PBCore in Drupal Supports Customizing Elements End Users See

Written by Kevin Reynen on Monday, March 08, 2010

Don’t look now, but the PBCore module I added to Drupal.org is now #3 in results for pbcore on Google bumping pbcoreresources.org to #4.  That module wasn’t intended to be the definitive PBCore module for Drupal, but a conversation started to help locate users and developers with similar needs.  This approach of releasing modules that aren’t ready for users and developing in public has worked really well for the MERCI (Manage Equipment Reservations, Checkout and Inventory) and Creative Commons modules.  I’m hoping to find additional Drupal users and developers interested in PBCore so I’m not writing code that only serves our needs… which is basically all the module does so far.

The new PBCore module does 4 things:

  1. Populates tables with full list of items genre, rating and language elements that adhere to the PBCore standard. This creates a shared vocabulary required to facilitate sharing content.
  2. Allow a each site to enable/disable items within an element to meet there local needs
  3. Allow a each site to customize the description of items within an element to meet there local needs
  4. Provide functions that can be added to CCK fields to populate the select list with the enabled items. Users see the customized descriptions, but the value stored in the database is the standard PBCore value.

After talking to Andrew Feigenson and Ed Leonard about PBcore 2.0, I’m thinking of adding a 5th feature…

  5. An option to report the status and customizations of PBCore items to a centralize location.

I’ve posted a detailed explanation about why we’re customizing PBCore terms, but it can be summed up by the Gay/lesbian genre item.  We customize that to Gender/Sexuality everywhere a user would see it, but store the actual PBCore term in the database.  This works well to appease our producers creating content in that genre who find limiting the description of their work to a Gay/lesbian insulting.  It can’t imagine how would argue that Gay/lesbian shouldn’t be deprecated and Gender/Sexuality added, but in cases where the change is less obvious having data from sites using the PBCore module would be helpful.  If hundreds of sites are customizing Gay/lesbian and no one is enabling French, that would be a logical place to start revising genre. 

Any thoughts on the approach of allowing customizations?  Sharing status and customizations of items?




  • Jack Brighton said on 03/23 at 10:35 AM

    Kevin, this is fantastic. I just started to work with the new module, but I’ll see how it can integrate with the Drupal media system I’m working on. More on that soon…

  • Kevin Reynen said on 03/30 at 02:16 PM

    I just updated the module to add parent and weight to genre.  You have to uninstall and reinstall to change the schema.  Still no UI.  This is working well for BAVC’s needs.  We’re testing the option of adding items that use BAVC as an authority.  Shows tagged with those genres would use the parent when sharing.  The parent is an actual PBCore term.  These are the current custom genres…

    - Computers
    - Gaming
    - Innovation
    - New Media

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