Our campaign is over! The 7.x-1.12 Release is ready; time to level up

Congratulations, adventurers! Our campaign has drawn to a close. Great battles were waged and won against a swarm of bugs. Intrepid documentors have bravely explored and mapped our realm updated our READMEs. Powerful magics were wielded to indelibly alter the landscape in the form of new features. It was a great adventure, and our party has emerged victorious from the deep dungeons of code review, with the Release of Islandora 7.x-1.12!

Thanks to our heroic party of Auditors, Component Managers, Documenters, and Testers, our campaign has ended successfully and we may all retire to carouse in our local taverns, comfortable and safe - at least until the next Release arises. Your grateful Release Managers thank you for your tireless efforts toward fulfilling our quest. You have earned your hard-won XP.

Read the Release Notes, and then choose your path to upgrade or test the new release:

  • Check out the 7.x-1.12 branches of each Islandora Git repo (and Tuque branch 1.12) -- and do not mix and match branches, lest ye be cursed with errors;
  • Download a virtual machine; or
  • Download individual release packages as linked in the Release Notes

The new release boasts five new features, 14 improvements, and 16 bug fixes. Seal off your treasures with a new Drush utility for XACML, or expose them to the world with a new QDC metadata option for OAI-PMH! Use Solr to retrieve compound parts, as the gods intended, and forego the accursed triplestore! And our community’s scholarly sorcerers will marvel at a MASSIVE update to Islandora Scholar, which converts all of its hard-coded XPATHs to configurable variables!

We had one major blocker (Islandora XML Forms, Form builder schema update hook breaks deployment), which was discovered, discussed, reviewed, and fixed within a single day by the intrepid Jonathan Green and Diego Pino - a critical hit, and some of the fastest Islandoraing I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.

There are some 40 known issues remaining - some very old, some rather new, but none forgotten. Each will be warily watched until some brave Islandoran is ready to engage and strike it down.

If you get a chance, please take a moment to thank the volunteers that make up our heroic release team for their dedication and hard work:

  • Adam Vessey
  • Alan Stanley
  • Andrija Sagic
  • Bayard Miller
  • Benjamin Rosner
  • Brandon Weigel
  • Brian Harrington
  • Bridger Dyson-Smith
  • Bryan Brown
  • Caleb Derven
  • Carolyn Moritz
  • Cricket Deane
  • Daniel Aitken
  • Diego Pino
  • Don Richards
  • Janice Banser
  • Jared Whiklo
  • Jonathan Green
  • Jordan Dukart
  • Julia Yu
  • Keila Zayas Ruiz
  • Mark Jordan
  • Matthew Miguez
  • Melissa Anez
  • Michael Mohkamkar
  • Nat Kanthan
  • Nelson Hart
  • Paul Cummins
  • Peter MacDonald
  • Rachel Smart
  • Robin Dean
  • Rosie Le Faive
  • Scott Ziegler
  • Wilhelmina Randtke
  • William Panting

An extra-special thank you goes out to Janice Banser (Auditing Manager), Caroyln Moritz (Testing Manager) and Don Richards (Documentation Manager) for heeding the call to adventure and making our quest proceed more smoothly than any of us expected. We’d also like to thank those who trod the path before us, Rosie Le Faive and Diego Pino Navarro, for being bright lights to guide us through this dark dungeon.

Lastly, thank you to everyone in our ever-growing open source community for building, rebuilding, fixing, and using this wonderful, messy, and beautiful software that offers so many possibilities for so many of us. Please accept this new release, and use it, abuse it, and critique it well so that it might continue to grow ever better.

The adventure continues. Roll initiative!


Islandora Camp Switzerland - Registration Now Open!

Islandora Camp will be in Dübendorf, near Zürich, Switzerland from June 17 - 19, 2019. 
Registration is now open for for this three-day event, packed with Islandora content: two days of conference-style sessions and presentations, and one day of hands-on workshop training with tracks for developers and front-end users and managers. We will also have plenty of content dealing with the next major version of Islandora, which pairs Drupal 8 with Fedora 4. 
We hope you can join us!

