Frequently Asked Questions
This contains information beneficial to users and developers of Ambra and Topaz.
What is Topaz?
Topaz can refer to either the legal non-profit entity or the software platform being actively developed. Hopefully the context will make the reference clear.
What is Ambra?
Ambra is the first application built using Topaz. It is an open source publishing system based on new web ideas to help enliven published scientific papers. The platform allows users to rate, annotate, and comment on published articles to facilitate exchange of ideas.
How do I get the source code?
You need a version of Subversion client. Subversion is an open source tool, and is free to download.
For example, the following command on linux will get the latest version of the code:
svn co http://www.topazproject.org/svn/head
You can also browse the source code by pointing your browser directly at this link.
How do I contribute code?
Please mail contributions to the developers' list in patch format with comments and justification. One of the lead developers with add your code as soon as it can be tested.
How can I get write/commit access to the source repository?
Ask an administrator on the developers' mailing list. Once you have established a good track record then we will consider giving you full commit/write access to the repository. We hope to have a more formal process in place soon, so that the procedure will be open and accountable.
Why am I getting a '403 Forbidden' when trying to check code in?
Because you have not been given commit privileges. Please see the previous question on how to get commit privileges.
How do I learn the architecture of Topaz/Ambra?
- Read the Topaz Reference Manual.
- Review the Ambra documentation.
- Review the Ambra/Topaz JavaDocs.
- Download the source and read it. If code is not clear and comments are lacking, then please report it.
- Ask on the Topaz developers mailing list or Ambra developers mailing list.
If you learn something that is not adequately documented, then please consider adding it to the wiki.
What is this pubapp, plos, plosone, etc. I see liberally sprinkled everywhere?
Vestiges of an evolutionary software development process. It refers to the first few names for Ambra. Please bear with us as editorial mutations naturally select out non-functional marketing and technical terms. Please also let us know where the changes would be most beneficial.
Why is my question not answered here?
Because we didn't know about the issue and no one has asked us about it yet. Let one of the developers know, and we will put something up. Feel free to harass us if we take too long.