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An update about the status of the Islandora Foundation, the community, and the projects we are working on together.
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September 2015 - Newsletter 1
Welcome to the first Islandora newsletter. We publish four times a year to let you know how the project is doing. Subscription info is at the bottom.

Overview


The Islandora Foundation has had a summer of firsts in 2015, beginning with our first conference, known colloquially as Islandoracon. Under the supervision of an unlikely mascot, Islandoracon spanned five days with 28 sessions, 16 workshops, and a day-long Hackfest that produced four new modules:

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to announcing the date and location of the second conference.

The Foundation also held its first AGM during the conference, with eleven member institutions represented in person and another two attending electronically. The Board of Directors elected a new Chairman, Simon Fraser’s Mark Jordan, and former Chairman Mark Leggott took on new duties as Treasurer. Full notes are available on our website, but the big takeaway is the addition of a new tier of membership in the Islandora Foundation geared towards individual supporters, at levels from $10 to $250+. You can learn more here.

The Foundation has welcomed four new institutional members this summer, with the University of Tennessee Knoxville joining as a Partner, and Andrews University, Common Media, and Florida State University signing on as Collaborators.

The first Islandora Community Sprint ran from August 31st to September 11th. We had high hopes for community involvement, and were still pleasantly surprised at the level of participation.

9-11.png

Ten volunteers spent those two weeks tackling as many outstanding maintenance tickets as they could get their hands on, with a final result of 38 tickets resolved, including some bugs that would have been blockers for the next release. Every module in the Islandora stack was updated in some way or another.

A second community sprint is being lined up for November, with a focus on Islandora 7.x-2.x.

 

Special Projects

 

7.x-1.6 Release

 

The next volunteer-driven Islandora release is due out October 30th. With 41 volunteers, this is our largest Release Team ever. Check out this graph for some perspective:

releasechart.png

 

The release is right on schedule, with a code freeze initiated on September 1 and a Release Candidate (and virtual machine for testing) on September 15.

 

Islandora 7.x-2.x

 

The next major update to Islandora, which works on top of Fedora 4, is well underway and ready for the community to start trying it out - and contributing back by giving feedback, use cases, and hopefully adding a few more committers to the project.  The code is all right here, you can fire up your own copy with vagrant, or you can try it out in the soon-to-be-launched sandbox. Detailed project documentation is here.

 

This is the future of Islandora, and you have a unique chance to have a say in it by participating in the project now, while it’s still young. Fedora 3 is no longer supported by the Fedora project, so Islandora 7.x-1.x will eventually be on its way out as well. If you have new features you want to see in Islandora, make sure your voice is heard for Islandora 7.x-2.x, by:

 
  • Posting an issue documenting a feature or use case

  • Joining the Fedora 4 Interest Group and discussing the future of the project

  • Joining the upcoming 7.x-2.x Community Sprint in November

  • Committing some developer time to the project

  • Making a financial contribution to the project

  • Sponsoring the development/porting of a particular tool or solution pack

  • Becoming an early adopter. Collection and Basic Image are ready to use.

Financial Update

 

The Islandora Foundation reported a budgetary surplus of around $20,000 in its second year. Our current membership equals a revenue of $116,000. In 2015, $41,000 of that member funding was earmarked directly for the Fedora 4 Integration Project (Islandora 7.x-2.x). Roughly $9000 in additional funding comes from Islandora Camps, which are run on a cost-recovery basis but sometimes turn a profit for larger camps.

 

The Foundation’s long-term goal is to raise enough revenue to support the hiring of a second employee in a Technical Lead role, so new membership and commitments of support are very much needed for 2016.

Events

 

iCampCT October 20-23

 

The next big Islandora Event will be Islandora Camp CT, taking place in Hartford, CT at the Graduate Business Learning Center from October 20 - 22. Registration details, hotel and travel recommendations,and other camp news & info are all on the official camp page.


hylandora-high.png

As part of the Hartford event, we will also be playing host to a day-long meeting of the Hydra and Islandora communities to talk about interoperability and the future with Fedora 4, on October 23. If you have an interest in the Fedora 4 project, in using both Hydra and Islandora, or just want to take part in the most open of open sourciness, please join us and learn what a Hylandora can do.

 

iCampFL March 7-9

 

We’re going to end the winter with some Florida sunshine for the first camp of 2016. Hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University, registration will open after iCampCT.

 

Islandora Interest Group Reports

 
Islandora Interest Groups are those Islandora Community Members that come together around a particular topic relevant to the Islandora ecosystem. They operate on GitHub. The purpose of the interest group is to provide a forum for information exchange, mentorship and development within a limited area of interest and to report findings, submit code, documentation, recommendations as appropriate to the Islandora Roadmap Committee on matters of wider interest relating to the area of expertise. The following are reports from some of the Islandora Interest Groups.

Islandora User Interface Interest Group (UIIG)

 

Regular Meeting Time

Fourth Wednesday of the month at 1pm Eastern time

 

Regular Meeting Place

Skype, call convened by Rosie Le Faive

 

How to Join

Reply on the islandora listserv, add rosemary.lib to your skype contacts, and/or ping Rosie on IRC, email, or twitter.

