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metacat / README @ 2475

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#
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#  '$RCSfile$'
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#   '$Author: sgarg $'
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# '$Revision: 2475 $'
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#     '$Date: 2005-04-08 09:09:07 -0700 (Fri, 08 Apr 2005) $'
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#
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Metacat: XML Metadata Database
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------------------------------
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Version: 1.4.0 Release
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Send feedback and bugs to: metacat-dev@ecoinformatics.org
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                           http://bugzilla.ecoinformatics.org
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Contributors: Matt Jones (jones@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Chad Berkley (berkley@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Jing Tao (tao@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Jivka Bojilova (bojilova@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Dan Higgins (higgins@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Saurabh Garg (sgarg@nceas.ucsb.edu)
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              Duane Costa (dcosta@lternet.edu)
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Metacat is a flexible database storage system for XML formatted
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documents and associated binary files. Metacat models the structure of the
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XML document, therefore allowing storage of XML documents with arbitrary
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schemas. Metacat supports several databases on the back-end, including Oracle,
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PostgreSQL and SQL Server (limited).  The server supports XML document
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storage, retrieval, query, validation, and transformation (using the XSLT
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stylesheet language).  In addition, there is a mechanism for replicating the
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database to other metacat instances for backup and load balancing purposes.
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Metacat currently uses an LDAP database for authenticating users, but was
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written to accomodate other authentication services as well.
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Installation
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------------
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See the file "docs/user/metacatinstall.html" for detailed instructions.
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Release Notes for 1.5.0:
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------------------------
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This release comes with performace improvement, user interface enhancements
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and bug fixes. Below is the list of bug fixes and performance improvements. 
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Bug Fixes:
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* Modify property values of harvester registration servlets to match the
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  servlet-mapping URL values in web.xml. The old values used the servlet
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  class names. This worked in Tomcat 4 but seems to break in Tomcat 5 on
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  Windows. The new values use the servlet-mapping URL values. This should
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  work in both Tomcat 4 and Tomcat 5. (Bug 162)
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* Re-implement logic to prune old log entries from the HARVEST_LOG and
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  HARVEST_DETAIL_LOG tables. The old logic caused integrity constraint
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  violations in the database because it tried to delete parent records from
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  HARVEST_LOG prior to deleting child records from
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  HARVEST_DETAIL_LOG. (Bug 162)
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* In data registry, minor bugs fixed like the error page shows the link back
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  to the form when error page was generated because of a document read
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  request from search results page,  the successful delete button leading
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  to a blank screen and the old ACL overwritten by the registry.
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  (Bugs 1307, 1310, 1322, 1344, 1551)
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* Changed the code to support insertion of following characters: ', `,
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  charcters in the Numeric Character Reference format (&#xyz;) and
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  characters like µ. Characters like µ will be converted to and stored in
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  Numeric Character Reference format(&#xyz;). They will also be returned
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  in Numeric Character Reference and it is upto the client to convert them
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  and display them accordingly in the application. Partial fix provided by
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  Johnoel Ancheta. (Bug 1538,1711)
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* Spatial search failed on Oracle because of invalid entries made by
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  some documents in the nodedata column of xml_nodes for paths involving
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  'eastBoundingCoordinate', 'westBoundingCoordinate',
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  'northBoundingCoordinate', 'southBoundingCoordinate'. A new column
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  nodedatanumerical was added to xml_nodes table such that all the numerical
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  nodedata is stored in this column and this column is now used for spatial
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  search. (Bug 1703, 1718)
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* In the default skin, clicking on the keywords on the home page did not
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  result is a search being done. Fix provided by Owen Jones. (Bug 1768)
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* Metacat generated a success message even when a document which didnt
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  exsist was requested for deletion. This has been fixed. (Bug 1850)
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* "packagetype" in xml-relation table was entered as eml200 namespace when
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  an eml201 document was inserted. This is fixed now so that "packagetype"
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  in xml-relation table points to eml201 namespace. (Bug 1979)
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* System_id in xml_catalog pointed to http://knb.ecoinformatics.org/knb/
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  earlier. Fixed such that it points to the locally installed metacat url. 
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  (Bug 1986)
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* Changes to the Query subsystem fix bugs that prevented attributes from 
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  being expressed solely in the xpath query statement and the returnfield 
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  values. For instance, a query URL may now include search strings like 
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  '@packageId=sbclter%25' and return strings like 'returnfield=@packageId'.
