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This is the July 2017 edition of the Fedora Newsletter. This newsletter summarizes the most significant activities within the Fedora community over the last month.

Call for Action

Fedora is designed, built, used, and supported by the community. An easy and important way that you can contribute to the effort is by helping resolve outstanding bugs. If you have an interest in gaining a better understanding of the Fedora code base, or a specific interest in any of these bugs, please add a comment to a ticket and we can work together to move your interest forward.

Membership

Fedora is funded entirely through the contributions of DuraSpace members that allocate their annual funding to Fedora. The 2016 membership campaign concluded with $564,750 in funding and 74 members. The 2017 membership campaign kicked off in May, and so far the Fedora project has raised $449,750 from 55 members. The annual goal this year is $580,000, so we are over 75% of the way there. We will continue to coordinate with members of the Fedora Leadership Group to expand the pool of DuraSpace members supporting the Fedora project and build a sustainable funding base for the future. If your institution is not yet a member of DuraSpace in support of Fedora, please join us!

Upgrades

We would like to thank Rutgers University for upgrading their annual membership from Bronze to Silver and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for upgrading their annual membership from Silver to Gold in support of Fedora this year. For more information on membership and benefits please see the DuraSpace website.

Training

Fedora and Samvera Camp UK

DuraSpace and Data Curation Experts are pleased to invite you to attend the Fedora and Samvera (formerly Hydra) Camp at Oxford University, Sept 4 - 8, 2017. The camp will be hosted by Oxford University and is supported by JiscPrevious Fedora Camps include the inaugural camp held at Duke University, the West Coast camp at CalTech, and the most recent, NYC camp held at Columbia University. Hydra Camps have been held throughout the US and in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  Most recently, DCE hosted the inaugural Advanced Hydra Camp focusing on advanced Hydra developer skills. The camp curriculum has been published on the wiki.

The early bird discount expires July 10 so register here soon!

Fedora Camp Texas

We are pleased to announce that Fedora Camp Texas, co-hosted by Texas Digital Library and the University of Texas Libraries, will be offered at the University of Texas at Austin's Perry-Castañeda Library in Austin October 16-18, 2017. Training will begin with the basics and build toward more advanced concepts–no prior Fedora experience is required. Participants can expect to come away with a deep dive Fedora learning experience coupled with multiple opportunities for applying hands-on techniques working with experienced trainers and Fedora gurus. 

The camp curriculum has been posted - register today and join us in Austin! An early bird rate is available until August 14 and attendance is limited to the first 40 registrants. Local accommodations are available at a reduced rate.

Software development 

Standards

Fedora API Specification

After much discussion and iteration, the initial public working draft of the Fedora API Specification is now available for broader public review.

As described in the specification charter, this specification is designed to:

  • Define the characteristics and expectations of how clients interact with Fedora implementations
  • Define such interactions such that an implementation’s conformance is testable
  • Enable interoperability by striving to minimize the need for modifications to client applications in order to work with different implementations of the Fedora API specification

This announcement for public comment on the initial working draft marks the beginning of a projected four-month period within which time we are targeting the graduation of the specification to “candidate recommendation”. Please contact the Fedora Community or Fedora Specification Editors with any general comments or if you would like to participate in implementation and/or test suite sprints. Any comments on details of the specification, itself, should be posted as GitHub issues.

Community-driven Activity

4.7.3 Release

The Fedora 4.7.3 release is now available. It is a backwards compatible refinement of the previous release, which fixes a namespace-corrupting bug that has the effect of Fedora being unable to successfully start after having been shut down. Please see the release notes for complete instructions. 

Fedora 4 in Production

Deploying Fedora 4, or Migrating from Fedora 3 to Fedora 4 is a challenge with built-in rewards. This series of articles, “Fedora 4 in Production” looks into why and how community members are working with Fedora 4 to enhance both collections and workflow at their institutions. In this second article, Allen Flynn, Research Analyst and Technology Lead at the University of Michigan Medical School, describes Fedora 4 development of the Knowledge Grid, an open repository of digital knowledge objects aimed at keeping health information accessible and safe at the University of Michigan Medical School and beyond.

