Use-a-Thon Dividends: Creating Exhibits in Islandora

As we noted in last week's Look Back at Islandoracon, our Islandora 8 Use-a-Thon was a huge success and participants solved some pretty significant use cases using nothing but Drupal modules and configuration. This week I'd like to showcase one of the entries that didn't, but that presents a well-researched, very well demo-'d start list of options for creating exhibits in Islandora 8. Presented by The Exhibitionists (Mark Jordan, David Keiser-Clark, Don Richards, Lucas van Schaik, Alan Stanley, Charlie Tillay), we have Islandora 8 Exhibitions and TimeLineJS.

In the main thrust of the use case, the group lays out how to deploy a sleek, interactive timeline tool that can present your resource nodes. It's user friendly both to the manager who populates it, and the end users who use it to browse your exhibit, and it's already perfectly deployable in Islandora 8 (as we saw in a live demo!). They also explored some other ways to build exhibit-type views of resource nodes in islandora; it's well worth checking out the full recipe. TimeLineJS in action:

A screenshot of a TimeLineJS timeline featuring Nelson Mandela

Stay tuned for more from the Islandoracon Use-a-Thon in coming weeks! We have eight amazing entries, every one of which produced valuable recommendations for anyone deploying Islandora.

Looking Back at Islandoracon 2019

Last week, the Islandora community came together for its third major conference, dubbed Islandoracon and held in Vancouver, BC. Our hosts at Vancouver Public Library and Simon Fraser University put us up in some fantastic locations (see below!), but the real highlights of the week came from what our attendees brought with them to the workshops, general sessions, and Use-a-Thon

 

Vancouver, as seen from Vancouver Public Library's 9th floor
Vancouver, as seen from Vancouver Public Library's 9th floor

Workshops

The conference opened with four half-day workshops, with "Islandora 101" style introductions to Islandora 7 and Islandora 8, an overview of Islandora ISLE, and training in how to build your own plugins (PDF). We closed out the main conference with more workshops, running two tracks of 90-minute deep-dives into different use cases and tools, such as Working with Linked Data and Ontologies, Islandora as an IR, and Preservation in Islandora 8.

Sessions

The main conference opened with updates about the Islandora Foundation, the Islandora community, and the exciting new world of Islandora 8 and its much closer connections to Drupal, before opening up the floor to a wide variety of sessions submitted by members of the Islandora community. We have been gathering up slides and linking to them in the conference schedule wherever we can.

Use-a-Thon

Our first-ever Islandora Use-a-Thon was designed to explore what we can achieve by leaning into Drupal and solving common use cases with contributed modules and configuration. Our community rose to the challenge beyond our wildest expectations, and we'll be spending the next few weeks unpacking the results for you. Every one of the eight entries produced something of real and immediate value for Islandora, giving our judges (Alex Kent, Danny Lamb, Rosie Le Faive, and Bethany Seeger) a real challenge to pick these top three winners:

Third Place: Archives & Archives-Adjacent

Goal: gathering specific use-cases to support archival materials in Islandora 8

Results!

Second Place: The Islandora 8 Collectioneers

Goal: "Search within this collection". Stretch goal: "Search underneath this collection, including subcollections"

Results!

First Place: What’s in a Name(space)?

Goal: Defining a path forward for multi-tenancy implementations in Islandora 8

Results!

 

Overall, it was a pretty incredible week and a real celebration of our community and all that we can acheive together. Next year we'll go back to holding smaller Islandora Camps around the world, but stay tuned for Islandoracon to return on 2021!

Paged Content Sprint Results

I would like to thank everyone involved for yet another successful community sprint. Our goal was to implement paged content, the #1 requested feature from our recent community survey. This included

  • Generating IIIF manifests for paged content
  • Adapting our openseadragon module to read IIIF manifests
  • Adding a 'weight' field to our default content type, Repository Item.
  • A draggable UI for re-ordering pages
  • Extracting text from pages using OCR

After two weeks of intense sprinting, with two more for testing and merging in the code, I am pleased to announce that we have implemented each and every one of these features. The community has provided a fully functional paged content solution, replete with automated tests! This is an incredible achievement for us, further showcasing that large features and high quality code can be provided by our small but focused group of community contributors.

