for the " Jump to".
Q 21:47, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
Browsing by Date [24 March 2008]
page title: Browsing by Submission date http://www.werelate.org/dlib/browse?type=dateaccessioned&sort_by=1&order=DESC&rpp=100&year=2007&month=1&starts_with=
1. If the search field is the submission date, then the pull down menu is mostly filled with meaningless options (search in 2007, 2006, etc.). If the search function is keying on something else, this needs to be spelled out.
2. if you type in a date before 2008, you still get the same list.
Q 17:51, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Sorting by Source and Title [22 March 2008]
Page titled Browsing by Source & Title http://www.werelate.org/dlib/browse?type=browsekey&sort_by=2&order=ASC&rpp=100&starts_with=B
1. If you use the "Jump To" function, you now get a page appropriate to the letter selected.---unless there are no entries under that letter. In which case you get the nexxt thing on the alphabetical list (I think). For example, the URL above gives a search for things beginning with "B"; There are none, so the first thing that appears is a Source "Elizabeth A. Powell...." ---Q 17:54, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Feedback page [22 March 2008]
Help Contents: http://www.werelate.org/dlib/feedback
2. Checked the links at the bottom of the feedback page. All worked. Note that there's a link to the feedback page itself, which seems redundant. Click the link and you return to the same page where you clicked the link.
3.Checked links at top of page. All worked
DSPACE HELP [25 March 2008]
1. Tested menu of links. All took me to the proper place.--
2. Note: The last item on the page is "For Further assistance". This is not included in the menu at the top of the page.
3. Checked links at bottom. All worked. However, the list of links provided here is not the same as provided in the menu at the top of the page. In addition to not includeing "For Further Assistance", the links at the bottom of the page do not include
4. I have not reviewed the content of the various help items. However, I did notice this statement in "Communities"
Communities which can correspond to administrative entities such as schools, departments, labs and research centers.
While this doesn't say that a community couldn't simply be a group of folks combining together to work in some particular area, there's a strong implication in this statement that communities are associated with some formal organization. I suspect this is left over from the main DSpace boiler plate, but you might want to consider whether it should be changed for a genealogy context where most of the members are not part of a formal organization.
Remember Me Function [25 March 2008]
When you register you get an option to "Remember me on this computer". I've come acrossed it in a couple of places but didn't note exactly where. However, while I've checked the Remember me option the system doesn't seem to remember me at all, as I've had to sign in each time I've gone to the Digital LIbrary, at least if I've been gone for more than an hour or so. If I leave and come right back it does seem to remember me, probably as a function of what's happening in my cache.--Q 21:52, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Password notification [24 March 2008]
Testing password reminder system at http://www.werelate.org/dlib/dbauth-login
1. Asked system to "remind me" of password.
2. It successfully sent me a new password via email
3. Ignored new password, and, as the notification suggested, the old password still worked.
4. Logged out, and tried the new password, and it didn't work. That was expected since I'd previously signed in with the old password.
5. Went through the cycle again, but this time used the provided password first pass through. It worked fine.
Q 09:37, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
Your Subscriptions [24 March 2008]
testing links and buttons at http://www.werelate.org/dlib/subscribe
1. Links in the top and bottom banners all work. Since this is a standard feature, I won't test these further on other pages, unless a need is seen
2. Tested "Unsubscribe" function for a specific collection. It worked.
3. Tested "Unsubscribe All" function. it worked.
4. Tested the "Help..." link on the right hand side. It worked and took me to the appropriate help page. that page was different from the help link in the banner, but specific to this page.
5. The Subscription page gives the direction "To subscribe to a collection, visit the collection's home page, and click on the "Subscribe" button." The "help" page tells you to :
A. I don't know what the "DSpace registration page" is. Its not an obvious link from the home page, and not given as a link from this help page. its not also listed as an item in the master help page. I'm sure I've been there (I think I'm "registered"), but I just don't know how to get back to it quickly from the information supplied here.
B. The guidance on the page itself as to how to subscribe to a collection is a lot more straight forward, but, perhaps the help guidance includes additional information with the intent of guiding someone who hasn't registered.