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  Previously, the attribute had to be appended to an element: 
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  '/eml/@packageId=sbclter%25'. These fixes change DBQuery.java, 
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  QuerySpecification.java, and QueryTerm.java (Bug 2052)
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* Search query failed in case of Oracle if number of documents in the result
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  were more than 1000. This has been fixed. (Bug 2000)
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* Removed any occurence of enum which is now a keyword in Java 1.5
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Enhancements:
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* Major improvements done in user interface for the data registeries and
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  various other skins. Improvements done based on suggestions from Mark
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  Stromberg, Laura Downey and others. Improvements also done in resultset.xsl,
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  the default skin and ldap templates. (Bug 1948)
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* Coded added such that administrator can delete documents irrespective of
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  who the document belongs to.
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* Performance impovement done in searching of datasets. A part of the search
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  time was taken up because of generation of resultset after the search had be
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  done. So this was the sequence of events in earlier metacat
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  1) Search for the given text
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  2) A list of docids generated
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  3) For each of the docids
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     3a) Use xml_index and xml_nodes table to generate the string descibing
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         the document including the returnfields requested in the search
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  4) Add all the strings from step 3a to send back the resultant document.                                                                 Here a decent amount of time was being taken by step 3a. The algorithm is
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  now modified by addition of two tables xml_queryresult and xml_returnfields
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  and a user defined parameter xml_returnfield_count. The new algorithm works
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  as follows
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  1) Search for the given text
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  2) A list of docids generated
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  3) For the given set of return fields generate a unique string and check
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     if that string exists in xml_returnfields
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     3a) If string does not exist in xml_returnfield, then enter a new
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         record usage_count as 1 and returnfield_string as the unique string
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         generated above.
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     3b) Else if the string exists, increment usage_count
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  4) Given the docids from step 2 and the id of the returnfield record from
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     step 3, query for any docids that already exist in xml_queryresult.
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     For the docids that do exist, get the queryresult_string.
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  5) For rest of the docids from step2 which were not found in step 4, do
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     the following for each of the documents:
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     5a) Use xml_index and xml_nodes table to generate the string descibing
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         the document including the returnfields requested in the search
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     5b) If usage_count of the record from step is more than
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         xml_returnfield_count set in metacat.properties, then store the
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         string in xml_queryresult as a record which has the returnfield_id
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         representing the set of returnfields, docid representing the
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         document and the string as queryresult_string.
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  6) Add all the strings from step 4 and step 5a to send back the resultant
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     document
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  So the results from step 3a in previous algorithm are effectively cached
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  and hence same computation is not done again and again for each search.
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  When a document is deleted, all the entries for that document in
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  xml_queryresult table are also deleted. When a document is updated, all
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  the entries for that document in xml_queryresult table are deleted. This
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  works fine because those entries will be generated and cached again the
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  next time the document is part of a search is requested.
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* Performance impovement done for % search.
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* Following new functions added to metacat client API: a method to set access
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  on an xml document and a method to get newest version for a given document.
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* Implement a new HarvesterServlet for running Harvester as a servlet. This
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  eliminates the need to run Harvester in a terminal window. By default, the
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  HarvesterServlet is commented out in lib/web.xml.tomcat(3,4,5). The user
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  documentation will be modified to instruct Harvester administrators to
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  uncomment the HarvesterServlet entry.
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* Minor enhancement to support multiple email addresses for harvester
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  administrator and site contact. Each address is separated by a comma or
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  semicolon.
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* Increase number of rows in Harvest List Editor from 300 to 1200.
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* Changed default maxHarvests value to 0. Added logic to ignore maxHarvests
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  value when it is set to 0 or a negative number. This allows Harvester to
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  run indefinitely without shutting down after reaching a maximum number of
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  harvests. The previous default value of 30 would cause Harvester to
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  terminate after 30 harvests.
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Details of all changes can be found in the bug database here:
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http://bugzilla.ecoinformatics.org/buglist.cgi?product=Metacat&target_milestone=1.5
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Release Notes for 1.4.0:
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------------------------
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This is a major release, and is the first to introduce many new features to
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Metacat.  Some of the major new features in this version of Metacat include:
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* Added a new 'Harvester' that allows documents to be periodically pulled
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  from distributed sources into metacat, useful for interfacing with other
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  system types. See the Metacat Tour for details.
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* Added new 'skins' capability to allow the GUI for the metacat web interface
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  to be more easily customized to fit into site needs.  The skin is based on
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  a flexible mix of XSLT, CSS, and Javascript.
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* Added a web-based metadata entry form for submitting limited EML documents
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  as part of a data registry.  The GUI for the registry is customizable and 
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  is integrated with the 'skins' system for the main metacat interface.  The
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  registry subsystem is written in Perl, and can simultaneously be used to 
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  present multiple 'registry' interfaces.
