[Linux-aus] Open Source DMS- folder structures

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Fri Aug 20 13:44:45 EST 2010

Tim Bowden <tim.bowden at westnet.com.au> writes:
> On Thu, 2010-08-19 at 12:17 +1000, Anestis Kozakis wrote:
>> On 18 August 2010 23:48, Daniel Pittman <daniel at rimspace.net> wrote:
>> > Tim Bowden <tim.bowden at westnet.com.au> writes:
>> >> On Thu, 2010-07-15 at 12:35 +1000, Anestis Kozakis wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this, but I am looking
>> >>> for an Open Source Document Management System that does not use a
>> >>> fodler-based structure for the display of documents.
>> >>
>> >> Just out of interest, what is the downside you see of using a folder based
>> >> structure?  Is that just a particular use case for you, or is there some
>> >> philosophical reason not to go that way?
>> >
>> > Well, not being Anestis I can't answer for him, but I can tell you why
>> > I cringe a little bit when "folder structure" is touted as a feature on this
>> > sort of tool:
>> >
>> > I already have a perfectly good tool for creating a folder structure full of
>> > files; ext3 and xfs have plenty of history and work fine for that.
>> >
>> > What I want from a DMS is something that goes beyond: that lets me index and
>> > access the documents more sensibly and robustly based on metadata, and to
>> > modify that data efficiently.
>> >
>> > So, when someone tells me how very much like the file system their DMS
>> > solution is I wonder why they think that was sufficient, and what value they
>> > are going to add.
>> >
>> > (Usually, the answer is "a web UI to manage permissions", and maybe a little
>> >  bit of "email when a file changes", and that is about it.)
>> This is the exact reason.  A folder based EDMS will allow for the
>> habit of storing different versions of documents in different folders
>> exactly like your Desktop or file server.
>> A metadata based revision systrem (like TRIM EDMS) allows one version
>> fo the document with previous revisions able to access from the
>> record.  Permissions can then be applied to the record to limit
>> access, or allow global access.
> I can see the problem you're talking about, though I'm not convinced
> removing folders eliminates that problem.

I must admit that my view is that I don't want to eliminate "folders", as
such, but rather to make sure that the DMS represents the documents in more
than one place *dynamically*, updated in response to changes in the document.

So, a possible and valid implementation would be to combine a tree of folders,
hard or soft links, and inotify to ensure that the "index" was updated when
things were added or removed from the filesystem.


> One of the questions I have about how DMS's work is are the folder
> representations just an on the fly creation (RESTful style?) using metadata
> tags as we see with some web CMS's?.  Possibly not, particularly with older
> DMS apps, but I suspect it's an idea worth pursuing.

This would also meet my specific views on what a DMS should offer over and
above the basic file system style solutions.


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