Testing Sprint Wrap Up - Save the Date!

We've wrapped up yet another amazing community sprint. This time around, volunteers from 9 different organizations put Islandora 8 through its paces. Bugs and documentation gaps were uncovered as community members worked through an ever-expanding list of test cases. The Islandora 8 committers have responded to testing feedback, and we've already seen improvements roll in. There was even a special guest appearance by a wild Ruebot!

The Islandora Foundation would like to thank everyone who generously donated their time to critically reviewing Islandora 8 as it makes its way to release. Individuals from the following institutions actively took part in testing:

  • University of Tennessee
  • UNLV
  • SFU
  • Islandora Foundation
  • UNC Charlotte
  • Arizona State University
  • UTSC
  • LYRASIS
  • York University

We'd also like to give a very special thanks to our committers, and in particular, to Natkeeran Kanthan, who showed tremendous initiative in collecting and documenting test cases.

And now that we've been through both a documentation and testing sprint, we now are making our final preparations before release. So mark your calendars, because we're releasing Islandora 8 on May 31st! We have a Github milestone set up that contains all the issues we'd like to resolve before then, so keep an eye on it to track our progress. When released, you can expect to to see the following features in Islandora 8:

  • Object types
    • Collections
    • Images (Basic and Large)
    • Audio
    • Video
    • Binaries
    • PDFs
  • Multiple file systems
    • Fedora
    • Public
    • Private
    • And many more…
  • REST API
    • View entities with GET
    • Create entities with POST
    • Update entities with PATCH
    • Remove entities with DELETE
    • Add files to objects with PUT
  • Solr search
    • Configure search index through the UI
  • Custom viewers:
    • Openseadragon
    • PDF.js
  • Custom field types:
    • Extended Date Time Format (EDTF)
    • Typed Relation
    • Authority Link
  • Custom entities for:
    • People
    • Families
    • Organizations
    • Locations
    • Subjects
  • Derivatives for
    • Image
    • Audio
    • Video
  • Access control
    • Hide content from users and search
    • Hide sensitive fields from users
  • Control repository events through the UI
    • Index RDF in Fedora
    • Index RDF in a Triplestore
    • Derivatives
    • Switching themes
    • Switching displays/viewers
    • Switching forms
  • Bulk ingest using CSV
  • Migration tools for Islandora 7
  • Views
    • Configure lists of content
    • Perform actions in bulk on lists of content

And if what you're looking for doesn't happen to be on that list, we will be actively soliciting community input for what features to tackle first from our proposed technical roadmap. So be on the look out for more from us at the Islandora Foundation as we work our way through releasing Islandora 8!

Phasing Out PHP 5.3.3

Over the past few releases we have experienced an increased number of issues with Travis-CI and our PHP 5.3.3 builds. Currently, Travis-CI is failing on builds with PHP 5.3.3 and this is preventing community contributions from getting merged. Due to limited resources and dwindling interest within the community for maintaining such long term compatibility, the Technical Advisory Group has decided that PHP 5.3.3 will be moved to “allowed failure” status. Travis will no longer prevent code from getting merged if 5.3.3 fails, and we will still hang on to the builds for a bit to give any interested parties the chance to fix them. During the next release, if no one has stepped up to champion the cause, we will be removing PHP 5.3.3 from the testing matrix altogether.

If you are still on PHP 5.3.3, you are strongly urged to update your PHP version to at least 5.4 as soon as possible. For those remaining on PHP 5.3.3 after the next release, although it is likely that future releases will still work, we can no longer guarantee that breaking changes will not be introduced. For those who are brave and do run into this issue down the road, we have tagged most modules in the Islandora Github organization with a php5.3-eol tag, denoting the last point in time when PHP 5.3.3 compatibility was known. These tags do not represent a release, and have not been fully tested by the community. So _there are no guarantees_, but they are a courtesy we’re extending for those stuck on PHP 5.3.3 who want to update to something recent.

There are a few repositories that did not get a php5.3-eol tag due to the fact that they do not contain code or are forks of other people's code we minimally maintain. For the record, the following repositories do not have a php5.3-eol tag:

Soon you will see pull requests (such as this one) for every repository in Github to set PHP 5.3.3 to an allowed failure in Travis. Maintainers of modules in Islandora Labs are encouraged to do the same. We set up this Jira issue to track all of the pull requests so this makes it into the release notes. After all the pull requests are merged, it will be possible to accept community contributions again!

