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  1. 1. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Web Authoring Strategy Jon Williamson Contents Web Authoring Strategy 1 1 Executive Summary 3 1.1 Structure 3 1.2 Proposals 3 2 Web Published Outcomes 4 2.1 Aims of EPE 4 2.2 Published outcomes 4 2.3 Communications Site 5 2.4 The Explore site 5 2.5 Education materials 9 2.6 Accessibility 10 3 Content Requirements 11 3.1 Items 11 3.2 Sources of Assets 11 3.3 Status of project 12 4 Content Flows in CMS/ DAS 13 4.1 Definition of components 13 4.2 Communications content generation 14 4.3 Asset generation/ metadata capture 14 4.4 Editorial control 16 4.5 Content flow chart 18 4.6 Training 18 5 System Architecture 19 5.1 Architectural components 19 5.2 Software components 21 SOAP and REST interfaces 21 6 Milestones 22 6.1 Development of system 22 6.2 County 22 6.3 National 22 7 Future Development of site 23 7.1 Response to feedback 23 7.2 Mapping data 23 7.3 Cost of Development 23 Appendices 24 1 Supplementary Information 24 1.1 Quality Assurance Plan 24 1.2 Intellectual Property 24 1.3 Archiving 25 1.4 Writing for the Web 25 2 Metadata 29 2.1 Metadata Guidelines 29 22728.doc 1
  2. 2. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 2.2 Metadata Profile Specification 29 22728.doc 2
  3. 3. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 1 Executive Summary This document seeks to provide a web authoring strategy for England’s Past for Everyone (EPE). Specifically it will look at what is to be published on the web, what content is required in order to generate this material, how material is captured and the Systems being developed to support this. Volunteers throughout the country are working alongside authors and researchers to produce a whole range of new resources - from a series of paperback books to interactive materials for schools. Our website will provide an insight into the way history is investigated and help inspire people to do their own research. The publishing systems consultant employed in early stages of the project, Jon Williamson, conducted interviews with staff in the various counties in order to gauge the anticipated needs of users and staff who would be writing the materials themselves. This served to shape the general functionality desired of the Content Management System and Digital Asset Store and was included in the documentation prepared in advance of the tendering process to appoint the CMS developers. More detailed user needs analysis and testing will be required as the appointed system developers work on the implementation of the websites. 1.1 Structure The document is structured in the following way: Section 2 examines the published outcomes of EPE, focussing on those published via the web. It looks at the Communications web site and the Education materials, but focuses on the Explore site detailing its structure, and how different users will exploit the site. Section 3 looks at the content requirements of the Explore site, exploring the types and numbers of assets. Section 4 looks at how these assets will be captured, looking at work flow, editorial responsibilities and training. Section 5 explores the System Architecture of both the Content Management System (CMS) and the Digital Asset Store (DAS). Section 6 looks at the milestones by which development of these sites can be monitored and Section 7 looks at future developments for the site. Appendices attached include: • Metadata requirements and capture • Quality Assurance • Intellectual Property status for content • Archiving • Writing style guideline for the web 1.2 Proposals This document specifies: 1. workflows for capturing all necessary content at source 2. mechanisms for digitally capturing data that has already been collated 3. milestones that can be used to monitor the successful progress of the various web projects 4. estimated budget required It will be reviewed on an annual basis. 22728.doc 3
  4. 4. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 2 Web Published Outcomes 2.1 Aims of EPE England’s Past for Everyone has three key aims. These are: • To make local history accessible to everyone • To engage local communities in the creation of local histories • To raise the profile of the VCH as an expert leader in the field of local history, relevant to local communities To deliver these aims there are three key outcomes: • Teams of volunteers generating local history resources • Published outcomes delivering those resources to audiences • A series of educational materials engaging schools in the creation of local history These are all linked in the national England’s Past for Everyone project, using contributions from 15 projects in 10 counties. 2.2 Published outcomes England’s Past for Everyone is a combined online and print initiative. There are three published outcomes, and a supporting communications website designed to communicate EPE’s aims to its potential user communities, recruit more volunteers and “market” its various published outcomes. These published outcomes can be summarised thus: • Explore website: This is an engaging website designed to stimulate interest in the various projects EPE is involved in, and to generate interest in local history generally. It will be the main output for the volunteers work, and will re-package a small amount of the content presented in the paperback volumes.The Explore site will enable staff and volunteers to publish their discoveries as they make them, allowing feedback from the public and the creation of an online archive. It will also be used to collate research data through flexible searching for thematic presentation and publication, eg in paperback volumes. More detail of the Explore site is given below. • Education materials: These are designed to engage teachers and pupils with local history. Using a combination of the Explore website and teaching materials linking resources across the curriculum, and in particular to the History Scheme of Work at Key Stages 1-3, this area allows teachers to bring history alive by making it relevant to the local area, and engage the enthusiasm of pupils through the use of rich multimedia and ICT. • Paperback volumes: The paperback volumes are popular histories based on the outputs of the fifteen local projects. Using a subset of the materials developed by the volunteers and written in the main by VCH staff these will be engaging narratives with a bias towards demonstrating how local history is done. The research for these forms the basis of the content for the Explore site. The paperbacks also represent models for organising and interpreting the data available via the Explore site. 22728.doc 4
