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July 2016 - Newsletter



Welcome to new Member: British Columbia Electronic Library Network

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BCELN) is a partnership between the Province of British Columbia and its post-secondary libraries. In addition to providing Islandora as a service to their members, BCELN joins the Foundation as both a member and the host of Islandora Camp BC, July 18 - 20.

Welcome to new Member: Agile Humanities

Agile Humanities joins the ranks of Islandora service providers who have chosen to support the project as a whole by becoming members of the Islandora Foundation. Although relatively new to the scene, Agile Humanities employs some long-time contributors to the Islandora community, including Islandora Committers.

Welcome to new Collaborator: Marmot Library Network

Marmot Library Network hosts an integrated library system, maintains a union catalog of 1.7m titles, and provides related services for public, academic, and school libraries in Colorado. They join the Islandora Foundation as Collaborators and have nominated Jordan Fields as a representative on the Islandora Roadmap Committee, where she helps to oversee the operations of the Islandora Foundation.

Code of Conduct

As our community grow and matures, we recognized the need to articulate some guidelines for how we interact with each other - and options for those who feel that they have been harmed. Written in open consultation with the Islandora community, the Islandora Roadmap Committee and Board of Directors have approved our new Islandora Community Code of Conduct, which will apply to all interactions in our online platforms and at Islandora events.

This is a friendly, professional community, and our Code of Conduct reflects that. We borrowed heavily from the ideas of similar open-source projects when putting it together, particularly the Django Software Foundation and OpenStack. While the period for open review is behind us, if you have any thoughts or opinions about the Code of Conduct, please do contact us at

Islandora 7.x-1.7

Through the dedicated efforts of our largest Release Team yet, the latest version of Islandora is now available for you to use. Some highlights from this release:

  • The way derivatives are generated is now alterable by customization modules, allowing any site to override the natural method of derivative generation and replace it with their own.
  • A ton of iTQL queries have been rewritten into SPARQL, paving the way to to swap in SPARQL-compliant triplestores.
  • Solr collection displays are sortable now, meaning that (finally!) the order of objects displayed in collections isn't subject to the whims of the node graph.
  • Many datastreams that would have formerly been created as inline XML now exist as managed datastreams; this prevents a huge number of collision issues within Fedora; it may seem minor or esoteric but it's been a long time coming, and the stability gain is appreciable.

Islandora Awesome

The Islandora Community generates a ton of great modules and other tools that are not (and may never be) in our core release. Previously, we have tried to aid discovery of these modules by keeping an annotated list on, but the pace and spread of development made it difficult to keep that list current and some great modules were missed.

Enter the concept of the Awesome List, a curated list of awesome lists, complete with helpful guidelines and policies that we could crib from to make our own list of all that is awesome for Islandora. It now lives in our Islandora Labs GitHub organization, and new contributions are very welcome. You can share your own work, your colleagues' work, or any public Islandora resource that you think other Islandorians might find useful. If you have something to add, please put in a pull request or email


Back in April, Islandora had its first real encounter with a critical security vulnerability. The Islandora 7.x-1.x Committers came together to work out a patch and a fix, and communicate the concern to the community as quickly as possible (without exposing the vulnerability prior to having a fix), but it exposed the need for a more concrete policy on how we will address future security concerns.

An Islandora Security Interest Group has been formed under the leadership of convener Don Richards (University of Tennessee Knoxville) to work on the broader issue of security and Islandora, while a smaller task force of Committers is gathering to be ready to act when and if we need to deal directly with a specific security concern again.

Special Projects


Islandora CLAW


Community-Driven Design

The Islandora community has grown significantly since the project began, both in terms of users and contributors. For the first time, we are in a position to have a truly community-driven development process, in which any Islandora user can participate at whatever level fits their interests and abilities. Islandora CLAW has worked with the broader Islandora community to solicit use-cases, put forward prospectuses and project plans for review and editing, and has been developed with a mix of funding from Islandora Foundation members and volunteer developers working on sprints.

Islandora CLAW is developed by the Islandora community, for the Islandora community. As a member of the Islandora community, you can help to steer the direction it takes.

Please join us each Wednesday at 1PM Eastern for our CLAW Calls. Anyone is welcome to join, as well as add agenda items.

Docker and Ansible

With financial support from McMaster University and the University of Manitoba, and the continued donations from York University of Nick Ruest’s time as Project Director, the Islandora CLAW project hired independant developer Nigel Banks to complete new (and easier!) deployment methods for Islandora CLAW with Anisble and Docker:

These links represent a tremendous amount of work that will make it much easier for you to deploy and develop in Islandora CLAW. Moreover, this work illustrates that the CLAW architecture can be split out into its individual components, and scaled horizontally.

That all said, there are still a few bugs to work out, and funded work has ended, so if you have experience (or even just an interest in) Docker and Ansible, adopting these tools and helping us to improve them is a great way to contribute to the CLAW project.

Drupal 8

The initial phases of Islandora CLAW development worked with Drupal 7 as a front-end, but Islandora CLAW has been architected with a pivot to Drupal 8 in mind from its very inception. Drupal 8 has been officially released and development has begun on Drupal 9. Drupal policy will see Drupal 7 become unsupported when Drupal 9 is released, putting it in the same end-of-life territory as Fedora 3. As of this month, Islandora CLAW development has pivoted fully to Drupal 8, ensuring that when the Islandora Community is ready to make the move, there will be a version of Islandora that functions with the latest and best-supported versions of both our front-end and repository layers by pairing Drupal 8 with Fedora 4. This pivot was approved by the Islandora Roadmap Committee, based on a Drupal 8 Prospectus put forth by the CLAW development team.

