Open Source Software: Should You Bet Your Career On It?

By Stephen R. Acker, The Ohio State University, and Peter E. Murray, OhioLINK; republished here from the Campus Technology SmartClassroom Newsletter under rights retained by the authors.

At any point in time, there is a college IT director trying to determine whether to upgrade, migrate away from, or stay the course with some software package that the faculty and students rely on to meet their instructional needs. A campus may have outgrown the basic CMS, and the Enterprise version is now needed to bring system performance back to an acceptable level. The CMS provider may have changed code base, requiring major staff retraining to follow the migration path. Costs could be up, service could be down, and new third party tools may not easily integrate. Yet even faced with all of these potential reasons to change, making the decision to do so is never easy. User communities hate change, hate training, and hate repurposing earlier content to work in a new environment.

Access Management and Provisioning Technology

Building on the shoulders of others — isn’t that how that quote goes? There has been a stack of printouts on my desk for a while now for various access management and service provisioning technologies. Rather than keep the paper, I’m putting the list here so I know how to get back to them if/when I need to. (Of course, along the way if you’d like to comment on them or suggest others to look at, please feel free to do so in the comments.) Note, too, that by listing them here I’m not proposing, or even sure if, all of these pieces come together to a coherent structure.

Buzzwords Galore and Bandwidth that May Rival Your Stationwagon

At the recent LITA Top Technology Trends gathering, Clifford Lynch spoke of an advanced network emerging from Internet2 that is built as a hybrid between optical-switched and packet-switched networks. Today’s Internet2 Newsletter has a description of the activities, excerpted below

Internet2 and Level 3 to Deploy Next Generation Nationwide Research Network

The new Internet2 Network, a dynamic, innovative and cost-effective hybrid optical and packet network, will provide next-generation production services as well as a platform for the development of new networking ideas and techniques.
http://networks.internet2.edu

Appreciating our Heritage while Embracing a Future

Tom Wilson, LITA past president and all-around insightful LITA Top Technology Trendster, posted a commentary to the “Where have all the programmers gone?” post that deserves top billing 1. Please read and digest it before coming back here. And it’s not late to the party at all, Tom — I believe it is only now just getting interesting.

Heads up! International Conference on Open Repositories (01/23/07 – 01/27/07, San Antonio, TX, US)

Open Repositories 2007 is coming up next year, and it looks to be an interesting meeting. The first day is open user group meetings for DSpace, Fedora, and Eprints, followed by general conference sessions that cover issues that cut across all of the open repository systems. This year, the user groups will partition their programs into Plenary, Technical Issues, and Management Issues and the partitions will be staggered so that IT managers can attend all plenary sessions, technical staff can attend all technical sessions, etc.