Over the last six months I have been working on and off on a different system for producing and manipulating EAD finding aids using XForms, which is a W3C specification for next-generation web forms, designed specifically with the creation of complex, hierarchical XML in mind. The project is called EADitor and has moved from alpha "proof of concept" phase to beta. I am releasing a beta that works on Linux/Mac servers and workstations, but since it is a java-based server application, it can run in Windows also (although I have not yet tested it). The version number is 0.4 to coincide with the month of April. EADitor is open source and freely available.
Since this is a beta, I will admit that there are bugs and much work left to do.
* Create ead header, archdesc, and components. Most elements are handled, but mixed content at the paragraph level is not. It is possible to use a WYSIWYG editor to create rich metadata at the paragraph level, so look for that in a future version of EADitor.
* Nearly 400,000 LCSH authority terms are integrated into the form for autosuggestion for <subject>
* Languages are autosuggested from LOC authority file
* Corpname, famname, genreform, geogname, persname, and subject can be scraped from EAD files already in the system to provide for localized controlled vocabulary.
* EAD uploading: Almost all EAD 2002 compliant XML files can be preprocessed to correct inconsistencies in encoding to be loaded into the system for editing or publication. Transformation is minor and there is no loss of data.
* Deletion: Delete files with an easy to use web interface
* Publication: Publish/unpublish selected files via a Solr search index. A variety of search facets are preselected in the publication process. The interface for searching and browsing the collection is not yet complete. Look for that by the end of April.
* View the XML or HTML version of the finding aid. Useful for looking at the visual presentation of a collection as it is being processed by archivists
* Tap into more controlled vocabulary indices
* Create a metaform which defines the EAD template (the default template is as minimalistic as EAD allows)
* Finish the public interface, for institutions that want a single application for creating, editing, and disseminating EAD finding aids online.
* Allow for the reordering of components
* Allow for optional automatic container numbering in a reversible post-process
The project has come a long way in the last two months, and I look forward to improving it based on criticism and feedback from the archival community at large.
Google code site (for downloads): http://code.google.com/p/eaditor/
Technical list, geared toward XForms developers in libraries: https://list.mail.virginia.edu/mailman/listinfo/xforms4lib
Non-technical list, for librarians and archivists interested in EADitor specifically: http://groups.google.com/group/eaditor
A test of the software is accessible at the URL http://eaditor.scholarslab.org:8080/orbeon/ead/admin/ . Please note that this is a virtual instance with only 1 GB of RAM, so it runs slower than many newer computers. The performance of EADitor is directly proportional to the specs of the server it is running on.
I will be demonstrating EADitor at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in the end of April. I am designing EADitor to be a useful tool for the community it is designed to serve. Feedback can help me refine it further.
Digital Research and Development, University of Virginia Library