Posts Tagged ‘Manakin’


It’s almost mid October -fall break is just around the corner- and here I’m still trying to finish up with some last summer and early-fall assignments before I can move on. For the rest of this semester, I’ll be working on more DSpace “tweakings” –it should be fun and entertaining, I was checking my to-do list early today and guess what? That list continues to grow on.  In fact, the very last item –as of today- is the documentation of the early work we’ve done here at Miami and a (possible) presentation at one of the monthly DRC meetings at OhioLINK in a couple of months :-)

Some of the customizations in our plan includes: unique themes and customizations for individual collections/communities, flexibility in displaying/hiding metadata fields at the collection level, faculty profile pages for the Scholarly Commons Project, re-indexing metadata using a combination of SOLR-DRUPAL, web-stats at the item level using XMLUI, and others!  For most of this work, XSLT will be essential as well as those great tutorials already online.

Speaking of searching/reading online, here is a link to the new DuraSpace Blog …and just in case you’re asking yourself, how old is DSpace now? well, take a look at this image –from Google News Archive

DSpace (timeline)

see you pronto!

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New DSpace theme for Scholarly Commons

Miami University Libraries launched a new website in August 2009 –and as part of the “web-design consistency” idea, we recently adapted the new look-and-feel to the Scholarly Commons project.  After all, consistency “makes sense” and it makes sites easier to use …in part because visitors don’t have to learn new tricks as they move around.

SC before-now

Anyway, the real work required some extra hours of -fun- editing/testing.  The power of CSS for web presentation was evident; I’d say that about 90% of the new look is purely based on CSS rules.  Getting the right DIV dimensions, font attributes was part of the challenge too, and that’s where 2 FireFox add-ons became extremely useful. ColorZilla is great color picker tool and Firebug is the perfect search/find tool for those unique DSpace DIV elements.

Of course, there were a couple of XSLT tricks as well.  For instance, DSpace -by default- displays 2 search boxes on the front page –not sure why?  But we only needed one, the challenge was how to remove/hide the search box on the <div id=”ds-body”> section …this was one required some extra searching/reading.  To make a long story short, the trick was to add a line of code in the theme.xsl file, restart tomcat and done!

<xsl:template match="dri:div[@n='front-page-search']">&#160;</xsl:template>

The last part of the work was the easiest one, just zip the new theme folder and send to OhioLINK, they replaced the old theme folder and bingo!

…now, in order to be -really- consistent, we should probably start thinking about another “re-design” …this time, for the Digital Collections website –oh well, that’s part of the to-do list already.

Quick note:

To give users the option of either password or LDPA login, add this line to the dspace.cfg file (look for Stackable Authentication Methods around line 294)

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DSpace themes & individual collections/communities

We currently use DSpace for the Scholarly Commons project -hosted at the OhioLINK DRC-, and we plan to add other non-text collections in the future.  For the web interface, we’re using Manakin –which enables communities and collections to establish a unique look and feel.

A basic check list for setting up a theme for a collection/community:
1. Get the collection/community’s handle (e.g. 123456789/1)
2. Install the new theme (details can be found on this page)
3. Locate and edit the xmlui.xconf file (found in your DSpace config directory)
4. Restart Tomcat and done!

<this image may illustrate the memo>

Being able to customize the look and feel at the collection/community level, will become essential for a digital repository with different types of digital content (e.g. text, images, moving images, etc).

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