An Introduction to DNA
Created | Updated Jan 28, 2002
DNA1 is the name for the new version of the technology that powers h2g2. DNA is a development of our Ripley2 technology, and although most of the changes are under the bonnet, DNA is a major step for h2g2.
The main difference between Ripley and DNA is that DNA supports multiple sites, rather than just one (h2g2). This means that the servers that run h2g2 can also run other sites at the same time, sites that will be strangely familiar to anyone who knows h2g2. This has a number of implications:
When you register with any DNA site, such as h2g2, you get your own Personal Space. However, if you then register with another DNA site - take the forthcoming 360 site as an example - then you use the same account for that site too, which means you can use your Personal Space to track all your activity on all DNA sites you might join, all from one place. You can even make your Space appear differently depending on where it is seen, so you could make your Space look different in h2g2 than it does in 360, if you wanted.
Each DNA site has a completely different skin (and each site can have multiple skins), so although they might look completely different, they're all run using the same underlying DNA technology.
Each DNA site uses the same GuideML standard, so if a feature is added to one site, then (if it's applicable) that feature can be used on other DNA sites.
The URL for all DNA sites will start with http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ followed by the site name and optionally a skin name, so the following are example URLs for h2g2:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A123456 - This will take you to entry A123456 on h2g2, displaying it in the default skin for h2g2 (if you are not logged in) or in your personal skin preference (if you are logged in). However, if entry A123456 is not an h2g2 entry but a 360 entry, it will take you to entry A123456 on 360.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A123456 - This will take you to entry A123456 on h2g2, displaying it in the Alsbaster skin. However, if entry A123456 is not an h2g2 entry but a 360 entry, it will take you to entry A123456 on 360, displaying it in the default 360 skin.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A123456 - This will take you to entry A123456 on h2g2, displaying it in the Classic Goo skin. However, if entry A123456 is not an h2g2 entry but a 360 entry, it will take you to entry A123456 on 360, displaying it in the default 360 skin
Features such as the search can work across all DNA sites, as all DNA entries are stored in the same database.
Implications for h2g2 Researchers
The main implications for users of h2g2 will be the following:
Conversation and Entry Tagging - On your Personal Space you will now see the DNA site name displayed alongside any Conversations or Guide Entries you have created.
SITEFILTER Tag - You can now tailor the way your Personal Space looks in different DNA sites using the SITEFILTER tag.
New URLs - The URL structure for h2g2 has changed, as described above.
To find out more about DNA, please read the DNA 1.0 Release Notes.