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* A new 'client API' has been developed and implemented in Java and in Perl 
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  so that metacat functions can be accessed from any program in those
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  languages.  The client API supports the major metacat servlet actions,
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  including login(), logout(), query(), insert(), update(), delete(), and 
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  upload(). See the Metacat Tour for details.
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* Added a new 'getlog' action that produces a usage history for all major
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  events.  So now an XML report can be generated for document reads, inserts,
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  deletes, etc.  See the new section in the Metacat Tour.
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* Added a new 'buildindex' action that can rebuild the index entries for any
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  document in the database.
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* The configuration file for metacat (metacat.properties) has been moved out
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  of the jar file and into the WEB-INF directory, allowing far easier changes
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  to the configuration parameters.
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* Results in default web interface are sorted by title in the XSLT 
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  (configurable)
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* Many bugs were fixed.
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Details of all changes can be found in the bug database here:
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http://bugzilla.ecoinformatics.org/buglist.cgi?product=Metacat&target_milestone=1.4
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Release Notes for 1.3.1:
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------------------------
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This is a simple interim bug fix. No major functionality changes. Bugs fixed 
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include:
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 1) Metacat 1.3.0 doesn't work in Java 1.3 because a subtle API differnce in 
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    Java 1.3 and Java 1.4. Currently, Metacat 1.3.1 will work in both Java 1.3 
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    and Java 1.4.
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 2) Distribution package size was reduced.
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Release Notes for 1.3.0
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------------------------
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In 1.3.0 release, the structure of the xml_access table was changed and a new
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table, xml_accesssubtree was added. If you try to update a previously 
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installed Metacat, you should run a script file to updated the table structure 
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before installation.
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For Oracle user: At the SQLPLUS prompt type the following -
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@src/reviseformetacat13.sql
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For Postgresql user: At install directory prompt type the following -
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psql exp < src/reviseformetacat13_postgres.sql
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(where 'exp' is the database name).
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After installation, user should run "ant schemasql" command to register EML2
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schema in xml_catalog table.
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If you are a new Metacat user, this step is unneeded.
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Note: 1) We recommend to use Tomcat 4 and JAVA 1.4 to run Metacat. Otherwise, 
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         it will cause potential replication issues.
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      2) Delete the xercesImpl.jar and xmlParserAPIs.jar files 
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         which are in $CATALINA_HOME/common/endorsed. They are old version and
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         don't support XML schema validation.
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New Features in 1.3.0
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  1) Partialy support EML2 document. User can store, query, read and write
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     EML2 documents. However, Metacat only support access control in resource
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     level. The subtree level access control will be ignored.
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  2) Support other xml document base on namespace/schema.
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  3) Support query for attribute value
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  4) Assign MIME type to data file base on metadata when user try to read it.
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  5) Owner can assign access rules to a document which does not have access 
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     document to apply it.
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  6) Support exporting single file, not only whole package
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  7) Resupport Microsoft SQL Server.
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Fixes in 1.3.0:
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  1) Couldn't finish delta T replication for large set of documents.
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  2) Couldn't create access control during delta T replication.
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  3) Eorr will be written to a seperated log file if some documents
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     were failed in replication.
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  4) Decrease the time to create access rules during insert or update 
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     a package.
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Documentation
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-------------
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See the docs directory for detailed documentation and installation
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instructions.
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Details of the Metacat architecture can be found on the website for
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the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB):
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  http://knb.ecoinformatics.org/software/metacat/
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Contributions to this work are welcome.  Please see the above web site
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for details on how to contribute.
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Major Known Bugs or Feature Requests (see http://bugzilla.ecoinformatics.org)
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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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If you discover a bug please report it, either by email (above) or by using
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our bug tracking system (http://bugzilla.ecoinformatics.org). There is a
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list of currently unimplemented features in Bugzilla that we are working on
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for the next release.
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Legalese
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--------
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This software is copyrighted by The Regents of the University of California
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and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
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and licensed under the GNU GPL; see the 'LICENSE' file for
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details.
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This material is based upon work supported by the
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National Science Foundation under Grant No. DEB99-80154, DBI99-04777, and
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0225676.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed
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in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
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the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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This product includes software developed by the Apache Software
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Foundation (http://www.apache.org/). See the LICENSE file in lib/apache
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for details.
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The source code, object code, and documentation in the com.oreilly.servlet
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package is copyright and owned by Jason Hunter. See the cos-license.html file
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for details of the license.  Licensor retains title to and ownership of the
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Software and all enhancements, modifications, and updates to the Software.
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