Q 10:14, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
Changes [26 March 2008]
Yesterday I added the ability to sort items by item title in addition to the existing source title and submission date sort orders when browsing. I also changed the submission process so that entering multiple names is faster: you can enter multiple individuals' names on separate lines of a single text box. Finally, I removed the Subject, Occupation, Religion, Ethnicity, URL, and FHL/NARA/ISBN identifier fields. I'm going to add these fields to the Source wiki page, so having them also on digital library items would be redundant (and was getting confusing). In the case where the item could be found in multiple repositories (e.g., a will that could be found in a book in a library, a record collection in a county recorder's office, or in a bulletin board message on the Internet), and you'd like to record the specific repository from which you obtained your transcription of the will, I'm thinking that information could either go into the "Description/keywords" field, or we could add two fields: "Repository" and "Location within repository" to the digital library item.
We're going to be hosting records for the Lowcountry Africana website. Over the next several days they will be modifying the "look" of the digital library to match the look of their website. Eventually we'll integrate the digital library into the wiki, we'll make the default "look" match the look of WeRelate.org, and we'll give other organizations the ability to frame the digital library inside their websites and give it a custom "look" to match their website that appears only when the digital library is framed. We don't have that capability today, and Lowcountry Africana is launching at the end of this week, so we're letting them change the default "look".--Dallan 11:33, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
I just checked out the LowCountry site (very nice site btw) and clicked on "search records" which brought up the Digital Library search screen. The search doesn't appear to be specific to just LowCountry files. Is this correct? --Ronni 11:53, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
New Format [29 March 2008]
1. The new background for the digital Library is striking. I found the color contrast a little jarring, but workable. I'll also note that the font color does work with the basic black background---as opposed to the commonly selected, and virtually unreadable, "red against black". I see the main advantage of this choice as making items in the digital library standout/distinguish themselves from other items in WeRelate. A light grey shade for the background might work better, but I'm only one person, and others may find this not as jarring as I do. You might want to ask others how they feel about the color contrast.
But speaking of the background, I don't know how prevasive this is, but in one record I checked to look at the full meta data table:
The font color had not been changed, so the text appeared black on black, and could only be viewed by highlighting the area where I thought the real text lay.
2. I did a bit of testing on the search function http://www.werelate.org/dlib/
a. The Search and the Browse functions are now clearly separated, and distinct.
b. I tried various searches
i. "Name". I assumed this was the "name of the item" but perhaps its meant to be a person's name. In any case I searched for the item
The exact title of the aritcle produced no results---or rather found nothing. Searching for "Letter" and "letter from" found nothing However, searching for "Smith to Preston" "Smith" or "Preston" produced appropriate hits.
I take it that the search function simply parses the search string based on where spaces appear. Thus the phrase "Smith to Preston" contained in the title and inserted into the search field, resulted in a search on
returning any item that contained any of the above. "Smith" alone got substantial hits, as would be expected. "Smith Preston" got only the single recorded noted above. From this I note that the search name function a). really is searching for names
b). is searching for both of the the items listed, as long as somewhere they are designated as "Names"
c) is doing an "A" AND "B" search, not "A" or "B". For example, if I had it search" "Jimmy" "Lucy" " it returned a particular record. It would pick up that record if I searched just "Jimmy" or just "Lucy", but would return nothing if I searched " "Jimmy" "Lucretia" "
d) It doesn't seem to take into account Quotation marks, and Boolean operators cause a failure. ("Invalid Search String" message)
I image that implementing boolean searches is something of a hassle, and can understand why at this point its not included. If you ever do implement Boolean searches, the set up on Google is the best I've run across. Decidedly superiod presentation for the average user.
Q 11:52, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
PDF documents [31 March 2008]
I'd like to get Dallan's opinion on something related to downloading documents to the Digital Library. There are a number of sources where copies of entire text's can be downloaded---e.g., Google Books. Many of those works are out of copyright, are were scanned in by Google Books themselves, rather than a third party, such as a publisher. Since the works are out of copyright, I presume that someone might wish to down load one of these scans to the Digital Library. An example of this would be source:Thwaites and Kellogg, 1905, whose contents is largely an extraction out of the Draper MSC. I believe Google places some restrictions on using items like this, but a quick check of Google Books didn't seem to show a "terms and conditions of use" link. I did find a link that showed how you could link to specific works in their digital library.
When I create a source card for a particular reference, I'll often give it a link to an online version. This is usually sufficient for my purposes, but I can think of some reasons why it might be desirable to have a PDF version incorporated directly into the Digital Library. I'm pretty sure you couldn't do this with a work in Ancesry's digital library, as you'd almost certainly run afoul of their restrictive license. But if its correct that Google Books has not enplaced such a license, is downloading and re-uploading one of their files to the Digital Library appropriate?
