Islandora 8

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Islandora CLAW: Check out the MVP Sandbox!

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Submitted by manez on

At Open Repositories 2017 in Brisbane, Australia, the Islandora project unveiled a brand new sandbox site where you can take Islandora CLAW for a test drive, with a few test collections and theming set up by our awesome Islandora UI Interest Group. Check it out at and login with:

  • User: sandbox
  • Pass: Cl@wS@ndb0x

This sandbox is, like Islandora CLAW itself, still something of a work in progress, so you can expect to see new functions and configurations appear over the next few weeks, and a lot of changes to come as we work with the community to determine development priorities post-MVP (for more background on that process, check out the CLAW FAQ). But for now, please come in and kick the tires and get a feel for Drupal 8 with Fedora 4. Please let us know about bugs, improvements, and new features you'd like to see by filing an issue in GitHub (not sure how? check out for instructions).

Some differences you'll notice from the old Islandora:

  • "Add Content" - just like you're making a Drupal page. There is no special menu to add new Islandora objects in CLAW. Add them from any part of the site and indicate the parent, instead of having to navigate to the collection you want the object created in.
  • Your objects are nodes. Don't like the standard collection view? Go ahead and use Drupal Views to build whatever you like.
  • No XML Form Builder. Want to edit your metadata forms? You can use the regular Drupal form builder for each content type to add and edit fields, manage displays, and even map fields to RDF.

A few known issues that aren't quite as we'd like them yet:

  • Derivative creation is still being developed, so you have to add your own thumbnails and medium-sized files.
  • You can only use jpegs for the MEDIUM_SIZE datastream. This is a quick fix, but it didn't quite make it into the sandbox, so expect to see this corrected in the near future.

We will periodically wipe and restore the sandbox, so don't put anything there that you want to keep. If you would like your own enduring copy of Islandora CLAW to play with, you can build your own virtual machine with the Islandora CLAW Vagrant.

You can see slides from the sessions where we launched the next phase of CLAW here:

Islandora CLAW Calls: Alternating Schedule Starts this Week

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Submitted by manez on

This is just a reminder that this week will mark the first time we're using our alternating schedule for CLAW Calls, alternating between 9:00 AM EST to 1:00 PM EST each week, so that we can welcome Islandora users from more time zones. This week's meeting will be at 9:00AM EST on July 12th. Agenda here.

If this is your first CLAW Call (or your first CLAW Call in a while), don't worry. We'll start with a long recap and update to get you up to speed. We hope to see you there!

Islandora at Open Repositories 2017

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Submitted by manez on

Next week the Open Repositories conference in Brisbane, Australia will begin. Islandora will be there, with an exhibit table where you can stop by to chat and pick up the latest and greatest in laptop stickers, an electronic poster in the Cube, and several sessions that may be of interest to our community:

For the full schedule and more information about the conference, check out the Open Repositories 2017 website.

Islandora CLAW Install: Call for Stakeholders

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Submitted by dlamb on

Have you ever installed Islandora yourself? Do you think it could be a better experience? Would you like to spare yourself, the community, and all the potential adopters out there the difficulties of installing an entire repository solution from scratch? Then the Islandora Foundation is calling on you to help make that possible.

Now that the core of CLAW is shaping up, we plan on holding a series of sprints to implement and document a modular installation process that will benefit everyone. We know that there is a deep well of knowledge and experience out there in the community, and we're hoping motivated individuals and organizations will step forward and commit to being part of this process. Identifying as a stakeholder will give you influence over the direction that this effort takes if you're willing to put in the time to make it happen.

Work will commence in July, but it will be in a different format than before. Before any programming or documenting gets started, we're asking for stakeholders to be involved in a series of planning meetings to identify the scope of work to do be done for each sprint.

So if you're interested in being involved with the creation of what will be one of the greatest features of CLAW, please respond to this doodle poll for an initial informative meeting about being a stakeholder. At the meeting, we will be discussing the new sprint format in detail, what it means to be a stakeholder, as well as prior efforts to give people the context they need to decide if they want to be involved. So if you're curious, please feel free to stop by. And if you don't feel like participating in conversation but just want to listen in, that's okay. As always, lurkers are welcome.

Looking Back at Islandoracon

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Submitted by manez on

Our second Islandoracon is complete! From May 15th to 19th, 105 members of the Islandora community came together to spend their time sharing experiences, tools, knowledge, and their hopes and fears for the future of Islandora.

We kicked off the week with a Hack/Doc at McMaster University. A Hack/Doc is a variation on the traditional hackfest or hackathon model that puts an up-front emphasis on making use of a variety of skills and experience beyond programming, such as documentation, research, and testing. This model debuted in the Islandora community amongst the members of the Islandora Collaboration Group, and they provided excellent advice to adapt and adopt for Islandoracon. We also wanted to really promote collaboration by gathering bigger teams around just a few topics. Finally, we wanted the Islandoracon Hack/Doc to be an opportunity for the Islandora community to work with and contribute to Islandora CLAW, while building tools and documentation that will genuinely move the project forward and help the broader community, so we picked three projects based on Islandora CLAW (shown here with their filled-up whiteboards):

1. Writing Islandora Claw basic user documentation like the "How To" pages for Islandora 7.x 

2. A Demo module in the style of the 7.x Porcus module model, made with Drupal 8.

3. Specifications or MVP needs for the Islandora Scholar module for CLAW.

How did it go? After a few hiccups with technology (and an Islandora CLAW MVP sandbox that only came into existence the night before), these three teams did some amazing work with lasting impact. The documentation team wrote a remarkable amount of introductory user documentation explaining the parts of Islandora CLAW, and work is underway to move it into the main documentation. The porcus team built the basics of a demo module with Drupal 8, which is open for continued work. The scholar MVP team has a great start on a document and is looking for more feedback to finalize it.

After the Hack/Doc, Islandoracon moved to beautiful Liuna Station, a converted train station.

May 16th and 17th were filled with regular sessions and May 18th was given over to 90-minute workshops on specifics topics in Islandora. We've put up links to as many slide decks as possible in our conference schedule so that you can review. Some highlights:

We ended the week at the Hamilton Public Library with two half-day workshops: one on the Move to Islandora Kit and the other on Fedora 4. That afternoon held a meeting of the IR Interest Group and a free-form group discussion about the future of Islandora CLAW and how the Islandora community can become more engaged in development, which helped to inform our new Islandora CLAW FAQ and some changes to how we communicate about the project in general.

It was a great week, and the Islandora Foundation would like to thank the planning committee, speakers, workshop instructors, sponsors, and local organizers who made it all possible.


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