This software is meant to be a simple way to post community databases to the web. The newest version is BFC4. You can read about the previous version, BFC3 at the old BFC3 Home Page.
A Community Database
A community database is a collection of items which
- a specific community of practice uses for actual work
- is edited, updated and annotated by central members of the community
- triggers discussion around specific elements in the collection
- and therefore makes authentic practice more transparent to newcomers by explicit organization and through rich discussion
In practice, this software is meant to allow
- Easy, Powerful Editing of the Database
- √ graphically edit HTML right in the browser (better in BFC4)
- √ paste in complex HTML from other web pages (new in BFC4)
- √ upload documents for retrieval
- √ automatically generate table of contents for complex pages
- Support for LaTeX and BibTeX
- √ use inline LaTeX for symbols
- √ edit directly in LaTeX to build images of equations and whole documents
- √ create embedded PDFs or multiple PNGs (better in BFC4)
- √ allow different LaTeX stylesheets
- √ recognize and display BibTeX entries intelligently
- Easy Powerful Search and Collection
- √ personal “shopping cart” to track and process items of interest
- √ export items in interesting formats, e.g. BibTeX or LaTeX. (new in BFC4)
- √ search within fields and over whole records
- √ search using regular expressions
- √ mix in keywords and other custom data fields on the page which can be searched by field
- simply add a line of the form “Field Name = Data data data”
- Other Nice Features
√ set up Administrator and Editor accounts, anonymous edits can be turned on or off
√ Auto-discoverable RSS feed to be alerted about new additions to the database (either as a whole or specific pages)
... add comments on items
... Generate valid XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 2.1.
... Tag Clouds and other graphical ways to analyze connections in the data
Be sure to check out the Quick Tour on these two sites.
BFC4 Technical Details
BFC4 is built on Oddmuse. We heavily customized the CSS <http://bfc.sfsu.edu/bfc4.css> which we took from Fletcher Penney.
Then we installed several standard Oddmuse modules.
- wiki.pl,v 1.929
- admin.pl,v 1.11
- ckeditor.pl,v 1.5a
- forms.pl,v 1.6
- latex-bfc.pl,v 1.6b
- localtime.pl,v 1.1
- password-bfc.pl,v 0.1
- searchpaged-bfc.pl,v 0.3
- toc.pl,v 1.60
Then we added a lot of custom-written modules, which I am making available under GPL2. The ones marked bfc4 don't work with BFC3, and expect raw wikitext to be HTML.
- bfc4.pl. Implements the new menus, the Add New Page form and other settings for BFC4.
- bibtex-bfc4.pl. Allows BibTeX entries to be displayed nicely and downloaded.
- cart-bfc4.pl. Adds a “shopping cart” for items. Adds smart checkboxes to each item when displayed alone or in searches which update a cart cookie.
- formsearch-bfc.pl. Allow searches to accept form parameters with multiple values (as in multiple selects).
- latex-bfc4.pl. Allows latex documents to be displayed nicely and downloaded as latex and figures, or as a PDF.
- mysearchresults-bfc4.pl. Adds hooks to Oddmuse to allow custom displays of items in search listings (e.g. LaTeX and BibTeX items have custom displays in searches).
- password-bfc.pl. Tidies up the password entry box and notably adds a link back to the referring page.
- searchpaged-bfc4.pl. Makes search results come in pages with a little navigation menu. (Requires Oddmuse >1.926.)
Who Wrote This Software?
Eric Hsu wrote the software and hosts the site. You can find our more about him at http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu