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  OhioLINK Seeks Student Applications for Google Summer of Code Projects

Student applications for the Google Summer of Code
<> program are being accepted starting on May
1st. In preparation for that date, OhioLINK has finished up its list of
ideas and other supporting documentation. We welcome student
applications seeking to further the development of information
technology in academic libraries in Ohio and around the world. Questions
about the program? Take a look at Google's participant FAQ
<>. Questions about the
suggested projects or about OhioLINK? Contact Peter Murray
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

    OhioLINK-generated Ideas

This is the list of project ideas so far. Please take a look at the
project ideas page on the DRC-Dev wiki
<> for updates.

      JPIP Streaming Disseminator for Fedora

JPIP is Part 9 <> of the JPEG
2000 <> specification and is used to stream
image codestream blocks to a client on demand. For instance, a JPIP
client on a desktop may ask for a certain quality level and resolution
of a region of an image. Using the JPIP protocol, the client makes such
requests to a server and the server responds with only the image
codestream blocks needed by the client. This saves the overhead of
transmitting the entire image file when, say, only a thumbnail version
is required.

Fedora is the "Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository
Architecture", an open source digital object repository created by
Cornell University and the University of Virginia. A key aspect of the
Fedora software is its use of "disseminators" to create derivatives
on-demand of datastreams stored in the digital object package.

For this project, the idea is have a JPIP client (outside the scope of
this project) request an image of a specified quality/resolution/clip
and have the FEDORA/JPIP plug-in retrieve and copy out only the
precincts/packets directly from an archived master plus metadata needed
for the quality specified. In theory, no image processing on the server
would be required.

Extensions to this disseminator to enforce XACML policies (a capability
built into Fedora now) to determine maximum quality available for
different end-user types are desired.

You can imagine how useful a plugin like this would be. There would be
no need to retrieve the full master and create derivatives, nor
stockpile limited sets of derivatives outside of the archive against
possible end-user requests.

      JPIP Image Viewer Applet

In tandem with the "JPIP Streaming Disseminator for Fedora" proposed
above is a JPIP browser applet. Most browser-based JPEG 2000 plugins
must be licensed from a software vendor and are not freely
distributable. In order to deliver imagery in JPEG 2000 format to
standard browsers, one must use a server-side transformations of the
JPEG 2000 codestreams into JPEG chunks that are delivered to the
browser. Based on the user's requests -- to pan, zoom, select a new
region of the image, etc. -- the browser must make a new request to the
server and the server render a new JPEG image for the browser. This is
an inefficient use of server resources and forces a less-than-desirable
responsiveness in the user interface.

In addition, these general-purpose viewers do not have features, such as
the display of metadata boxes, important to the application of JPEG 2000
in the museum, library and archival communities. What is desired instead
is a cross-platform (Java, flash, etc.) JPIP
<> (streaming JPEG 2000)
viewer with these characteristics:

    * web distributable, browser compliant, and broadly available
    * ability to see the entire image and parts of an image with
      acceptable performance over narrow-band connections
    * manipulation functionality such as pan, zoom, rotate, invert, and
    * ability to put the image in its context with metadata that is
      either textual or in other media and can be made visible or
    * dynamic retrieve the contextual information
    * meets identified image quality requirements
    * transformative tools (i.e. the ability to save the image into a
      file format selected by the user)

      Video Snapshot Tool

OhioLINK's content repository includes approximately 1,900 educational
videos on various topics. These videos range in length from 20 minutes
to 80 minutes, and minimal description is provided for the video
content. We would like to add a capability for users browsing the
collection to see "snapshots" of what the video contains. In its
simplest form, the tool would pull out frames from the video in
equally-spaced increments. In a more advanced form, the tool would scan
the video looking for characteristics of scene changes and pull out the
/nth/ frame after the scene change. These frames would be stored as
individual images -- or possibly as index pointers into the video itself
-- in the object containing the video, and subsequently displayed to
users on the full-record view of the video.

      Bulk Video Conversion Using a Computational Grid

The 1,900 educational videos in OhioLINK's content repository are in
Realmedia format. We would like to have a tool that converts the
Realmedia format into a new streaming format. This tool would also be
used to convert incoming MPEG-2 videos into a streaming video format.
Since OhioLINK does not have a computational grid set up now, the
proposal must include assistance in setting up that grid (so long as the
grid setup is not a substantial part of the proposal -- it is the Summer
of /Code/ after all). Note that some background research
<> has been done using the
University of Wisconsin Condor cluster <>

      Prototype Motion JPEG2000 to Flash Video Transcoder / Viewer

OhioLINK is very interested in Motion JPEG2000
<> as an archival format for
moving image objects. We would like to explore the possibility of
transcoding Motion JPEG2000 to Flash Video (FLV)
<> -- possibly in realtime, otherwise in
batch -- for access by users through a Flash player.