Personally, I'd rather upload snippets of those works, rather than the whole thing, as then it would be a lot easier to direct someone to the specific passage in question. But even here there may be some question, since if you upload enough snippets you eventually get the entire work in place---just in bits and pieces. So, what do you think? Q 15:27, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Collection Banner [29 March 2008]
The banner now displaying on each collection page is attactive. The WeRelated Logo looks good against the black background. The Africana logo also looks good (elegant might be the word), However,
a) It's appearing on the page of each collections, not just the Low Country Africana Collection it was designed for. I presume that's because you do not currently have logo's for each collection
b) I'll work on a banner logo display for SWVP. (I assume these can be changed at will. The one I have in mind isn't quite right, but until I can find a better display it is probably the best I can do.
c) The logo for Low Country Africana Collection needs to be offset to the left so that the search box does not overlap it. Not strictly necessary, but the design does not work well with a cookie cutter hole in it, I think.
(Now that I can see the full data display for these pages, as it was meant to be seen I like the White on Black presentation more; Clearly distinguishes Digital Library pages from the main WeRelate.)
I've noticed a few disconnections in the work flow. Since this is just going up, it may be better for me to let you get all in place, rather than poking at something that's changing and being added to simultaneous with my poking.
Q 19:41, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
File Names and Descriptions [29 March 2008]
I submitted a file with the title "Daniel Smith's Company Roster, 13 Aug 1774.jpg" The title was fairly descriptive, and so that's what I put into the "description field", but when I look at the resulting card, this looks pretty redundant. Which prompt's the following:
1. Are there any specific recommendations to be followed with regard to
a. What to name a file submitted to the Digital Library?
b. What information should be placed in the "Description" field?
2. The mechanism for uploading images into WeRelate includes a capability for nameing the file something different from what the system finds on your computer. This is probably a bit handier than the system used in the digital library where you have to get the name of the file right before you upload. This is particularly the case if its a screenshot (with a title like "Screenshot 6"---not something you'd want to see in the Digital Library.
3. It might also be handy to be able to rename a file that's been uploaded, but that may not be with the capabilities of the current MediaWiki.
4. I note that the term "description" is used in two different ways on the cited page.
a. First, its whatever you put in the key words field during the submission process b. Second, its a descriptive phrase that you're asked for elsewhere n the process.
Either the terms used need to be made distinctive, or the same thing needs to go into both places---not recommended since that would be redundant. What would probably work best would be to rename the first "Description" field to "Key Words".
By the way, when you enter key words, are they litterally key "Words" (space deliimited), or are these comma delimited phrases? Perhaps that should be made clear when you'r asked for "Key words".
21:26, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Recommend this item and metadata [31 March 2008]
Tested the "Recommend this item". Sent myself an email using this function. It worked fine.
You may want to consider changing the name of the link to something like "Send this to a friend", as more closely matching the intent. "Recommend this item" might be misconstrued as meaning to evaluate its quality in someway.
The email included the handle for the item. (viz Location: http://www.werelate.org/dlib/handle/210 in the example I used. However, when you clearned up the metadata labels, the "Handle" element seems to have dissappeared. Its obviously still there in the database, just not displaying with the rest of the meta data. Since its potentially handy for inserting links into articles, it might be good to restore it.
Q 21:44, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Links to Source Pages [31 March 2008]
Elsewhere Dallan has suggested that linkage to source pages may become optional. This would simplify some problems---for example, if someone had an original document that did not appear in published source, you would be left with nothing to pin it to. So this suggestion would make that a bit easier to handle, since they wouldn't necessarily be stopped by the lack of a source card on WeRelate.
However, there are other ways to solve the problem. What you might do in these circumstances would be to create a Source Card for the specific document as a standalone item. That Source card could then contain all of the information others needed to evaluate the item, or conceivably locate the original. If you don't do something like that, then perhaps there needs to be something included in the Digital Library entry to show where the document could be found and recovered if need be.