  5. 5. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd These outcomes are generated from combining materials generated by volunteers and VCH staff in a Digital Asset Store, and using the Content Management system to funnel them to the most appropriate channel, and interpret them for different audiences. Data input Data manipulation Data publishing Explore site Content Management System Communications website Volunteer data DAS • Images Education End County • Recordings Users • Video Materials themes • Text • Etc… Appropriate content from Paperback paperbacks Volumes 2.3 Communications Site The Communications site provides the route into the published outcomes of the EPE project at www.EnglandsPastForEveryone.org.uk. It has several functions, to provide: • access to the published outcomes • community resources, including a. News on the individual projects and activities b. Recent discoveries (assets collected) by the projects • guidance on using local history resources • overview of project(s) and national news 2.4 The Explore site We are developing a highly interactive website to allow the public to explore the images, documents and audio visual material as we discover them. ‘Explore England’s Past’ is the working title. We are aiming to show the history inherent in a local environment by displaying places of interest on an interactive map, and linking to relevant historical artefacts. Content on the Explore site will go live throughout the lifetime of the project, as volunteers and project staff populate the Digital Asset Store with content. 22728.doc 5
  6. 6. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 2.4.1 Overview of functionality Projects, key topics and resources will be showcased. Users will also be able to search the contents of the database by place, category, theme and period, assisted by menus of key words, timelines, etc. Metadata is vital to the entry, cataloguing, storage and recovery of data. Each project identifies a series of items of interest in its locality. These items are ‘real world’ places or topics with local interest, for example a specific church or castle or a text about the role of castles in a specific time period. Volunteers are engaged in identifying assets related to these items, for example: • Taking digital photographs • Recording oral histories • Identifying relevant documents in country record offices • Writing commentaries on particular subjects These assets are associated with items through a detailed metadata schema (see Appendix 2). In addition, metadata associates assets to historical periods, to topics and to locations. Assets relating to an item can be accessed via a map based interface, supported by a geographical information system (GIS). Base maps for the education programmes are likely to be Ordnance Survey maps, while a free service (Google Maps) is being used for the general user. A typical user journey will operate thus: 1. The user will navigate to an area of interest (by county). 2. The user will see the items of interest in that location displayed on a map 3. The user may filter those items by a category; e.g. “military building” 4. The user will select an item of particular interest to them, and be presented with a list of available assets related to that item 5. The user will select one or more assets for more detailed interrogation, and then repeat the process 2.4.2 Site structure The Explore site is entered from a national or county page, as illustrated below. Please note that this is a draft screenshot. 22728.doc 6
  7. 7. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Further consultation with the User Group and partners is required in order to produce an attractive and accessible interface that encourages and enables users to undertake their own research. This site will be a key element in delivering education resources, although it will be relevant to lifelong learners. Additional functionality will allow end users to add their own contributions, for example via a discussion forum. 2.4.3 Ways of retrieving data VCH publication is based on places and people, which is reflected in the methods for organising and retrieving data. There are several routes into the data for users: • By location - as illustrated above. Items will be retrieved alongside lists of associated assets, which will include historic maps. • By category or type – users will be able to filter the items they view by category or keyword – e.g. “military building” • By period – similarly, users can view items filtered by period • By Theme – County and national staff will identify searches of interest, and provide commentary text. This will allow users a “filtered” view of the items, tailored to interesting national or local topics. • By person – users will be able to search the items, but also access databases of wills etc where lists of people are included that may not appear in the asset descriptions. • Free Search – Users can perform a free text search on the entire asset base, or just on assets within a county. 22728.doc 7
  8. 8. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd • Advanced Search – allows customised, combined searches over assets and items. 2.4.4 User scenarios We envisage there being a range of users for EPE materials, including: Local Historians Local historians will access the site to find information that they may not already know about their area of interest. They may also access it to understand what resources are available in their locality for further research. The level of IT skills of this ‘user’ will be variable, which makes the design of the interface important. This ‘user’ may want to browse through a series of items in an area, or organise them by category of particular interest, and then click through to the items that interest them. Having found things of interest on the site, this ‘user’ is likely to incorporate it in their own work, or share it with members of their local history society. They may also seek to become volunteers, or set up a project in their own area. Armchair Historian / Lifelong Learner This person is interested in all things historical and is intrigued by stories of people and places. They will find out about the site through local media / marketing events, and will access it to discover more about the process of doing local history. The ‘How to’ section of the website is really aimed at this ‘user group’. It will provide them with ideas, skills and confidence to embark on some research of their own, whether it is researching the place that they live, or starting to make sense of a document that they have found in a filing cabinet. The users who want to stay and explore the database of items and assets can do so in a number of