We would like to thank everyone for their patience in this matter. We know it is hard to watch PRs languish due to our workflow, and we feel we've come up with a reasonable solution to unlock contributions while also giving opportunities for those still on PHP 5.3.3 to act. Please feel free to respond to this thread if you have any questions about the impact of this decision and what it might mean to you or your organization.

Islandora Community Code of Conduct Survey

As our Islandora Community Code of Conduct nears its third birthday, the Islandora Coordinating Committee would like to take stock of how well it is serving all members of our community, and then update or expand it accordingly. To get this process started, we would like your input on a 6-question survey.

The survey will be open for two months, after which time the Islandora Coordinating Committee will review the feedback and use it to inform a new draft. If you'd like to take a more active hand in helping us to shape the Code of Conduct, you can drop your email address at the end of the survey, or contact me directly. Any suggested changes to the Code of Conduct will also go out to the community for review, so you'll have another opportunity to let us know what you think before it's taken up for a vote.

Thank you for your help!

Islandora at OR2019

The Open Repositories conference is heading to Hamburg, Germany from June 10-13th, and Islandora will be there. If you're planning to attend (or watch some videos afterwards), we've put together a list of sessions that might be of particular interest for our community:

June 10th:

June 11th:

June 12th:

Not enough Islandora yet? We've got an Islandora Camp a few days after Open Repositories, near Zürich, Switzerland from June 17 - 19. If you're already in the region for OR2019, why not stay over and join us there?

Islandoracon: Half-Day Workshops

To launch the 2019 Islandoracon on October 7th, we will have a set of half-day workshops, including an "Intro Islandora" track for those who are new to the software and want a crash course to enhance their engagement for the rest of the conference. For more advanced users, we have an overview of the ISLE system for deploying and maintaining Islandora with Docker, and a dive into Drupal plugins to extend Islandora 8.

Intro Track:

  • Intro to Islandora 7
  • Intro to Islandora 8

Intermediate Track:

  • ISLE: Installing and Managing Islandora with Docker
  • Drupal Plugins

These half-day workshops are included in the price of general registration and do not require any additional registration (although we may send out a sign-up sheet to keep track of numbers). You are welcome to move back and forth between tracks.

You can view the full schedule here. Conference information and and registration here.

Islandora 8 Documentation Sprint: Complete!

The latest Islandora 8 sprint focussed on a key aspect of our first release: documentation. It has been a stunning success. From March 4th to 15th, a 22-person team of volunteers worked together to write, review, and publish pages and pages of brand new documentation covering topics for developers, system administrators, and front-end site builders. We're still working on getting everything finished up and put into a new Table of Contents to make the documentation easier to explore, but you can explore samples of new completed work such as:

What's next for Islandora 8? We're still a sprint away from our first release. Stay tuned for a second call for volunteers to participate in an auditing and testing sprint, running April 8th to 19th, where the new documentation will serve as a guide for testing out the software and handing over one last list of bugs, features, and improvements for the team to work out before a first release of Islandora 8 in May.

Many thanks to the individuals and institutions who gave their time to this sprint. Islandora 8 owes its new breadth and depth of documentation to people from:

  • Berklee College
  • Born-Digital
  • Library "Milutin Bojic"
  • NUI Galway
  • PALS
  • Queen's University Library
  • Tulane University
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of Prince Edward Island
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Toronto, Scarborough
  • Simon Fraser University

iCamp Switzerland: Instructors Announced

Islandora Camp is heading to Dübendorf, near Zürich, Switzerland from June 17 - 19, 2019. Hosted by Lib4RI - Library for the Research Institutes within the ETH domain: Eawag, Empa, PSI & WSL, and located at Eawag. We'll be holding our usual style of camp, with two days of sessions and one day of hands-on training from experienced Islandora instructors. You can register for the camp and find out more here. Both workshop tracks will contain content exploring Islandora's next major version, which pairs Drupal 8 and Fedora 4, alongside more traditional training in the current release with Drupal 7 and Fedora 3. We are very pleased to announce that the instructors for our training workshop will be:

Admin Track

Melissa Anez has been working with Islandora since 2012 and has been the Community and Project Manager of the Islandora Foundation since it was founded in 2013. She has been a frequent instructor in the Admin Track and developed much of the curriculum, refining it with each new Camp. Lately she has been expanding the iCamp workshop to cover new ground with Islandora 8.

