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The belref project

A way for publishing structured data

Lino Belref is a website with various structured information about Belgium in three national languages. An early prototype is running at http://belref.lino-framework.org and is mentioned on our Public demo sites page.

The primary goal of this project is to describe a way for storing, maintaining and publishing certain kind of structured data about a given topic. The system would publish that data in many different ways.

The belref project shows a dictionary with specific “Belgian” vocabulary and a database of Belgian cities and other geographic names. That choice is just illustrative and not a definitive decision. There is also lino_book.projects.estref.

The data on such a site would be stored as Python fixtures which makes it possible to maintain the content using established development tools for version control, issue tracking and testing. This mixture of data and source code is currently published and maintained as part of Lino’s repository in the lino_book.projects.belref package.

Project status

A side benefit of this project is to be our test field for the lino.modlib.bootstrap3 front end.

The project itself grows very slowly because I know no single person who believes that this might make sense (and even I wouldn’t give my hand for it). See also GPDN - General Public Database Network.


>>> def test(url):
...     res = test_client.get(url)
...     assert(res.status_code == 200)
...     soup = BeautifulSoup(res.content, "lxml")
...     print(soup.get_text(' ', strip=True))
>>> test('/?ul=fr')
Lino Belref demo You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.
>>> test('/?ul=de')
Lino Belref demo You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.


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