Islandora CLAW

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Islandora CLAW Community Sprint 002 - Complete!

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Submitted by manez on

The Islandora community just wrapped up its second volunteer sprint on Islandora CLAW. The first sprint, back in November, was a broad introduction with a focus on documentation and knowledge transfer. This time around we switched gears and put the emphasis on writing code, with a smaller team made up of developers and most of the Islandora CLAW Committers, working on tasks relating to porting the existing Java based services to PHP services. The team for this sprint was:

  • Nick Ruest
  • Jared Whiklo
  • Diego Pino
  • Nigel Banks

Their numbers were small but their accomplishments were great. Diego takes the MVP award for this sprint, tackling the resource PHP service and working through API improvements for Chullo, the CLAW equivalent of Tuque. Jared did some updates for our vagrant installer. Nick coordinated the sprint and put up an updated the Islandora PCDM diagrams. Nigel worked on integration testing and came away with a plan to redo the CLAW build scripts in Ansible. The whole crew worked together throughout the sprint, strategizing and reviewing each other's code.

The next sprint will be in the new year, running January 18 - 29. It will be another focussed, developer-driven sprint, so if you are interested in digging into the code behind CLAW and making a contribution, please sign up! If you have any questions about contributing to a sprint in the future, please do not hestitate to contact CLAW Project Director, Nick Ruest.

Islandora CLAW Community Sprint 001 - Complete!

manez's picture
Submitted by manez on

Back in September, the Islandora community completed its first volunteer sprint, a maintenance sprint on Islandora 7.x-1.x that cleaned up 38 tickets in advance of the 7.x-1.6 release (November 4th). For our second sprint (and likely for all sprints in the future), we moved over to Islandora's future and did our work on Islandora 7.x-2.x (also known as CLAW). With CLAW being very new to the vast majority of the community, we put the focus on knowledge sharing and exploring the new stack, with a a lot user documentation and discussion tickets for new folks to dig their teeth into. A whopping 17 sprinters signed up:

  • Nick Ruest
  • Jared Whiklo
  • Melissa Anez
  • Kim Pham
  • Diego Pino
  • Brad Spry
  • Caleb Derven
  • Lingling Jiang
  • Danny Lamb
  • Don Moses
  • Lydia Z
  • Luke Wesley
  • Kelli Babcock
  • Chul Yoon
  • Sunny Lee
  • Peter Murray
  • Nigel Banks

We got started on Monday, November 2nd with a live demo of CLAW provided by Nick Ruest and Danny Lamb, which has been recorded for anyone who'd like to take it in on their own time:

And then a virtual meeting to discuss how we'd approach the sprint and hand out tickets. As with our previous sprint, we mixed collaboration with solo work, coordinating via the #islandora IRC channel on freenode and with discussion on GitHub issues and pull requests. We stayed out of JIRA this time, doing all of our tracking with issues right in the CLAW GitHub Repo. In the end, we closed up nine tickets, and there should be extra kudos for Donald Moses from UPEI, who was the sprint MVP with his wonderful user documentation:

The existing CLAW Committers also tackled some more technical issues, such as Solr provisioning in vagrant or setting up the CLAW vagrant to easily deploy on Digital Ocean or Amazon Web Services.

Nick Ruest put together a pretty awesome visualization of work on CLAW so far, where you can see the big burst off activity in November from our sprint:

You should also note that even in the early days of the project, activity on the code is usually followed up by activity on the documentation - that's a deliberate approach to make documenting CLAW an integral part of developing CLAW, so that when you are ready to adopt it, you'll find a rich library of technical, installation, and user documentation to support you.

With the success of the first two sprints, we are going to start going monthly. The next sprint will be December 7th - 18th and we are looking for volunteers to sign up. This sprint will have a more technical focus, concentrating on improvements in a single area of the stack; PHP Services. We're especially looking for some developers who'd like to contribute to help us reach our goals. That said, there is always a need for testers and reviewers, so don't be afraid to sign up even if you are not a developer.

PHP Services description: Have the majority of RESTful services pulled out of the CMS context, and exposed so that Drupal hooks or Event system can interact with them. We've already implemented two (images and collections) in Java, and we'd like to start by porting those over. These services will handle operations on PCDM objects and object types. There are lots of different ways to do this (Silex, Slim, Phalcon, Symfony, etc...), but the core idea is maintaining these as a separate layer.

What about Chullo?

Chullo will be the heart of the micro services. If everything is written properly the code reuse will allow for individual services to be a thin layer to expose the Chullo code in a particular context.

What is Islandora CLAW?

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Submitted by manez on

Have you heard talk in the Islandora community lately about Islandora CLAW? Been wondering what that is?

