I was asked recently to prepare a 15 minute presentation on lessons learned working with a remote team hosting open source applications. The text of that presentation is below with links added to more information. Photographs are from DPLA and Flickr, and are used under Public Domain or Creative Commons derivatives-okay licenses. Photographs link to their sources.
LYRASIS has published three open source software case studies on FOSS4LIB.org as part of its continuation of support and services for libraries and other cultural heritage organizations interested in learning about, evaluating, adopting, and using open source software systems.
Did you feel a great disturbance in the open source force last week? At noon on Friday in a conference call with members of the Kuali community, the Kuali Foundation Board of Directors announced a change of direction:
We are pleased to share with you that the Kuali Foundation is creating a Professional Open Source commercial entity to help achieve these goals. We expect that this company will engage with the community to prioritize investments in Kuali products, will hire full-time personnel, will mesh a “software startup” with our current culture, and will, over time, become self-sustaining. It enables an additional path for investment to accelerate existing and create new Kuali products.
Share your story of implementing an open source system at your library. If selected, you will get paid to develop a case study of your open source system adoption experience and learning.
LYRASIS, in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is seeking academic and public libraries to share their experiences with open source systems, such as content repositories or institutional repositories, integrated library systems, or public-facing websites. The two selected case studies will be available on FOSS4Lib.org. This effort, part of the larger LYRASIS Digital initiative, is a continuation of LYRASIS working with libraries and other cultural heritage organizations to learn about, evaluate, adopt, and use open source software systems.
Earlier this month published ‘reposervice’ to GitHub. Reposervice is a “self-contained” Islandora installation source tree that is intended to smooth the LYRASIS deployment of repository services between development servers, a staging server and production servers. It is a bit of a work-in-progress at the moment, but others might find it useful as well.
(By the way, if you had looked at Reposervice prior to June 18th, you may have noticed a missing critical element — the Drupal submodule. Not because you couldn’t add Drupal yourself but because the Reposervice clone has relative soft symlinks to the Islandora modules positioned in the top level Reposervice directory.)
I’ve put in a proposal on the importance of communities in open source software for an “ignite” session at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago, and I’d appreciate your vote to get the talk into the program. If you have experienced the power and benefit of open source software, you know that the community is just as important as the code. In a 5-minute presentation accompanied by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds, I’ll be describing the many ways libraries can be a part of an open source community. Here is the brief description of the talk:
The open source method for developing software works best when everyone contributes a little bit to the process. Do you benefit from open source? Do you wish the open source you use was a little better? Don’t know why the community nature of open source is important? Hear what you can do to make the world a better place by nudging your favorite open source project along a path to perfection.
One of the key activities that brought me to LYRASIS many months ago is going to see the light of day in about 10 days at ALA Midwinter — a set of tools to help libraries determine if open source software is right for them and what open source software works the best. Here is the announcement snippet from today’s LYRASIS newsletter:
One of the more fascinating aspects of open source software is the role that its creators and users play in its evolution. (For more on the community nature of open source software, see a previous article, The Challenges and Rewards of Open Source) With proprietary systems, the creators and users are separate groups, and the control over the relationship is bound up in proprietary rights and contracts. (This doesn’t diminish the role of robust user groups for proprietary software; rather it is a reflection of where the ultimate control lies – with the creators of the software.) With open source software, the creators and users are commonly the same or closely overlapping. How do creators and users work with each other? This is a question of governance.
My employer (LYRASIS) is seeking to engage consultants to create decision support tools in the form of whitepapers, self-guided assessments, and worksheets for libraries considering open source software. This work is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help libraries of all types determine if open source software is right for them, and what combination of software, hosting, training, and consulting works for their situation. These tools are to be paired with a software registry to become a community exchange point and stimulant for growth of the library open source ecosystem by connecting libraries with projects, service providers, and events.
As part of the Mellon Foundation grant funding the start-up of LYRASIS Technology Services, LTS is to produce a series of tools that enable libraries to decide whether open source is right for their environments. The grant says: