I know I was late and therefore I couldn’t join the group this afternoon, when I tried to login I got a message “Error: you cannot attend the meeting because its capacity has been reached.”
Anyway, in case anyone is interested on the topic of File Viewers for DSpace Collections, here is a link to a PDF file with a basic outline of the talk; also, key points of what I was going to talk about include:
Why viewers for DSpace?
DSpace is quite popular in the academic world, many institutions are using it now for a variety of objects –e.g. manuscripts, maps, books, videos, etc. In January 2011, there was a discussion on this topic in the DSpace tech listserv; several people jumped in and talked about the need/importance of an out-of-the-box solution for DSpace.
How others are doing it?
- Texas A&M -the developers of the XMLUI framework- for a folio collection, they’re using thumbnails as links to individual pages, the page images are then displayed on a pop-up window using some Lightbox script.
- Another solution is provided by @mire –a commercial organization that develops modules for DSpace. Their Document Streaming Module enables in-browser viewing of document files and it based on the Scribd’s iPaper document viewer.
- There is also a test/prototype using PDFs and the Google Docs Viewer.
Local evaluation of alternatives (workarounds)
- In the summer of 2010 we implemented a flash-based viewer that reads jp2 files and feeds a dynamic viewer based on OpenZoom -a front end of the IIPImage server; the viewer includes zoom and full-screen options and it seems to work great for newspaper or magazine files.
- More recently, we tested an existing PHP script that can take a DjVu file and creates JPG files for each page; in the same script, we customized a basic toolbar that can help users navigate from page to page or use a drop-down menu to jump to any page.
In both cases, we’re using some PHP scripts to generate the preview files and then using an identifier to embed them into DSpace.
Obviously, the desired goal in implementing a file/document viewer in DSpace is to optimize the interaction between a DSpace record page and users. With the current default option, there is no preview and if users need to view a page or some pages in a multi-page file, they would need to manually download the file … and for a file with 100+ pages and/or 50+ MB, this can be an issue. So I think the hope is that someday with the help of others, we can have an Out-Of-The-Box Document Viewer for DSpace, which ideally can include features like: zooming, searching, options for exporting to other formats, as well as something that can work on any device -regardless of their screen size, OS or browser.
Oh well, that’s it for now … feliz fin de semana!