DSpace 1.4.1b2 released

November 30, 2006

The release of 1.4.1 beta 2 has just been announced. Well done, Scott and Claudia!

Via Peter Suber: The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library) in the Netherlands will curate the content in the Dutch DAREnet (Digital Academic REpositories) network of repositories.

Comment: IMO this is the way forward – a heterogenous (in terms of software platform) federation where content producers keep the content and third parties provide specific services (e.g. digital preservation, as in this case). It strengthens the position of institutional repositories, who might be pushed to make a convincing argument about their preservation prospects, and it strengthens the position of specialist centres of expertise such as the KB.

The University repository is looking for a developer.

SW vs sw

November 28, 2006

The old WS vs ws debate is so last year. This post from Evan Prodromou is a well balanced comparison of RDFa (‘big’ Semantic Web) and microformats (‘small’ semantic web). It’s interesting to see how RDFa doesn’t require namespaced elements in XHTML documents, just attributes. So the only technical advantage to microformats (as far as I see it) is that they’re easier to author (they also work in HTML 4, but I’m disregarding that 😉 ).

It’ll be interesting to see which wins in the end, but I know which I’d rather write a harvester / reader for.

Incidentally, that blog post contains just about the best layman’s description of why namespaces are important that I’ve ever seen.

Shibbolizing DSpace

November 28, 2006

Don’t know how fresh this is, but the Australian Meta Access Management System has instructions for Shibbolizing DSpace.

Java URL – File gotcha!

November 27, 2006

This one can come up frequently if you’re loading file resources using a ClassLoader. You get a java.net.URL object from the ClassLoader, and you want a java.io.File.

This is wrong: –

File file = new File(url.getFile());

For some reason under windows, URL.getFile() isn’t equivalent to the path of the file. The correct way of getting a file from a URL is: –

File file = new File(url.toURI());

If anyone has any bright ideas of why there isn’t a File(URL) constructor that just takes a URL and barfs if it’s not a file protocol URL, please let me know!

The presentation slides and video from the latest DSpace UK&I User Group meeting happened last Friday are on, or upcoming on the Aberystwyth repository.

Brief synopsis:

Niamh Brennan (Trinity College Dublin) described the development of the DSpace based IR at Trinity College, which is integrated with several of their institutional and library systems. This project has a heartening and impressive level of institutional commitment – loads of people from around the college are involved, and the commitment appears to go to the top. There were striking similarities between the integration issues Niamh described and those presented by Richard Jones later in the afternoon, when describing the repository developments at Imperial College, London.

Jim Rutherford (HP labs Bristol) gave us an overview of his work to develop on the technology developed in the China Digital Museums project to produce a generic federated architecture for DSpace. Mark Merrifield (Open Repository) shared the commercial perspective on DSpace. OR runs repository services for universities.

Richard Jones then gave an overview of the Technical review meeting and the outcomes from it, and Stuart Lewis gave an overview of what challenges and opportunities Google presents to repositories, and some of the improvements made in DSpace to take full advantage of Google whilst minimizing the load it generates.

If you’re interested / involved in DSpace and in the UK or Ireland, there’s a survey to help the group optimize it’s meetings to involve as many people as possible.

DSpace integration examples

November 24, 2006

A couple of weeks ago I commented on Corinne Mist’s comments on DSpace, and alluded to integration work in the community. At today’s UK&I users group, both Trinity College, Dublin and Imperial have presented on their integration work. Presentations here.

Friday morning is a good time to get the warm fuzzies. And the Open Office Bibliography project (via) gives me the warm fuzzies for sure. Some highlights: –

  • “… greatly improved Graphic User Interface for entering, editing and searching for bibliographic records”
  • “The ability to support all the common styles and conventions for citations and reference tables”
  • “When will this wonderful facility be available ? Bibliographic enhancements are expected to be included in OpenOffice in 2007.”

This is great news, not least because everyone with a vested interest in OS software wants to see Open Office succeed. The only way that will happen, IMO, is for it to blow Word out of the water on these kind of innovative features.

DSpace Jobs at UWA

November 23, 2006

University of Wales in Aberystwyth are advertising three repository positions. Two are technical, and will involve work on a number of repo platforms, including DSpace.