Carl Grant, president of Ex Libris North America, posted a pair of messages on his corporate blog that it is worth calling attention to regarding the OLE Project final report, if you haven’t already run into them: OLE; The unanswered questions and Library Software Solutions – We need a higher level of discourse... Equally important is the comment on the first by Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Indiana University. The whole thread should take about five minutes to read; five minutes well spent if you are interested in the intersection of community source software development with proprietary, closed-source software development. It is even more important if you are looking for a case study of governance issues surrounding community source software development. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
This is an announcement posted by the State Library of Ohio regarding the selection of FulfILLment from Equinox for a statewide resource sharing system.
OPEN SOURCE STATEWIDE RESOURCE SHARING SYSTEM PROPOSAL FROM EQUINOX HAS BEEN ACCEPTED.
The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce Equinox Software Inc. has been selected to develop a new open source resource sharing solution called Equinox FulfILLment. The goal of the project is to develop a seamless resource sharing application under an open source licensing framework in an environment of disparate integrated library systems (ILSs).
This started out as a comment to a posting by Chris Coppola, president and co-founder of rSmart Group. The comment got longer and threaded with yesterday’s posting about the nature of BioMed Central, so I moved it to this posting on DLTJ. For those in the library community who are not familiar with rSmart, it provides commercial support for the Sakai collaboration and learning environment and the Kuali administrative systems suite. rSmart is somewhat equivalent to Equinox Software and LibLime in the library automation arena.
This posting has two goals — first, to introduce DLTJ readers to the notion of “Educational Patents” or “edupatents” and provide an update on events of this week. Second, to frame the sometimes contentious interaction between academic institutions and supporting businesses as one of “clashing values.” The former serves as a cautionary tale within the wider scope of the latter.
Are you following the world of “edupatents” (broadly defined as patents that affect the educational markets)? This kicked into gear about this time last year with Blackboard‘s lawsuit [PDF] against Desire2Learn over alleged infringements by Desire2Learn of a Blackboard patent. Michael Feldstein posted a layman’s analysis of the lawsuit and concludes that many “Learning Management Systems have most or all of the features listed in the claims and therefore may infringe on the patent.” Those in the list are not only Desire2Learn and other commercial packages, but also the open source Sakai and Moodle projects. Al Essa has a graphical view of Blackboard’s patent claims, and it does seem that the patent covers a broad spectrum of educational technologies that we are starting to take for granted.
There are days that I feel like Tom Cruise. No, I have no idea what it is like to be married to Nicole Kidman or Katie Holmes and I don’t have the secrets of Scientology. Let me rephrase: there are days that I feel like Jerry Macguire, the character Tom Cruise played in the movie by the same name. Have you seen it? Very early in the movie there is a scene where Jerry’s life as a top-tier sports agent is crumbling. He is on the phone with what turns out to be his last client — desperately trying to keep his business. The athlete (Cuba Gooding Jr. — I have no idea what it is like to be him either) gets Jerry to scream “Show Me The Money!” into the phone as a precondition for remaining his agent. In that vein, here is what I’m screaming into this PowerBook. (Imagine now that I am dancing around the room and standing on top of desks — not really a stretch for those that have seen my presentation style, I’ll admit.)
Recent posts by Richard Wallis and Paul Miller, both of Talis (a 40-year-old company in the U.K. specializing in information and metadata management), question a perceived division of library automation vendor technical staff with that of open source solution technical staff. I wasn’t at Code4Lib this year (I’m going to try to get there next year), but from the context of the blog postings and comments it seems like the Talis developers were showing some really cool stuff and concern was expressed by participants that they don’t want to see Code4Lib turned into a vendor forum.
This is a summary of a presentation by James L. Hilton, Vice President and CIO of University of Virginia, at the opening keynote session of Open Repositories 2007. I tried to capture the esessence of his presentation, and omissions, contradictions, and inaccuracies in this summary are likely mine and not that of the presenter.
Setting the stage
This is a moment in which institutions may be willing to invest in open source development in a systematic way (as opposed to what could currently be characterized as an ad hoc fashion) driven by these factors:
Sometimes the best way to solve a programming problem is to see how others have done the same thing. When that happens, having immediate access to the various search engines helps get you back on track quickly. Here are OpenSearch plug-ins (suitable for Firefox and MSIE7) that will search the Java code in five of the more popular source code search engines.
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]:
- Fedora repository is now a web application (.war) that can be installed in any container
- Fedora authentication has been refactored to use servlet filters (no longer Tomcat realms)
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.
Creating Applications in Four Tiers
Let’s start first with a description of the four tiers for software development.