Image Class Collection Implementation

DLXS Workshop, February 2002

Image Class Instructor: John Weise

(Note: I will be far away on vacation the week before the workshop.
If you have questions, please address them to DLXS Info. Thanks.)

This portion of the DLXS Workshop focuses on implementing a collection in the Image Class. It is organized as a hands-on lesson, with the entire process outlined in detail. All of the steps are included so that it can be repeated or used as a guide later. Links to the detailed Image Class documentation are included. Check out the database of UM Campus Photos that we'll be working with in the workshop.

A printed copy of this document will be available at the workshop.

Workshop Day 4 – Thursday Morning

Workshop Day 4 – Thursday Afternoon

Workshop Day 5- Friday Morning

Workshop Day 5– Friday Afternoon

Workshop Day 4 – Thursday Morning

Image Class Content Prep (part 1) 

In part 1 of Image Class Content Prep we create some images with the digital camera to add to an existing image database. We will generate MrSID images and put them in place on the server.

Choose a Collection ID and Enable Access

In this workshop we are working with a collection that already exists. However if it were a new collection it would be necessary to choose a collection identifier for it, and to enable web access to the collid. When choosing a collid, it helps to keep it short and to keep in mind that it should be unique, not just within Image Class, but across all of the classes. Consider including a consistent class specific ending on each collid to help avoid conflicts. For example, workshopic is the collid for the collection that will be used in this lesson.

Managing access to collections will be covered elsewhere in the workshop, since it applies to all DLXS Classes.

  1. choose collid
  2. enable web access for the collid (setup authentication/authorization)

Photo Expedition

This is where we go out and take some pictures with the digital camera to add to the existing database. We'll target popular landmarks that are close to the Library.

Review, Process, and Install the Images

Everyone will watch the instructor:

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Workshop Day 4 – Thursday Afternoon

Image Class Content Prep (part 2)

In this part database records will be created for each image, and basic descriptive info will be added to the database. We will use FileMaker Pro to edit the database. FileMaker Pro is a useful tool for preparing data for Image Class, though other tools can be used instead.

Each participant will do this work on their own machines.

A good convention for naming collection database files is collid-data.fp5 (e.g. workshopic-data.fp5).

Add Filenames to Database

Import the list of new filenames in to the database. New records will be created for each. The database is setup to create record ID numbers and some other information automatically.

  1. Open collid-data.fp5 with Filemaker Pro
  2. Choose Import Records... from the File menu
  3. Select the files.xls (of files.txt) file for import (you will need to know that the first row has data, not field names)
  4. Select the add new records import action.
  5. Map the incoming filenames to the ImageFilename field, and make sure the other fields are configured not to import.

Add Descriptive Data to Database

Add Title, Photographer, Date (YYYY-MM-DD) and Caption information for each image (or at least a few!).

Configure the Database for SGML Transformation

This is where you specify, for the purposes of transformation to SGML for Image Class, which fields hold the record ID, image filename, and caption. Additionally, mappings from the collection specific fields to the common (i.e., cross collection searching) fields are layed out.

Open the configuration file (workshopic-config.fp5), which is just an empty copy of the database, with all fields defined as text (no calculations or auto entries, etc.).

Create four records as follows:

As silly as it sounds, put the name of the field in each field of the first record. Sometimes it is useful to alter the field name slightly for better presentation online.

The second record must have an abbreviated name for each field. Each needs to be unique, and they are case sensitive (see example), but other than that, they can be whatever you want.

The third record must have cross collection search field abbreviations.

The fourth record is for specifying which fields hold record IDs (, image filenames (IC.fn), and captions ( .

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Export the Data and the Config

The descriptive data records and the configuration data records must be exported from the database in to HTML tables within HTML files. FileMaker Pro provides this function. In an upcoming step, the HTML tables will be read by a Perl script which generates SGML as output.

First, for the descriptive data file...

Do the same for the configuration file, naming it workshopic-config.htm

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Transfer Data to Unix Data Prep Environment

The tools for transforming the data to SGML are setup for use on the unix machine called

Transfer the the workshopic-data.htm and workshop-config.htm files to the directory $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshopic.

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Create the Collection Info File

The collection info file is a one line text file. The data in the info file affects how the SGML is generated. The file must be stored on in $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshop as workshopic-info.txt. Use a text editor (e.g., vi, xemacs) to create the file.

cd $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshopic
xemacs workshopic-info.txt

CTRL-X CTRL-C to quit (you will be prompted to save)

Here is a real example of what the 1 line of a collection info file might can look like:

UM Campus Area Photos#John Weise and Contributors#WORLD#both 

It is not important yet to understand the purpose of each of the fields, but basically they mean the following:

Collection Title#Publisher#Global Setting for Record Level Authentication#Searchable Structures

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Transform Data to SGML

At this point you must have :

still on

cd $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshopic

The report should be similar to the following, though with more images, etc.

$DLXSROOT/bin/i/image/idb transform workshopic

This report saved as: $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshopic/workshopic-report.txt
Total Images Found: 36 and Not Found: 0
Total Entries: 36
Total Items: 36
Total Entries Dropped Due To Missing ID: 0
Total Entries Dropped Due To Duplicate ID: 0
Misc Errors/Warnings:
NOTE: No character conversion file found.
Illegal characters will be converted to "?" and reported in $DLXSROOT/prep/w/workshopic/workshopic-charreport.txt.

ic.workshop.unnorm.sgm has been created. Use less or more to look at it.

less ic.workshop.unnorm.sgm

Some things to check for to confirm that the transformation worked...