 

Report Date

September 14, 2015

Topics of Interest

Making Islandora easier to use / look at.

Projects

Various small improvements / annoyances with the current interface. Intended projects include:

  • Creating shortcuts to edit metadata [ISLANDORA-1361] and add new objects [ISLANDORA-1363]

  • Creating nicer themes/icons to package with Islandora

  • Options to use views in place of RI calls for listing objects

  • Improving accessibility for screen readers


List of working issues: https://github.com/islandora-interest-groups/Islandora-UI-Interest-Group/issues

Finished Work

Small tickets completed:

Events

UIIG was convened during IR 2015. Unaware of any events at which UIIG has been present since.

Other Messages

Will start focusing on Fedora 4 UI rather than creating new tickets for 7.x-1.x stream. Tommy Keswick and Rosie Le Faive will rotate meeting chair.

 

 

Fedora 4 Interest Group

 

Regular Meeting Time: Fourth Friday of the month at 1:00 PM Eastern.

 

Regular Meeting Place: UPEI Conference line (detail are in each meeting agenda)

 

How to Join: Watch listserv for meeting agendas

 

Topics of Interest

This interest group serves as the rally point for Islandora 7.x-2.x. The members of this group also liaise and collaborate with the existing Islandora Foundation interest groups, as well as the Fedora, Hydra, and PCDM communities.

Projects

Finished Work

The initial goal of this interest group was to build community interest in Islandora and Fedora 4 integration; led by David Wilcox. That goal was accomplished with the group restructuring around the Islandora 7.x-2.x project, and beginning phase one of the project in January 2015. Phase one of the project ran from January 2015 - August 2015, and focused on building a solid foundation to allow for community development on Islandora 7.x-2.x; phase two.

Events

Other Messages

The Islandora 7.x-2.x project exposed a number of sustainability issues in the community. We were very successful in getting community funds to support phase one of the project. However, once that work was completed, precious momentum was lost, and community attention was turned to focus on the 7.x-1.6 release. The convenors are working on the assumption that the project funders would expect to see work on 7.x-2.x to continue. That said, we’re at a really difficult point where we are supporting two major projects with limited community time and resources, and the 7.x-2.x work is at risk of becoming stale. The convenors of the interest group are recommending that 7.x-1.7 be the last community 7.x-1.x release with features/improvements, and any additional work on the 7.x-1.x project be limited to high priority bug fixes. That rationale behind this is that the final Fedora 3.x release was in July 2015, and support for Fedora 3.x will steadily decline as more and more community members move on to Fedora 4. As it stands now, Islandora is seen as a Fedora 3 project, and we are at risk of losing future adopters. Additionally, the convenors also recommend at least monthly community sprints on 7.x-2.x beginning in November 2015, immediately after the 7.x-1.6 release.

 

The other major sustainability issue that surfaced was the lack of a technical lead for the Islandora Foundation. Nick Ruest has served as a de facto technical lead of the 7.x-1.x project -- by way of being the release manager -- for the last two years, and Danny Lamb has served as the technical lead for the 7.x-2.x project; Nick Ruest as a volunteer, Danny Lamb as a contractor. In the convenors opinion, a technical lead that is a volunteer or contractor lacks the credibility and authority that is required to truly lead the project. The convenors therefore recommend that the Islandora Foundation look to model themselves after the Fedora community, and have a Community/Product Manager, as well as a Technical Lead.

 

There is still much work to be done on the 7.x-2.x project. It is not insurmountable, and can be achieved with open community processes such as a technical roadmap, established committers policy, and community sprints. If we are able to accomplish that, the convenors believe that there will be large scale adoption of Islandora 7.x-2.x.

 

Finally, there is also a great project sustainability opportunity in continuing the collaboration between the Hydra and Islandora communities around Fedora 4 interoperability efforts. This opportunity will be further explored at the 2015 Hydra Connect meeting in late September, and at the Connecticut Islandora Camp.

 

Islandora Metadata Interest Group

 

Regular Meeting Time: Second Monday of the month at 1:00 PM Eastern.

Regular Meeting Place: WebEx

 

How to Join: Watch Islandora listserv for meeting URL and call-in information

 

Topics of Interest

Creation of subgroups to address metadata in Islandora and the intersection with other groups such as Fedora 4 and Hydra

Projects

Launching interest group; creating subgroups, decided on regular meeting times for interest group and subgroups; creation of GitHub space for interest group and wiki for subgroups; list initial deliverables for 1-2 subgroups

Finished Work

This interest group just started and subgroups are scheduled to begin meeting after Tuesday 9/29

Events

Not at this time.

Other Messages

We are still looking for a 3rd convener and more people to help out with the subgroups.

 

Islandora Documentation Interest Group (DIG)

 

Regular Meeting Time: Third Tuesday of the month at 2pm Eastern time

 

Regular Meeting Place: Skype - call convened by rotating chairs

 

How to Join: Reply to meeting notifications on the islandora listserv or documentation listserv.

