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RDN-Include: Re-branding Remote Resources Subject Gateways in the UK The UK Higher Education community has funded a range of subject gateway, now part.

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Presentation on theme: "RDN-Include: Re-branding Remote Resources Subject Gateways in the UK The UK Higher Education community has funded a range of subject gateway, now part."— Presentation transcript:

1 RDN-Include: Re-branding Remote Resources Subject Gateways in the UK The UK Higher Education community has funded a range of subject gateway, now part of the RDN (Resource Discovery Network) which provide access to quality, manually catalogued Web resources. The subject gateways cover a range of subject areas, such as social sciences (SOSIG) and medicine (OMNI). Searching using OMNI SOSIG Home Page The Institutional Perspective Although institutions are appreciative of the services, some feel that: They have a need to complement the subject gateways with resources catalogued locally, to reflect local needs There may be local pressures to be active in this area The branding of interfaces is important An institutional gateway

2 RDN-Include The need to address institutions’ concerns over branding has led to the development of the RDN-Include software suite which allows institutions to provide user access to the RDN subject gateways without the user leaving the institution’s Web site. The Solution: RDN-Include Here we see how a fictitious University provides access to RDN gateways while maintaining its own look-and-feel. CGI and JavaScript Implementations RDN-Include is implemented as a CGI script. This approach, however, requires that the local system administrator installs the CGI script. In some places this may be a barrier: institutions may not be willing to install CGI scripts from third parties. In order to address this problem, a lightweight alternative has been developed using JavaScript. This solution is called RDNI-lite. The results of a search appear to be provided by the institution.

3 The RDN-Include Solution End-user interaction is handled by the RDN-Include script, thus retaining an institutional URL. If the script is not passed any search parameters, it reads a template file held locally. The RDN-Include Architecture The template file is essentially a normal HTML or XHTML Web page, formatted with a local look-and-feel. RDN content (the search box and browse hierarchy) is added to this template dynamically at run time by including in it XML ‘rdni:tag’ elements of the form: where * represents a unique service identifier. The RDNI-lite Solution To use RDNi-Lite an author simply has to embed a JavaScript element in a normal HTML page. The ‘ src ’ attribute of the script element points to a CGI Perl script running on the RDN server. The CGI script generates a set of document.write() JavaScript statements that, when executed by the Web browser, embed the appropriate RDN content into the Web page. The CGI script takes several optional arguments that provide ‘ rdni:tag ’.

4 Need For News Feeds The RDN wishes to make news available to the user community. It makes use of RSS to provide news channels. Applicability to News Feeds RSS-xpress An RSS tool called RSS-xpress has been created which allows RSS channels to be created, modified and parsed. RSS-xpress is available at. RSS-xpress lite For institutions to incorporate news feeds on their own Web site they will have to install RSS-xpress and configure it to include local branding. As this may be a barrier, a JavaScript version has been developed. This allows RDN (and other) news feeds to be managed by HTML authors. RDN-Include and RSS-xpress are open source. For further information on these tools or on this paper please contact Andy Powell.


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