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!

Islandora Foundation Mission Statement

Following a mandate from the Islandora Foundation 2018/2019 Strategic Goals, the Board of Directors has drafted a mission statement for the Islandora Foundation. We welcome public comment from the Islandora community and Foundation members for the next month, after which the Board will review comments, adjust the mission statement as necessary, and bring it to the 2019 AGM for approval by all voting members. The proposed mission statement is as follows:

“The Islandora Foundation’s mission is to ensure the long-term sustainability and development of the Islandora community and its supported open source, standards-based digital repository software.”

You can comment on this Google doc.

Migrating from Islandora 7.x to Islandora CLAW

Are you looking ahead to a migration from Islandora 7 to Islandora 8 (CLAW)? The tools to get you there are further along than you might think. In a new video, Islandora's Technical Lead, Danny Lamb, walks through a migration using the migrate_7x_claw module.

Some useful links to learn more or try the tools out for yourself:

Release the Kraken!

For years it has stirred in the depths of Github, just under the surface in the vast ocean of digital repositories. It has been growing, patiently collecting feature after feature. Now, as we speak, contributions flow from its powerful team of committers. Feeding it. Strengthening it. Integrating with ever more software, nothing is safe from its might. And now, the time of its release is nigh!


"Dracula vs. the giant squid" by massdistraction is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It's been a long time in the making. From humble beginnings back with Drupal 7 and Fedora 4, its development been a true community effort that has spanned major version changes in both underlying technologies. Now with Drupal 8 and Fedora 5, we're ready to shed the code name of CLAW and officially become Islandora 8. And we need your help to do it.

Releasing Islandora has always had three components to it:

  • Auditing
  • Documentation
  • Testing
And we need volunteers for all three. We'll be doing things a bit differently this time around, though. This release will be run as two consecutive sprints: one for auditing/documentation and another for testing.

As with most projects under heavy development, our feature set has outgrown our documentation. And if we want it to be testable, we need to have up to date and accurate documentation to give our end users. We've compiled a list of what we feel is required for documentation for a 1.0 release, and we're asking everybody out there to give this document a review. Feel free to comment, leave suggestions, or ask questions if you feel there's anything that we've missed.

The auditing/documentation sprint will be held for two weeks, from March 4th to the 15th, and we'll try to knock out everything on our wish list. If you or your organization are interested in helping us show the world all the things they can do with the new Islandora, please add your names to the sprint signup sheet. All you need to know is how to write in markdown and a Github account, so even if you don't have any experience with Islandora 8, it's a great chance to get some experience with the software and provide us with your thoughts and feedback while documenting. In fact, the more fresh eyes we can get on it, the better. Also, the committers are encouraged to join in and make themselves available to answer questions, lend a hand, and merge those documentation PRs.

After we're done, the committers will be given time to address any issues found that are deemed critical. And if all is well, we'll freeze the code, make our release branches, and slice a release candidate for our testing sprint, which will be held on April 8th to 19th. During this time, we'll try our best to do our worst to the software. We'll be entering garbage data, throwing funny characters into text fields, uploading horrendous tiffs, and much, much more. There will be more details to follow after our documentation/auditing sprint.

It's an exciting time for Islandora, and we hope that you'll take part in it. This is the culmination of several years of community effort, and we'd like to thank everyone that's had a role in the process. Every commit, code review, and bit of testing adds up to a world class repository software that can meet the needs of small and large institutions alike. It really proves how strong and sustainable the Islandora community is. It's been a long and exciting ride, and we sincerely hope you'll join us for the home stretch!

News from NYAM: Newly Digitized William S. Ladd Collection of Prints

Some great news from our friends at the New York Academy of Medicine:

Announcing the Newly Digitized William S. Ladd Collection of Prints

The New York Academy of Medicine is pleased to announce the newly digitized William S. Ladd Collection of Prints. This collection consists of 671 prints, primarily portraits, dating from the 17th century through the early 19th century, showcasing many of the formative authors and thinkers of these years. The digitization of this collection also provides an opportunity for researchers, conservators, artists, and the general public to explore early print technology from any web-enabled device. This project was completed with the help of funds from the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) through the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program.
 
To learn more, check out this blog post by our Head of Digital, Dr. Robin Naughton, explaining the process and providing examples of the material in the collection.

Islandoracon Workshops: We want your ideas

Islandoracon is coming!

Following the pattern we established with the first two Islandoracons, we're going to have one day during the main conference that's comprised of 90-minute workshops running in multiple tracks. Also following the first two, we're looking to you, the Islandora community and potential Islandoracon attendees, to tell us what kinds of workshops you want to see.
 
We have a table here where you can add your suggestions. A few weeks into 2019, we'll take these suggestions and turn them into a survey so the community can vote on some favorites. The Islandoracon Planning Committee will then to their level best to find the best possible instructors for the topics you choose.
 
Please give us a topic, a rough description of what you think the workshop would cover, and if you can, the level it should aim for and the platform (Islandora 7.x or Islandora CLAW) that you think should be covered.
 
Thanks!
 

New Islandora CLAW Committers: Rosie Le Faive and Mark Jordan

In recognition of their many contributions to the community and to the development of Islandora CLAW, the Islandora CLAW committers have asked Rosie Le Faive (UPEI) and Mark Jordan (SFU) to become a committers and we are pleased to announce that they have accepted!

Rosie has brought her dedication to user experience and documentation from the 7.x stack to Islandora CLAW, providing guidance on how to improve the front end and working as the convenor of the UI Interest Group (currently on hiatus) to develop a welcoming first experience for the Islandora CLAW sandbox environment. As co-convenor of the Metadata Interest Group, Rosie has also been integral to the process of plotting out our MODS to RDF mapping so that users of Islandora 7.x can make the move to Islandora CLAW with their MODS in tow.

Mark has joined the Islandora CLAW party more recently, but hit the ground running, developing tools such as RipRap, a fixity-auditing microservice that acts as a successor to Islandora Checksum Checker. Mark's focus on preservation tools fills an important gap in the CLAW ecosystem.

Both Rosie and Mark are also Committers on Islandora 7.x, and now join the short list of dual Committers.

Further details of the rights and responsibilities of being a Islandora committer can be found here:

https://github.com/Islandora/islandora/wiki/Islandora-Committers