File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 19

Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 06:22:48 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.019 new release of the eXtensible Text Framework (XTF)
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 19.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

         Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 06:20:06 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <>
         Subject: new release of the eXtensible Text Framework (XTF)

From: Lisa Schiff
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 14:14:12 -0700


Contact: Lisa Schiff

California Digital Library
University of California, Office of the President
415 20th St., 4th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 587-6132

California Digital Library Announces New Release of the eXtensible
Text Framework (XTF)

Oakland, CA, May 12, 2008 - The California Digital Library (CDL) is
pleased to announce a new release of its search and display
technology, the eXtensible Text Framework (XTF) version 2.1
(  XTF is an open source,
highly flexible software application that supports the search, browse
and display of heterogeneous digital content.  XTF offers efficient
and practical methods for creating customized end-user interfaces for
distinct digital content collections.

Highlights from the 2.1 release include:
Extensive interface improvements, including new search forms,
built-in faceted browsing, and a new look and feel.
Increased support for document and information exchange formats.
XHTML and OAI-PMH output
NLM article format indexing and output
Microsoft Word indexing
Streamlined XSLT stylesheets for simpler deployment and adaptation.
Updated documentation that has been moved to the XTF project wiki,
allowing XTF implementers to share solutions with entire user community.
"Freeform" Boolean query language, offered as an experimental feature.
Backward compatibility with existing XTF implementations.
A complete list of changes is available on the XTF Project page on
SourceForge, where the distribution (including documentation) can
also be downloaded.

Since the first deployment of XTF in 2005, the development strategy
has been to build and maintain an indexing and display technology
that is not only customizable, but also draws upon tested components
already in use by the digital library and search communities - in
particular the Lucene text search engine, Java, XML, and XSLT.  By
coordinating these pieces in a single platform that can be used to
create multiple unique applications, CDL has succeeded in
dramatically reducing the investment in infrastructure, staff
training and development for new digital content projects.

XTF offers a suite of customizable features that support diverse
intellectual access to content.  Interfaces can be designed to
support the distinct tools and presentations that are useful and
meaningful to specific audiences.  In addition, XTF offers the
following core features:
Easy to deploy: Drops directly in to a Java application server such
as Tomcat or Resin; has been tested on Solaris, Mac, Linux, and
Windows operating systems.
Easy to configure: Can create indexes on any XML element or
attribute; entire presentation layer is customizable via XSLT.
Robust: Optimized to perform well on large documents (e.g., a single
text that exceeds 10MB of encoded text); scales to perform well on
collections of millions of documents; provides full Unicode support.
Works well with a variety of authentication systems (e.g., IP address
lists, LDAP, Shibboleth).
Provides an interface for external data lookups to support
thesaurus-based term expansion, recommender systems, etc.
Can power other digital library services (e.g., XTF contains an
OAI-PMH data provider that allows others to harvest metadata, and an
SRU interface that exposes searches to federated search engines).
Can be deployed as separate, modular pieces of a third-party system
(e.g., the module that displays snippets of matching text).
Powerful for the end user:
Spell checking of queries
Faceted displays for browsing
Dynamically updated browse lists
Session-based bookbags
These basic features can be tuned and modified.  For instance, the
same bookbag feature that allows users to store links to entire
books, can also store links to citable elements of an object, such as
a note or other reference.

A sampling of XTF-based applications both within and outside of the
CDL include:

-- Mark Twain Project Online (,
developed by the Mark Twain Papers Project, the CDL and the
University of California Press.

-- Calisphere (, a curated collection of
primary sources keyed to the curriculum standards of California's
K-12 community, developed by the CDL.

-- The Encyclopedia of Chicago
(, developed by the
Chicago History Museum, The Newberry Library, and Northwestern University

-- The Chymistry of Isaac Newton
( and The Swinburne Project
(, Indiana University

-- Finding Aides at the New York Public Library

-- EECS Technical Reports

UC Berkeley

Lisa Schiff, Ph.D.
Technical Lead, Publishing
California Digital Library
300 Lakeside Drive #745
Kaiser Center
Oakland, CA 94612
510-987-0881 (t)
510-987-0243 (f)

Willard McCarty | Professor of Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Et sic in infinitum (Fludd 1617, p. 26). 


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