 

Report Date: September 29, 2015

Topics of Interest

 

Improving Islandora documentation

Projects

 

Various small improvements and ongoing discussion of improving documentation workflows.

Ongoing:

   
  • Updating Contributing page:https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/ISLANDORA715/Contribute

  • Creating a draft style guide

  • Sending representative to weekly Committers call to respond to documentation tickets

 
Completed:
 
  • Improved installation documentation

  • Actively updated and improved documentation with each release since 7.x-1.3

  • Updated islandora.ca to help guide new users to documentation in wiki

Islandora IR Interest Group

 

Regular Meeting Time: Fourth Thursday of the month, at 3PM EST

 

Regular Meeting Place: Skype

 

How to Join: Add "bryjbrown" to your Skype contacts, or email Bryan Brown

 

(bjbrown@fsu.edu) and Emily Toner (tonerem@bc.edu)

 

Topics of Interest

 

Our initial focus is on defining our goals for the IG and identifying some important issues that we would like to tackle. Some goals that we have discussed include: identifying issues/bugs with existing Islandora IR-oriented modules, identifying desired features and new functionality, and sharing use case scenarios. We have also discussed how we might collaboratively improve IR-oriented modules, including the use of the Islandora JIRA ticketing system and participation of the next Islandora release.

 

Projects

 

The group just started up in August and had its inaugural Skype meeting on September 24th,

2015. We have begun the process of identifying and documenting individual issues, desired

features, and use cases using the GitHub Issue tracking system. We plan to review this list and select issues to submit to the JIRA ticketing system.

Islandora DevOps Interest Group

 

Regular Meeting Time (Second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM Eastern.)

 

Regular Meeting Place Skype

 

How to Join Add mark.jordan50 (primary) or arengaw (secondary) to your Skype contacts. Meeting reminders are sent to the lists.

Topics of Interest

  • Installation and upgrade documentation

  • Production server and test machine deployment strategies

  • Improving Islandora’s scalability

Projects

Our IG is focusing on developing platform-specific documentation for system administrators. We are working closely with the Documentation IG and have appointed Phil Suda from Tulane University as our liaison with that group.

Events

Our group has only had four monthly meetings, with its first in April 2015, coming out of a discussion at iCamp BC. The only event that we’ve participated in is the Islandora Conference. Gavin Morris and Mark Jordan were on a panel titled “Building Islandora”. The group’s face to face meeting at the Islandora Conference was very successful - it’s great meeting people you’ve only ever skyped with.

Other Messages

If you are responsible for deploying Islandora where you work, we’d love to have you in the group. Documentation is hard, and really good documentation is not only thorough but also thoroughly tested. If you want an easy way to contribute, help us test our docs.

 

Preservation Interest Group

 

Regular Meeting Time: as needed

 

Regular Meeting Place: Skype

 

How to Join: Add ruestn to your Skype contacts, and watch listserv for agenda information

 

Topics of Interest

The purpose of the Islandora Preservation Interest Group is to develop and communicate a common approach to address preservation within the Islandora framework.

Projects

Summary of special projects or tasks taken on by the group.

Documentation

Developing Islandora preservation format policies.

Modules

Building and supporting tools that facilitate the production of PREMIS or other preservation metadata.

  • Islandora PREMIS

    • This module produces XML and HTML representations of PREMIS metadata for objects in your repository.

 

Building and supporting tools that facilitate preservation workflows.

  • Islandora Checksum

    • A simple module to allow repository managers to enable the creation of a checksum for objects.

  • Islandora Checksum Checker

    • Islandora module to verify datastream checksums.

  • Islandora FITS

    • A simple module to extend islandora solution pack install processes by adding technical metadata extraction via the File Information Tool Set (FITS).

  • Islandora FPR

    • Proof of concept module illustrating how Islandora can generate derivatives using external policy data.

 

Exploring various export, storage and backup options

  • Islandora BagIt

    • BagIt is a specification for packaging content and metadata about that content into a format that can be shared between applications. This module provides a "Create Bag" option that allows the packaging of the datastreams in Islandora objects. This module is a fork of BagIt.

  • Islandora LOCKSS-O-Matic

    • A module that allows an Islandora instance to deposit content into a Private LOCKSS Network managed by LOCKSS-O-Matic.

Finished Work

See list above.

Planned Work

Islandora 7.x-2 and Fedora 4

 

Islandora 7.x-1.x and Fedora 3.x

  • review use cases for Bagit

 

Events

Mark Jordan, SFU

Justin Simpson, Artefactual Systems

  • Islandora Camp CO 2014 - October 13-15

  • Islandora Camp GTA 2014 - August 6-8

  • OR 2014

  • Contribution to book chapter

    • "PREMIS in open-source software: Islandora and Archivematica", in Implementing PREMIS (working title), edited by Rebecca Guenther, Angela Dappert and Sebastien Peyrard. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, forthcoming.

Other Messages

Would be ideal to engage the broader Islandora community. There’s some good preservation activity going on (eg. Brad Spry’s work with Glacier) and it would be useful to capture and document that and encourage code deposit or sharing in Islandora Labs.


 
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