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Creative Commons Releases Open Source Software ccHost 2.0
Eric SteuerAbout CC
San Francisco, USA, March 28, 2006
ccHost, an Open Source project that provides web-based infrastructure to support collaboration, sharing, and storage of multi-media using Creative Commons licenses and metadata, released version 2.0 today. This major feature release combines approximately six months of development, usage, and testing into packages that anyone may download, install, and use to build on-line media sharing communities.
These features most notably show up and are tested in Creative Commons’ project, ccMixter, a popular on-line music social network service that supports legal media sharing and remixing. ccHost is the Open Source Software engine powering ccMixter. Anyone may download, install, and use ccHost to freely build media sharing communities.
Perhaps the largest features in this release are to aid feedback between community members. First, the addition of native reviews no longer relies upon phpBB. This drastically makes installation of ccHost easier for average users while integrating the previously separate review system into ccHost. Also, now all users have to do to rate submissions is to hover over the star ratings for a media file, and select how many stars. Then, rather than requiring a refresh of the browser, the ratings automatically update.
Other user enhancements include optional text formatting for descriptions, bread crumb path display for easier site navigation, not safe for work (NSFW) flagging, and a “How I Did It” browser. Also, for audio-based installations there is support for M3U-based radio. While previous versions of ccHost had RSS support, ccHost 2.0 now supports the ATOM feed standard and caching for all feed types. Beyond these, the most major under-the-hood enhancement to the codebase is in general performance enhancements which provide noticeable improvement in all areas of the site, most notably on user profile pages.
On the administrative side, ccHost now ships with the sample pool API turned on (see here). Basically, this allows for multiple different ccHost installations to query each other for samples. Beyond the basic usage of multiple ccHost installations communicating through this RESTful API, anyone may also use the simple sample pool API to write code that interacts with a ccHost installation’s sample pool.
Other administrative additions include import and export of settings, internationalization accessible through a string editor, replacement of magpie with custom code, a new ratings panel, stricter fairness policies, and various administrative options for administrators to customize ccHost. The monthly archives, statistics, and charts pages barely made it into this release, and require more testing and usage, yet are already solidly functioning on ccmixter.org.
The ccHost development community encourages new developers to contribute to the project. While ccHost already supports major audio formats such as MP3, MIDI, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis, it also supports video and still image formats. Future development needs more contributors to add more media (file-type) functionality to ccHost as well as help with internationalization (i18n) support for multiple languages. Adding language support does not require coding experience since one may use the administrative string editor to add localization to a ccHost installation.
Chat with other developers on irc channel #cc on irc.freenode.org, join the project mailing list, and edit the project wiki page to help shape this project’s future direction.
ccHost Project Website
Roadmap (Project Timeline)
The goal of this project is to spread media content that is licensed under Creative Commons throughout the web in much the same way that weblogs spread CC licensed text. ccHost is web-based infrastructure that may be used to host and allow for commenting, remixing, and distribution globally. The more installations of ccHost and its variations, the more content there will be available for enjoyment and artistic re-use in a sane and legal setting. ccHost is what is used for the infamous Creative Commons ccMixter project, which supports legal media sharing and remixing.
About Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works – whether owned or in the public domain. Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. Creative Commons is sustained by the generous support of various foundations including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative Commons, visit the organization’s Web site.
Creative Director, Creative Commons Email
Posted 29 March 2006