A type of problem that I'm seeing is that the card for an item in the digital library may not be providing enough information about exactly where in a source a particular item was found. Since the Source card that its pinned to is being seen as a collection of items (e.g., a specific document that's found in something like Source:Thwaites and Kellogg, 1905), citing the source card doesn't tell you exactly where in the source the material would be found. I believe when I filled in the data for some items one of the fields included things like volume and page number. This does not seem to be displayed in the metadata, and should be. Otherwise, you can find exactly where in a document something was found. Q 09:16, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Submit:Verfy Submission [1 April 2008]
Text in the upper left reads:
recommend different phrasing for last line as a) the first sentence of which ends in a preposition, and b) the information hasn't been submitted just yet so "just submitted may be a bit imprecise. Perhaps
Q 13:18, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Submit Upload File [1 April 2008]
1. Text reads:
The examples look like leftovers from the underlying software. Something more specific to genealogical purposes would be better. Perhaps this should point toward the basic type of document being stored in the library (e.g., Letter, Manuscript, Book, article.) Q 13:43, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
2. At some point I went to the link "Information about file types and levels of support for each are available." That brought a popup window. After reading that I clicked it off, returning to the upload page. And got "malformed message error" Do not believe I used the back button in any of this, which I know can give this error. used the "Previous" button to leave the page, then returned and problem was corrected. Doesn't seem like one should get an error simply reading the instructions; seems like this should be handled in obtrusively. Q 13:51, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
3. During the Submit process you have an opportunity to review the file by clicking the link to the file name. That results in a download of the file, which you can then examine. However, what appears on the screen is a blank browser window. This may be disconcerting to some who are expecting to see the item in the window, rather in their downloads. Q 16:46, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
File modifications [1 April 2008]
I find that I left off part of the material in the file Daniel Smith's Company Roster, 13 Aug 1774.jpg previously submitted to the Digital Library. I'd like to add the missing material as an additional image for this file. Is there someway to do this short of creating an entirely new record? Q 14:21, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Back Links to We Relate [2 April 2008]
Prior to enabling of the Digital Library I was inserting documents either into MySource or Source articles. That allowed me to create links when I created a Person or other article, such that the reader could easily get back to some of the source materials I was using. This looks like it won't work quite so smoothly once the Digital Library is in place. If I transfer an item (e.g., Source:Pension Statement of James Fraley) to the Digital Library, the document submitted will only be viewable for the user if they download it.
Also, I've been including links to relevant articles into documents that I've loaded into the source namespace. In Frayley's pension statement referenced above I included a link to Moore's Fort when that feature was mentioned in his pension statement.
Will this be the case or is there some other development in mind that would allow items to be displayed in the user's browser? thus making links embedded into items placed in the digital library live? (Alternatively, I could include the full http link, but the source link currently used would be a bit more elegant, and a lot less trouble to insert. Q 18:58, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Links to Digital Library [5 April 2008]
I did some exploration with linking from WeRelate proper to files in the digital Library.
I tested the idea that you could set a file up in HTML format, and get it to display in a browser window. I loaded the source code from one of my existing articles, into a dummy file in the Digital Library Sandbox. Then played with links from the WeRelate Sandbox. Got some interesting (and in some cases slightly unexpected) results. Here's a summary
note the distinctions between tests with "1228" and "242". The "1228", seems to be an index number created immediately upon submission---242 is "after approval". Both indexes work, if you use the right url format. For example,
In the bitstream tests (8 and 9) I played with the switches a bit. Apparently these refer to the image number for a multiple file submission, with "/1" being some sort of place holder.
The form in test 5 (retrieve/1228)seems to work best. This form actually opens the file directly in the browser without any intermediate steps. Not sure at the moment how to get the right index number out of the system.
Also, playing around with different "retrievals" I find that if its not HTML, you get other things, and what you get isn't intuitively obvious. in some cases if the file is an image it shows up as a very tiny (and near useless) thumbnail, but in other cases it shows up as a full scale radable image. Sometimes you get a statement of about who authorized the file, and under what kind of license. Sometimes you get a statement that you aren't authorized to do that. (I think that occurs in some intances when you are crossing over into a different collection---but not always. So there's more going on here than is apparent at first glance.
