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Report from Fedora Camp in NYC

Austin, TX  After successful Fedora Camps held at Duke University in North Carolina and Caltech in Southern California, the Fedora team hit the big city.  An intimate group of 22 Fedora enthusiasts came together at Columbia University in New York City November 28-30. Instructors from the US and Canada were on hand to teach and learn about core features, external Integrations, data modeling and linked data, Hydra and Islandora, migrating to Fedora 4, and deploying Fedora 4 in production. The high instructor to student ratio allowed for in-depth interactions and ensured that all participants progressed through the 3-day curriculum together.

Rob Cartolano, Associate Vice President, Digital Programs and Technology Services Columbia University Libraries/Information Services and host for Fedora Camp NYC was on hand to offer his views on why deep engagement with open source projects like Fedora pays off for his institution.  He explained, “It’s not just code; it’s working with our peers to develop and maintain a useable product. We can write code locally, but we get more value by contributing to larger open source projects where there is greater potential for a shared understanding, responsibility, interoperability and more.”

Participants set up a virtual machine and all systems worked well thanks to excellent Internet service provided by Columbia’s Butler Library. The overall experience was complimented by a strong set of instructional materials.

The team of six instructors: Diego Pino Navarro, digital repository developer, Metropolitan New York Library Council; Nick Ruest, digital assets librarian, York University Libraries; Ben Armintor, programmer/analyst, Columbia University Libraries' Digital Programs; Adam Wead, analyst/developer, Penn State University; David Wilcox, Fedora product manager, DuraSpace, and; Andrew Woods, Fedora tech lead, DuraSpace, were able to answer questions across several technologies. Useful discussions around the differences between Islandora and Hydra gave attendees opportunities to have their questions answered by experts in those platforms.

Development of the Islandora and Hydra platforms are converging around similar use cases. However most felt that choosing one or the other comes down to matching local expertise with specific use cases—ruby on rails (Hydra), Drupal (Islandora). Hydra requires technical staff to implement effectively, and offers dynamic flexibility, while Islandora is more easily deployed out-of-the-box.

A camp experience would not be complete without a campfire. In New York City the campfire took the form of a discoverygarden and DuraSpace co-hosted event on November 29 at the Bernheim and Schwartz Restaurant & Beer Hall. Along with good food and drink people from both communities had the opportunity to get to know one another and discuss their work.

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We welcome new members year-round. Fedora raised 97% of its fundraising target in 2016. We look forward to engaging with those not yet involved in Fedora community-supported open source software development in 2017. Learn more about becoming a member here.