NOW AVAILABLE: Fedora 4.4.0—Progress Towards Key Objectives

Tue, 2015-10-20 11:27 -- carol

Winchester, MA  On October 12, 2015 Fedora 4.4.0  was released by the Fedora team. Full release notes are included in this message and are also available on the wiki: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+4.4.0+Release+Notes. This new version furthers several major objectives including:

• Tighten the definition of the RESTful application programming interface (API)
• Further align this API to community standards, including the Linked Data Platform [3] (LDP) and Web Access Control [4] (WebAC)
• Improve tooling for legacy Fedora repositories to Fedora4
• Improve tooling for external services live in the ecosystem around the repository
• Fix bugs
 
This release is a major release (i.e. 4.4.0 instead of 4.3.1) because there are a two updates that are not strictly speaking backwards compatible with 4.3.0:
 
• HTTP GET requests on descriptions of NonRDF resources (i.e. binaries) now return RDF triples that all have the NonRDF resource as the subject, whereas previously the returned RDF contained a mix of subjects in the response: some subjects were the NonRDF resource, some subjects were the NonRDF description resource
• When requesting the fixity service [5] be performed on a binary resource, the "status" of the fixity result has been changed in this release from: "fedora:status" to "premis:hasEventOutcome"
 
Although not a backwards incompatible update in the 4.4.0 release, it should be noted that the Import and Export services [6] have been deprecated due to their reliance on a JCR serialization versus an RDF-centric approach. These services will be supplanted by externalized machinery that transacts in RDF.
 
Resources
 
This release has been built against Java 8
 
• Downloads [1]
• Javadocs [2]
 
Team
 
Release Manager
Andrew Woods
 
Developers
Yinlin Chen
Aaron Coburn
Esmé Cowles
Osman Din
Michael Durbin
Peter Eichman
James R. Griffin III
Daniel Lamb
Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed
Nick Ruest
Miroslav Simek
A. Soroka
Jared Whiklo
Andrew Woods
 
Issue Reporters
Yinlin Chen
Aaron Coburn
Esmé Cowles
Justin Coyne
Osman Din
Michael Durbin
Peter Eichman
Daniel Lamb
Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed
Nick Ruest
Rob Sanderson
Miroslav Simek
A. Soroka
Trey Terrell
Joshua Westgard
Jared Whiklo
Andrew Woods
 
Updates
 
Community Registry
To minimize the barriers to using Fedora, a free, open source application, there is no required "registration" process. However, it is extremely beneficial to the broader Fedora community if we collectively aggregate some minimal details describing our respective repository installations.
 
DuraSpace maintains a registry [7] of installations that is populated on a voluntary basis. The 4.4.0 release raises the visibility of that registry, and hopefully the likelihood that repository managers will self-register [8] in it, by adding a link on the Fedora installation spash-page requesting exactly that.
 
Application Programming Interface
One of the technical priorities [9] of Fedora is to define a well-specified application programming interface (API) against which client applications can be written and future server-side implementations can be created. This FedoraAPI should be clear and detailed enough such that a cooresponding technology compatibility kit [10] (TCK) would be able to indicate if the any Fedora implementation fullfills or diverges from the specification. With this in mind, several issues where addressed in this release that clean up Fedora's RESTful interaction and tease out the non-core aspects of the Fedoraontology [11].
 
Linked Data Platform alignment
Fedora is a Linked Data Platform (LDP) server implementation. This release fixes a few bugs that relate to the interactions that an LDP client should expect.
 
Upgrading and Migrating
A primary focus of the ongoing Fedora effort is to facilitate the upgrade/migration of Fedora3 repositories to Fedora4. To this end, a couple of improvements have been incorporated into the "migration-utils [12]" upgration utility.
 
• Add Fedora2 to the configurable list of migration sources
• Map legacy PIDs to user-defined Fedora4 predicates, versus the previous dc:identifier mapping
 
External Services
One of the exciting capabilities that Fedora enables is the creation of distributed, asynchronous, message-driven services that are external to the core repository but are triggered by repository events. This release further improves the deployment and runtime configurability of the Fedora-related Apache Camel-based [13] features. 
 
Web Access Control
A significant community success that is found in this release is an initial implementation of an Web Access Control [14] authorization module. This authorization module enables the establishment of access policies modeled as linked data. This feature was initiated, planned, designed, and implemented by a group of community stakeholders.
 
Housekeeping and Bugfixes
Numerous refactorings, bugfixes, and clean-up tasks were addressed in this release. For a complete list, please see the release notes on the wiki: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Fedora+4.4.0+Release+Notes.
 
References