By Sandy Payette, Executive Director Fedora Commons Welcome to the first issue of HatCheck in 2009. We hope that you have found our quarterly newsletter interesting and informative, and we encourage you to contact us if you have interesting Fedora news to report or events to announce!
A big focus of Fedora Commons this year will be community building. From a software development perspective, Chris Wilper has taken the reigns as Technical Lead for the Fedora Repository Project. Chris is really motivated to work with new committers and contributors from the Fedora community and he is working to make it easier for new developers to participate. Watch for announcements on the new web presence for the Fedora Repository Project that will provide better organization of all information about Fedora. In the meantime, please check out the new “Welcome” page for new developers if you would like to learn more about getting involved with Fedora development (see: http://fedora-commons.org/confluence/display/FCREPO/Welcome).
Thorny Staples, Director of Community Outreach and Alliances, has been on the road visiting Fedora users, attending workshops, and building new partnerships. Personally, I really enjoy Thorny’s trip reports since he is uncovering so many interesting uses of Fedora. Be sure to read Thorny’s article in this issue to learn more about what’s new and exciting in the Fedora user community.
Many of you are wondering how our strategic partnership with the DSpace Foundation is going. The simple answer is – GREAT! Our joint venture project, DuraSpace, is progressing nicely. Briefly, DuraSpace can be understood as follows: a hosted service, run by a non-profit organization, that takes advantage of cloud storage and cloud computing, while adding value to help ensure longevity and re-use of digital content. For those who have not seen our presentations and Webinars on DuraSpace, we are currently in the prototyping phase of the project, with a target of June 2009 for the first unveiling of the service (which will be a working prototype system). We are currently developing partnerships with cloud providers who offer both storage and compute. We are also lining up a set of partners for pilot projects to demonstrate the value of DuraSpace. One of the first use cases we will demonstrate is DuraSpace augmenting the functionality of repositories (initially Fedora, DSpace, and EPrints). To this end, we will be developing DuraSpace plug-ins for each of these repository platforms. We will also work with our pilot partners to demonstrate a variety of other DuraSpace use cases supporting research, archiving, and open content.
For the latest updates on DuraSpace and our partnership with the DSpace Foundation, I encourage everyone to attend Open Repositories 2009 (OR09) in Atlanta on May 18-21, 2009. This is the biggest event of the year for communities working on open repositories, and we are delighted that our keynote speaker will be John Wilbanks, VP of Science for Creative Commons and head of Science Commons. In addition to the main OR09 program, Fedora Commons will host the annual meeting of the international Fedora User Group. This year, we will coordinate the user group plenary sessions with DSpace to give everyone a chance to hear more about our shared strategies and future vision. Then, we will move into a full Fedora program with technical updates from Chris Wilper and many great presentations from the Fedora community. I really look forward to seeing everyone at OR09. Be there!