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Q: Software for an online knowledge-base ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Software for an online knowledge-base
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: tonyroberts-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 02 Nov 2005 15:14 PST
Expires: 02 Dec 2005 15:14 PST
Question ID: 588173
I have a project to develop an online resource which will enable
journalists and academic researchers to search for published material
(books, web pages,
journal papers, press, etc) on the social impacts of gambling. We are
a UK-based charity who are collecting and wish to review, categorise,
and cross-index this material, in multiple languages, as an ongoing
project to develop a knowledge-base within a web portal.

Can you 
1 suggest where I might find a technical home for this project ? say
as an element in a larger cataloguing project, and/or
2 suggest suppliers of suitable software or web services, preferrably

Note that the material is not in a library and is not to be loaned,
the project merely wishes to point to a source from which the material
may be obtained, so library cataloguing and management software is not
appropriate. However, a simple catalogue such as the Open Directory is
also not appropriate, as we wish to add our own review and to
extensively cross-index, provide related terms, etc.

We do have a webserver (Windows 3000, IIS, SQL-server), and would
prefer to host this facility there, but are open to all solutions.
Subject: Re: Software for an online knowledge-base
Answered By: leapinglizard-ga on 05 Nov 2005 08:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear tonyroberts,

If I were in your shoes, I would implement the knowledge base as a
wiki. A wiki is a multi-user system for building a searchable, hyperlinked
database of human-readable information. Although public wikis are often
configured so that everyone is allowed to edit them, you can choose to
restrict editing rights to qualified members of your organization.

The particular wiki-building software I have in mind is called
MediaWiki. This software would be advantageous in your situation because
it offers a built-in search facility and an easy way to crosslink entries.

The way I see it, each entry of your wiki would be devoted to one
resource, whether this was a book, a journal paper, or a web page. The
entry would contain not only a link or other pointer to the resource,
but possibly a description of the resource and a list of links to related
resources. Users would be free to search for resources based on keywords,
or by drilling down through a hierarchy of resource categories.

The MediaWiki package is ideally suited to providing this 
functionality. MediaWiki has been used to implement not just encyclopedias 
and technical references, but knowledge bases devoted to such varied
topics as cartoon characters, parenting, and military history.
Homestar Runner Wiki
Pregnancy, birth and baby's parenting wiki
Military History Wiki

You can build and host your own wiki on a Windows platform. To do so
with MediaWiki, you will need to have installed, in addition to your
IIS web server, the PHP script interpreter and the MySQL relational
database. These are both open-source software packages.
MediaWiki: How does MediaWiki work?

The following page describes one way to install MediaWiki on Windows
2003 with IIS.
WikiMedia: Installing MediaWiki on Windows Server 2003 SP1

It has been a pleasure to address this question on your behalf.



Request for Answer Clarification by tonyroberts-ga on 05 Nov 2005 12:54 PST
Excellent, thank you. Two clarifications, please:

1 Are you aware of any other software supporting this approach? I
would like to compare, and need to present alternatives.

2 Can you establish whether there are already any gambling or
addiction based wikis (so that we may see if we may link with them)?


Clarification of Answer by leapinglizard-ga on 06 Nov 2005 22:43 PST
I have not been able to find a wiki devoted to gambling addiction, nor
indeed any kind of comprehensive online index of gambling-addiction
resources. I believe your site would be the first of its kind.

For alternatives to MediaWiki, see the following list.

c2: Top Ten Wiki Engines

And here is a chart comparing the features of popular wiki engines.

Wikipedia: Comparison of wiki software

tonyroberts-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks, excellent

Subject: Re: Software for an online knowledge-base
From: dantag-ga on 03 Nov 2005 11:53 PST
Try contacting the open directory project.  They form the basis of
googles directory, so you're knowledge base would be instantly
availabble to many.  They may not have a category for this precise
thing, but htey have the platform for it, and would welcome people
putting in work to develop the directory. You need to get to know
their way of working, they are fairly strict in their cataloguing
stye.  However it is an excellent platform for this, with a well
developed interface, its free, and already well supported and
available to the world via Google.
Subject: Re: Software for an online knowledge-base
From: tonyroberts-ga on 03 Nov 2005 12:44 PST
Thanks, I will do that. Other comments, or better, answers are welcome.

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