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Keystone TKL framework for Digital Libraries now supports PHP5

The past few years IndexData's Keystone Library framework has not been actively developed. When PHP5 was introduced back in 2004 it featured a completely redesigned Document Object Model (DOM) implementation lacking backward compatibility and utilized Libxslt for XSLT stylesheet processing. At the same time, Keystone was heavily relying on XML manipulation & XSLT transformation using PHP4's mechanisms. IndexData at the time focused on developing other projects and officially stopped supporting the Keystone project in 2008 -if I recall correctly-. As a result Keystone users were forced to use PHP4 - which was ok back then but now has turned to be a big problem. Nowadays Digital Libraries running Keystone use a server of their own since no one uses PHP4 anymore and organizations must pay people to support and maintain such servers.

When I was working for the Library of University of Crete in 2009, we refactored the Keystone's core code making use of PHP5's new DOM & XSLT functionality. As a result the Library's systems gained a new life and their performance was boosted in an unexpected way. Libxslt appears o be twice as fast as Sablotron used to be: Even with no measurement tools users can tell the difference in loading times. Keystone PHP5 includes a redesigned XForm that uses the JQuery javascript library.

Since 2009 the Keystone PHP5 framework has been actively maintained and developed by the Library and now is available for anyone that might be interested in upgrading their Keystone portal. You can get it at the Library's GIT repository. The software remains open source and you are free to upgrade / improve it in any ways you might want. There are also thoughts on creating a separate github home for the project so that Keystone users & developers can contribute.

Keystone PHP5 has a couple of tricks up its sleeve and you must slightly transform your portal code to make it work. These days I'm working on a project migrating an old Keystone website to the new system. Although at yawd we offer migration services, the software is open-source (which is why we love it :)); therefore I'll write down my experience with the migration and try to create a how-to guide for upgrading old sites to the new Keystone PHP5 framework. More will follow - feel free to contact me for details!

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