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Frequently Asked Questions

What is free software?

Free software is, in the most basic sense, software that can be used, studied, modified and redistributed in a very unrestricted manner. Free applications are often the product of the collective efforts of individuals and organizations scattered across the globe; many people contribute to such programs for altruistic reasons, and without remuneration. Free software is rooted in a diverse and huge social movement, and opens the door to new ways of creating knowledge and technology--two human products that are sometimes indistinguishable in computer-related disciplines. For more information, please see the links below.

What license does Durito use?

Durito is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL. Like nearly all free software, it is provided with NO GUARANTEE whatsoever.

How can my archive/project use Durito?

For the time being, one must have some knowledge of computer programming to use Durito to publish an archive. As the application develops, this task will hopefully get easier; it should eventually be possible for non-programmers to create archives with especially simple or standard content.

However, for the foreseeable future, knowledge of XML, XSLT and RDF will be necessary to implement archives that include most kinds of structured text documents. Recall that, in general terms, Durito aims to provide the basic infrastructure for disseminating document collections via CD-ROM and the Internet. Thus, programmers should find it much easier to set up Durito for a given collection than to develop everything from scratch.

If you have a collection that you would like to publish but you're unsure where to start, please feel free to drop us a line for more information.

To publish an archive with Durito, what specific tasks must be carried out?

This is a good question, and I'd like to take a stab at it, even though I've only participated in one digital reference project--namely, Testimonios Zapatistas. Here is how I'd divide the general process of publishing a collection:

  • Determination of the publication's objectives
  • Selection of the material
  • Selection/creation of a digital format for the material
  • Determination of editorial policies, that is, the details of how to transfer the original material to the digital format
  • Generation/review of metadata
  • Digitization/ transcription of the material itself
  • Edition/revision of transcribed material
  • Configuration/adaptation of Durito for the collection
  • Testing
  • Publication

There are also mailing lists and other websites where general advice on the creation of digital libraries can be found. (See below.)

What is Testimonios Zapatistas, and what does it have to do with Durito?

Testimonios Zapatistas, or TZ, is a project that aims to publish, via Internet and CD-ROM, interviews of veterans of the Mexican Revolution. TZ is based at the Dirección de Estudios Históricos (Centre for Historical Studies), a research centre that is part of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and is located in Mexico City.

The project works with a collection of interviews conducted in the 1970's with people who participated in Emiliano Zapata's revolutionary army. The archive includes almost 200 testimonials, for a total of 400 hours of sound recording.

Durito was first conceived as a software tool for publishing this collection. (The screen shots page shows images of the prototype of this digital reference.) However, the program has been designed to publish and analyse much more than just oral testimonials.

Why is the program called "Durito"?

In addition to being the acronym of a phrase that perfectly describes this project, "Durito" is the name of a famous rebellious beetle.


Conservation of Audiovisual Documents




Free Software



Free Software Projects

Social, Political and Philosophical Implications of Free Software

Digital Libraries