AVAILABLE: The Quarterly Report from Fedora

Mon, 2013-11-18 15:20 -- carol

From The Fedora Steering Group

The past year has seen substantial progress in developing Fedora 4, thanks to the tremendous reinvestment and reinvigoration by the community. This report summarizes the major advances in the project for its first year towards extending Fedora's leading role in flexible and versatile data repository solutions by meeting the ever growing demands of research data management and facilitating the integration in scalable data centre architectures. Future reports will be produced each quarter. More information is available here: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+Futures+Home

The Quarterly Report from Fedora
September 2013

Fundraising - July 2013 marked the beginning of a new funding year for DuraSpace, and contributions to DuraSpace earmarked for Fedora totaled $354,000--more than double last year’s total of $173,000. All but three Fedora sponsors renewed from the previous year, and new institutions have joined as Fedora sponsors, specifically to support Fedora 4 development.  Based on the strength of this budget, Andrew Woods joined the Fedora team as a full time tech lead in May 2013. The Fedora project plans to hire a dedicated product manager by January 2014. The project still needs several additional sponsors to meet its Year 1 fundraising target of $500,000.

Budget Planning - DuraSpace worked closely with the Fedora Steering Group to develop a sustainable budget for the project.  Michele Kimpton presented this budget model at the DuraSpace Summit in March 2013, and at OR2013 in July. The Fedora Steering Group reviewed the budget in September 2013, and set priorities for the project based on current income projections.  Primary goals are to sustain Fedora with a solid budget model, not run a deficit, support the full-time staff, and review Fedora-related expenses on a regular basis.  DuraSpace continues to provide details on their services and expenses, helping to bring a common understanding of expenses and the value of their services to Fedora and the Fedora community.

Technical Advancement - The development team delivered an Alpha release of Fedora 4 at the 2013 Open Repositories conference, less than six months after starting development. The Alpha supports 80% of Fedora 3’s functionality in 7% of the code base, with seven times greater test coverage, and support for numerous, longstanding Fedora enhancements: clustering, batch operations, transaction support, and greatly simplified installation and administration.

The Fedora development team also released Fedora 3.6 and Fedora 3.7, providing significant performance and integrity enhancements to  the Fedora community currently using Fedora 3.

Six Fedora 4 Beta Phase sprints–full-speed software development runs over short periods of time–have been completed in 2013, with five more planned through the end of the year. Each sprint focuses on different aspects of Beta Phase Fedora 4 development made possible with contributions from Fedora stakeholder institutions that allocate developer time.

2013 Sprint highlights:
Sprint B1 Summary: Authentication and Authorization, Policy-driven storage, Hydra & Islandora Integration
Sprint B2 Summary: Triplestore, Large Files, Policy-driven storage
Sprint B3 Summary: Authentication and Authorization, Fedora 3 to 4 Upgrade, Backup and Restore
Sprint B4 Summary: Fedora 3 to 4 Upgrade, Triplestore, Search

Grant Development - The Fedora project did not receive grant support in the past or current fiscal year. Fedora Steering is looking into potential grant opportunities, with a strategy of using grant funds for specific enhancements.  There is consensus that grant funds not be used to substitute for operational support, but rather to help extend Fedora into new areas such as research data support or media repository capabilities. Please contact ff-steering@googlegroups.com if you would like to help identify grant programs to support ongoing innovations towards developing the Fedora repository of the future.

Developer Resources - Twelve committers participated in Fedora 4 development through the end of September 2013.  Edwin Shin (Data Curation Experts) served as the tech lead through June 2013, and Andrew Woods (DuraSpace) became the tech lead starting in late June 2013.  Two code fests were held in the past year, and we continue to see rising interest and excitement about Fedora 4 in the developer community.  We plan to hold two or three code fests in the upcoming year, including a European event, with a goal of six developers on every sprint and 24 total committers. Please contact Andrew Woods awoods@duraspace.org, or the Fedora Steering Committee ff-steering@googlegroups.com if you are able to commit developer resources to ongoing, fast-paced Fedora development. A commitment of at least .5 FTE entitles an organization to representation on the Fedora Advisory Group.

Community Engagement - Over the past year, the Fedora Steering Group has taken several steps to engage the Fedora community.  Activities included multiple individual and group conference calls, participation in face-to-face meetings and events, the creation of the Fedora Advisors Group, dozens of posts to the Fedora blog along with numerous press releases and e-mail blasts.  The Fedora technical mailing list now has over 100 members.  Goals for the upcoming quarter include a redesign of the Fedora web site, establishing a Fedora users list, and meeting with Fedora Advisors at upcoming conferences.

Conferences - DuraSpace and the Fedora Steering Group have participated in several conferences, starting with CNI in December 2012, Code4Lib, DuraSpace Sponsors Meeting, Open Repositories 2013 at PEI, EDUCAUSE, DLF and several Hydra and Islandora meetings.  Upcoming meetings include CNI in December, DCC in February, iPRES in Australia, Code4Lib in March and RDA in Dublin in March.

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