[okfn-discuss] Open Library project and versioning structured data

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Jul 26 08:39:06 UTC 2007

Open Library recently (beta) launched:


It aim to provide, well, an open library which in this case means a 
catalogue plus links to texts (scanned, on gutenberg, on amazon etc ...).

The project is being produced under the aegis of Brewster Kahle's Open 
Content Alliance and the code part is being developed by Aaron Schwartz.

What's interesting is that, just like us, they want to be able to 
version data in a 'wiki' like manner (they also want all their data to 
be open). To this end, it appears they have been modding Schwartz's 
infogami wiki software to support structured data. Since we've already 
been working on this in developing versioned domain model (and ckan.net) 
I wrote to them to see what possibilities for collaboration their might 
be (see below). I'll keep people posted on how this develops.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Versioning structured data
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 11:43:04 +0100
From: Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>
To: ol-tech at archive.org


I'm really interested by the versioned data system behind Open Library
(here at the Open Knowledge Foundation we've been interested in tools
for collaborative development of data for a while, see [1]). Earlier
this year we developed a python 'versioned domain model' (vdm) package
to allow 'versioning' of domain objects (and domain models) in a way
similar to the way subversion allows versioning of filestytem trees. You
can find the package README here (which includes links to demo code


The 'vdm' package was used in developing the Comprehensive Knowledge
Archive Network and does full revisioning of all data attributes and


Having had a look at the overview of the OL system[2] it looks like it
is doing something similar. We'd welcome the chance to join efforts and
share ideas. We'd also be more than happy to contribute to the
OL/infogami codebase (which I notice is python-oriented).


Rufus Pollock

Open Knowledge Foundation
www: http://www.okfn.org/ | blog: http://blog.okfn.org/

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