ways; by looking at localities, or filtering by theme or period. The Fly By This person will have seen a story in a press release or an article in a magazine or newspaper, perhaps about a project being published online. They won’t have a high level of prior knowledge about the subject and probably won’t be interested in systematically searching the site. More likely, they will come to the website trying to find the item/object/story that they’ve heard of and if they can’t quickly find that information, they will disappear off to something else ‘more interesting’ on the internet. Interested parties These ‘users’ are interested in maintaining the accuracy of the information being shown. They are quick and eager to point out errors and will expect that when they do highlight an error the information is rectified soon after. These ‘users’ might include VCH staff, local volunteers, members of local history societies in the locality of a project. Searching the available resources may also assist EPE staff with compiling their own narratives. Schools Students will use the Explore site in conjunction with education materials. They would expect an easy to use, attractive and engaging website, which is as interactive as possible. Functionality is likely to enable the contribution (uploading) of supervised personal historical materials to the website using a range of media including audio and video. Educators will be directed to the EPE Learning area of the site, where online materials and guidance will be available. They may, however use the Explore site to find images and resources 22728.doc 8
  9. 9. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd relevant to lessons being planned. In addition KS4 teachers may use this site to enhance the GCSE/ A-level syllabus (EPE education materials are aimed at Key Stages 1-3). Family historians These people are interested in family history – one of the major uses for the Internet. They will be researching family trees, and be concerned with identifying places ancestors inhabited, and understanding the records available to trace them. The Explore site may give them information about families, individuals, occupations and places of origin. It may also guide them towards the best use of available resources, and how to interpret them. Professional Researchers The Explore may be used by professional historians for accessing transcripts and images, as well as providing a useful new approach to disseminating and analysing historical research. Some of the items in the DAS may be of interest, and if so, these will be interrogated using the search feature. Historians will use the VCH site, or the British History Online site. Local data is used to inform planning applications and other local decisions and may be accessed by planners, environmental consultancies, lawyers, estate agents, etc as well as historic environment professionals. Organic Search Referrals These people will have come via a search in Google or Yahoo or other search engine and will have been searching for a particular set of keywords that have brought them to the site. We cannot guarantee that these ‘users’ will stay on the website, because they may not be interested in the historical angle of the website. It will therefore be important to capture their attention straight away, so the home page of the website will need to interesting, entertaining and take them to items of interest quickly. These ‘users’ are likely to follow links to the ‘Featured Item”, as it will seem like a manageable way to get into the website. These users are also not likely to arrive at the website via the home page, so it is important any page of the website ‘makes sense’ out of context, in other words, users need to immediately work out where they are and how to get to the home page. This will be achieved through consistent linking, breadcrumbs and prominent links to the home page. Users with Accessibility Requirements The above users will include those with physical, language or cognitive disabilities, and those who are visually impaired and hard of hearing or deaf. Other users may have slow internet connections. The Good Practice Guide for Developers of Cultural Heritage Web Services (www.ukoln.ac.uk/interop-focus) will be followed to achieve maximum accessibility, eg navigation: content should be reached within three levels of menu. There must be keyboard access for all menus, controls and buttons. For hearing impaired people, the site should provide transcripts and captions where appropriate, such as an accompaniment to an oral history as a sound file, or a video file. For mobility-impaired users, every effort should be made to allow for navigation of pages via voice cues or eye movements, such as tab indexing. 2.5 Education materials The online education materials will derive from the practical schools programmes, which are informed by consultation with partners and each county’s research, including volunteer activity. They are in the early stages of development and will be designed with reference to the Good Practice Guide for Developers of Cultural Heritage Web Services (www.ukoln.ac.uk/interop-focus) Each project will result in: 22728.doc 9
  10. 10. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 2.5.1 Case study A short write up of the project on the ‘communications’ site, to include text, images and possible audio files – likely to be written by Education and Skills Manager 2.5.2 Teacher resources Fact finders or snapshots – interesting facts, small articles of text based on historical findings with some visuals, e.g. timeline. PDF and/or text as appropriate. Advice on how to recreate the project in another school, with resources required etc Details of which national curriculum units for KS1-2 the project covers (local history area of study) and how the project meets attainment targets for English, History and Geography. The teacher resources are to be created by teachers/consultants and overseen by E&S Manager. The use of ‘Course Genie’ software is being explored 2.5.3 Interactives These will focus on an area of interest, with explanation and activities that may take the form of animation, worksheets, games, etc The education section will be accessible from all areas of the site, with appropriate links between the pages above. 2.5.4 Quality control Content will be written by the team leaders, education consultants and teachers involved, under the direction of the Education and Skills Manager. The Learning Advisory Panel and user groups will be consulted. Overall responsibility for the education materials lies with the Editorial Board . 2.6 Accessibility We are aiming to meet Priority 1 and 2 (AA) requirements of the WAI. In addition we aim to use Watchfire's Bobby. We will engage in browser testing, including non-compliant (4.0) browsers 22728.doc 10
