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!