Looking Back at Islandora CampCA

We held our first Islandora Camp in San Diego last week, with many thanks to our hosts at San Diego State University. The overall structure followed our now tried-and-true pattern for camps: one day of general sessions introducing Islandora and community that builds it, one day of hands-on workshops with tracks for front-end administrators or developers, and one day with sessions taking a closer look at individual sites and tools. The near-release maturity of Islandora CLAW added some excitement to our workshops, as we did our level best to fit a couple of days worth of learning into eight hours. We'll be tuning the balance between the two stacks as camp continue forward, but thankfully next year's Islandoracon will allow plenty of time for both stacks to shine.

Day three is always a favorite for camp instructors, as we get a chance to join the audience and see what people are doing with Islandora out in the world. We saw some great use of Diego Pino's Islandora Multi Importer as an integral part of SDSU's Islandora workflow in Katie Romibiles session Islandora at San Diego State University. This was followed by Islandora Batch Uploader, a tool from Western Washington University that dropped jaws as David Bass fed it random images from a collection and it handed back accurate tags and a suggested abstract, using some pretty slick AI tools. Seriously, check this out:

Continuing the theme of using AI with Islandora, Tommy Keswick from Caltech showed us how they're using AI tools to hep OCR make sense of handwritten documents in his session Analyzing bulk OCR Results Among Mixed Typed and Handwritten Documents. We followed with a couple of sessions more focussed on the technical side, looking at ways to tweak Islandora's speed with Apache Camel in Islandora, Fedora, Camel: Getting Over the Hump, or to set up for a migration with the Move to Islandora Kit. Finally, a close look at the University of Tenessee Knoxville's experiences with moving to Islandora-as-IR in UTK’s IR Submission Workflow: Students submit directly into the repository? Sure, why not?.

What's next for Islandora events? We'll be holding a single Camp next June in Dübendorf, just outside of Zürich, Switzerland, and then doing a whole week of Islandora at Islandoracon in Vancouver, BC. Our Camp roster for 2020 is wide open, so if your institution is interested in being a host, please drop us a line!

The End Times Are Upon Us: Islandora 7.x-1.12 Code Freeze Announcement

Hail, fellow Islandorians!

As promised in our release announcement, we have succeeded in trapping our dreaded foe, the 7.x-1.12 release, in a crypt of icy stasis. The Code Freeze is here!
All Islandora repositories should now have a 7.x-1.12 branch with .info files updated to reflect that they are locked in at version 7.x-1.12. The exception to this is Tuque, which now has a 1.12 branch. Component managers, please check your modules' repos to verify that this is the case and inform one of the release managers if you find an issue.
Testers and documenters, glory awaits you with the new Islandora 7.x-1.12 Release Candidate Virtual Machine! Use this to perform your sacred rites of testing and documenting, for it is your very own disposable dungeon full of monsters waiting to be discovered! (but hopefully not too many)
- Find the 7.x-1.12 VM here (be patient and maybe start downloading it before lunch, its 3.5GB and could take quite a while)
- Once downloaded, import it into VirtualBox
- Once running, you can access the VM through your browser at http://localhost:8000. Log in with the username "admin" and the password "islandora"
- You can also SSH inside the VM through the VirtualBox console using the username and password "vagrant"
- Component Managers:
  - Make sure there are no blockers for your module.
  - Do your best to resolve any bugs before the release (and inform your testers to test them once merged)
  - Try to resolve any bug PRs on your module in a timely manner
  - Check merged PRs on your module to verify that all the related JIRA tickets were closed with a fix version of 7.x-1.12
  - Reach out to the testers and documenters for your module to see if they need help
  - Help find testers/documenters for your module if you don't have them
- Testers:
  - Test all resolved JIRA tickets that have a fix version of 7.x-1.12. If you don't know what this entails, please contact the Testing Manager Carolyn Moritz (cmoritz@vassar.edu) or the Component Manager for your module.
- Documenters
  - Check existing documentation (READMEs and Confluence wiki) for your module. Check it against the 7.x-1.12 Release Candidate VM to verify that:
     - the described behaviors are still relevant
     - screenshots are still accurate
     - all aspects of the module are properly documented (no missing features, etc)
  - Contact the Documentation Manager, Don Richards (donrichards@utk.edu) or the Component Manager for your module if you have questions about this.
Good luck on your journeys, you brave heroes. Never forget: the real release is the friends we made along the way!
- Bryan Brown, co-release manager
PS, please let me know if you have any issues with the OVA file for the Release Candidate VM. 