  11. 11. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 3 Content Requirements For the Web Published Outcome to be a rich resource it needs to be populated with digital assets by volunteers and VCH and EPE staff. Assets will be of a variety of types and from a variety of sources. 3.1 Items Content held in the DAS is made up of a series of digital assets associated with items of interest within a project area. They can be buildings, people or artefacts such as a document. EPE editorial staff identify items, and generate metadata for them (see Appendix 2) 3.2 Sources of Assets Digital Assets will be sourced from a variety of places by staff and volunteers: • In the field • Documentary archives • Image archives • Home • Online Volunteers will have differing levels of access to IT equipment in these locations which will impact upon their ability to capture content electronically at source. The types of assets being collated vary according to project, but a rapid survey indicates that the following selection will be collected. Asset Estimated minimum number of assets Digital photograph 1500 Scanned image 155 Scanned document 41 Digital Map 75 Audio recording 20 Video recording 6 1851-1901 Census data 3 Probate Records 3 Photos of documents 1000 Databases in Excel/Access 75 Word transcripts 750 Will transcripts 200 Tenement Survey 150 22728.doc 11
  12. 12. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 3.3 Status of project How these assets will be captured depends on the status of the project. Most (78%) are partially completed. Those that are completed (only Wiltshire at the moment) will require retrospective conversion of assets. There are several approaches to capturing assets and associated metadata: • At source – by EPE volunteers/staff • At source – time delayed – by EPE volunteers/staff • Third party agency o English Heritage o Consultants • Retrospectively – o by Overseas re-keying agency o by EPE staff/volunteers These will be explored in more detail in section 4.2 below. 22728.doc 12
  13. 13. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 4 Content Flows in CMS/ DAS This section examines the way in which content is captured for use in the various EPE web sites. 4.1 Definition of components EPE’s implementation is made up of several parts: Internet/ External facing: These are the public web sites, and are made up of: • Explore site • Education Site • Communications site Administration: This area is where content creation, metadata capture and workflow is managed. It has two different interfaces within the content management system: 1. a web based form-filling interface to collect metadata relating to: o asset capture into the DAS o the creation of items in the CMS, and o content on the communication site, 2. an extranet approach for other administrative tasks such as accessing reports and policy & guidance documents or sharing data with the HLF and external suppliers. These public and private systems are delivered by two integrated platforms: • The Digital Asset Store (DAS): This is a repository for the digital assets created by volunteers and EPE staff. Detailed metadata allows access to and organisation of the data. • The Content Management System (CMS): This system controls access to and usage of the data held in the DAS. It allows identified users to access the DAS to upload assets using forms to capture metadata, and controls workflow. It presents the assets to public users through the various external facing websites. These two systems will be discussed in more detail. 22728.doc 13
  14. 14. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Content Management System Administration Internet Project Info Volunteers Communication Site Forms County Staff Explore End user DAS Project staff Extranet Education Site HLF Suppliers 4.2 Communications content generation Content for the Communications site is made up of a variety of types. These include: • News stories • Local history resources • Information on the individual projects Counties will be responsible for their own content. This content is maintained by the Volunteer Group Leader and/or the Team Leader. Content will be added through the administration interface of the CMS, and held in the Web Content database. Content will be added in the following way: 1. County Editor will log on to administration site 2. County Editor will select appropriate area of the site to update 3. Textual content will be added. Note that there are different approaches to writing for the web to other media – some guidelines are presented in section 1.4. 4. Appropriate images will be selected to accompany the text. 5. In addition links to other parts of the site can be inserted 6. save content as draft or decide to publish It is anticipated that counties will update news stories monthly as a minimum, and that the other project content will be more static. The central Communications Officer will do the same for the national site, as well as having permission to edit county sites. If there is a demand in the future, the site may be expanded with a discussion forum or online notice board. 4.3 Asset generation/ metadata capture As identified earlier, projects are in three stages of completion – un-started, part-completed and finished. Different approaches to asset capture are required for each. 22728.doc 14
  15. 15. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 4.3.1 Item generation Items are the organising unit of the content in the DAS. Each item identified will have a series of assets associated with it. For the purposes of the system items are metadata constructs held in the CMS. This metadata will include information such as geographical location, name and date for the item. Before assets can be associated with items these items must be captured by the CMS. The proposed workflow for this is: 1. The individual organising unit is agreed between the county Project and EPE centrally. 2. Any additional metadata requirements for the individual project will be identified and agreed 3. The Web Manager can add additional relevant metadata categories. 4. The Team Leader, Volunteer Group Leader or a nominated person(s) will enter each item into the CMS administration with the relevant metadata. 