OT: Resources for Data Base Design

Sivakatirswami katir at hindu.org
Sat May 8 21:53:08 EDT 2010

I'm working on a content management database based on the Dublin Core 
and the Media Annotation Initiative. Much of the whole mode of discourse 
and terms translate well into a database scheme but when the discourse 
starts to talking about fine tuning and switches to an RDF framework it 
is difficult to grok in terms of translating some of the principles into 
actual table-field structures in a PostGreSQL dbase. the Dubline Core 
seems in some respects a very abstract realm... but things are different 
where rubber hits the road.

I've looked pretty closely at the databases generated by XOOPS, Drupal 
and Word Press and frankly, they are freaky scary. I see a hodge podge 
of strategies, each differing -- depends on whose design the module 
whose tables you are looking at. That's why I want to stay with Dublin 
Core where the "human readability" principle is kept in the forefront of 
design.  I'm pretty close to designing a schema that I think can contain 
pretty much all the metadata for any video, text or audio, translations 
pamphlets etc. FAQ  that we have. I supposed we are re-inventing the 
wheel a bit, but in the end we will get something that is a good match 
for our needs and we will not be boxed into framework of a monster CMS 
that we cannot customize without spending huge $ on PHP-module 
consultants... (been there, done that, nightmare)

Metadata for a video or a sound file or an image is simple enough....

The part of the data base I'm unable to finish of is that which deals 
with text fragments.  I think I posted this before on this list but got 
no responses. If anyone knows what would be the best list or group I 
should go to, to get help, let me know. What I'm interested in should be 
pretty standard stuff in the world of academia: e.g. if you want a data 
base to contain the most atomic elements of a text resource (one record 
for every single verse of every single poem from a book where the poems 
are divided into chapters and the chapters into sections and the 
sections into parts of a book, and the book is one volume in a 
series...)   what is the best schema which allows you to query the data 
base to re-aggregate all those elements into it's original source 
document, run time (or on a cron or periodically post modifications)  
AND OR what other approaches might better serve  the end game (be able 
to query for a single verse with complete citation; be able to query for 
an entire poem with citation; be able to query for a complete chapter of 
poems with a citation ... etc.)  I have some solutions in mind, and I 
may just proceed with those, and refactor later if something better 
comes along...but I would love to hear from some experts and seem some 
existing models.

Any ideas of where to go looking for mangos?


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