Sarah Last is the newest team member of the Lib4RI DORA Group since June 2018. She works as a project assistant and is responsible for the good behaviour of the DORA Repository. She mainly deals with issues regarding the form builder, export options and help page. It will be her first time in the iCamp, but is looking forward to help with the Admin Track exercises.

Developer Track

Mark Jordan has taught at four other Islandora Camps and at the Islandora Conference. He is the developer of numerous custom Islandora modules, including Islandora Context, Islandora Simple Map, Islandora Datastream CRUD, and the XML Solution Pack. Mark is also one of the co-developers of the the Move to Islandora Kit. Recently, he developed Riprap, a fixity checking service, and a module to integrate it into Islandora 8. He is also an Islandora committer and is currently serving as Chair of the Islandora Foundation Board of Directors. His day job is as Associate Dean of Libraries, Digital Strategy at Simon Fraser University.

Marcus Emmanuel Barnes is an active participant in the Islandora community and has presented workshops and talks at Islandora events. He develops and maintains several custom Islandora modules with the team at The Digital Scholarship Unit (DSU) at the University of Toronto Scarborough Library, including the Islandora Oral Histories Solution Pack and the Islandora Web Annotations module. Marcus is excited to share his knowledge and insights learned through many years of developing digital collections and looks forward to helping empower participants to be successful with their own Islandora-based projects.

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Islandora 7 and 8: Version Support Timeline

As Islandora 8 (known during development as Islandora CLAW) swiftly approaches its first official release, the Islandora Foundation would like to clarify our plans for continued support for active versions of our platform.

Drupal itself has a public timeline for support of Drupal 7 and 8 as development of Drupal 9 progresses, as outlined here. Both versions will be supported until November, 2021, so this also represents our own minimum support timeline for Islandora 7.x (which uses Fedora 3). Support may continue beyond this point, as determined by the needs of our community. The Islandora Foundation is committed to the approach outlined after Islandoracon 2017: letting the rates of usage and support for Islandora 7.x in the community drive the timeline for official support.

Support for Islandora 8 (which uses Fedora 5 and beyond) will also be informed in part by Drupal’s timelines, and mostly by the needs of the Islandora community as determined by the Coordinating Committee, in consultation with the larger community. As the switch from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is likely to be significantly more simple than from 7 to 8, we anticipate a similar smooth transition from Islandora 8 to Islandora 9, without the major re-architecting that moved us from Islandora 7 to Islandora 8.

The Islandora Foundation also recognizes that supporting 7 and 8 means supporting tools for migration, and so these will be an integral part of Islandora 8’s first release.

These timelines will be reviewed as EOL dates approached to verify that they reflect the needs of the Islandora community:

Timeline Summary:

  • Drupal 7 EOL (end of life) - November, 2021
    • Islandora 7.x
      • One release per year: 2019
      • No new features will be added: November, 2020
      • No new bug fixes will be made: November, 2021
      • No new security fixes will be made: April, 2022
  • Drupal 8 EOL - November, 2021
    • Islandora 8.x EOS: No formal end of support is planned. Islandora 8 will transition into Islandora 9 as a relatively minor upgrade, not a migration.
  • Drupal 9 Release: June, 2020
    • Islandora 9.x Release: August 2020

Further Reading:

Outgrowing our Shell: Islandora 8

Lobster looking in a mirror and seeing an 8 reflected backThe name "Islandora CLAW" was always intended as a working name, to give us a quick (and fun) way to refer to the project as a distinct entity from Islandora 7.x. As we approach a first full release of the newest version of Islandora, we're ready to move beyond the nicknames of development and embrace Islandora "CLAW" as a full version of Islandora. In keeping with our Drupal-driven numbering structure from previous versions, the first release of the project-formerly-known-as-CLAW will be Islandora 8.

In a departure from previous versions, this naming convention will not carry into the actual version numbering. Islandora 8's Committers have committed to semantic versioning, which means that the software will come out as Islandora 8, v. 1.0.0, not Islandora 8.x-1.0.

If you would like to be a part of the process that completes this first release of islandora 8, we're looking for volunteers for a documentation sprint in march. Please sign up!