Q 13:47, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Zotero [3 April 2008]
I've been playing around with Zotero (a Firefox extension) a little more the last few weeks and just thought I would mention that it's able to capture citation data from the Digital Library. It's actually quite neat. It also can capture data from Wikipedia (for instance an article that has reference citations). --Ronni 13:39, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Images and pictures [5 April 2008]
Suppose one had a family photograph that they wanted to use to support a person article. Normally, this would go into image namespace, but at least in theory, one could put it into the Digital Archives as well. This would might create a problem since there would probably be no supporting article to pin the image to as a source. Dallan has said that he might make this optional. If having a "source" card to pin the photograph to became optional I don't know how you could prevent people from putting a family photograph into the digital archives. I'm not in favor of having a "rule" to cover every contingency, but perhaps some thought should be given as to whether the digital library is also to become a repository for family photographs. Having two places for the same thing seems untidy. Eventually, what may be needed is a guidance page to indicate to the users what properly belongs in the Digital Library, vice Image namespace, vice person and article names space, etc. Q 20:30, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Working Example of "Pop Up" [15 April 2008]
There are several instances where I've felt a need for a "Pop" up style window to show/amplify certain points. An example is in the map of the forts of Southwest Virginia. The main article for this map is at List of Forts of Southwest Virginia. This article gives a list of the forts, but the map that accompanies the article (Map_of_Forts_of_Southwest_Virginia._1 is too large to display on the same page as the tabular list. (If you put them both on the same page you get whip-lash scrolling from one to the other).
The solution to that is to use the coding that Dallan pointed to in one of the above topics. This coding can be used to open an item in a separate window while keeping the main window open. Thus I can have the map on one page, and the index on another page, and you can examine them both simultaneous. I've added this to the map page,
and you can now bring up the list specific to this map by clicking the appropriate link on that page.
To make this work effectively I had to place a subset of the index from the main article into an HTML file stored in the Digital Library. The metadata for that file can be seen at . Then I used the bitstream code http://www.werelate.org/dlib/bitstream/260/2/Index%20to%20Forts%20of%20Southwest%20Virginia.html) to link to the actual file. The advantage with doing it this way is that you get the "popup" window effect without having to pass through the metadata page.
The main problem that I see with this at the moment is that the popup window occupies most of my screen, and obscures the page from which it was called. this would be more effective with a small size popup window. I don't know if there's a convenient fix for that--perhaps something placed in the HTML coding would do that, but I don't know.
I should probably add that strictly speaking you don't have to go through the digital library to make this trick work. You can link to any WeRelate page, getting it to appear in a separate window, with the same basic code. The advantage of going through the digital library is that you can exclude the "window dressing" (ads, formal WeRelate layout features, etc) and just display the intended content of the popup. That way you can focus the readers attention on what you want to show him, rather than distracting him with unneeded details. One of my overall objectives in writing is to attempt to make the information transfer from the page to the reader as direct as possible. So ultimately, I want to get rid of things that aren't conducive to that goal. This is one way of doing that.
Note that this will work only with certain types of files in the Digital Library. It will work, for example, with html files, txt files, and images, but not with pdf's or things like WORD documents. The advantage of using an HTML file, as opposed to say an image or a txt file, is that HTML permits you to format the layout of the display, and any live links are preserved. (Note that the blue links in the popup are in fact live links, and will take you to articles about the individual forts.
Q 09:44, 5 April 2008 (EDT)
It would seem that this no longer works. Is there anyway to get this capability restored, or is this something you would prefer not to have available. Thanks Q 11:34, 12 April 2008 (EDT)
HTML Template [15 April 2008]
I spent some time this morning on setting up an HTML template header to be used to format items that are intended to be displayed in a browser window. I inserted a bit of header material into a txt file
Since this is a txt file, you should be able to see the actual HTML code when you go to the above link.
This can be called up from the library, the code copied, and inserted into a file intended to contain the desired item. The layout set up is for a two column Table, but templates for other display layouts could be easily created. I've included a component into the table asking for some basic information about the item, including
a) a Title for it b) the source where it was obtained c) the source for the original record (not necessarily the same as where someone obtains an item.
An example of its use can be found at 
Suggestions for modifications, particular with regard to unneeded components of the code, or additional components that could be useful, would be appreciated.
Interesting - I can't access the "retrieve" URL for the Generic HTML Template unless I log in. Accessing the "bitstream" URL doesn't require me to log in though. Another reason to use bitstream URLs instead of retrieve URLs.