As many of you are aware, the Islandora Community has been working on a new version that will be compatible with Fedora 4. We use an approximation of Drupal versioning for our own versions, so we fell into referring to that project as Islandora 7.x-2.x, with the current Fedora 3 compatible stack as Islandora 7.x-1.x. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

After any number of discussions, and several public presentations, about Islandora 7.x-2.x and its development, the project team proposed that maybe we could give it a working name that would be easier to reference, and more distinct from the Fedora 3 compatible stack, so we could stop rattling off numbers. The proposal went to the Islandora Roadmap Committee a few weeks ago, tied to a proposal to move 7.x-2.x development out of Islandora-Labs and into its own GitHub organization. A few names were bounced around, but in the end, we settled on a self-referential backronym: CLAW Linked Asset WebFramework, or just plain CLAW. And because a good number of us watched Inspector Gadget growing up, out lobster mascot got some extra gear.

And there you have it. Islandora CLAW is Islandora 7.x-2.x, just easier to say, and with an adorable mascot. 

Islandora Fundraising

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Submitted by manez on

The Islandora Foundation is growing up. As a member-supported nonprofit, we have been very fortunate to have the support of more than a dozen wonderful universities, private companies, and like-minded projects - enough support that within our first year of operation, we were solvent. As of 2015, we now have a small buffer in our budget, which is a comfortable place to be.

But comfortable isn't enough. Not when our mission is to steward the Islandora project and ensure that it is the best software that it can be. With the launch of Fedora 4 last December, we started work on a version of Islandora that would work with this new major upgrade to the storage layer of our sites, recognizing that our community is going to want and need to move on to Fedora 4 someday and we had better be ready with a front-end for them when the time comes. Islandora 7.x-2.x was developed to the prototype stage with special funding from some of our supporters, and development continues by way of volunteer sprints. Meanwhile, Islandora 7.x-1.x (which works with Fedora 3) continues to be supported and improved - also by volunteers

It's a lot to coordinate, and we have determined through consultation with our interest groups, committees, and the community in general that in order to do this right, we need to have someone with the right skill set dedicated to coordinating these projects. We need a Tech Lead.

Right now, the Islandora Foundation has a single employee (*waves*). I am the Project & Community Manager, which means I work to support community groups and initiatives, organize Islandora events, handle communications (both public and private) and promotions, and just generally do everything I can to help our many wonderful volunteers to do the work that keeps this project thriving. We've been getting by with that because many of the duties that would belong to a Tech Lead have been fulfilled by members of the community on a volunteer basis, but we are swiftly outgrowing that model. The Fedora 4 project that inspired us to take on a new major version of Islandora has had great success with a two person team of employees (plus many groups for guidance): Product Manager David Wilcox (more or less my counterpart) and Tech Lead Andrew Woods. 

Now to the point: we need money. We have a confirmed membership revenue of $86,000 per year*, which is plenty for one employee plus some travel and general expenses, but not enough to hire this second position that we need to get the project to the next level. About a month ago I contacted many of the institutions in our community to see if they could consider becoming members of the Islandora Foundation, and we had a gratifying number of hopeful responses (thank you to those folks!), but we're still short of where we need to be. 

And so, the Funding Lobster (or Lobstometre). In the interest of transparency, and perhaps as motivation, this little guy is showing you exactly where things stand with our Tech Lead goal. If we get $160,000 in memberships we can do it (but we'll be operating without a net), $180,000 and we're solid, and if we hit $200,000 or above that's just unmitigated awesome (and would get turned into special projects, events, and other things to support the community). He's the Happy Lobster, and not the Sad Lobster, because we do believe we'll get there with your help, and soon.

How can you help? Become a member. While it would be great if we could frame this as a funding drive and take one-time donations, since the goal is to hire a real live human being who will want to know that they can pay their rent and eat beyond their first year of employment, we need to look for renewable commitments. Our membership levels are as follows:

Institutional Membership:

  • Member - $2000
  • Collaborator - $4000
  • Partner - $10,000

Individual Membership:

  • $10 - $250+ (at your discretion)

There are many benefits to membership, including things like representation on governing committees and discounts at events. Check out the member page or drop me an email if you want to know more.

Many thanks,

- Melissa

* some of our members were able to allocate more funding to support 7.x-2.x development than their typical membership dues. It is currently unknown how many will be able to maintain that funding level at renewal, but yearly membership revenue could be as high as $122,000. I went with the number we can be sure of.

Islandora 7.x-2.x Community Sprint 001 is underway!

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Submitted by manez on

The latest Islandora community sprint, announced back in October, is now underway. Sixteen wonderful people signed up for the two-week adventure into the Islandora 7.x-2.x codebase, and this morning the team met for the first time to take in a demo from Nick Ruest and Danny Lamb (recorded here for those who could not attend live). The sprinters then had their first "stand-up" where they went through existing tickets and picked tickets to work on.

We are tracking work through GitHub for this sprint, and you can see the list of issues here (you are very welcome to add your own!). We loaded the sprint with a lot of documentation tasks, with a special focus on basic user documentation to help new users get used to how to make their way around this new version.

Want to be a part of an Islandora sprint but couldn't make it this time? There will be another in December, and hopefully once a month thereafter, to keep development rolling on 7.x-2.x. Developers, documenters, and testers are all welcome. If you have the time and willingness to help, we will find an aspect of the project where you can work!

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