Freebase Suggest integration?
I am wondering whether Freebase Suggest integration seems a worthwhile feature addition to the OpenBiblio development team members. This would add a text field to the New Bibliography page - typing into the field would suggest a list of titles - clicking one would retrieve data and put it into the bibliography form.
Why it might be good: ## freebase.com has lot of data on things like books and movies and it seems to be available under a permissive license http://www.freebase.com/policies/tos. Additionally the jQuery code is available under a BSD license http://code.google.com/p/freebase-suggest/ so while no expert that suggests to me that it could freely useable and something to be integrated into a GPL'd work. So this feature might cut down the amount of typing needed for cataloguing.
The background to the issue:
I wanted to catalogue a movie collection without typing in hundreds of titles, directors, actors etc - so I had look at Freebase Suggest http://wiki.freebase.com/wiki/Freebase_Suggest - then looked for a GPL'd library system I could use with it and chose OpenBiblio as it seemed lightweight (runs on a Raspberry Pi) and was a LAMP application (and I am OK working out how to modify PHP to do what I want).
Current state of affairs:
I've got the concept to work. In a new bibliography page in OpenBiblio type into a Freebase Suggest box at the top a film name and click it and some jQuery code puts title, director, half a dozen actors, runtime, release date and several genres in all into the relevant form fields automatically. Complete a couple of fields manually and check that the retrieved data looks right and that is a film catalogued.
However the data retrieved is designed with my particular implementation in mind and is hardcoded into an MQL query in the page that is processed as an Ajax request after clicking the suggested title.
Where to go from here:
Moving beyond my particular implementation I could see this integrated into OpenBiblio for easy use by people who don't want to mess with the source code. I am thinking of some Admin page options that then trigger some conditional includes in the template files and put the necessary code into the page if is it wanted. The admin page could be flexible enough to allow a choice of various media types (books, film etc) and variable amounts of data retrieval (just the basics or quite a lot).
1) General reaction - I've done maybe a third/half the work necessary and though I have more pressing priorities I would be willing to do the rest - however if the general reaction is one of a) something like it has already been done or b) sounds OK but not that useful in practice or c) there are more pressing things for us too; then I probably want to shelve it at the moment. 2) Assuming it is of some interest then first check how the code should be integrated re: GPL/BSD/CC-BY licenses - maybe seperate out the files needing a seperate copyright/license into seperate include/module files. 3) Implications of user-generated data: freebase data is user generated and if this feature is part of the main codebase it seems inappropriate to trust that OpenBiblio users are going to check the automatically retrieved data for iframes, SQL injection, or whatever else could be in there. So check those security issues are adequately covered.
I'm not a proper, experienced programmer (wandered into to techy stuff rather than got trained for it) but got this working without too much difficulty - if this sounds interesting drop me an indication of interest at firstname.lastname@example.org