Speaking of whom, the next time you use paged content in Islandora 8, you have the following fine community members to thank:

  • Seth Shaw - University of Nevada at Las Vegas
  • William Matheson - Prince Rupert Library
  • Nat Kanthan - University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Eli Zoller - Arizona State University
  • Minnie Rangel - University of Texas at Austin
  • Jared Whiklo - University of Manitoba
  • Danny Bernstein - Lyrasis
  • Jonathan Hunt - Catalyst
  • Joe Corall - Kent State University

In particular, the Islandora Foundation would like to thank first time sprint contributors Minnie Rangel, Danny Bernstein, and Joe Corall for their pull requests. We'd also like to recognize Alan Stanley from UPEI, who developed text extraction for both images and PDFs prior to the sprint for UPEI's CANARIE funded Research Data Management project.

For those who would like to see the feature first-hand, we'll be distributing VMs containing it (as well as other improvements) at Islandoracon. We'll also be updating our sandbox at future.islandora.ca as well. It all depends on one final installation pull request, which once merged, will also make the code available from our dev branch for those inclined to run the installer themselves.

Upcoming Webinar: Islandora 8 and Research Data Management at UPEI

The University of Prince Edward Island, birthplace of Islandora, is working on a CANARIE funded project to create a Research Data Management (RDM) platform that utilizes and extends Islandora 8.

Still a work-in-progress, the project team will share and demonstrate aspects of the current iteration of the RDM platform including:

  • A review of the RDM use case and an overview of the features we are developing/implementing
  • UPEI's approach to content types, integrations, microservices, and preservation
  • Features that have integrated back into the core platform
  • Tools and features that can be applied beyond the RDM use case.

Register now to join us on November 7th at 9:00 AM Eastern.

Islandoracon Pre-Conference Information

Islandoracon is coming up in a little over a month! We have some information to share with attendees in advance of the conference to help you prepare:

 

Schedule

We are using Sched for the conference schedule this year. If you have a Sched account, you can sign in and pick out sessions in advance. This isn't required, but it can be helpful for speakers to know who's planning to come to their sessions.
 
 

Locations

Islandoracon is hosted by Simon Fraser University at their Harbour Centre location and Vancouver Public Library at their central library, both located in downtown Vancouver.
  • Monday, October 7th: Half-Day Workshops at VPL
  • Tuesday, October 8th: Main Conference Sessions at Harbour Centre
  • Wednesday, October 9th: Main Conference Sessions at Harbour Centre
  • Thursday, October 10th: Main Conference Workshops at Harbour Centre
  • Friday, October 11th: Islandora 8 Use-a-Thon (Hackfest) at VPL
 
Conference locations for these and other venues (social events, hotels) are marked on this map: https://islandora.ca/camps/islandoracon2019/map
 
Addresses and room numbers are in the schedule: https://islandora.ca/camps/islandoracon2019/schedule (depending on the view you're using, you may have to mouse over or click on individual sessions)
 
 

Getting Around

Vancouver has a great transit system with an easy-to-use route planner: https://www.translink.ca, but we have an additional guide written up by our local team, with extra tips for getting around Vancouver: https://islandora.ca/camps/islandoracon2019/transit
 
Please note that Lyft and Uber do not operate in Vancouver at this time.
 
 

Checking in at the Conference

There will be a registration desk at Vancouver Public Library on Monday, and in the lobby at Harbour Centre from Tuesday to Thursday, where you can pick up your conference bag, program, t-shirt, and name tag. We will have a selection of stickers at the desk that you can add to your name tag if you choose to share your pronouns, including some that can be filled in if we don't have yours pre-printed.
 
We will also have wifi information at the registration desk and printed in the programs.
 

 

Conference Catering

On Monday, October 7th at VPL, we will be serving coffee breaks and lunch.
 
At Harbour Centre (October 8 - 10), we will be serving a light breakfast, snacks and coffee at breaks, and lunch.
 
On Friday, October 11th at VPL, we will be serving coffee breaks and a pizza lunch.
 
If you told us your dietary requirements on registration, they will be provided for in the menu on every day of the conference. Dietary requests, we've done our best. If you didn't let us know, it's not too late! Please provide any restrictions ASAP so that we can get them in with our caterers.
 
 

Social Events

Use-a-Thon Social (October 7)

Join us at Poet's Corner in the Vancouver Public Library from 5:00 - 6:00 PM for gourmet cookies and milk, learn about the Islandoracon Use-a-Thon (this year's version of a Hackfest), and sign up for a team!
 

Trivia Night (October 8)

We've got a room booked out and I've got some obscure questions ready to go. Join your fellow Islandorians for bar trivia, 6:30 - 8:30 on the Terrace at Rogue's. Bring a team, or find one when you show up.
 