4.3.2 Un-captured assets This is the simplest category to capture. The workflow will be something like this: 1. Volunteer creates asset. This can be in one of a number of ways: a. Photographs an item b. Transcribes a document c. Photographs a document in an archive d. Interviews someone – and creates an electronic transcript or records the conversation digitally, etc 2. Volunteer uploads asset into DAS. a. Using the simple asset upload form the volunteer uploads the form either at the point of capture or at a later date b. The asset is associated with an item, which will provide a level of automatic metadata. c. Various pieces of asset specific metadata are required. These are entered as part of the Digital Asset Upload form. If the metadata is to be captured after the asset is created, a paper form can be used to record the data in situ d. A trained volunteer will have the option to edit and publish assets themselves. This is to provide the satisfaction of immediately seeing work online and to avoid a log jam of unchecked assets. 3. Quality control a. The EPE support team and county staff will provide training to volunteers to enable them to contribute to the DAS. They will check the accuracy of entries before they are published until they are satisfied with quality. Thereafter they will check a sample of published assets. b. Once an asset has been checked it will either be amended or deleted c. The effectiveness of these procedures and the quality of volunteer work will be monitored. Should direct publishing by volunteer contributors be a problem, the publishing option on the form can be hidden. 22728.doc 15
  16. 16. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 4.3.3 Captured Assets If a bank of digital assets already exists they can be handled in a variety of ways. • Collection of digital assets a. Assets uploaded into DAS b. Assets associated with Items c. Metadata applied retrospectively • Assets held in Idealist or other database o Assets output as Comma Delimited Text o A conversion routine loads them into DAS o Assets associated with Items o Existing metadata checked o Additional metadata added • Collection of paper based assets o A decision needs to be made about the value of the assets as this is the most expensive approach to asset capture o It is likely that an external agency will be the most efficient route to capture. o Output from an external agency is likely to be imported directly into the DAS, with some gaps in the metadata o Internal staff will check and complete the metadata before publishing it. 4.4 Editorial control The national and county web pages have a standard appearance. Only the web manager will be able to change the navigation and layout, with the approval of the Editorial board. The content management system has been designed to be as simple and intuitive to use as possible, since inputting will be done by non-specialist staff and volunteers. Web text for the national pages will be written by the support team, while content for individual projects will be the responsibility of the counties, with support from the centre where necessary. Counties should notify the support team of any significant changes to their web pages. There are several levels of access to the CMS. These also define editorial control of the Explore site. These roles and tasks are identified as follows: 4.4.1 National Editor (NE) This level of permission will be granted to the support team. This role allows the administration of all content on the EPE web sites, including National, County, Extranet and Explore sites. Tasks include: • Create, edit and archive content on all sites on the CMS • Create, edit and delete Items for any Explore site on the CMS. • Upload, edit and delete Assets on the DAS 22728.doc 16
  17. 17. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 4.4.2 County Editor (CE) The County Editor is likely to be the Team Leader, although in some cases this may additionally include the Volunteer Group Leader or Researcher. Their role will be administration of all content for a specific EPE county, as well certain permissions to share content on the Extranet. Tasks will include: • Create, edit and archive content for a specific EPE county on the CMS • Create and edit (but not delete) content on the Extranet on the CMS • Create, edit and delete Items for a specific EPE County Explore site on the CMS. • Upload, edit and delete Assets on the DAS for a specific EPE county 4.4.3 Asset Contributor (AC) Again at a county level, Asset Contributors are the volunteers engaged in primary research on the project. Their role will be to upload and edit (but not delete) assets and link them to Items in the DAS for an individual county. 4.4.4 Extranet Viewer (EV) This group is made up of users with an interest in the project, for example the HLF monitor. They will be able to review content on extranet site, but not edit or delete content. 4.4.5 External Supplier (ES) Designers, publishers and other suppliers to EPE will make up this group. They will be able to access a designated folder and share and review documents, images, etc. 4.4.6 Super User In addition to the specific editorial roles there is a need for over-reaching technical administration – the “Super User”. This will be the EPE Web Manager. The Super User’s web site role will be the same as National Editor and will also have the ability to alter code, design, etc and access archive to replace pages through Open Harmonise Client interface and other web software. This role is responsible for overall design and control of all EPE websites, in consultation with the Editorial Board, and its tasks will be: • Administration of design and content for all sites • Liaise with support contractor for the up keep of the CMS and DAS • Administration of user login accounts and their roles • Add, edit and delete Items for any Explore site on the CMS. • Add, edit and delete Assets on the DAS 4.4.7 General Viewer The final category of user – the target audience. They will be able browse the content and resources on the EPE web sites (excluding the Extranet). They will also be able to add comments, using online forms. 4.4.8 Editorial permissions for the VCH and EPE web sites. These users will have differing levels of access to the web sites tied into the workflows identified earlier. These levels of access are summarised in this table: Site/Sub Site Add Edit Delete View EPE and VCH National CMS Content NE NE NE ALL EPE and VCH County CMS Content NE, CE NE, CE NE, CE ALL 22728.doc 17
