Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Open Repositories 2011 overview

Open Repositories was great this year. Good atmosphere, lots of interesting news, good fun. It's hard to make a selection from 49k of notes (in raw utf8 txt!). This post is a general overview, more details (and specific topics) will follow later.

Bright lights, bit state!
Texas State History Museu
My key points:

1. Focus on building healthy open source communities

The keynote by Jim Jagielski, President of the Apache Software Foundation, set the tone for much what was to come. An interesting talk on how to create viable open source projects from a real expert. The points raised in this talk came back often in panel discussions, audience questions and presentations later.
More details here.

2. The Fedora frameworks are growing up

Both Hydra and Islandora now have a growing installed base, commercial support available, and a thriving ecosystem. They've had to learn the lessons on open source building the hard way, but they have their act together. Fez and Muradora were only mentioned in the context of migrating away.
Also, several Fedora projects that don't use Hydra still use the Hydra Content Model. If this trend of standardizing on a small number of de facto standard CM's, that would greatly ease mixing and moving between Fedora middleware layers.

3. Eprints’ pragmatic approach: surprisingly effective and versatile

Out of curiosity I attended several EPrints sessions, and I was pleasantly surprised, if not stunned by what was shown. Especially the support for research data repositories looks to strike the right balance between supporting complex data and metadata types, while keeping it simple and very usable out-of-the box. And also the Bazaar, which tops Wordpress in ease of maintainance and installation, but on a a solid engineering base that's inspired by Debian's package manager. Very impressive!
More details here.
Texans take 'em by the horns!

Misc. notes
See part #3: Misc notes

Elsewhere on the web

OR11 Conference programpresentations.
Richard Davis, ULCC: #1 overview#2 the Developers Challenge, #3: eprints vs. dspace.
Disruptive Library Technology Jester day 1, day 2, day 3.
Leslie Johnson - a good round-up with focus on practical solutions.
#or11 Tweet archive on twapperkeeper

Photosets: bigD, keitabando, yours truly, all Flickr images tagged with or11, Adrian Stevenson (warning: FB!).

Other observations

Unlike OR09, the audience was not very international. Italians and Belgians were relatively overrepresented with three and six respectively. I spotted just one German, one Swede and one Swiss, and I was the lone Dutchman. The UK was the exception, though many were presenters of JISC funded projects, which usually have budget allocated for knowledge dissemmination.

As OR alternates between Europe and the US, the ratio of participants tends to be weighed to the 'native continent' anyway. But the recession seems to be hitting travel budgets hard in Europe now.
As there were interesting presentations from Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand, the rumour floating around that OR12 might be in Asia sounded attractive, I'd be very curious to hear more about what's going on there in repositories and open access. The location of OR12 should be announced within a month, let's see.

[updated June 27th, added more links to other writeups; updated June 28, added Hydra CM uptake]

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