Appetizers provided. Drinks and additional food available at your own cost.
 
Maximum six per team. Prizes TBD, but it's really about the bragging rights :)
 

Bill Reid Gallery (October 9)

Included in the cost of your registration is a reception at the Bill Reid Gallery (https://www.billreidgallery.ca) from 6:30 - 9:00 PM on Wednesday, October 9th. Canapes and drinks will be served. To help us get an accurate headcount for catering, we ask that you let us know if you plan to attend: https://forms.gle/ygwrfsWNo1Xw2QWE9

If you wish to bring a guest, extra tickets can be purchased from our Square store: https://islandora-foundation.square.site/

The BRG is home to the Simon Fraser University Bill Reid Collection and special exhibitions of contemporary Indigenous Art of the Northwest Coast of North America. A docent will be available for tours, but space may be limited.
 
 

Workshops

Half-Day Workshops (October 7)

 
If you have not already done so, please sign up for the half-days workshops on Monday, October 7th. Space may be limited, and preference will be given to those who have signed up in advance. Signing up will also give the workshop leaders a way to contact you if there's information you need ahead of time.
 
 

90-Minutes Workshops (October 10)

Sign-up is not required for the 90-minute workshops at Harbour Centre on Thursday. Please see below for advanced information for specific workshops:
 

Preservation Capabilities of Islandora 8

People who are attending the "Preservation Capabilities of Islandora 8" workshop on Thursday afternoon will get more out of the hands-on portion of the workshop if they can arrive with Islandora Bagger installed on their laptop (installing Islandora is not required, just Islandora Bagger as described in its README file). However, having Islandora Bagger installed is not essential; the instructor will try to accommodate participants who don't have it. Also, if your institution has developed or is developing a digital preservation policy or action plans, please come prepared to discuss them during the workshop.

Introduction to Fedora 5.0

We will be using a virtual machine for the hands-on portions of the Fedora workshop, so please follow these instructions to get the VM up and running on your laptop *before* you arrive. We are doing this in advance so we do not have to troubleshoot problems at the event.

NOTE: The VM uses 2GB of RAM, so you will need a laptop with at least 4GB of RAM to run it.

  1. Download and install VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
  2. Download and install Vagrant: http://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html
  3. Download and unzip the 5.1.0 release of the Fedora VM: https://github.com/fcrepo4-exts/fcrepo4-vagrant/archive/fcrepo4-vagrant-5.1.0.zip
  4. Using a Command Line Interface, navigate to the VM directory from step 3 and run the command: vagrant up
    1. Note that this step will take a while as the VM downloads and installs a full virtual environment
  5. Test the VM by opening your web browser and navigating to: http://localhost:8080/fcrepo
    1. The administrator username/password is fedoraAdmin/secret3
  6. Turn off the VM by running the command: vagrant halt
That is it! Please let david.wilcox@lyrasis.org know if you run into any problems.
 
--------------
 
More information about the conference is available on our website.
 
If you have any questions, please reach out!
 
Islandoracon would like to acknowledge that the land on which we will gather is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (TsleilWaututh) Nations.

Islandora 7.x-1.13 Release Now Available

Originally posted by Release Manager Jared Whiklo:

Hi all,

7.x-1.13 is complete.

This was my first time as a release manager and it was a smooth and easy process thanks (I'm confident) to the work of all the previous release managers, so a thank you to all of them.

Thank you to all the Auditors, Documentors, Testers and Component Managers. Without all of you Islandora would not be made.

A big thank you to Janice Banser (Auditing Manager), Caroyln Moritz (Testing Manager) and Don Richards (Documentation Manager). Your continuing hard work and support of the release process makes the release manager job much more enjoyable.

The Islandora 7.x-1.13 release contains 4 new features, 22 improvements, and 18 bug fixes.

You can find a full list of the above tickets on the Release Notes.

The Release Notes also contains links to the release branches/tags for all the associated Islandora repositories.

Please remember to avoid mixing versions of Islandora modules to ensure compatibility.

Finally, make sure to thank/buy a coffee for/hug your local release helper. Without all of them, the job of Release Manager suddenly becomes completely irrelevant.