<html> <head> <title>Title goes here</title> </head> <body> <table border=3> <tr bgcolor=lightgrey><td>Entry Type<td>Entry <tr><td bgcolor=lightgrey>Title:<td> <tr><td bgcolor=lightgrey>Immediate Source:<td> <tr><td bgcolor=lightgrey>Original Source: <td> <tr><td bgcolor=lightgrey>Item:<td> </table> </body> </html>
Large Loads [21 April 2008]
I recently attempted to load a series of sound files using the "Add File" function. This was very very sluggish. And the more files I added, the more sluggish it became, until it reached the point where it was unworkable. I'm going to assume that this was a function of adding lots of largish files. Don't know if the individual sound files were particular large, but things definitely slowed down. I explore this a bit more and see if large number of image files do the same thing. Q 11:25, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
List of Submissions [4 May 2008]
In checking some things on the Digital library I looked at the list of submissions included under my user name. There were only three items, though I've submitted many more than that. When I check the Southwest Virginia Project collection I find the missing items. Apparently things submitted to a collection do not get swept up when a person looks for submissions under their user name. Seems like people would want to look at their submissions as a whole. The current arrangement would be fairly inconvenient when more than one person is adding to specific collections. Q 09:13, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
I've come to the same conclusion. It seems that we'd want to add all of your submissions to your "watchlist" somehow.--Dallan 14:02, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Family Exchanges and collections in the Digital library [29 November 2008]
I am mulling over how to best store digital images from the [Coleman Family Exchange]. For example, I could create a community entitled Coleman Family Exchange. I could start with one collection entitled Coleman Death Certificates and upload images when received. On the actual web page; I could enter the text and I assume that I could create a link to the image from the web page.
However, is this going to create more work for me and not enough time to finish my other projects? Will this make it too difficult for contributors to add data? Opinions. --Beth 11:08, 14 June 2008 (EDT)
This page somehow escaped my attention. Sorry for the (really) late replies. Also, as you can probably guess, with everything else going on right now the digital library probably won't going to be integrated into the rest of WeRelate until mid-2009.
In answer to this question, if you want others to be able to comment on the picture I'd add it to the wiki; otherwise add it to the digital library.--Dallan 20:20, 29 November 2008 (EST)
Large PDF [5 July 2008]
I have a large PDF (approaching 10MB)---its a pension application in PDF format, using images of the application. Is this too large for the Digital Library to handle? Q 22:02, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
No. The thing to worry about with large items is more how long it would take someone to download it. So while a 10MB item could be stored without a problem, you might want to consider breaking items this large or larger into two or more smaller files so they can be downloaded individually. It's not a requirement though.--Dallan 20:20, 29 November 2008 (EST)
Date of Issue [29 November 2008]
at http://www.werelate.org/dlib/submit "Describe" Asks for "Date of Issue"
a. Not sure "Date of Issue" is the correct term. Some items, like a letter might have a "written date", but date of issue implies something else---as in the date an document was published. Publication date might be better, but letters aren't exactly published. So maybe simply "Date" would be best. Either that or develop an explanation as to what "Date of Issue" refers to.
b. Pull down menu asks for the "No. Month", but the menu list gives abbreviations of the names of the month, not a choice of month numbers.
at http://www.werelate.org/dlib/submit " "Submission Complete" a link is needed to take you to the document just completed. That way you can conveniently caputre the appropriate URL for inclusion into an article. Alternatively, a link back to the list of recently completed submissions would do.
--Q 10:48, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
These are good suggestions -thanks!--Dallan 20:20, 29 November 2008 (EST)
Date of Issue [6 April 2009]
You ask for "date of Issue" described as "Please give the date of publication or the date the record was made. (You can leave out the day and/or month if they aren't applicable.)"
Some clarification may be in order.
I'm adding an indenture written on 19 May of 1782, but not recorded in the county Clerk's office Deedbook until 20 August 1782 Its not clear which date should be entered. The date the indenture was made, or the date it was recorded? Q 07:30, 4 April 2009 (EDT)
Good question. I don't have a strong opinion about this case. Any thoughts?--Dallan 11:02, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
To keep it consistent with other uses of the field (i.e., date published for a book or magazine), perhaps the "date of record" semantics should be preferred.--Dallan 13:52, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Tangible Form [12 May 2009]
The cpyright section of the DL has the statement withregard to copyrighting of family papers etc
I believe the copyright law only requires that something have been placed in "fixed tangible form" and that constitutes publication--even if its distributed nowhere at all. Thus a family letter written in 1850 would have been placed in fixed tangible form the minute it was written. Even if it were never mailed, or seen by anyone other than the author.
Q 10:44, 12 May 2009 (EDT)