IRLS675 Unit 8: DSpace, Drupal, and Eprints Compared

Eprints Installation Compared to Drupal and DSpace
A number of ways to install Eprints 3 are listed on the http://wiki.eprints.org/w/EPrints_Manual website. The class used the install Eprints 3 via apt with Debian Linux using an Ubuntu server. See http://wiki.eprints.org/w/Installing_EPrints_3_via_apt_%28Debian/Ubuntu%29 The sources list needed to be modified using $ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list and the eprints software  websites needed to be added to the sources file.   After this, the command $ sudo aptitude install eprints  was used to install eprints.

Eprints uses the typical LAMP stack of MySQL and Apache webserver software wheras DSpace uses a Tomcat server and the PostgreSQL database. DSpace code needs to be compiled and built with Ant and Maven which are Java tools which means that Java software needs to be installed as well when installing DSpace. In our particular system, the build step needed to have Java 6 instead of Java 7 installed. I installed Java 7 and tried to install Java 6 after Java 7 did not work with the build step. This did not work so I had to go back to a snapshot of my virtual machine and install Java 6. The snapshot was taken at a point where no Java software was installed so I did save some time using the snapshot method.

Drupal 7 uses the MySQL database, the Apache webserver, and PHP. The basic steps used to install Drupal are as follows from the Drupal.org website:

Drupal is not initially configured as a repository similar to Eprints and DSpace but it does have modules like a Dublin core module that can be used as a repository feature.

Drupal’s installation documentation is easier to work with than Eprints and DSpace’s documentation. However, the class used specific installation instructions prepared by the instructor Bruce Fulton which minimized the risk of mistakes. Documentation  has never been instructionally robust with open source software. Drupal has made a number of improvements to its documentation. The DSpace installation documentation is the least helpful.

Customization
Drupal 7 is much more easier to customize than Eprints or Dspace. For instance, changing a theme with Drupal is as easy as going to Administer –> Appearance and choosing your theme. See http://themery.com/dgd7/theming/administration/default-theme However, creating a specific theme involves some programming. See http://themery.com/dgd7/theming/core/themes I tried to install the Eprints 3 glass theme. See  http://files.eprints.org/144/ but this is not as easy a process as switching to a Drupal theme. Changing a theme in Eprints requires configuration at the Linux command line. DSpace has two interfaces, the Jspui interface and the Manakin interface. Both DSpace and Eprints require using the command line Linux interface to change the repository names unlike Drupal which is much more flexible.

Screenshot of DSpace item description entry page

Screenshot of DSpace item description entry page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The functionality of both DSpace and Eprints is limited compared to Drupal. DSpace and Eprints focus on repository features such s Dublin core metadata as in DSpace, subject headings as in EPrints but both have good search features. According to Drupal.org, Drupal has 24,105 modules as of October 18, 2013. However, the number of modules that can be used for repository websites is smaller than this and will depend on how the Drupal4lib community group develops. I installed the Flag module with Drupal and I may install the Organizing Bookmarks module to bring some added features to the Drupal repository.

Conclusion
Eprints has an easier installation process than Drupal and DSpace. Customization in Drupal is easier than in DSpace and Eprints. Drupal also has much more functionality but Eprints and DSpace are more suitable for configuring metadata. Drupal is developing its capability with metadata as a Dublin Core module is now available. Some commercial customization may be possible for some organizations. For instance, Atmire customized the DSpace Dryad interface. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUB_usKe6Dw

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