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As the Clowder database becomes filled with metadata generated by a large number of extractors, it becomes is becoming difficult to search through the generated metadata using the advanced search feature. Currently all of the user-defined metadata definitions get field names get displayed in a drop down list by default and the remaining of the metadata fields (machine extracted metadataextractor-generated) are accessible via an autocomplete feature. If the user knows some of the metadata fields in the system, then it is possible to type in the first few characters and the autocomplete will help in listing the available metadata field definitionsfields. Even with this, browsing a large number of metadata definitions is fields is painful. If the user is provided a small list of metadata definitions (both user defined and technical) by commonly used or key metadata fields by default, It’ll help them to quickly select one from that list and search.


The main purpose of this feature is to provide the admins with the capability to highlight promote a selected list of metadata terms (both user generated and extractor / machine generated) extractor-generated metadata fields and provide them better visibility through the advanced search page.

Major changes needed:

  1. We need to will have a new page where the admin can add a set of commonly used or highlighted technical metadata definitions to the database. Currently there is a metadata definitions page being used for submitting user-defined metadata definitions and this page can be reused for this purpose. We can have two sections here - one for technical metadata and one for user-defined metadata.
  2. There is also a page to add user metadata definitions specifically to a space. We need to decide wether this page should also contain the technical metadata subsection or not. In any case, there should be uniformity in naming across all of these pages, after these changes have been incorporated. 
  3. Adding the the technical metadata term should be manage and promote some technical (extractor-generated) metadata, which will be displayed in the advanced search page.
  4. Adding a metadata field to promoted list should be kept simple. Since all of the information about the metadata term field is available in extractor info JSON file, adding a technical metadata term to the metadata definitions can this process can be as simple as selecting an item from an autocompleted list of items.
  5. We will probably need to create a new Mongo collection to store the machine promoted extractor-generated metadata definitionsfields. This will be empty in the beginning. 
  6. Once the technical metadata term extractor-generated metadata field is added to the database, it should appear in the advanced search page in the default drop down list. The drop down list should be grouped as user defined and machine defined or technical metadata-generated and extractor-generated.
  7. If needed, display better names for the two kinds of metadata:
    1. For example, user-generated metadata and extractor-generated (or machine-generated or software-generated or auto-extracted) metadata. Technical metadata probably do does not convey the meaning properly since both user and extractor generated metadata can be technical in nature.
    2. Also, currently what we have in the advanced page is "metadata definitions". I think this refers more to the definition of the metadata field than the metadata field or name itself. Probably this needs to be changed as well to have better clarity.