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Greenstone3 is a complete redesign and reimplementation of the original Greenstone digital library software (Greenstone2). It retains all the advantages of Greenstone2 - for example, it is multiplatform, highly configurable, and soon-to-be multilingual software. It incorporates all the features of Greenstone2, and is backwards compatible: that is, it can build and run existing collections without modification. Written in Java, it is structured as a network of independent modules that communicate using XML: thus it runs in a distributed fashion and can be spread across different servers as necessary. This modular design increases the flexibility and extensibility of Greenstone.

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