[ckan-discuss] Data Hub groups instead of country CKAN instances (was: Re: it.ckan.net - upgrade request)
richard at cyganiak.de
Fri Oct 28 21:57:44 BST 2011
Having a highly customized site is already possible by building a custom front-end on top of the Data Hub's API. I think what you currently have goes a pretty long way in this regard.
Those who do want to build a custom front-end will have strong opinions on the choice of front-end technology (WordPress vs Drupal vs Rails etc etc), so building a plugin or library for any one platform is going to satisfy just a few of them. I think it's best to let them build their own thing.
So if you want to back off from hosting many instances (which is an understandable position considering sysadmin time etc), then I think it's best to keep the focus on improving the API and improving the experience of using groups on the Data Hub.
On 28 Oct 2011, at 18:44, Jonathan Gray wrote:
> There seems to often be a strong desire for people to have groups of
> datasets on a site with its own branding, text, etc - so people have a
> sense of ownership over their data site. This makes a lot of sense and
> is fully understandable. E.g. I might want to maintain a list of
> metadata from museums , or a list of data sources related to the
> impact or climate change - with (crucially) not just the list, but
> with images, text, and other content, or integrated onto another site
> (e.g. my university department's website, or the blog of an NGO).
> This could be mycustomsite.thedatahub.org or (even better)
> anydomain.com/my-data-site. Ideally CKAN could go down the route of
> Wordpress - and make it so you could boot something on any domain.
> The question seems to be whether we boot separate instances - or start
> to centralise around some 'main' instance. However you achieve this it
> seems highly desirable to either have some mechanism for making sure
> that any open, public dataset in the network of CKAN instances is
> discoverable through some single point of access - either by having an
> option to do federated search across all instances on every instance,
> or by pulling metadata into some central instance (like
> Rather than boot loads of instances (which are expensive in terms of
> maintenance, upgrades, sysadmin, etc), I like the idea that people can
> create and edit groups via thedatahub.org, and embed this list in some
> external site.
> So what about making it easier for anyone to embed a group via a
> Wordpress/Drupal plugin or via a bit of HTML / iframe?
> Then we'd have the best of both: central curation at thedatahub.org +
> custom sites, branding and ownership.
> Separate instances could be reserved for people who wanted something
> to administrate their own locked-down instance, or to manage a *lot*
> of data - e.g. if they wanted to have a lot of different groups.
>  like this http://museum-api.pbworks.com/w/page/21933420/Museum%C2%A0APIs
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 7:06 PM, Richard Cyganiak <richard at cyganiak.de> wrote:
>> On 28 Oct 2011, at 16:05, Rufus Pollock wrote:
>>> I also mention one alternative that we have been exploring which is to
>>> consolidate material in thedatahub.org and use groups in
>>> thedatahub.org for language or region specific material.
>>> theDataHub.org now has good language support and consolidating there
>>> has the advantage of being part of a larger hub with more activity. In
>>> addition it makes sense to have datasets from different places in one
>>> place (and we're already seeing e.g. italian spending on theDataHub).
>> Potentially this could make sense.
>> There are some advantage to separate country-based instances. It's easier to explain, less confusing, and less “scary”. There can be a greater sense of ownership – “this is *our* data catalog”.
>> (I won't get into the question of multiple interface languages because this doesn't apply to the case of ie.ckan.net.)
>> Some things that could be done on thedatahub.org to make the groups feature more attractive for country-based catalogs:
>> - make the group pages more attractive and welcoming as homepages (the main Data Hub homepage does a pretty good job at this now – can the group pages be made more like that? They're quite uninformative and bland right now)
>> - enable subdomains such as ie.thedatahub.org as aliases for thedatahub.org/group/ireland
>> - have a big search box that searches just within the group on the group page (with a look like on http://thedatahub.org/dataset)
>> - have an “add dataset to this group” link on the group page. Sidebar?
>> - have some more navigation starting points on the group page, e.g., the Tags + Resource Format sidebar from http://thedatahub.org/dataset
>> - have the ability to add more “about this group” text. The only place where one can put group-specific text now is before the dataset list. I wouldn't want users to scroll through three pages of “about/FAQ” to get to the datasets. Can the top-level sections of a group's description be automatically turned into separate pages that are linked from the sidebar, e.g., datahub.org/group/ireland/about, datahub.org/group/ireland/frequently-asked-questions, datahub.org/group/ireland/how-to-get-involved, or something like that?
>> Anyway we'll give this a bit of a think over the weekend.
>> ckan-discuss mailing list
>> ckan-discuss at lists.okfn.org
> Jonathan Gray
> Community Coordinator
> The Open Knowledge Foundation
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