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CODE4LIB  October 2017

CODE4LIB October 2017

Subject:

Re: Lightweight IR infrastructure

From:

Josh Welker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:09:18 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (161 lines)

>
> I think it's actually worth interrogating and getting specific about what
> we mean by "preservation features".
> I think they may not actually be all that complicated or hard to add on to
> nearly any solution.  I think an actual 'repository solution' may actually
> not be as complicated as people assume when you actually specify it.


Great point, and that is exactly what I mean. Writing a script to loop
through files and save checksums to a database or CSV file is an afternoon
project. Throwing backups out in Amazon Glacier is a drag-and-drop
operation.

Likewise, submitting files and entering metadata are basic CRUD operations.
There are literally hundreds of easy-to-use frameworks or even CMS tools
that can do it. You could throw together a Wordpress or Drupal site to do
it.

And discovery is something every library already does as a core service. We
have systems for storing, indexing, and searching metadata. It's literally
what we do.

Joshua Welker
Information Technology Librarian
James C. Kirkpatrick Library
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
JCKL 2260
660.543.8022


On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 9:03 AM, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I think it's actually worth interrogating and getting specific about what
> we mean by "preservation features".
>
> I think they may not actually be all that complicated or hard to add on to
> nearly any solution.  I think an actual 'repository solution' may actually
> not be as complicated as people assume when you actually specify it.
>
> The main preservation feature people actually use, "fixity", is just taking
> a checksum of a file (perhaps using SHA1), storing it somewhere, and then
> later checking to make sure the file still has the same checksum, and
> alerting if it does not. This is a relatively simple feature to add to any
> software.
>
> If we look at what Fedora, for instance, actually advertises as it's
> preservation features, here:
>
> http://fedorarepository.org/fedora-and-digital-preservation
>
> Persistence:  Okay, any system provides some kind of persistent storage,
> and "Deposited files are stored on the filesystem in a predictable
> location" seems to matter for backup purposes.  I'm not sure this
> particular implementation is actually a requirement for proper
> back-up-ableness, but if it is it's not too hard to do.
>
> Fixity and Audit: See above. Pretty straightforward to implement in any
> system.
>
> Versioning:  This is the most challenging feature to implement, but as a
> consequence our actually existing systems often implement it incompletely
> if at all, and this does not seem to bother many.  While Fedora can do
> versioning for metadata or attached files, Sufia/Hyrax only provide UI/API
> for versioning attached files, and the functionality is pretty limited at
> that. I think most people using Fedora through sufia or hyrax are not
> making use of versioning much if at all.  The experimental "Valkyrie"
> system (a new persistence layer for Samvera (nee hydra)) does not yet
> implement versioning of any kind, and I believe the institutions planning
> on adopting Valkyrie do not require it for an initial production
> implementation.
>
> Import/export: Of course some kind of import/export is trivial, but this
> point also suggests an _interoperable_ import/export. "Integration with
> preservation systems external to Fedora", "Avoidance of 'platform lock-in'"
> -- while Fedora aims to do this via an import/export in RDF, it turns out
> "it's in RDF" isn't enough to provide interoperability, and I'm not sure
> interoperable imports/exports actually exist at all to this day
> realistically.  It turns out to be a very hard problem, more about
> modelling, and the difficulty of consistent modelling that is expressive
> enough for any system, than about technical implementation.
>
>
> I think our community over-mystifies "preservation features" to some
> extent.  The ones we actually have are all either simple enough that it is
> not hard to implement in any system, or complicated enough that actually
> existing systems don't even do a great job of them, and that doesn't seem
> to be stopping anyone.
>
> I think there's no fundamental reason much simpler preservation solutions
> can't be available, than what we generally have access to now.  Simpler,
> with much lower total-cost-of-ownership. Especially for smaller and simpler
> institutions. And think it's a great idea for people to experiment in that
> direction.
>
> Jonathan
>
>
>
> On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 8:59 PM, Bryan Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Josh,
> >
> >
> > Theres nothing wrong with what you are describing if its all your
> > institution needs, but I would be careful about promoting that as an IR.
> An
> > IR is much more than a bunch of documents. The metadata modelling,
> > preservation features and indexing that you want to leave out are what
> > makes it a repository. Also, the infrastructure you are describing may
> lack
> > flexibility in the future if you decide you want to add new features to
> it.
> >
> >
> > Bryan J. Brown
> >
> > Repository Developer
> >
> > Technology & Digital Scholarship Division
> >
> > Florida State University Libraries
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Josh
> > Welker <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:51:34 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [CODE4LIB] Lightweight IR infrastructure
> >
> > We're a mid-sized university library (10,000 fte) trying to get an IR off
> > the ground to showcase student and faculty research. We've had a DSpace
> > instance running for several years, but we use so few of its features
> that
> > DSpace ends up being more trouble than it is worth. In particular, it's
> > very frustrating to deal with metadata editing, file management, the
> Handle
> > URL system, and HTML/CSS theming.
> >
> > I am considering leaving the DSpace model in favor of our "IR" just
> being a
> > glorified FTP site that MARC records in our catalog can point to. I might
> > even build a tiny frontend using some scripting language to add IP
> > authentication, URL redirect stuff, or a Google Scholar interface, but
> > that's really it. No metadata modelling, no preservation features, no
> > indexing.
> >
> > Does anyone have experience using a very small, file-based (as opposed to
> > database-driven) application as a foundation for an IR? Are there any
> > problems I should anticipate?
> >
> > Joshua Welker
> > Information Technology Librarian
> > James C. Kirkpatrick Library
> > University of Central Missouri
> > Warrensburg, MO 64093
> > JCKL 2260
> > 660.543.8022
> >
>

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