I would like a web-based system to manage a library of hundreds of PDFs. Ease of use and searchability of data is key: it doesn't have to look pretty but it should be able to help me find and sort out the documents I have. The code should also be well-designed and easily extensible.
The system could store data in a cloud like Amazon S3 with a Windows desktop app as a front-end, or run Django on a cheap hosting site like WebFaction, or use Google Web Toolkit with Google App Engine. These are the options I am considering. In your response please discuss with me the pros and cons of your intended approach relative to the others.
- No need to manage multiple users, but the ability to comment on PDFs will be a plus.
- Something like the web notes site that uses Flash to display PDFs would be good too.
Here's more information about my desired GUI. There should be two main views:
The first view is the start page. I would like it to look like a mix between Gmail's interface (search bar, tags/labels) and Windows Explorer's thumbnail view. Something like Google Chrome's new tab pane. So ability to search by tags, and view results in thumbnails of PDFs. It should be possible to switch to a list view, where text snippets that match the query is displayed with each hit result.
Tagging PDFs in this first view should be easy and smooth (so using Ajax or some client-side tech). Perhaps dragging and dropping onto the label folders like in Gmail. Or vice versa. Or typing tags into a small textbox below each thumbnail.
Clicking a thumbnail should open a pane/pop-up window which is the second kind of view. This view would allow me to read the document, and also have side bars for metadata like tags, comments, annotations (additional features for later). This would look something like Google's or Amazon's book preview.
It should be easy to switch between PDFs. So the second view should not obscure the first view.
Also, I would like to be able to easily upload PDFs into this system. Drag and drop from an Explorer window would be great. Alternatively, a bulk-upload feature that accepts an zip archive of PDFs.
In your response, please let me know what platform/language you intend to use for both front-end and back-end.
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Hello Crimson. Your description of the project is very clear. I have more then 2+ years experience with Flex and this is not too hard to make for approximately 15 days. Thanks.