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Friday, November 16, 2007

Manakin: A New Face for DSpace

Manakin is an abstract framework for building repository interfaces
that currently provides an implementation of the DSpace digital
repository system. The Manakin framework introduces three unique
concepts: the DRI schema, Aspects, and Themes. These are the basic
components a Manakin developer will use in creating new functionality
for a repository or modifying the repository's look-and-feel. Manakin
is built on the Apache Cocoon web development framework, which uses an
XML-based pipeline architecture. The pipelined architecture means that
an individual page is generated through the combination of many
components arranged together along a "pipeline", each feeding into
another until the final page is produced. Using this technique, web
sites are built through the arrangement of these pipeline components,
an approach that is sometimes referred to as a 'Lego-like'. Manakin
builds upon these basic Cocoon concepts to create the DRI schema,
aspects, and themes. The Digital Repository Interface (DRI) is an XML
schema that describes an abstract representation of a repository page.
Since repositories fundamentally interact with artifacts and their
metadata, the DRI schema must be able to both encode structural concepts
and natively represent metadata in various forms. The structural
portions of the schema are derived from the Text Encoding Initiative
(TEI) schema for its simplicity and expressiveness. The metadata
portions of DRI utilize the METS schema for packaging and encoding
relationships between an item's components. The descriptive metadata
contained within the METS document can be in any one of numerous
formats. At the present time Manakin supports DIM (DSpace Intermediate
Metadata Format), the XML-based Metadata Object Description Schema
(MODS), and qualified or simple Dublin Core. In the future more advanced
or content-specific formats might also be supported.

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