(Note: OhioLINK is a licensee of the Kakadu toolkit for JPEG2000
<>. Although we would prefer an end-to-end
open source solution, Kakadu is available for OhioLINK JPEG2000-related

      Sakai-related Projects

On behalf of the Sakai community <>, OhioLINK is
interested in mentoring these projects (culled from a list provided by
Charles Severance through his blog posting
<>) that are related to our
own work of large-scale content management and services. When
considering these project ideas, please note Chuck's preface:

    Here is a list of projects in Sakai that coudl be done by a talented
    individual in a fixed period. All of these efforts are on Sakai's
    long-term roadmap but none are on the short-term roadmap. Generally
    these are not in the "Sakai core" areas - they add functionality
    rather than trying to refactor existing mature technology so they
    can be done without requiring much coordination with the rest of Sakai.

    Each of the tasks would be useful even if partially completed. Each
    of the tasks would naturally fit in a Sakai contrib area. Each of
    the tasks are relatively simple to describe at a high level but
    would require any individual to do a lot of research to figure
    things out. That individual should not expect to be "spoon fed" all
    the decisions and design - and just sit and code. Part of the
    challenge is to truly figure out "what to do" and "how to do it".

    The individual should expect reasonable mentoring to get high level
    questions answered but should expect to be looking at a lot of code
    in the beginning of the effort. A key aspect of the sumer of code is
    that people taking these tasks cannot be a "drag" on existing
    resources executing the short-term roadmap. High level mentoring can
    come from me and others and tactical mentoring should come from the
    Programmer's Cafe group.

    If folks want more detail - let me know <mailto:[log in to unmask]> - I
    am perfectly happy to have an hour-long phone call with anyone who
    is ready to spend a sumer or more working on any of these tasks -
    but until a resource shows up - these will continue to sit on the

Please contact us <mailto:[log in to unmask]> before submitting a
project proposal to Google for an item not on this list.

    * Build a set of HTTPUnitTests for Sakai Functionality (in
      OhioLINK's interest, particularly related to

    * Integrate JackRabbit's WebDav in Sakai
    * Add Pluto to Sakai (JSR-168 Support)
    * Extend the Sakai JSR-168 portlets to implement delegated security
    * A Sakai Portal that does HTTP Proxy (i.e. eliminates iFrames)
    * Build support for IMS Tool Interoperability Producer into Sakai

    Open Source License

OhioLINK prefers to use the Affero General Public License
<> (in advance of
changes anticipated in GNU GPLv3). Please indicate in your application
if you would prefer to use a different open source license.

    Coding Languages, Standards and Tools

Depending on the particular application, Perl or Java is the language of
choice for particular applications. (Languages are listed on the project
ideas <> page when it is
strongly encouraged that an implementation use one language over all
others.) In general, proposals that use a language already supported at
OhioLINK will be viewed more favorably than those that do not.

OhioLINK does not have strict coding standards. We expect proper
internal documentation and comments, including correctly formatted
JavaDocs where appropriate, following typical coding conventions.

We use Eclipse, NetBeans, and good ol' vi as development environments.
Your tastes may vary.

    Source Code Repository

OhioLINK runs a Subversion source code repository for our projects. You
may use that for your Summer of Code project, or you may use another
repository. Be sure to read Google's answer
<> to the question of where
coding must be done, though, if you choose to use another repository.

    Proposal Format

Google has provided some suggestions on writing your application:

    "24. What should an application look like? Your application should
    include the following: your project proposal, why you'd like to
    execute on this particular project, and the reason you're the best
    individual to do so. Your proposal should also include details of
    your academic, industry, and/or open source development experience,
    and other details as you see fit. An explanation of your development
    methodology is a good idea, as well. Note that there is a word limit
    to proposals, so be prepared to supplement your proposal text with
    links to an external site. However, you should still plan to provide
    an abstract of your proposal, including a brief list of
    deliverables, via the Summer of Code site to ensure that your work
    receives sufficient review; terse applications tend to look like
    incomplete applications during the review process."

We suggest a proposal format that mirrors that of the Perl
<> and
PostgreSQL <>

    Where can we contact you?
Project Title
    A short description.
Benefits to the OhioLINK and higher education community
    Quantifiable results e.g. "Improve X modules in ways Y and Z" or
    "Add capability X to function Y"
Project Details
    A more detailed description. You can't be too detailed.
Project Schedule
    How long do you think the project will take? (No longer than three
    months, of course.) What are the milestones?
    Who are you? What makes you the best person to work on this project?

Remember that all proposals must be submitted through the Google Summer
of Code website to be counted as part of Google's program.

If you correspond with us about an idea and we think you intend to apply
to the Summer of Code program, we'll remind you that your proposal must
be submitted through Google's website from May 1st to May 8th, and we
cannot take responsibility for your submission if you don't follow
Google's processes. Don't be too concerned if the technical details are
not all worked out; if your proposal is selected we can do that in the
early days of the project. But remember that all Summer of Code projects
should be large enough for you to work on full time for almost three

Peter Murray             
Assistant Director, Multimedia Systems  tel:+1-614-728-3600;ext=338
OhioLINK: the Ohio Library and Information Network   Columbus, Ohio