  18. 18. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Explore Site Items NE, CE NE, CE NE, CE ALL Assets NE, CE, AC NE, CE, AC NE, CE ALL Extranet NE, CE NE, CE NE NE, CE, EV Extranet – Specific Supplier Folder NE, CE, ES NE, CE, ES NE, CE, ES NE, CE, ES 4.5 Content flow chart This diagram shows the steps involved in asset upload to the DAS. Note that EPE Operations will not be engaged in for every asset – there will be random sampling of assets to check metadata accuracy. In addition, central metadata completion should only occur when assets are being captured by a third party agency or institution. County Operations Asset Created Asset upload Into DAS Asset Checked EPE Operations Possible check Metadata Completion Public Access Asset Published 4.6 Training Training will be provided to counties in how to upload assets and generate metadata. In addition, there will be training for relevant EPE staff in how to utilise the CMS. This training will be delivered in two ways: • By Simulacra limited. Simulacra will train the Web Manager in using the CMS • By EPE staff. The Simulacra training will be cascaded down by EPE staff to staff and volunteers on the ground in the counties. 22728.doc 18
  19. 19. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 5 System Architecture 5.1 Architectural components The following diagram shows the various components of the EPE website that will be delivered by this project. Each component is explained in turn below. 4. EPE 5. EPE admin 3. Explore Site communications interface and website extranet 1. OpenHarmonise publishing engine OpenHarmonise 2. OAD application repository Website content Digital Asset Store 5.1.1 Digital Asset Store The digital assets are associated with each of the items in the county projects. These may be in a variety of formats, e.g. documents, images, audio clips, video clips. The Digital Asset Store stores the metadata associated with each asset within a database and the asset files (e.g. JPEGs, PDFs etc) within a filesystem. The architecture of the Digital Asset Store means that it is platform and database neutral. For the EPE installation the Digital Asset Store will be running on a Linux platform using a MySQL database. The Digital Asset Store provides a SOAP interface to allow OpenHarmonise to have access to its functionality. (SOAP is a protocol for exchanging XML- based messages over a computer network, normally using HTTP.) 5.1.2 OpenHarmonise publishing engine and repository OpenHarmonise is the route into both the CMS and into the DAS. The OpenHarmonise repository stores each component of the EPE websites as resources with associated metadata. For the Communications site and the Admin Interface this means the content that comprises the web pages (text, navigation, headers, footers, images, CSS). 22728.doc 19
  20. 20. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd The Explore site draws Assets from the OAD application. The relationship between Items and Assets is maintained through an ID number unique to each Asset. OpenHarmonise must know which Asset IDs are associated with each Item. OpenHarmonise OAD Digital Asset Store I T E M asset The OpenHarmonise publishing engine holds HaRP templates which define which resources and what specific data are to be published and the result is an XML output which will be transformed, using XSLT, into various formats. The publishing engine will draw resources and metadata from the OpenHarmonise repository directly, and digital assets and metadata from the OAD application via a web services SOAP interface. 5.1.3 User management Information about users and their associated roles and permissions are also held in the OpenHarmonise repository. When a user logs in to the Admin Interface they are assigned a Session ID. This ID is shared between OpenHarmonise and the OAD application via a REST interface. 5.1.4 Explore site The Explore site is published by the OpenHarmonise publishing engine, drawing content from the OpenHarmonise repository and digital assets from the OAD application. 5.1.5 The Communications Site The Communications Site is published by the OpenHarmonise publishing engine, drawing content from the OpenHarmonise repository. 5.1.6 EPE admin interface and extranet A browser-based interface to the OpenHarmonise CMS and the OAD Asset Store, the interface provides the functionality for managing content and users and for accessing the extranet. The uploading of assets is done via a form interface to the OAD application, which can be navigated to via the Item creation screen on the OpenHarmonise CMS. A built-in WYSIWYG editor (FCK Editor) provides simple formatting tools similar to Word (bold, italic, heading levels, bullet list, numbered list). This will be used to manage content on both the Published Outcomes site and the EPE Communications site. 22728.doc 20
  21. 21. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 5.2 Software components The architecture described in the previous section will run on two servers, procured by EPE directly from OAD under a separate contract. This section describes the software that will run on each of the two servers. EPE website and OpenHarmonise OAD application admin interface admin interface firewall SOAP OpenHarmonise OAD application Apache + mod_jk Apache Jakarta Tomcat PHP Java Virtual Machine MySQL MySQL Linux Linux SOAP and REST interfaces A SOAP interface will be provided by OAD to provide access to the Digital Asset Store from OpenHarmonise. SOAP is a well defined, open, XML-based protocol for transmitting data between distributed systems. OAD's SOAP service will provide the required functionality for OpenHarmonise to query and retrieve assets and associated metadata from the Digital Asset Store. The specifics of the SOAP interface are set out in the WSDL document provided by OAD. User session data will be generated by OpenHarmonise and passed through to the OAD server through a REST interface provided by Simulacra. 22728.doc 21
  22. 22. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 6 Milestones There are a series of milestones associated with development of the Explore Site. These can be split into several categories. Key milestones are included on the support and county Gantt Charts. 6.1 Development of system A key set of criteria are associated with the delivery of the technical infrastructure and web materials. These can be split into: • Delivery of Web Based Asset Upload form – end September 2006 • Web evaluation strategy end September 2006 • Acceptance of Web interface – end October 2006 • Training of users in its deployment – October 2006 ongoing for length of project. (Training has already been rolled out for Communications pages) • Regular User Group meetings by November 2006 • Web evaluation reports – from February 2007 • Design of education site July 2007, with first materials online by October 2007 • Web Development = Review of web authoring strategy – August 07 and August 08. 