On Feb 18, 2014, at 5:43 PM, Brown, Jacob <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Greetings! A couple quick questions for Hydra or Islandora users/developers:
> 1) What made you choose your framework over others (for example, DSpace)? What is its "killer feature"? Flexibility? More metadata options? Availability of SPARQL endpoint? Language? The community?

We chose Hydra.  It was the only solution that fit our metadata and storage needs.  Hydra has a lot of flexibility, allowing you to model your content as you wish, and use any metadata standard you wish, while at the same time having a lot of very solid core features.  Being written in Ruby, and using the Rails framework, I found this compelling because I could develop new features fairly quickly.  Test-driven development practices, which are at the heart of Rails as well as Hydra, made me feel confident that introducing new features wouldn’t break existing ones.

The Hydra community has also been incredibly helpful, too.  I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done without it.

> 2) What has your experience been like developing within that framework? If you migrated from another digital asset management system, what are the comparative strengths/weakness of your framework?

For Ruby on Rails, I was completely new to it.  I knew a lot of PHP and Perl, but very little of Java.  This prevented me from digging into DSpace of Fedora’s source code for solutions.  Hydra helps you interface with Fedora, but in a Rails way.  I latched on to Ruby right away, and just sort of went from there.  It has its strengths and weaknesses, and its idiosyncrasies, no doubt, but as a framework/interface for Fedora, it fit the bill regarding our application needs, so the weaknesses and idiosyncracies weren’t an issue.  It was a steep learning curve, but that mostly had to do with my lack of experience with Rails, as well as Solr, Blacklight, and the other components of the Hydra “stack”.

I wouldn’t try to push it on someone else who’s trying to make their own decisions, but only offer my experiences and resources if you’d like to investigate it further.  Checkout the Dive into Hydra tutorial [1] and feel free to send questions to our mailing list: [log in to unmask]

Best of luck,


Adam Wead
Systems and Digital Collections Librarian
Library + Archives
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
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