We are excited to announce a new open-source project Aristotle Library Apps, a forked and re-factored project incorporating many elements of our larger FRBR Redis Datastore and Aristotle projects. Aristotle Library Apps is a simplified Django 1.4 framework for creating and deploying HTML5- and Twitter Bootstrap- based apps for discovering, accessing, and managing bibliographic information and operational data of our library that is stored in our Redis datastore instances.
Why a new project?
My vision for the Aristotle Library Apps project is directly a result of the work I've done on Aristotle and the FRBR Redis Datastore project. The Aristotle Library Apps project is for non-programmers to be able to create and manage easy-to-use mobile and table apps that access in real-time a library's core catalog in a large, extremely expressive, and scalable infrastructure.
The original Aristotle project has a few areas that are unnecessarily complex mainly due to the legacy code from the original Kochief project and the complicated HTML that was part of externally designed user interface for the Discovery Layer. A talented external design firm didn't focus on mobile or a tablet version in their web design for the College, Library, and Discovery Layer. The User Interface was geared towards a full PC or laptop web experience. We are pulling functionality but not the design into stand-alone apps in Aristotle Library Apps project.
Finally, as Jon Driscoll and I prepare for our CoALA presentation next Friday, we plan on devoting the majority of the time to a hands-on session where participants will be able to create their apps for use their libraries. We found a free application stack provider called dotCloud that offers a easy way to deploy Aristotle Library Apps with back-end running on`Amazon's cloud infrastructure`_. You can see an example of at Aristotle Library Apps running on dotCloud at http://aristotle-jermnelson.dotcloud.com/. You are not limited to just dotCloud to run your Aristotle Library Apps portfolios.
Aristotle Library Apps flexibility has allowed us to development and test the code on multiple platforms including a Rackspace Ubuntu Virtual Machine, our own campus VMWare Ubuntu Virtual Machine server, Windows 7, and Mac OS X.
To get Django running on dotCloud, we needed to re-factor the existing Aristotle apps in FRBR Redis Datastore mainly migrating from Django 1.3 version to Django 1.4. This also gave us the opportunity to simplify and standardize our app development framework. This migration was relatively quick and painless with the biggest change being directory structure changes for each individual app in Aristotle Library Apps project.
The Tutt Library Systems group is pleased with the new project as we expand the types of apps we develop for the library. It is our hope that Aristotle Library Apps will be easy enough to use that libraries of all sizes and technical expertise will be able to create and use their own apps for their bibliographic and operational needs.