Paul L. Snyder on 28 Sep 2004 18:34:02 -0000

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RE: [PLUG] Online video catalogs

Quoting Aaron Crosman <>:

> OpenDB looks interesting, although might almost be too far in the other
> might be too capable.  My instinct tells me that if it
> that's the case then we'll be building our own.  Oh, and thanks to Kevin
> for the suggestions.  I looked on sourceforge, I don't know how I missed
> that.

Did you take a look at the Online Library Application? If OpenDb is too
heavy, there are a few other apps out there, though you may have to
hack them a bit to get the presentation the way you want it...
particularly, many won't include an extensive description field in the
search results page.

The search

may turn up some others that you missed; I saw at least two more
on the first page alone (Group PHP Library and LugLib).  Starting from
an existing app may be easier than building something from scratch.

If clients aren't going to know in advance what videos they are looking
for, I'd recommend making sure there's some way to browse a complete
list of what's available, with enough items per page that it is isn't
hideously annoying to wait for group after group of ten results to load. 
Subject categorization could be useful, as well.

Another thought: if you're trying to get indexed by search engines,
consider having some sort of indexable pages, not just search forms.
You've already got lots of meaty, keyword-loaded text in those
descriptions, so you just need to make sure that they're accessible.
You don't have to have true static pages, but some mod_rewrite tricks
can help the less-savvy crawlers.  You'll also want a page that
actually contains (crawlable) links to those pages, so the crawlers
know where  to look. Make sure the pages also contain your organization
name and upward links!  Refer to any of the better sites on web design
for more advice in that vein.

Alternately, you could generate static pages periodically, using some
sort of scripting language (such as the one in which your library
management system is written) or toolkit like the Webite Meta Language 

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