toolkit was originally developed with funding from the UK
Electronic LIbraries Programme (eLib) to build upon earlier work
done by the Department of Computer Science at Loughborough
University on developing a resource discovery system SOSIG, the
UK's social science gateway. The ROADS project was a partenrship
between the Department of Computer Science at Loughborough
University, the Institute of Learning and Research Technology
(ILRT) at the University of Bristol and the UK Office for Library
and Information Networking (UKOLN) at the University of Bath. The
majority of the actual software development was done at
Loughborough. Funding for the ROADS project ceased in 1999 but
the ROADS software continues to be developed and supported by the
Open source software distributed under the terms of the GNU
General Public Licensing/Perl Artictic License (i.e. the standard
Perl terms and conditions)
Community support: email@example.com mailing
Commercial support and bespoke development (subject to
||As a project, ROADS was to provide a platform upon which UK
subject gateways catalouging Internet resources could base their
services, and for research into resource discovery issues. The
ROADS software tries not to impose a particular architecture on
its users, but tries to provide a set of tools that can be used
in any way that an operator of a ROADS based service finds
convenient or useful, for example beyond providing a local
collection, ROADS can be used with centroids and CIP to build a
distributed resource discovery system.
||Presented as a modular toolkit, there are a number of
inter-dependencies between modules that prevent ROADS modules
from simply being reused in other packages (but there is an
ongoing effort to modularise the codebase).
|Platform and requirements
||Any modern Unix-like system; Perl; HTTP server if WWW
interface used. The libwww-perl CPAN module is required for
several of the ROADS tools e.g. the Web-based link checker.
|Components and their
||A ROADS WHOIS++ server (bin/wppd.pl) can be used; it can be
replaced by any one of a number of WHOIS++ servers.
||A number of tools provided to aid in the maintenance of ROADS
database. Data can also be imported from other systems e.g. from
an SQL server. Additional databases plugged in using the WHOIS++
Gateway Interface developed by ROADS developers.
||The predominant user-interface to ROADS is based on HTML and
HTTP but there are also command-line ('batch mode') tools.
||Programs exist to convert ROADS dayabases to and from a
variety of formats (e.g. SOIF, GRS-1, LDIF, RDF and SQL).