Saturday, June 09, 2007

ICIMOD Books-online: a satisfaction

I have been working on ICIMOD Books-online for the past three/four months plus and yet there are still little issues popping up every now and then. "It's almost complete" is my favorite line and I wonder when I would be in a position to say "It's done now". I can't wait for that day.

In fact I am very much satisfied with this application after more than two years in software development. It uses lots of ajax (I used jquery) and I have tweaked lots of jquery plugins for its purpose. The other interesting feature is that it is maintained at two different servers - local and online. Local server is accessible with in the ICIMOD premises only. That's make data entry job much easy and quick. I don't want people to take two hours to upload files. There are pdf files which are scanned versions of books and can go up to more than 40MB. Local content is synced with online content but there are lots of issues to be taken care of. I don't want all the database tables to be synced - especially downloads statistics table. Thanks to rsync tool - syncing folders is a breeze.

Though searching may not be very powerful, I have heavily tweaked sphider (open source search engine) to index directly from database rather than spidering through web links.

Now we have a plan to provide the application in DVD format - targeting researchers and academicians. Much work has been done - running database and web server from the DVD is not much of a problem - thanks to internet and the contributors.

The environment Minister inaugurated ICIMOD books-online on World Environment day, 5th June. So much publicity. Though I am not excited about minister inaugurating it, I am much elated on seeing my work on stage.

Give a try. See if you can find any books of your interest.

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