Looking Forward to Version 2.2 of FEDORA

Sandy Payette, Co-Director of the Fedora Project and Researcher in the Cornell Information Science department, announced a tentative date for the release 2.2 of the FEDORA digital object repository.

The Fedora development team would like to announce that Fedora 2.2 will be released on Friday, January 19, 2007.

This new release will contain many significant new features and enhancements, including [numbers added to the original for the sake of subsequent commentary]:

  1. Fedora repository is now a web application (.war) that can be installed in any container
  2. Fedora authentication has been refactored to use servlet filters (no longer Tomcat realms)

Managing a Gentoo Linux Server Configuration with Subversion, GLCU, and Trac

Keeping track of configuration changes to servers is a tough job made tougher when some of the sysadmins work from home. Questions of who did what when and why can be exacerbated by the lack of physical proximity — in other words, I can’t simply yell over the cubical wall to the colleague down the hall to ask him about the new package installed on the server. Besides, that oral history tradition is difficult to maintain and harder to sustain as the number of machines grows. This essay describes a practice for maintaining a Gentoo Linux distribution using GLCU, Subversion, and Trac that is lightweight (doesn’t impose a large burden on the sysadmin staff), effective (although it is lightweight it better documents and makes accessible the state of our systems over the oral history tradition), and cheap (no operating budget dollars were harmed in the creation of this process — only staff time overhead).

Pocket-sized Graph of the Theory of Disruptive Innovation

I really like Christensen‘s Theory of Disruptive Innovation (as he proposed in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma). It succinctly describes the challenges, if not the fate, of academic libraries as we navigate through changing expectations and fast-moving, turbulent technologies. In fact, I often find that in explaining my point-of-view on where libraries need to go that I draw the core graph of Christensen’s theory on napkins, whiteboards, hands — whatever I can find. Inevitably, with the enthusiasm for the topic and quick-moving hands, the lines don’t always match where they ought and that makes the concepts all that more difficult to explain.

IAB to Address Concerns About Internet Routing Scalability

An e-mail from Leslie Daigle, chair of the Internet Architecture Board, crossed my inbox tonight through the IETF-announce list (excerpted below) that brought back memories of the mid-90s and the Internet growth explosion that spurred the deployment of NAT (Network Address Translation) devices, the shift in large scale Internet routing from a “Classful” system to a “Classless” system (called Classless Inter-Domain Routing, or CIDR), and fueled the (relatively) quick development of IPv6. The conditions are somewhat different from decades ago, but some of the solutions are the same. If you are interested in how the guts of the internet work, read on. I’ve expanded organizational acronyms and linked to documents and other helpful bits; this stuff is fascinating (in the same way that one can walk into the machine room and gaze in amazement at all of the lights blinking in just the right way to tells you it is all working together just fine).

What a NASA/Google Mashup Might Mean for Libraries

Ron Murray (no relation) from the Library of Congress sent me this announcement about a joint NASA/Google partnership, which starts:

NASA Ames Research Center and Google have signed a Space Act Agreement that formally establishes a relationship to work together on a variety of challenging technical problems ranging from large-scale data management and massively distributed computing, to human-computer interfaces.

As the first in a series of joint collaborations, Google and Ames will focus on making the most useful of NASA’s information available on the Internet. Real-time weather visualization and forecasting, high-resolution 3-D maps of the moon and Mars, real-time tracking of the International Space Station and the space shuttle will be explored in the future.

ODCE 2007: Preliminary Program, Online Registration Now Available

ODCE 2007: The Convergence of Learning, Libraries and Technology conference is set for March 4-6, 2007. You can view the preliminary program and pre-conference workshop descriptions as well as register online for ODCE 2007, Ohio’s premier higher education conference.

This year’s conference will feature five pre-conference workshops, more than 40 sessions, technology demonstrations at Innovation Island, keynote speakers and more, covering:

  • E Squared: Effectiveness and Efficiencies
  • STEM2: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine
  • Who are the Learners? — Serving New Audiences
  • WMP: Wireless, Mobile and Personal
  • Reinventing the Learning Environment: Walking the Walk
  • What’s The Buzz? — Vendor Presentations

Child Rearing Through HTTP Status Codes

Long time readers of DLTJ know that I rarely post commentary outside the realm of disruptive library technology to this blog, much less reflections of personal, non-work life. This will be an exception, though, because it straddles that boundary between technology and family. It is called REST for toddlers and it comes to us from the “dive into mark” blog. By way of explanation, REST (as a technology term, not as used in the sentence “parents with young children often which they had a chance to rest.”) is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, a way of constructing URLs so that they are useful outside the context of your current web browsing session (e.g. bookmarkable and/or e-mailable to someone else). REST rides atop the HTTP protocol, of which section 10 of the specification talks about response codes from clients to servers. What Mark has done is offer a real-life explanation of some of those response codes in the context of child-rearing. A sample:

Java Application for Batch Processing FEDORA Objects

We had a need today to transform an XML file with a custom DTD into Dublin Core; the custom XML file is a datastream in our FEDORA repository and we want to put the Dublin Core XML file back into the FEDORA object as the DC datastream. This took a slew of technologies and techniques: reading a datastream out of the FEDORA repository using API-A, parsing XML documents using the Java DOM library, creating a new document with the correct namespaces using Java DOM, and modifying the DC datastream in the repository using API-M.

Traditional Development/Integration/Staging/Production Practice for Software Development

Recently, I was asked to outline a plan for a structured process for software development that maximizes productivity and reduces bugs that reach the user. This was originally an internal OhioLINK document, but the process described is pretty traditional and others might find a use for this as well. You are welcome to use this; please honor the Creative Commons licensing terms and contact me in advance if you need something different.

NOTE!  This article is translated to Serbo-Croatian language by Anja Skrba from Webhostinggeeks.com.

Creating Applications in Four Tiers


Let’s start first with a description of the four tiers for software development.