  • Adam Vessey
  • Andrija Sagic
  • Bayard Miller
  • Ben Companjen
  • Brandon Weigel
  • Brian Harrington
  • Bryan Brown
  • Caleb Derven
  • Carolyn Moritz
  • Danny Lamb
  • Derek Merleaux
  • Devin Soper
  • Diego Pino
  • Don Richards
  • Donnie Hardin
  • Gavin Morris
  • Janice Banser
  • Johanna Vessey
  • Jonathan Green
  • Jordan Dukart
  • Keila Zayas Ruiz
  • Mark Jordan
  • Martha Tenney
  • Matthew Miguez
  • Melissa Anez
  • Nat Kanthan
  • Nelson Hart
  • Noah Smith
  • Pat Dunlavey
  • Paul Cummins
  • Paul Trilsbeek
  • Sarah Lippincott
  • Scott Ziegler
  • Shayne Walker
  • William Panting

See you at IslandoraCon 2019 Vancouver!

cheers,
jared

Multitenancy in Islandora 8: Open Discussion Meeting August 14

We've had some good conversations on the regular Islandora 8 Tech Call about how to best handle multi-tenancy/multi-sites in Islandora 8, but there are multiple ways to come at this, and we'd really like to hear from as many people with this use case as possible before settling on a default approach to support. To that end, we're holding an open meeting and inviting anyone interested. If you use multisites in 7, need multisites in 8, or just have some knowledge of the topic and want to help us shape our solution, please join us to discuss.

The discussion will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, August 14th at 12PM Eastern (right before the regular Tech Call).

Agenda (with zoom link) here.

We're Holding a Sprint for Paged Content

Islandorans!

Fresh off the heels of our survey for what features to implement next, we're following through on the number one requested feature: paged content. For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, paged content is how we describe books/newspapers/journals/etc... where each page has been scanned individually as a high resolution image. In order to state that we fully support paged content, there's a handful of things Islandora 8 needs to be capable of doing:

  • Order pages trhough the UI
  • Render pages in a compatible viewer (IABV or Openseadragon)
  • Extract text from scanned pages so they are discoverable

A couple of organizations (UT Austin, UNLV) have already made some progress on these fronts, but in order to take that work over the finish line, we need your help! We're holding a two week sprint from September 3rd - 13th to put our heads together and get this done. So if you or your organization have an interest in using paged content in Islandora (that's at least 66 of you from the survey results!), then please put your name down on our sign up sheet. You don't neccessarily have to be a programmer to pitch in, either. There's plenty of configuration/documentation/testing that you can contribute. And if you haven't done so already, please fill out a contributor license agreement when signing up.

Islandora Webinar: The Next Release of Islandora 8

We followed the initial 1.0.0 release of Islandora 8 in June with an hour-long webinar that provided an overview of what was in the release, some quick demos, and a Q&A period for questions from the Islandora community. It went amazingly well and we got some excellent feedback from attendees, so we're going to try to make this a regular event for Islandora.

For our second webinar, we will dedicate an hour to what's next for Islandora 8, based on feedback from our development priorities survey. Join us to learn about features, improvements, release dates, and more. Just like the first webinar, we'll set aside a generous question period and record for those who can't make it.

The webinar will be on August 13 at 10 AM Eastern Time. Register now.

Islandora 8 Survey Results Are In

We asked for your input on features for the next release, and we got an impressive number of responses. A total of 76 individuals and organizations responded to our poll, which is a new record for us! It's the best view into the actual needs of our community members we've ever gotten, and we're excited to share the results with you. This spreadsheet has some charts for each of the three questions on the survey, and the raw data is tucked away in some shrunken columns to the left if you're curious.

As a summary, here are the top 10 results for each question, with the number of votes received in parentheses after each feature. Keep in mind that participants were allowed to vote for more than one feature, and there's a different number of responses for each question. There's a couple of ties in there too, so don't let the visual order of things sway you when there's the same number of votes for multiple features.

What features do you need before you could move to Islandora 8?

76 Responses

  • Paged Content (66)
  • Access Restrictions and Embargoes (44)
  • OAI-PMH Endpoint (36)
  • OCR Derivatives (33)
  • Web Accessibility (30)
  • Search and Discovery Improvements (20)
  • IR Support (17)
  • MODS Metadata Display (17)
  • Versioning (15)
  • Dockerization (13)

What features are "nice to have" but not critical?

65 Responses

  • Citation Generation (28)
  • Versioning (24)
  • SEO (24)
  • RDF Mapping UI (22)
  • FITS Derivaties (20)
  • MODS Metadata Display (20)
  • Oxford Common Filesystem Layout (20)
  • Search and Discovery Improvements (16)
  • Web Accessibility (14)
  • Dockerization (14)

What features are not necessary for your organization?