6.2 County County targets are around the upload of assets. These will include: • Training of all relevant staff and volunteers in use of the DAS – from October 2006 • Identification of project items, and capture of metadata – from October 2006 • Performance of an audit of assets amenable to digital capture, and development of a capture plan in conjunction with EPE central staff by October 2006 and ongoing depending on progress of individual projects • Input of items across the counties from October 2006 • Upload of “significant” numbers of the assets identified – depending on project schedule • Creation of a number of “stories” creating interesting filters of local content for users – depending on project schedule • Local web launch – as appropriate 6.3 National EPE nationally will be managing this process of content development. It will develop: • development of item metadata forms across the counties from September 2006 ongoing • A plan for asset capture across the counties – by October 2006 • Management of the development of the user stories – ongoing according to individual project schedules • Managing a national campaign for the launch of the individual web sites, according to individual project schedules and marketing strategy • Web archiving strategy February 2006 22728.doc 22
  23. 23. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 7 Future Development of site This document is a development document – and as such is “live” – we will continue to refine our requirements and expectations through the lifetime of this project. In particular, there will be an annual review of EPE’s objectives, and of the websites’ success. 7.1 Response to feedback EPE will institute a User Group. This group will meet regularly and provide feedback as to the development of the project as a whole, and the Explore site in particular. We will develop this document in line with its findings. More information will be available in the forthcoming Evaluation Strategy. 7.2 Mapping data One of the current areas that could be improved is the quality of the mapping used. The Explore site is based on freely available Google Maps data at the moment. We aim to enhance this by using Ordinance Survey data: • Epoch 1 Data • 1:25000 mapping • Higher resolution mapping We are currently exploring licensing arrangements. Possible solutions include: • Exploitation of a licence recently agreed by Becta for the Education sector • Use of an OS licence agreed with the Cultural Sector (similar to the above licence – but more details need to be found) • Use of licences already held by EPE’s parent institution, The Institute of Historical Research • Direct negotiation with OS 7.3 Cost of Development There is currently a budget set aside for future web developments. This will be reviewed with the budget in May 2007 and the development strategy in August 2007. Item £ exc VAT Developing online education resources: 25,000 Web development – GIS/design consultant 8700 Future Server hosting support 17,154 Completion of CMS & DAS 27,400 TOTAL 78,254 22728.doc 23
  24. 24. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Appendices 1 Supplementary Information 1.1 Quality Assurance Plan All published outcomes must adhere to the high standards of local history expected from the VCH. Quality of the web published outcome will be assured by several mechanisms: • Training and guidance will be provided for all contributors using the CMS, whether to update the communications site or to upload items and assets. Easy to follow guidelines on the use of the system will be drafted and available as help files to reference by project staff/volunteers • Agreed metadata for categories will be selected from a drop down menu wherever possible, to avoid inputting errors. • Local County control – no asset will be published to the live site until approved by the Volunteer manager or the Team Leader at the County level • The County Team Leaders are responsible for the completeness and quality of the asset metadata. This will be maintained in a variety of ways o Checking assets by trainee contributor before they are published o Spot checking assets as they are published o Identifying and populating all missing metadata • Feedback from the User Group. A User Group(s) will be instituted to provide feedback in order to contribute to the strategic direction of the Explore site. Provision will be made for online feedback. • Additional oversight will be held by the EPE central office, in particular the web manager and web and publications assistant, who will regularly assess all published web pages. They will undertake regular checks, eg for accessibility, broken links and ensure comments are dealt with promptly. • The Editorial Board will have overall editorial control and responsibility for the quality of the Explore Site. 1.2 Intellectual Property There are several sets of IPR being generated by the project. These have differing profiles which are outlined in the following table: IP Creator Owner Licence External usage Software Digital Asset Store OAD OAD Non-exclusive, N/A non-transferable CMS Simulacra Simulacra Open Source N/A Tailored elements Simulacra EPE Owned N/A Content 22728.doc 24
  25. 25. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Volunteer Volunteers EPE Assignment of Personal usage generated rights VCH staff VCH staff EPE Assignment of Standard generated Rights English Heritage EH staff EH Perpetual licence Need EH to exploit across permission all media and all territories Third party (e.g. Third Party Dependent on Individually Individual image archives) archive negotiated licensing requirements depend on agreement with supplier Documentation Manuals Simulacra/EPE EPE Owned N/A 1.3 Archiving We are currently in discussions with AHDS about using their service to store our content, subject to the resolution of several IPR issues. This will result in an archiving strategy due February 2007. All content is currently designed to be platform neutral – thus it is unnecessary to archive the platforms that we are utilising. IPR issues would make this difficult in many cases. Use of a controlled vocabulary ensures greater consistency of metadata and that the system adheres to existing metadata standards used by other Web Services. 1.4 Writing for the Web The following are some guidelines for writing successfully for the web. Write with the reader in mind and with the appropriate tone of voice. Ensure that your message is clear and concise. Plain English is faster to write; faster to read; and you get your message across more often, more easily and in a friendlier way. Text for the communication site should convey information in as few words as possible, ie 50-200 words, avoiding having to scroll down a web page as much as possible. The style can be informal, using ‘we’ and ‘you’. You can start a sentence with and, but, because, so or however. Hyperlinks Try to avoid using phrases such as 'click here', ‘read about’ or ‘view item’. It’s a waste of space and frustrating for those using a screen reader, as they will only hear the words used for the link. For example, it’s much better to say: Read about the Bristol launch. As opposed to: click here to read about the Bristol launch. Don’t insert links mid-sentence or within a paragraph. It’s less of an interruption and more accessible to put links at bottom of text or in a column, alongside text. 22728.doc 25