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Validate and Normalize SGML

This step checks the SGML against the Image Class DTD to validate the SGML. It also normalizes the SGML, which, if necessary, adjusts the SGML tagging so that it is consistent in terms of case and order of element attributes. Finally, all line-breaks are removed so that the SGML is all on one line.

$DLXSROOT/bin/i/image/idb norm workshopic

There are not likely to be any errors with the workshopic data, but tell the instructor if there are.

This process creates ic.workshop.norm.sgm. This is the file that will be used to build an XPAT index.

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Workshop Day 5– Friday Morning

Image Class Index Building with XPAT

In this section the workshopic SGML will be indexed with the XPAT search engine, preparing it for use with the DLXS middleware.

Setup Directories for XPAT Index

Two directories are needed to build the XPAT index. A simple unix shell script has been created that does the work of setting the directories up for a specific collection. The script usage is $DLXSROOT/bin/i/image/setupcollindex w/workshopic and it creates the following...

  1. $DLXSROOT/obj/w/workshopic to contain the SGML file (ic.workshopic.norm.sgm).
    The setupcollindex script sets up the obj directory and copies the workshopic SGML file to it.
  2. $DLXSROOT/idx/w/workshopic to contain the XPAT index files
    image-blank is a boilerplate XPAT index directory that can be copied for a new collection index. image-blank is distributed with Image Class. The setupcollindex script copies the boilerplate files to the workshopic idx directory, and then modifies the hard coded paths that exist in the boilerplate files.

To execute setupcollindex...

$DLXSROOT/bin/i/image/setupcollindex w/workshopic
using /DLXSROOT.
setting up /DLXSROOT/idx up for w/workshopic
setting up /DLXSROOT/obj up for w/workshopic

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Build the XPAT Index

Everything is now setup to build the XPAT index. The makefile in the idx directory contains the commands necessary to build the index, and can be executed easily.

cd $DLXSROOT/idx/w/workshopic
make all
echo "working..."
cp image.blank.dd image.dd
nice -n 19 mfsbld -D /l1/idx/w/workshopic/image.dd -o image.mfs
nice -n 19 mfsmeta -o /l1/idx/w/workshopic/image.str -D image.dd
cp image.blank.dd image.dd
nice -n 19 xpatbld -m 256m -D image.dd
nice -n 19 /l/local/xpat/bin/multirgn -o /l1/idx/w/workshopic/image -t tags.txt -D image.dd -displayfmt sgm
nice -n 19 xpatffw -m 32m -o /l1/idx/w/workshopic/image -D image.dd
nice -n 19 xpatffi -m 32m -o /l1/idx/w/workshopic/image -D image.dd

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Image Class Collection to Web

These are the final steps in deploying an Image Class collection online. Here the Collection Manager will be used to review the Collection Database entry for workshopic. The Collection Manager will also be used to check the Group Database. Finally, a quick script called makeCollectionmaps-idx will be run to further configure the middleware to use the collection. Then it can be tried through a web browser.

Review the Collection Database Entry with CollMgr

Each collection has a record in the collection database that holds collection specific configurations for the middleware. CollMgr (Collection Manager) is a web based interface to the collection database that provides functionality for editing each collection's record. Collections can be checked-out for editing, checked-in for testing, and released to production. A collection database record for workshopic has already been created and later we will edit it. In general, a new collection needs to have a CollMgr record created from scratch before the middleware can be used. Take a look at the record to become familiar with it.


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Review the Groups Database Entry with CollMgr

Another function of CollMgr allows the grouping of collections for cross-collection searching. Any number of collection groups may be created for Image Class. Image Class requires that there be a group with the groupid "all". It is not a requirement that all collections be in this group, though that's the basic idea. The other classes do not require the group "all" to exist, and sometime in the future, Image Class probably will not either. Groups are created and modified using CollMgr. For this workshop, the group "all" record has already been edited to include the workshopic collection. Take a look at the record to become familiar with it.


Make Collectionmaps is the name of a perl module that contains data about collection fields. The data are used for translating field name abbreviations to field names, and vice-versa. Every time a new collection is deployed, or the field definitions of an existing collection change, the file needs to be regenerated. $DLXSROOT/cgi/i/image/makeCollectionmaps-idx is the program that does this work.

cd $DLXSROOT/cgi/i/image


Setup the Collection's Web Directory

Each collection may have a web directory with custom Cascading Style Sheets, interface templates, graphics, and javascript. The default is for a collection to use the web directory for the "all" group, which is at $DLXSROOT/web/i/image. Optionally, a collection specific web directory may be created. There is one more purpose of the web directory, which is to allow quick and easy loading of thumbnails as documents rather than retrieving thumbnails through slower CGI calls. Enable quick retrieval of thumbnails by creating a collection specific web directory and a symlink to the thumbnails.

mkdir -p $DLXSROOT/web/w/workshopic
cd $DLXSROOT/web/w/workshopic
ln -s $DLXSROOT/img/w/workshopic/index thumb


Try It Out


Workshop Day 5– Friday Afternoon

Image Class Collection Customization

Assuming we are on schedule, we will spend this part of the workshop looking at how to customize Image Class collections using the Collection Manager, Cascading Style Sheets, Templates, etc.

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Image Class Other/Advanced Topics

Some topics are beyond what we can cover fully in the workshop. Below are links to documentation on some of those topics, as well as to the complete set of Image Class documentation.

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