Islandoracon 2019

Islandoracon is coming back! The third iteration of our conference will be held October 7 - 11th, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main conference will be hosted by Islandora Foundation Partner Simon Fraser University, at their downtown location in Harbour Centre. Stayed tuned to this blog and our listserv for updates about registration, a Call for Proposals, and more.

Photo credit: Magnus Larsson

Islandora Camp in Dübendorf!

The Islandora Foundation is very pelased to announce our first event of 2019: Islandora Camp Switzerland, taking place June 17 - 19 in Dübendorf, Switzlerand. We are partnering with Islandora Foundation member Lib4RI to hold the camp at Eawag. While we won't be anouncing the full schedule until some time next year, we expect to follow the usual camp schedule of:

  • Day One: General and introductory sessions about the software and the community that uses and supports it
  • Day Two: Hand-on workshop training with tracks for Developers and front-end Administrative users, featuring both Islandora 7.x and Islandora CLAW
  • Day Three: Sessions on specific sites, tools, and topics of interest to Islandora users

The camp will kick off on the Monday directly following Open Repositories 2019, taking place in Hamburg, Germany, so if you're heading to OR, why not hang around for a weekend of sightseeing and join us as well?

Looking for Islandora events in North America? Stay tuned for dates and locations for Islandoracon. 



Open for Revew - Technical Roadmap

At our last Annual General Meeting, a list of strategic goals were approved by our membership. In order to fulfill:

Create a roadmap for the future of the Islandora platform, including tools and strategies for migration

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG for short) has been working on a prioritized list of upcoming features and improvements for Islandora CLAW to help guide its development. We're aiming to release Islandora CLAW (and drop the CLAW codename) after 7.x-1.12 is released. Once that happens, this roadmap will be used to set sprint goals and other development priorities. We're opening up the roadmap to review by the entire community, and are asking for your feedback. You can leave comments either in this google doc or in the individual Github issues. We've also ranked these issues using a Github project.

Priority was agreed upon following the general rule of providing "must-have" features before migration. In other words, features which, if missing, would prevent someone from adopting the software should receive higher priority. Documentation and examples involving migrations ranked first, with multi-site support following up second. Also on the list are features built around the Fedora API specification, UI/UX improvements, new derivatives, and a lot more.

If there's anything you think is missing that's high priority, feel free to leave a suggestion in the google doc, or create an issue on Github and give it the Roadmap label. This is your chance to help shape the development of the project, so if you really need something before migrating in, this is a good opportunity to have your voice heard. After this review, the finalized list of features will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval. Once approved, the roadmap will be prominently displayed on our web site to help give people a sense of the direction of the software.

7.x-1.12: Roll initiative, for the RELEASE has arisen once again!

Hail, Islandorans! Heed the call to adventure!
As the brutal heat of the summer begins to fade, you find yourselves in a tavern, surrounded by the chatter of other Islandorans discussing Solr configs, new collections, and boasting about giant bugs bravely squashed. Suddenly, a dark shadow falls across the land. An imposing figure looms over the horizon: the dreaded Release has arisen again! Noble adventurers, are you brave enough to join forces and banish this ancient evil once and for all (or at least until the next release)?
Brandon Weigel and Bryan Brown, your trusted RMs (Release Managers), are preparing the ultimate open source campaign to test the mettle of even veteran release volunteers. There are plenty of open seats left at our table, and the party needs YOU to survive! Please choose from one of the following classes (multiclassing strongly encouraged):
  • Component manager
  • Tester
  • Auditor
  • Documentor
Last but not least, take a look at the tavern's jobs board to see what kinds of quests are still available. Remember, completing more quests gets you more experience points, and g̶o̶l̶d̶ kudos from your grateful community, so grab your sword and shield (or mouse and keyboard) and set a course for adventure!
With this announcement, the Islandora 7.x-1.12 campaign has officially begun. We plan to paralyze our foe in a Cone of C̶o̶l̶d̶Code Freeze on October 19. From there we battle its evil army of bugs, and finally send it to the shadow realm on November 30 - although experience has taught us that evils such as this are rarely beholden to mortal timetables…
So make haste, brave heroes! Step up, fill out your quest log, and join the 7.x-1.12 Release Team!