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CODE4LIB  January 2013

CODE4LIB January 2013

Subject:

NEWS RELEASE: New Fedora Initiative Underway

From:

Tim Donohue <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 9 Jan 2013 10:23:05 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (104 lines)

(Just in case you haven't already seen it on another list)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Markow <[log in to unmask]>
Read it online: http://bit.ly/WNtbl2

Fedora—A Repository for the Future
New Fedora Initiative Underway

A group of stakeholders from the Fedora community have come together to 
begin the process of planning a three year software development project 
that will direct new resources toward a major Fedora overhaul, adding 
capabilities that will make Fedora the repository platform of choice for 
the future.  The group anticipates that improvements will include 
features such as greater scalability, data management support, storage 
flexibility, and others the community has been requesting. This new 
initiative is being called Fedora Futures.

The Coalition of Networked Information 2012 Fall Meeting held in 
Washington D.C. Dec. 10-11 was the setting for a session that introduced 
the Fedora Futures community initiative. Members of Fedora Futures 
announced the project and led a discussion on the future of the Fedora 
Repository that included a review of the current state of Fedora, the 
proponents and objectives of the Futures initiative, and a review on the 
use cases, stakeholders, high level requirements and processes which are 
guiding the project.  The group is now seeking broader community input 
and will be reaching out to current DuraSpace sponsors and others in the 
near future.  The discussion was standing room only, with 75 interested 
attendees packed into the venue. The presentation is available on the 
Fedora Futures wiki: 
https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+Futures+Home.



The discussion at CNI revolved around one central question, posed by 
Mark Leggott, University Librarian at Prince Edward Island and chair of 
the Fedora Futures Steering Group: “Given the success and value of 
Fedora as an open source, digital repository over the last 12 years, how 
can the community marshal an effort to enhance the platform in order to 
meet the known and emerging needs and opportunities in the repository 
arena?”

“Fedora has a worldwide community of adopters, and has proven itself as 
flexible, extensible and durable architecture,” said Tom Cramer, Chief 
Technology Strategist at Stanford University. He added, “for the Futures 
project, our objectives are to preserve these strengths, while 
increasing its performance, scalability and modularity, and reducing its 
complexity at the same time.” Another primary objective is to expand the 
pool of developers actively committing to the project.

Matthias Razum, head of EScience from FIZ Karlsruhe, presented the use 
cases and stakeholder profiles that are guiding the new wave of 
development. These include managing research and heterogeneous data more 
efficiently; improving administrability of the repository, and 
interacting with the linked data and the semantic web. Per Razum, “Our 
targeted actors are not just administrators and developers, but also 
curators and researchers; the repository of the future has to serve 
needs across the whole information lifecycle.”

Eddie Shin of MediaShelf LLC and a longtime Fedora committer, was 
introduced as the project’s interim Product Manager. Shin reviewed the 
technical and development approach that the project group is 
undertaking. “We plan to provide next generation repository while 
ensuring a smooth upgrade path for existing institutions. We’ll do this 
through a lean development methodology, with rapid development and 
continuous release of functionality produced in short iterations.”

The Fedora Futures initiative is being seeded by a coalition of 
institutions that are all keenly interested in seeing Fedora adapt to 
meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs for a robust repository platform. 
Working hand-in-glove with DuraSpace, the founding members of the 
initiative are Columbia University, FIZ Karlsruhe, MediaShelf LLC, 
Oxford University, the Smithsonian Institute, Stanford University, 
University of Prince Edward Island, and the University of Virginia. Each 
of these institutions has committed to contributing significant 
financial and/or personnel to the redevelopment effort.

Jonathan Markow, Chief Strategy Officer at DuraSpace, extended an 
invitation to the entire Fedora community to participate in the effort. 
“The Futures group has catalyzed renewed development for Fedora, but for 
the effort to achieve its full potential for all stakeholders, we need 
to enlist not only Fedora’s current committers, but also all adopters, 
sponsors and service providers.” A prospectus is available to those who 
would like to get involved as contributors to this effort by contacting 
Jonathan Markow <[log in to unmask]>.  University of Virginia, 
Discovery Garden and University of Prince Edward Island, Stanford 
University, Columbia University, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, 
FIZ Karlsruhe, and MediaShelf have already pledged substantial resources 
to the project.

Questions about the technical direction of the project or offers of 
development support can be made to Edwin Shin 
<[log in to unmask]>

MORE INFORMATION

• A Fedora Futures prospectus is available here: 
https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+Futures+Prospectus
• The Fedora Futures wiki: 
https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+Futures+Home
• Slides from the Fedora Futures session at the 2012 CNI Fall Member 
Meeting: http://www.slideshare.net/Tom-Cramer/fedora-futures-cni-2012
• "Fedora Futures Kicks Off at CNI" blog post: 
http://duraspace.org/fedora-futures-kicks-cni

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