  26. 26. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Keep your sentences short Most experts would agree that clear writing should have an average sentence length of 15 to 20 words. Be punchy. Vary your writing by mixing short sentences (like the last one) with longer ones (like this one), following the basic principle of sticking to one main idea in a sentence, plus perhaps one other related point. You should soon be able to keep to the average sentence length - used by top journalists and authors - quite easily. However, at first you may still find yourself writing the odd long sentence, especially when trying to explain a complicated point. But most long sentences can be broken up in some way. Prefer active verbs Which sounds better? Peter watched the television. The television was watched by Peter. You can see that by making the sentence passive, we have had to introduce the words 'was' and 'by', and the sentence becomes more clumsy. This matter will be considered by us shortly. (Passive) We will consider this matter shortly. (Active) The mine had to be closed by the authority. (Passive) The authority had to close the mine. (Active) There are times of course when you should use a passive. • To make something less hostile - 'this bill has not been paid' (passive) is softer than 'you have not paid this bill' (active). • To avoid taking the blame - 'a mistake was made' (passive) rather than 'we made a mistake' (active). • When you don't know who or what the doer is - 'the England team has been picked'. • If it simply sounds better. But aim to make about 80 to 90% of your verbs active. Use 'you' and 'we' Try to call the reader 'you', even if the reader is only one of many people you are talking about generally. If this feels wrong at first, remember that you wouldn't use words like 'the applicant' and 'the supplier' if you were speaking to somebody sitting across a desk from you. Applicants must send us... You must send us... We always tell customers before we... We will tell you before we... Similarly, always call your organisation 'we'. And there is nothing wrong with using 'we' and 'I' on the same page. 22728.doc 26
  27. 27. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd Use words appropriate for the reader When you are talking to your reader, say exactly what you mean, using the simplest words that fit. This does not necessarily mean only using simple words - just words that the reader will understand. Imagine talking to your reader across a table. Avoid superlatives People tend to ignore excessive use of ‘the best’, ‘wonderful’, etc Don't be afraid to give instructions These are all commands - officially called imperatives. They are the fastest and most direct way of giving someone instructions. Please send it to me. (Rather than: I should be grateful if you would send it to me.) The packet should be removed from the box. The contents should then be placed in the oven. Remove the packet from the box. Then place the contents in the oven. Avoid nominalisations The problem is that often they are used instead of the verbs they come from. Because they are merely the names of things, they sound as if nothing is actually happening in the sentence. Like passive verbs, too many of them make writing very dull and heavy-going. E.g.: We had a discussion about the matter. We discussed the matter. There will be a stoppage of trains by drivers. Drivers will stop the trains. Use positive language Always try to emphasise the positive side of things. For example: If you don't send your payment, we won't be able to renew your membership. (Negative) Please send your payment so that we can renew your membership. (Positive) Use lists where appropriate Lists are excellent for splitting information up. With a list that is part of a continuous sentence, put semicolons (;) after each point and start each with a lower-case letter. If you can prove that: • you were somewhere else at the time; • you were not related to Mary; and • you are over 21; you should be all right. 22728.doc 27
  28. 28. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd As you can see, the next to last point has 'and' after the semicolon. If you only had to prove one of the three points instead of all of them, this word would be 'or'. Always make sure each point follows logically and grammatically from the introduction. For example, if you took out 'you' from the second and third points it would still flow as a normal sentence but not as a list. The third point would then read, 'If you can prove that are over 21', which obviously does not make sense. Summary • Stop and think before you start writing. Make a note of the points you want to make in a logical order. • Prefer short words. Long words will not impress your readers or help your writing style. • Use everyday English whenever possible. Avoid jargon and legalistic words, and explain any technical terms you have to use. • Keep your sentence length down to an average of 15 to 20 words. Try to stick to one main idea in a sentence. • Use active verbs as much as possible. Say 'we will do it' rather than 'it will be done by us'. • Be concise. • Imagine you are talking to your reader. Write sincerely, personally, in a style that is suitable and with the right tone of voice. • Re-read what you’ve written. Or get someone else to. Can you improve on it? With thanks to the Plain English Campaign, www.plainenglish.co.uk 22728.doc 28
  29. 29. pra 30/04/2010 is media Ltd 2 Metadata 2.1 Metadata Guidelines Metadata is required to enable the efficient discovery and re-use of assets. There are two levels of metadata: • Item metadata captured initially by each project • Asset metadata, which when combined with the metadata of the associated item provides a full metadata record for each asset. Asset metadata is capture in two ways: • Through the web based form interface • Using a paper based form in situ (where there is no access to a computer, or the volunteer is unable to access a computer). The data is then transferred to the DAS. The following pages are the Metadata Profile documentation produced by the EPE Support team. 2.2 Metadata Profile Specification Please click on the title to see this document. England's Past for Everyone - Metadata Profile Specification 11 October 2006 22728.doc 29