Publishing the FSD data catalogue in the WWW
Matti Heinonen 7.6.2001
The FSD uses the DDI description language in describing its materials. The DDI is an
which is easily machine processed. The descriptions cannot be
published on the Internet straight on because the WWW browsers do not
yet support XML properly. They can, however, be easily transformed to
normal HTML pages by using another XML application called
The XSL is an XML application defining transformation rules between
different forms of representation, say from DDI to HTML. An XSL
document is called a stylesheet.
In addition, the FSD has at its disposal an operative database
called TIIPII. Information on processing and management of the
materials is stored in the database. It consists of, for instance,
data on the archiving status of different parts of the materials, the
location of various files in the file system and their readiness for
publication, and so on .
These two information sources contain all necessary information for
a materials catalogue. In the FSD, a simple computer program has
been developed which automatically carries out the publishing of the
The operation principle of the data cataloguer program
Information on descriptions to be published and their mutual
relationships, for instance, whether they belong to some particular
series - can be found in TIIPII.
By using this information, the program picks the descriptions to
be published and transforms them into an FSD data catalogue . This
means that the catalogue remains up-to-date at all times without
constant editing needed.
The mode of operation of the publishing program is as follows:
Information on descriptions and files that are publishable is
retrieved from TIIPII. All DDI-descriptions are then subjected
to the following procedures:
Each DDI description is read into the computer's memory.
Information is added to the description of 1) what other
related files are going to be published and 2) what is the
location of these related files
Then, the augmented DDI description in the computer's
memory is transformed into an HTML page with the help of
an XSL stylesheet.
After the DDI descriptions have been created, the directory pages
are made and the transformed description files and directories are
transferred to the WWW-server of the FSD where they can be read in the
The program is being developed further. The aim is to
automatically generate also a PDF version of the materials catalogue
for easy printing.
Tools in short
The program has been written by using
Python programming language.
A DDI file is handled with
have also been used in creating an XSL transformation. Database
connection has been enabled by using a
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