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Chapter 1. Introduction

NOTE: This document, like ScrollKeeper itself, is a work in progress.

What is ScrollKeeper?

Scrollkeeper is a Free electronic cataloging system for documentation. It stores metadata specified by the OMF (Open Source Metadata Framework) as well as certain metadata extracted directly from documents (such as the table of contents). It provides various functionality pertaining to this metadata to help browsers, such as sorting the registered documents or searching the metadata for documents which satisfy a set of criteria.

ScrollKeeper will solve a number of serious problems with how documentation is handled on Free systems. Currently, one does not have a central repository listing the documents on the system (except for man pages and info pages). Thus, one generally has to manually browse the filesystem to find documents; a help browser application cannot easily find all the documents on the system. The help browser needs to know basic information about each document such as the title, author, subject, language, and format to allow basic levels of functionality to the user. To provide the user with a subject-sorted contents list and other important features, more metadata is required. The OMF is the specification for how the metadata and ScrollKeeper is the registration mechanism, database, and interface to the help browser. ScrollKeeper provides a single uniform cross-desktop and cross-platform document registration system which abstracts much of this work away from the help browser itself. It also provides a stable and uniform target for applications and packages which want to register documents.