The static collection, Delores Selections is hosted on a WordPress installation. The rationale for this was that we could write a description of each resource as a WordPress post and WP plus existing plugins would give us lots of goodness such as a good web presence, category views, RSS feeds, simple search of the whole collection, widgets bring in stuff from other sources, and (if we want them) some DC metadata, OAI-PMH data provision and RDFa. Well nearly.
The problem is that most of the metadata that is exposed through those channels refers to the blog post not the resource, which is not what we want. Want we want is for, e.g., the RSS feed to convey information about the resource: the author, publication date, URL, etc of the resource; what we get is author, pubdate, URL of the wordpress post.
We’re half way to a solution. We’re using the WordPress custom fields to record the author, pub date, CC-licence URI, other rights, source and URI of the resource, and Santy has adapted a the carrington theme so that this information is displayed in the posts. But we don’t have it in the RSS or other ways of exposing the metadata.
So what we are proposing is to work on/comission plugins that will do this. RSS has to be first. The RSS custom fields plugin seems to be a good starting point–hopefully it wouldn’t be too difficult to adapt this to display our feeds in a more standard way than it does at the moment. And then on to PMH, Dublin Core and RDFa…
Now, I am convinced that what we are doing is not just of interest to the Delores project. I think that there is scope for using WordPress for building catalogues of all sorts of materials. For example, with colleagues at CETIS I’m considering whether we could use it to present the publications that come out of CETIS: upload the publication, describe and classify it in a WordPress blog post include a preview and there you have it, a lightweight WordPress publication repository. We’ve also been in touch with the TRITON project to see if there is any commonality between our plugin requirements than theirs.
One problem with extending this to other uses outside Delores is that they might not want to use our theme, they might have one of their own that they like better. So, we should explore whether it is possible to develop a plug-in or widget that would display the custom fields in the relevant blog post instead of using a theme for this. Also, the specific custom fields required may be vary from case to case, so we would have to make sure the plugins had some flexibility to cope with this: possibly no big deal, certainly we would be up for this if it meant that the plugins were more sustainable beyond the end of this project.