Community Sprints

Islandora CLAW continues to be the focus of the Islandora Community’s sprinting efforts, with Sprint 08 wrapping up at the end of June. Our team of developers has grown, adding Ed Fugikawa (University of Wyoming), Ben Rosner (Barnard College), and Bryan Brown (Florida State University) to the list of contributors. The next Islandora CLAW sprint is scheduled for July 18 - 29 and new sprinters are always welcome. Ben has written up a blog post about his experiences as a newcomer to CLAW sprinting, if you’re interested in joining up.

If you have any questions about joining a sprint or contributing to Islandora CLAW, please contact Islandora CLAW Project Director, Nick Ruest (

CLAW Lessons

Interested in working with Islandora CLAW? Want to help out but don't know where to start? Want to adopt it and need some training?

CLAW Committer Diego Pino provided the community with an eight-part series of lessons on how to develop in the CLAW project. Nick Ruest and Melissa Anez closed out the series with a discussion on how to get involved and contribute.

Performance and Scaling

Interested in how Fedora scales and performs? You may want to get involved with the Performance and Scaling group which profiles Fedora 4 to identify performance bottlenecks, which then targets future development priorities on the project. The group has identified six tests, and has recently reported out the results of a couple of those tests. The priorities for the next few months is additional test runs, testing a variety of database backends, and testing how Modeshape 5 performs.

Financial Update

The main fundraising goal of the Islandora Foundation is to have enough membership funding to hire asecond employee in as a Technical Lead.

Since our January newsletter, our membership revenue has gone from $98,000 to $126,000, through a combination of new memberships and increased commitments from existing members. If your institution would like to become a member, or is already a member and would like to commit to upgrading to a higher tier of support, please contact the foundation at We’re getting very close to our goal, but we will need your help to put us over.


iCampBC2 July 18 - 20

Islandora is heading back to Vancouver with a sold-out camp in July. The Admin track will be lead by Melissa Anez (Islandora Foundation) and Janice Banser (Simon Fraser University), and the Developer track will be lead by Mark Jordan (Simon Fraser University) and Rosie Le Faive (University of Prince Edward Island).

Islandora Foundation Annual General Meeting

The Islandora Foundation will be holding its second AGM this July 21 at 11:00 AM EST, the day after iCampBC. The meeting will be held electronically, via Skype. All institutional members of the Foundation are invited to send a voting representative.

iCampMO October 12 - 14

The last Islandora Camp of 2016 will be held in Kansas City, MO, on the campus of the University of Missouri.


The Islandora Foundation is thrilled to announce the second Islandoracon, to be held at the lovely LIUNA Station in Hamilton, Ontario. Islandoracon 2017 is sponsored in part by our local host, McMaster University. We will have a lot more information for you in the weeks and months to come, but for now, please save the date so you can join us.

The first Islandora conference was held in August, 2015, at the birthplace of Islandora in Charlottetown. It was a runaway success and we have had many, many requests for it to happen again. We took 2016 off to concentrate on regional Camps, but the con is coming back for 2017. This will probably be our pattern going forward, so if your institution is keen to host an Islandora Camp, set your sights on 2018 and drop us a line.

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 Institutional Repository Interest Group

Regular Meeting Time: Last Thursday of each month at 3PM EST

Regular Meeting Place: Skype

How to Join: Request membership in islandora-ir Google Group and join monthly Skype calls via

Topics of Interest

  • Implementation of embargoes in Islandora Scholar
  • Implementation of ORCID (esp. in relation to connecting entities to documents via ORCID)
  • Building use cases for IR usage in CLAW
  • Enhancement of documentation for Scholar and other IR-related modules
  • Discussion of FSU-FLVC statewide IR implementation project


  • Defining the required functionality for CLAW to be considered IR-capable
  • Sharing of deliverables (and collaboration with other universities) for FSU-FLVC statewide IR project

Finished Work

Survey of Islandora users who have or are planning to implement an IR in Islandora.

Other Messages

We're averaging over 10 members per monthly call!

Islandora Security Interest Group

Regular Meeting Time: To Be Determined

Regular Meeting Place: Skype Islandora Security Interest Group

How to Join: Just click this Link

Topics of Interest

Discuss all things related to the security concerns and policies on the Islandora stack.


Currently seeking interested parties to be part of the security response team.

Other Messages

Looking for talented individuals interested in committing to the response team. We ask they be willing to make the response to a security ticket prior and dedicate time to work within the team to find a solution.

Islandora Dev-Ops Interest Group

Regular Meeting Time: Second Wednesday of the month, 2PM EST. 

Regular Meeting Place: Skype

How to Join: Send Mark a Skype contact request (mark.jordan50)


At its May 11 meeting, the membership of the DevOps Interest Group decided to refocus its scope and activities. The refocused activities are:
  • Maintain the Islandora Vagrant
  • Maintain a version matrix indicating which versions of Islandora's components work with each other
  • Maintain the Deployments Repo
  • Consult with the CLAW project as needed.
Gavin Morris (Common Media) has recently joined Mark Jordan (Simon Fraser University) as co-convenor of the group.
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