Minutes of the FEDORA Workflow Working Group meeting of 18-Jun-2006

Please note — this is a copy of the FEDORA Workflow Working Group minutes from the FEDORA Wiki. It is being posted here in order to get it into the blogosphere at the right places. Please make comments on the FEDORA Wiki “talk” page rather than on this posting.

FEDORA Workflow Working Group Meeting

18-Jun-2006, University of Virginia

Attending: Grace Agnew, Rutgers U.; Chris Awre, U. of Hull; Dan Davis, Harris Corp.; Richard Green, U. of Hull; Peter Murray, OhioLINK; Matthias Razum, FIZ Karlsruhe; Bill Parod, Northwestern U; Adam Soroka, U. of Virginia; Thorny Staples, U. of Virginia; Ross Wayland, U. of Virginia

Fedora Advanced Applications Panel at JCDL2006

I am excited almost beyond description to be sharing a panel with Sandy Payette (Cornell
University, USA), Andrew Treloar (Monash University, Australia), Matthias Razum (Fiz
Karlsruhe, Germany), and Carl Lagoze (Cornell University, USA) at the upcoming Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. The tutorial is on Sunday afternoon (Sunday, June 11, 2006, 1:30-5:00pm local time) with the title “The Fedora Service Framework – Advanced Applications and Panel Discussion”. Sandy’s recent announcement include this abstract:

Client JAR for FEDORA Server Access

At OhioLINK we’ve reached the conclusion that coding would be easier if we created a modestly robust JAR file that is an implementation of the AXIS-based web services interface to a FEDORA server. Our initial effort is ready for public consumption; you can check it out of our Subversion repository at:


The JavaDocs are available at:


If you ask the OhioLINK team, they’ll tell you that the API has undergone significant changes in its young life, but I think it will settle down now. Some features:

Near Consensus for Tag “fedora-dr”

I think it is safe to say that most everyone favors using “fedora-dr” as a common tag for FEDORA(.info) activities. If you want to take a stand on moral grounds, you can also tag your items as simply “fedora”, but please also use the “fedora-dr” tag until we’ve gotten around to taking over more of the world.

This, of course, is just a recommendation from a loose confederation of self-selected interest users. You can follow it or ignore it as you like. Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion.

Seeking a Tag for /The/ FEDORA

Michael Giarlo and I have been having a comment conversation in the Fedora Disseminators to Enable Accessible Repository Content posting about coming up with a common del.icio.us/technorati/flikr/etc. tag to help us find each others stuff. I’ll claim modest ignorance, as I did in the comments, to the social order surrounding tags, but would point out that it is unlikely that at the moment our use of the ‘fedora’ tag by itself would be drown out by its usage for a certain flavor of the Linux operating system.

Fedora, Objects, Datastreams, Filesystems, and a Correction

In an earlier post, I extolled the virtues of Fedora as an ideal candidate for digital preservation because “[a]ll of the metadata (descriptive, preservation, and relationship to other objects) and managed datastreams that make up a digital object are ‘serialized’ to a single XML file on a file system.” Well, as I found out last week, it isn’t quite that straight forward.

Last week we had a problem with Fedora running on our production server — it had locked up tight in a wait-state for some sort of disk I/O and not even a `kill -9` could get rid of it. So I rebooted the server. Then the Fedora service wouldn’t start again — it complained about corruption in the Kowari triplestore. Okay, so we’d have to blow away the Kowari database and the MySQL database and reload.

Fedora Disseminators to Enable Accessible Repository Content

Calling all accessibility technology experts! What follows is a line of thinking about using characteristics of the FEDORA digital object repository to enable access to content through non-graphical interfaces. Thanks to Linda Newman from the University of Cincinnati and others on the Friday morning DRC Developers conference call for triggering this line of thinking.

In a recent post defining universal disseminators for every object in our repository (if the last dozen words didn’t make sense, please read the linked article and come back), I hinted at having an auditory derivative of each object, at least at the preview level. During today’s conference call, Linda asked if such a disseminator could be used to offer different access points for non-GUI users. Well, why not? Let’s look back at the “presentation” part of the disseminator label:

Processing Raw Fedora Objects

Michael J. Giarlo wrote a very nice summary of my FEDORA trilogy (only three parts so far — I think there are more good things to say about FEDORA; and besides, I like Douglas Adams’ concept of what a trilogy should be), and added a piece that I hadn’t considered:

  1. Having one’s objects stored as XML on the filesystem also opens up opportunities to see how tools which act thereupon might be glued into the repository infrastructure. One such example might be for an XML-aware search engine (such as amberfish, Lucene, or Zebra). Since you’ve got low-level access to these files, it would be fairly simple to tack on a search & indexing system that is independent of your choice of repository.

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: