Islandora Open Meeting: January 28, 2021

We will be holding another open drop-in session on January 28th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Eastern. Full details, and the Zoom link to join, are in this Google doc. The meeting is free form, with experienced Islandora 8 users on hand to answer questions or give demos on request. Please drop in at any time during the four-hour window.

Registration is not required. If you would like a calendar invite as a reminder, please let us know at

Drupal 9: We Did It.

Just before the holiday break, a brave handful of devs adventured through terrifying dependency chains and deprecations to bring Islandora on Drupal 9 to us all. There were many twists, turns, and bumps in the road, but in the end, they pulled it off. Islandora is now compatible with both Drupal 8 and 9! In fact, as an outcome of this sprint, is now running on Drupal 9 in the wild.  Oh, and did we mention that it's kind of a multi-site? Maybe it's not exactly what a multi-site was in 7.x, but is running happily alongside.

Moving Islandora to Drupal 9 is a significant accomplishment for a small crew of volunteer developers just before the holidays. In particular, it was a lot of work to thread the needle and keep support for 8 while unlocking 9. Not to mention all the testing that had to be done.  And as an added bonus, everyone's favourite CI platform, Travis, made a guest appearance just to keep things interesting. Many thanks to everyone who powered through and brought this over the finish line. 

In order to support both 8 and 9 concurrently, there's a few things you'll need to be ready for when this code is eventually released.

  • To use Composer 2 with Drupal 8, you need PHP 7.3+.
  • You can no longer install/maintain the drupal console using Composer 2. But you can totally install it via other means.
  • For Drupal 9, you need PHP 7.4+. This is due to a dependency requiring PHP 7.4 in Drupal 9.
  • We had to leave behind some modules for Drupal 9 compatibility.  You'll need to uninstall and remove these modules from your site if you want Drupal 9:
    • hook_post_action
    • libraries
    • name
    • permissions_by_term

As for how you can get this code, it's available right now on all 8.x-1.x branches of our modules in Github.  For the less adventurous out there, this code will be included in the next release.  Which means we have to tackle documenting/demystifying the update process.  And given the size of the changes required for Drupal 9, it feels like it's about time we start formally providing changelogs.  The changes aren't unreasonable, but they are significant enough that we wouldn't want anyone to be caught by surprise.

Also, now that we support two versions of Drupal at the same time, what do we call this?  Islandora 8 using Drupal 9?  Islandora 9?  Dare I say just Islandora? That might seem like a silly question, but it has implications that we as a community need to consider. Besides, we all know that naming is the hardest part of programming ;)

As always, there are so many people to thank for continuously improving Islandora. This software keeps getting better because awesome people give their time and talent to help make it the best it can be. Thank you to everyone who took part in this sprint:

  • Daniel Aitken - discoverygarden
  • Jordan Dukart - discoverygarden
  • Nick Ruest - York University
  • Seth Shaw - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Alan Stanley - Agile Humanities
  • Jared Whiklo - University of Manitoba
  • Eli Zoller - Arizona State University

Be sure to thank one of these fine people next time you bump into them in zoom or slack.  And we'll be doing more sprints soon.  Details to come.

New Member: Masaryk University

The Islandora Foundation is very pleased to welcome a new member: Masaryk University in Czech Republic. Islandora is a broadly international project, and we are grateful for the support from this fourth European member-supporter of our non-profit organization.

Event: ICG Metadata and Migration Hack/Doc, January 13-14

Registration is now open for an upcoming virtual ICG hack/doc, which will focus on metadata and migration out of Islandora 7. The goal at this hack/doc is to create useful documentation for ICG members and other members of the Islandora community as we face the task of migrating out of Islandora 7x. Planned sessions will include hands-on installation/documentation of the migrate 7x module, a lightning round on tools for metadata remediation followed by a metadata remediation clinic, and co-working on project management tools for migration. Sessions will be highly interactive and participants will be invited to shape, add to, or propose new sessions. Participants with a wide variety of skill sets will be welcomed and supported.

The hack/doc will be held on Zoom on January 13 and 14, 12-3 pm EST/9 am-12 pm PST both days. 

More information about the hack/doc can be found on the ICG github site:

And the registration form is here:

Please register by January 8 (or before -- attendance is capped at 50 and the organizers will be sharing this registration with other members of the Islandora community, in particular the Metadata Interest Group). A Zoom link and more information will be sent to registrants closer to the date. 


Islandora 8 Open Meeting: December 15th, 2020

Our first general open meeting for Islandora 8, held on November 17th, went great! We didn't have a moment of down time in four hours, and we ended up covering everything from basic introductory demos to detailed looks under the hood of Islandora 8 sites in production.

We will be holding another open drop-in session on December 15th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Eastern. Full details, and the Zoom link to join, are in this Google doc. The meeting is free form, with experienced Islandora 8 users on hand to answer questions or give demos on request. Please drop in at any time during the four-hour window.

Registration is not required. If you would like a calendar invite as a reminder, please let us know at

Upcoming Sprint for Drupal 9 Compatibility

Drupal 9 has been out for a while, and it's about time we made the switch. Unlike the move from 7 to 8, the upgrade to 9 will be fairly smooth.  It's more of a code cleanup task as opposed to the herculean migration between versions that we're used to.  And there's already been some good community efforts around identifying the scope of what needs to be done.  There's even a pull request for the main islandora module!  But there's still a bit more to do and many hands can make light work of this.

That's why we're asking for volunteers from the community to join us from December 7th to the 18th while we prepare Islandora for Drupal 9.  We will be auditing the codebase for deprecations, fixing them, and then testing it all out.  If you or your organization need Drupal 9 readiness and don't mind helping us out, you can sign up here.  Contributions can be as small as running drupal-check on a module or doing a quick sanity test after we've removed deprecations.  And as always, commitment is as much or as little as you like. 

We hope to see you there. And if Drupal 9 isn't your thing, don't worry, we're lining up a bunch more community sprints in the new year.  There will be plenty of chances to participate if you've already got a full holiday season ahead of you.


ISLE Sprint Wrapup

Our first quarterly ISLE sprint has wrapped up and I'd like to thank everyone that participated.  From the community contributions we received, we can now move repository data between ISLE instances. This allows us to move a repository from development to testing and finally a production environment. It was pretty crucial that ISLE 8 be able to handle this, and the community really stepped up and delivered. Plus, as a bonus, we're also ready for composer 2.

The work's been done, but there's still a few pull requests under review:

Once those are merged, we can begin documenting the process of how to move your data around.  We'll also be seeking user feedback from both new and existing ISLE users as they set up their repositories.

As always, this was a successful sprint. That really speaks to what we're capable of when we work together on common ground to solve shared problems.  It never ceases to amaze me what can be accomplished if we put our heads together.  Thanks so much to everyone who signed up.

  • Nigel Banks - Lyrasis

  • Cary Gordon - Cherry Hill

  • Noah Smith - Born Digital

  • Gavin Morris - Born Digital

  • Hertzel Armengol - Born Digital

  • Andrija Sagic - Library Milutin Bojic

  • Alan Stanley - Agile Humanities

  • Aaron Birkland - John Hopkins' University

  • Seth Shaw - University of Nevada Las Vegas

  • Rosie Le Faive - University of Prince Edward Island

  • Janice Banser - Simon Fraser University

  • Jeffery Antoniuk - University of Alberta

  • Yamil Suarez - Berklee College of Music

We couldn't do it without awesome people like you and organizations that understand and value open source software. Thank you so much for your commitment to make Islandora the best it can be.

Open Meeting: Islandora 8 Sandbox Time

We're holding an open meeting in November for anyone who wants to drop in for some Islandora 8 demos and Q&A. Join us on November 17th from 10:00 AM - 2:00 Pm Eastern.

This event is modelled after the successful ISLE Release Party in September, where the Islandora community came together for an ICG-led open meeting for folks to drop in and work together on updating their installations of Islandora ISLE. This time, the topic will be more general, with a four-hour window to drop in and talk about Islandora 8 or request demos and walk-throughs from developers, experienced users, and early adopters. 

Full details and a Zoom link for the meeting can be found in this Google doc.

You do not have to sign up to attend, but if you would like a calendar invite to save the date, please let us know at

ISLE Sprint: November 2nd to 13th

Have you seen ISLE for Islandora 8 yet?  It's Islandora on Docker and it's crazy fast.  It's a much better overall experience for intstalling and maintaining Islandora.  And best of all, ISLE has recently transitioned into a full community project!  What started as a Islandora Collaboration Group and Born Digital project is now officially under the umbrella of the Islandora Foundation. To ensure it gets the open source love it needs to really take off, we're proposing something we've never done before: quarterly sprints. ISLE already has so much momentum with an active interest group and contributors that we think this is sustainable moving forward.

ISLE is such an amazing facet of Islandora.  It lowers the overall barrier to entry by making installation and maintenance much smoother. What used to take 45 minutes to an hour and was subject to random fails now takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is much more stable.  After the initial build, making changes generally takes seconds because ISLE uses Docker's amazing buildkit feature, which dramatically speeds up the process using aggressive caching.  Oh, and did we mention it also works on Windows? But ISLE is still relatively new for Islandora 8, and it needs a little work... and a lot of documentation.

That's why we're asking all you developers, documenters, and users out there to help us out!  Even if you have no experience with Docker, just trying it out and letting us know what you think is helpful.  From November 2nd to the 13th, we'll be documenting, testing, and hacking on ISLE or Islandora 8.  If you're interested in joining us, please sign up here.  Commit to as much or as little as you like.

If you'd like to help organize the sprint, we're also holding a sprint planning meeting the week before to get ready.  Please fill out this doodle poll if you are interested.  We'll close the poll on October 23rd.

We hope to see you there. And if Docker isn't your thing, don't worry, we're lining up a bunch more community sprints around everything from Drupal 9 to embargoes to migration tools and batch ingesting.  And of course, there's always plenty of work to do on documentation. We'll be making more announcements in the coming weeks.




The Return of the DIG (Documentation Interest Group)

The Islandora Documentation Interest Group is coming back! 

It has been on hiatus for a few years now, but the DIG is being relaunched as a place where we can have discussions about the best approaches for building and maintaining Islandora documentation, identify and prioritize gaps and opportunities for improvement, and coordinate community work to write and edit our shared Islandora documentation. 

The updated Terms of Service for this group are here:

Along with my co-convenors Mirko Hanke and Jeff Rubin, I would like to invite you to fill out this Doodle poll to find a time for a kick-off meeting. One of the first orders of business at the initial meeting will be to establish a day and time for a recurring monthly meeting.