The first article in the series features Dan Coughlin, IT Manager, Digital Scholarship and Repository Development, Penn State Libraries, who describes Fedora 4 in production at Penn State ScholarSphere.

Fedora Contributor Profiles

The Fedora project relies on many individuals and institutions to ensure the project's success. We are grateful for their commitment and will showcase their contributions in a series of community profiles aimed at recognizing our contributors’ achievements, and introducing them to the rest of the community. The fourth article in the series features Aaron Birkland from Johns Hopkins University, who has been a contributor to Fedora since the early days of Fedora 2. His focus is currently on the Fedora API-X Extension Architecture Project that will extend the native functionality of a Fedora 4 repository.The full article is available on the DuraSpace website

Previous articles feature Nick Ruest from York University, Bethany Seeger from Amherst College, and Danny Bernstein from DuraSpace.

Import/Export Tooling

One of the design goals of Fedora is to simplify the process of both getting your resources into and out of Fedora in a standardized way. This enables the reuse of Fedora resources in other contexts, such as exporting to a separate preservation system, as well as provides a pathway for migrating across Fedora installations. This design goal is being met by an external Import/Export tool that supports transacting in RDF and (optionally) BagIt bags.

A new release of the Import/Export utility based on the work that was accomplished during the last code sprint is now available. Additionally, the related Import/Export Verification tool which is designed to provide assurance that exports from or imports to Fedora were complete and successful is approaching its next milestone release. If you would like to participate as developer, tester, or to write documentation, please contact Andrew Woods.

We would like to thank the following individuals and their institutions for participating in the last sprint:

  • Ben Pennell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Bridget Almas, Tufts University
  • Danny Bernstein, DuraSpace
  • Esmé Cowles, Princeton University
  • Harsha Ummerpillai, University of Michigan - ICPSR
  • Jim Coble, Duke Univesrity
  • Joshua Westgard, University of Maryland
  • Kieran Etienne, Penn State University
  • Longshou Situ, University of California, San Diego
  • Michael Durbin, University of Virginia
  • Youn Noh, Yale University

Conferences and events

In an attempt to simplify the task of keeping up with Fedora-related meetings and events, a Fedora calendar is available to the community as HTML  and iCal .

Previous Events

Open Repositories

The annual Open Repositories conference was held in Brisbane, Australia, June 26-30. Fedora was well-represented at the conference, starting with a workshop on June 26 that featured introductory materials and a section on the API Extension Framework delivered by Aaron Birkland. The Fedora, Samvera, and Islandora communities were represented on a redux of the Repository Rodeo panel to kick off the main conference, and David Wilcox and Andrew Woods delivered a Fedora update and year in review at the beginning of the Fedora Interest Group track. Other Fedora Interest Group track presentations included an update on the Import/Export utility, an overview of API-X, and updates from Fedora community members. Fedora was also featured in a panel on integration with the Open Science Framework. Additionally, Aaron Birkland and Conal Tuohy won first prize at the Ideas Challenge for an idea that combines API-X and a web service system to produce a scripting environment for repositories. Congratulations, Aaron and Conal!

Upcoming Events

VIVO Conference

The annual VIVO conference brings together users, managers and developers from around the world to share the latest developments in semantic web academic profiles. Whether an experienced user, or just starting out, this is the event to attend. This year's conference will feature a workshop on Fedora and a session on integrating VIVO with Fedora. Spaces are limited so please register in advance!

IFLA WLIC

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) takes place August 19-25 in Wrocław, Poland. The congress will be preceded by several satellite events. David Wilcox, Fedora Product Manager, will attend the congress to present a paper on Fedora and digital preservation, as well as a Data Curator’s Roles and Responsibilities satellite meeting to present a paper on Fedora and research data. 

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