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On the Road with Fedora 4

From David Wilcox, Fedora Project Manager

Winchester, MA  I am attending a number of conferences on behalf of Fedora over the next few months, and I thought the community might be interested in hearing about these activities and my impressions of the events. I will endeavour to send out regular updates throughout the year. 

Museums and the Web
I participated in the Museums and the Web conference in Chicago, IL from April 6-11. I attended a very well-run Linked Open Data workshop [1] that provided a great, non-technical introduction to the topic, particularly in the context of use cases within the museum community. The workshop was very engaging, and it gave me some good ideas on how to improve the Fedora 4 workshops that we put on throughout the year.
I also participated in a Linked Open Data panel [2] with Stefano Cossu from the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Vela from the University of Alberta, and Cristina Pattuelli from the Pratt Institute. The panel was well-attended, and it gave me an opportunity to introduce Fedora 4 in the context of linked data to members of the museum community. My biggest take-away from the panel was the fact that many in the audience were skeptical about the benefits of implementing linked data at their institutions, particularly in terms of the business case. I think we need to remember that not everyone is sold on the concept of linked data, and we need to communicate the value proposition for both practitioners and high-level managers.
CNI (Coalition for Networked Information)
I attended the CNI Spring meeting in Seattle, WA from April 13-14. There were a number of good panels and presentations, including a Fedora 4 panel [4] that featured presentations from Robin Ruggaber (University of Virginia), Jon Dunn (Indiana University), and Rob Cartolano (Columbia University). The panel was very well-attended, with over 40 people in the room.
I provided a brief update on Fedora 4 before introducing the speakers, each of whom discussed current and upcoming projects with Fedora 4. The overall theme of the panel, that Fedora 4 is in production and ready to be used in a variety of scenarios, was clearly communicated to the audience, who spent the last 15 minutes of the session asking questions about Fedora 4 features and how to get started with a new installation. It’s great to be able to heartily recommend Fedora 4 to anyone starting a new repository project, rather than trying to choose between Fedora 3 and Fedora 4.