This is the November 2017 edition of the Fedora Newsletter. This newsletter summarizes the most significant activities within the Fedora community over the last month.
Call for Action
Fedora is designed, built, used, and supported by the community. An easy and important way that you can contribute to the effort is by helping resolve outstanding bugs. If you have an interest in gaining a better understanding of the Fedora code base, or a specific interest in any of these bugs, please add a comment to a ticket and we can work together to move your interest forward.
Fedora is funded entirely through the contributions of DuraSpace members that allocate their annual funding to Fedora. The 2017 membership campaign is drawing to a close, and so far the Fedora project has raised $559,750 from 76 members. The annual goal this year is $580,000, so we are over 96% of the way there. We will continue to coordinate with members of the Fedora Leadership Group to expand the pool of DuraSpace members supporting the Fedora project and build a sustainable funding base for the future. If your institution is not yet a member of DuraSpace in support of Fedora, please join us and help us reach our goal!
We would like to thank the University of Tennessee Libraries for joining as a Gold member in support of Fedora. We are thrilled to have them as a member! For more information on membership and benefits please see the DuraSpace website.
Fedora Camp Texas
Fedora Camp Texas, co-hosted by Texas Digital Library and the University of Texas Libraries, took place at the University of Texas at Austin's Perry-Castañeda Library in Austin October 16-18, 2017. Participants had an opportunity to explore Fedora functionality, from a broad introduction to specific features, extensions, and integration points. We couldn't have held such a successful camp without our knowledgable team of instructors, who spent months preparing for the camp and delivered both presentations and expertise in terms of answering questions and leading discussions. We would like to thank the team and their institutions for supporting their participation:
- Aaron Birkland, Johns Hopkins University
- Bethany Seeger, Amherst College
- Mike Durbin, University of Virginia
Presentation slides can be found on the wiki. Stay tuned for announcements about next year's camps!
Fedora API Specification
The initial public working draft of the Fedora API Specification is still available for broader public review.
As described in the specification charter, this specification is designed to:
- Define the characteristics and expectations of how clients interact with Fedora implementations
- Define such interactions such that an implementation’s conformance is testable
- Enable interoperability by striving to minimize the need for modifications to client applications in order to work with different implementations of the Fedora API specification
The initial working draft will remain open for public comment until November, at which time we are planning to graduate the specification to a “candidate recommendation”. Please contact the Fedora Community or Fedora Specification Editors with any general comments or if you would like to participate in implementation and/or test suite sprints. Any comments on details of the specification, itself, should be posted as GitHub issues.
Oxford Common Filesystem
Last month's newsletter reported on the Oxford Common Filesystem Layout proposal (OCFL) put forward by Andrew Hankinson. Similar to the "Portland Common Data Model," this proposal can serve to start conversations about the underlying data storage layer in our institutional repositories and arrive at some common understanding of best-practices for filesystem storage. Andrew Woods followed this proposal with a call to form an interest group around the OCFL. If you are interested in joining this effort please respond to the mailing list thread with a +1.
With Fedora's support for semantic versioning and the policy to limit the number of major releases to one per year, the primary change found in the next major release of Fedora (5.0.0) will be an alignment of the RESTful API with the Fedora API Specification. Two recent sprints made significant progress towards this goal, with the current focus being on exposing versioned resources per the Memento specification.
Conferences and events
Samvera Connect is a chance for Samvera Project participants to gather in one place at one time, with an emphasis on synchronizing efforts, technical development, plans, and community links. The meeting program is aimed at existing users, managers and developers and at new folks who may be just "kicking the tires" on Samvera and who want to know more. This year's conference will feature a variety of workshops, presentations, panels, lightning talks, unconference sessions, and working/interest group meetings. While registration has closed, you may contact Sean Keenan if you are interested in attending.
SWIB conference (Semantic Web in Libraries), taking place December 4-6 in Hamburg, Germany, is an annual conference focusing on Linked Open Data (LOD) in libraries and related organizations. It is well established as an event where IT staff, developers, librarians, and researchers from all over the world meet and mingle and learn from each other. The topics of talks and workshops at SWIB revolve around opening data, linking data and creating tools and software for LOD production scenarios. This year's conference will feature a Fedora workshop focused on managing assets as linked data. Please register in advance to attend.
We will also hold a Fedora User Group meeting on December 7 following the conference. This meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend. It is an opportunity to share project updates, exchange ideas, and collaborate on Fedora-related activities. Please register to attend - registration is free.
The annual DLF Forum took place October 22-26 in Pittsburgh, PA. The Forum included digital library practitioners from member institutions and the broader community, for whom it serves as a meeting place, marketplace, and congress. This year's Forum featured a Fedora workshop and project update, along with a presentation on Fedora's role in a digital preservation strategy at the co-located NDSA Digital Preservation 2017. These sessions were all well-attended, with many forum attendees expressing interest in and appreciation for the ongoing work in the Fedora community to complete the API specification effort, align with widely adopted standards, and support digital preservation as part of a broader ecosystem of applications and services.