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Technical Development

Technical Implementation of the Tree of Life Web Project

Content for the Tree of Life Web Project is compiled collaboratively by hundreds of expert and amateur contributors. Project participants use a series of custom data editors to upload materials to the ToL system. This information is then stored in a database, and web pages are created dynamically on demand.

All data for the Tree of Life Project are stored in a MySQL database. When a visitor comes to the ToL website, requests for web pages are received by an Apache web server running on Linux OS. Using the Jakarta Tapestry web development framework along with Hibernate’s object/relational mapping tools, web pages are created dynamically from the database. The phylogenetic tree structure is created and uploaded into the ToL database by ToL scientific contributors using TreeGrow, a custom client application written in Java, which relies on XML to communicate with the database. Materials like text, images, and other media files are entered into the database using ToL Web Tools, a system built in Java featuring an HTML user interface. For more information about ToL tools for contributors, see Contributing to the Tree of Life.

This content management system gives the Tree of Life Project great power and flexibility in a number of different areas:

Current Technical Development Projects

For more information about the technical aspects of the Tree of Life Project please contact the ToL lead developer,

About the Tree of Life

About ToL

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Goals of the ToL


Structure of the ToL

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Citing the ToL