42 Responses

  • Integration with Alternate Fedora Implementations (25)
  • Fedora Multi-Tenancy (Multisites) (17)
  • RDF Mapping UI (11)
  • Oxford Common Filesystem Layout (10)
  • Dockerization (10)
  • MODS Metadata Display (7)
  • IR Support (6)
  • Citation Generation (5)
  • SEO (4)
  • OAI-PMH (2)

When interpreting the results, we're putting more emphasis on the features folks feel they must have before adopting Islandora 8. The features people responding as being "not necessary" or "nice to have" balance the picture a little bit, but we're not giving a ton of negative weight to them. We view them more of a reminder that, simply put, not everyone wants every feature.

Awesomely, many of the "must have" features already have a solution in the works at some stage of development within the community. This really adds gravity to their placement in the top ten, and speaks to our incredible developer community who are already ahead of the curve! And for the rest of the "must have" features, we've already identified our starting points using core or contributed modules from Drupal.org. It's possible to do a lot in Islandora 8 by enabling modules and exporting configuration, and we're confident we can help guide community activity towards getting these features in with the least amount of code possible. Here's the current lay of the land on all these "must have" features.

Paged Content

Paged content was the clear winner of the survey, with a whopping 66 out of 76 favorable responses. When initially developing Islandora 8, we purposefully chose to focus on "single" objects first and tackle books/newspapers/serials/compounds later. It's a major use case we're not meeting yet, and the survey results are strongly indicating that it's what we should tackle next. To that effect, I'm proposing we schedule a community sprint in early September. There's a couple of pilot projects working out the kinks of paged content (UT Austin, UNLV) whom we'd love to have involved, and hopefully we can synthesize this work and come up with a solution that will work for everybody.

Access Restrictions and Embargoes

A combination of core workflow and content_moderation modules with a handful of custom plugins can cover most of this. It won't be a zero code solution, but a couple of custom conditions and actions should do the trick.

OAI-PMH Endpoint

Kent State has developed an OAI-PMH module, and committer Seth Shaw has already whipped up sample configuration and a PR for it!

OCR Derivatives

UPEI has developed OCR derivatives for Islandora 8. It currently lives in their Github repo, but soon will make its way as into core islandora as a submodule.

Web Accessibility

Accessibility is something that must be kept in mind throughout all stages of development, and individual institutions must take care to ensure they do not introduce inaccessible portions of their site in their custom code. As a starting point for project that require accessibility (that's you if you work for university in the U.S. or Canada), we're looking to install our modules on top of the Web Experience Toolkit distribution.

Search and Discovery Improvements

Improvements to search and discovery can be contributed in the form of extra configuration. Tweaks to indexing and faceting can all be set up throught the UI and then exported.

IR Support

Replicating all of islandora_scholar from 7.x at first seems like a daunting task, but we've already made headway. We have entities for people, places, organizations, etc... in our controlled_access_terms module. UPEI has already developed citation generation using Twig templates as part of their RDM project. We've already outlined how we'll handle embargoes and access restrictions above, and we're planning on shipping with configuration to make Google Scholar indexing happen by default!

MODS Support

We have a lot of tools to get data out of MODS and into Islandora 8, but to generate MODS on the fly (or every time metadata is updated) we're going to use Twig templates like UPEI is doing for citations, Kent State is doing for OAI-PMH, and Diego Pino and Marcus Barnes are doing in their IMI and MIK tools for Islandora 7.

Versioning

Eli Zoller from Arizona State University has already contributed making versions with Chullo, our Fedora client. Further work to integrate that with the rest of Islandora is underway.

Dockerization

The ICG has plans for Islandora 8! The ISLE project for Islandora 7 has an upcoming phase III, which will provide docker containers for Islandora 8. Although not every organization uses Docker, Islandora 8's microservice based architecture goes hand in hand with Docker and Kubernetes. We can't wait to see the results!

Final Thoughts

We're always striving to give the community what they want, and surveys like this give us the data we need to do so. In the spirit of openness and transparency, we're releasing the results so you can draw your own conclusions. We hope you take the the time to view these results and let us know what you think. It's always easier to make decisions when you have data in front of you, and we're really grateful for all the people who took the time to fill out the survey. As our community continues to grow, we're hoping that surveys like these can help us guide development priorities (and more) in the future.