Disseminators As the Core of an Object Repository

I’ve been working to get JBoss Seam tied into Fedora, and along the way thought it would be wise to stop and document a core concept of this integration: the centrality of Fedora Disseminators in the the design of the Ohio Digital Resource Commons. Although there is nothing specific to JBoss Seam (a Java Enterprise Edition application framework) in these concepts, making an object “render itself” does make the Seam-based interface application easier to code and understand. A disseminator-centric architecture also allows us to put our code investment where it matters the most — in the repository framework — and exploit that investment in many places. So what does it mean to have a disseminator-centric architecture and have objects “render themselves”?

Same Cubicle, New Title, New Challenges

Here is a bit of personal news to report. Tom Sanville, OhioLINK’s executive director, announced today that I am changing roles at OhioLINK. Here is what he said:

I’m pleased to announce that Peter Murray will assume the position of Assistant Director, New Service Development effective immediately. In light of the formation of 13 task forces to pursue investigation of our strategic priorities it is critical that we have a skilled OhioLINK staff member with primary responsibility to analyze, recommend, and coordinate plans for the introduction and use of new information technologies and services by OhioLINK and its member institutions. Through Peter’s tracking and contact with information and library hardware, software, and database vendors, he will provide leadership and support to the OhioLINK staff, committees, task forces and other planning groups.

George Siemens to Provide Keynote at ODCE Conference on March 5th

Join George Siemens — a leading theorist on the implications of technology and societal trends on learning and knowledge — to examine how changing learner expectations impact educators, institutions and the process of learning. Siemens will present the opening keynote address, Connectivism: Content, Connections, Conversation, on Monday, March 5, 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the Ohio Digital Commons for Education (ODCE) Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Siemens will also do a wrap-up session on March 6 to close the conference. Register by February 8 and receive a $50 discount off the regular conference rates.

Building an Institutional Repository Interface Using EJB3 and JBoss Seam

This tour is designed to show the overall architecture of a FEDORA digital object repository application within the JBoss Seam framework while at the same time pointing out individual design decisions and extension points that are specific to the Ohio Digital Resource Commons application. Geared towards software developers, a familiarity with Java Servlet programming is assumed, although not required. Knowledge of JBoss Seam, Hibernate/Java Persistence API, EJB3 and Java EE would be helpful but not required; brief explanations of core concepts of these technologies are included in this tour.

The tour is based on revision 709 of /drc/trunk and was last updated on 18-Jan-2007.

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).

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

ODCE Conference Proposals Due in 10 Days

Proposals for the Ohio Digital Commons for Education 2007 Conference — The Convergence of Learning, Libraries and Technology — are due on Friday, November 17, 2006. The conference committee established these tracks:

  • 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

Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries to build a consortial repository using FEDORA

On Friday, the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries announced the creation of a consortium-wide digital repository project similar to that of the Ohio Digital Resource Commons.

Colorado Alliance Digital Repository Project Approved


The Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has approved initial funding for a consortium-wide digital repository project at its October 19, 2006 meeting.

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has approved initial funding for a consortium-wide digital repository project at its October 19, 2006 meeting. The project will use the Fedora open source software which was selected after a long evaluation process by the Institutional Repository Implementation Team, chaired by John Culshaw from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Picking a Java Web Application Framework

We’re beginning a new phase of our digital library development at OhioLINK and an oversimplification of one of the consequences of this new phase is that we will be developing more software from scratch rather than adapting stuff that we find out there on the net. (Another consequence of this new phase is our interest in applying the Service-Oriented Architecture paradigm to library applications.) In previous phases, we were somewhat at the mercy of whatever development framework was used in the application we were adopting. As we start this new development where we control more of our own destiny, we wanted to take a step back and look at the available frameworks to support our development efforts. The options we identified at the start were plain Java servlets, Apache Struts, Spring Framework, and EJB3 with JBoss SEAM.