Fedora plus Sakai: A view from 30,000 feet

Please note: the living, editable version of this document is now on Sakai’s Confluence in the “Resources” project area.

Edited by Peter Murray, OhioLINK. This document represents a summary of comments on the Sakai Developers mailing list on April 26-28, 2006 to a question posted by this document’s editor regarding possible integration points between Fedora and Sakai. The resulting threads were:

OhioLINK’s Google Summer of Code ideas

Student applications for the Google Summer of Code program are being accepted starting on May 1st. In preparation for that date, OhioLINK has finished up its list of ideas and other supporting documentation. We welcome student applications seeking to further the development of information technology in academic libraries in Ohio and around the world. Questions about the program? Take a look at Google’s participant FAQ. Questions about the suggested projects or about OhioLINK? Contact Peter Murray.

OhioLINK-generated Ideas

This is the list of project ideas so far. Please take a look at the project ideas page on the DRC-Dev wiki for updates.

“Have you seen AccessMyLibrary?”

I got a note recently from a colleague with the subject “Have you seen AccessMyLibrary?”:

This is a Thomson Gale new thing: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/. I clicked on the link under the search box to view a list of publications, and then tried to drill down to a specific article. It identified me by zip code automatically, presented me with a map and a list of local public libraries so I could select mine, and then asked for my library card number. I plugged in my withheld library card number, and it came back with the full text of the article. It only works for those patrons of libraries who have subscribed to Thomson Gale’s proprietary Remote Patron Authentication system, but the aim is to put the discovery tool in front of the users on the open web. Then if they drill down far enough they either get the article via their library’s subscription or are given the option of plugging in a credit card number to pay for it.

OhioLINK Selects the Affero License for DRC Development

Selecting an open source license was really much harder than I thought it would be. The OhioLINK executive director and I talked for about 90 minutes over the course of yesterday afternoon to reach a conclusion. The factors driving our decision where:

  • A license that promoted the “open source” availability of our code
  • A license that sought to ensure balance between our desire as an “upstream” provider of the source code to add enhancements to the base source code with the desire of any potential commercial entity to “add value” by providing a level of support for the DRC application that we cannot provide

“Archiving and Preserving the Web” from the Internet Archive perspective

In case you were wondering what some of the back-channel discussion on the #code4lib IRC channel was on Tuesday, Ed Summers and I were watching an EDUCAUSE webcast on the Internet Archive‘s Archive-It project. Archive-It is a subscription service that allows institutions to crawl and search their own web archive through a web application. On Tuesday, the EDUCAUSE Live! webcast included the project manager and Senior Crawl Engineer (what a title!) from the Internet Archive to talk about not only the server, but the open source web crawler and ARC access tools (copied from the project home page):

OhioLINK Joins the Google Summer of Code

[Google(tm) Open Source Program]Google is sponsoring the Summer of Code, a program designed to introduce students to the world of Open Source Software Development. OhioLINK is pleased to participate again as a mentoring organization, furthering the development of information technology in academic libraries in Ohio and around the world. We have a page on our development site describing OhioLINK’s participation and projects; take a look, augment or add your own (feel free to read the project documentation through the ‘Wiki’ link above and suggest other ideas), and apply to participate. Questions about the program? Take a look at Google’s participant FAQ. Questions about the suggested projects or about OhioLINK? Contact Peter Murray.

Fedora plus Sakai — not quite that easy

In previous post I described to how easy it would be for Fedora to be integrated into Sakai and offered as reference the Entity.java interface as evidence. Well, it isn’t quite that easy. Two big clues:

  1. It is in the “legacy” part of the source code tree; and
  2. The interface has only getters (no setters).

Pretty damning evidence.

I still haven’t figured it all out yet, but there is this commentary in a document from last month with the title “The Sakai Framework: Proposal for Reorganization“:

Entity Bus

Google’s “Related Links” as a library’s “Find More Items Like This”?

On Thursday, Google announced a new service in the labs: Related Links

Last week, we quietly rolled out Google Related Links, which lets you display a unit of useful links on your web site related to your site’s content, including relevant news, searches, and web pages. It is a great way to add fresh, dynamic content to your web site, and it is amazingly easy to use.

Fedora plus Sakai — a marriage made in heaven?

Note — there was a follow-up to this post.

What happens when you mix two Mellon-funded projects? Perhaps a nice bit of what they call synergy. The thinking goes something like this…


“The Sakai Project is a community source software development effort to design, build and deploy a new Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) for higher education. … The Sakai Project’s primary goal is to deliver the Sakai application framework and associated CMS tools and components that are designed to work together. These components are for course management, and, as an augmentation of the original CMS model, they also support research collaboration. The software is being designed to be competitive with the best CMSs available.”1

Why Fedora? Because You Don’t Need Fedora

I’m often asked “Why is OhioLINK using FEDORA?”  (Just to eliminate any confusion at the start, I’m referring to the FEDORA Digital Object Repository, a project of Cornell’s computer science department and the University of Virginia Libraries, and not the Linux operating system distribution by Redhat.)  There are many reasons, but I was reminded of one recently while reading through the migration documentation for the 2.1.1 release that came out today.

In case of corruption or failure of the repository, the Fedora Rebuild utility can completely rebuild the repository by crawling the digital object XML source files that are stored on disk.