Technology aspectsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Gateways : One Thread
What common technology platform will be used, how much freedom will local teams have in terms of customizing the technical features, tools and services of the country portals.
-- Oleg Petrov (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 11, 2000
The Gateway technology platform is based on the following principles:
Centralized software and hardware platform and hosting, decentralized content management: the Gateway has common superpower software and hardware platform, with common content management tools used by all Country Gateways.
Commitment to open content: all organizations and people around the world will be able to contribute the content to Gateways central server.
Commitment to open source software: the Gateway will be built on top of open source software platform (ACS, ArsDigita Community System), except for the areas where commercial applications have big advantages over their open source counterparts. Please see Technology Annex for more information about ACS.
Highly scalable and modular architecture: flexible system that will handle high traffic.
Virtual community building: the Gateway will provide state-of-the-art computer and human technologies to enable building of effective virtual communities.
Personalization: users will be able to customize their access by defining fields of interests, and what kind of information they want to see in which order out of various sources. The Gateway will offer customization with regard to content, appearance and language.
High standards of privacy protection: the Gateway will comply with EU requirements for users privacy protection.
The Gateway comprises several major functional components:
Knowledge Management: ability to do combined customized searches in multiple electronic libraries and databases; easy posting of documents; easy linking of multiple global and country-level libraries and databases.
Content Management: any individual or organization can post multiple content types: from requests and knowledge documents to links and announcements. Organizations can create virtual offices with organizational profiles, links, publications, marketing materials, online stores, etc. Different virtual communities and organizations will be granted different levels of content management privileges.
Directories of Expertise: comprehensive databases organizations and individuals, their relevant experience and knowledge, database of development projects, and expertise referral services.
Discussions and Consultations: topical knowledge sharing, specific problem solving and consultation discussion spaces for virtual communities.
Collaboration Platform: virtual communities can create restricted project collaboration spaces and joint electronic research spaces with controlled membership.
This list will be extended based on the future needs of the Gateway.
Developing the Gateway
The Gateway is a living web site which an Internet portal framework to the participating countries. The Gateways underlying software will continue to evolve as new technologies become available.
As Global Development Gateway or Country Gateways seek modifications and improvements in functionality, there are several choices:
Software modifications that can be implemented within ACS framework (e.g. changes in Gateways pages source code, which is open inside the Gateway) can be implemented jointly by GDG technology team and arsDigita;
Major modifications in software or new functionality that require altering or augmenting the ACS, and from which all the countries or some regions can benefit, will be usually implemented by ACS developers community (http://www.arsdigita.com/developer).
Country-specific modifications of ACS, which are important for some Country Gateway but of no interest to the others, could be implemented by Country Gateway Technology Team (if there is one) or by 3rd party company. Taking into account the centralized software and hardware architecture of the Gateway, the Country Gateway will to apply to GDG for developers privileges. Software developed for the Gateway is open-source inside the Gateway, which means software source code can be used by GDG and by all Country Gateways.
More specific description of Gateway software development process will given in a document that establishes legal relationships between GDG and CDG.
-- Oleg Petrov (email@example.com), September 25, 2000.