Repository Fringe 2010

Man sitting on the edge of a pool cooling his feetI’ve just returned to the office following a few days at the successful Repository Fringe 2010 event held in the very interesting e-Science institute building in Edinburgh.

For the RSP team this began with our RoMEO API workshop pre-event organised in conjunction with the SHERPA team.  This gave the attendees an opportunity to find out about the planned changes to the RoMEO service and how they might affect the API.  The workshop also invited feedback from participants on how they want to make use of the API and how they would like to see it change. Given the scale of the upcoming changes this was a great opportunity to influence the development and make the API an even better resource for the community in future. The invitation was taken up with great enthusiasm and provided a wealth of useful feedback for the SHERPA team to consider.

The Repository Fringe itself was full of useful presentations and discussions which are described in-depth in the live blog on the RepoFringe site.  Here, briefly, are some of the highlights for me.

Tony Hirst of the Open University talking about the use of informal publication methods and making use of publications and data in mashups. This highlighted again the problem with the almost ubiquitous use of PDF as the format for documents – the inability to access the content in a structured way.

The EPrints team live demonstrating the new features being added to version 3.3 including HTML5 for video previews and, in particular, the Bazaar – an App Store for EPrints extensions that will greatly ease the process of installing and configuring plugins.

Chris Awre from The University of Hull talking about Hydra, a flexible repository framework built on top of Fedora and using Ruby on Rails, SOLR and Blacklight. A reference implementation – Hydrangea – is available in beta and looked very nice in Chris’ live demo.

The Pecha Kucha sessions (twenty slides per speaker, twenty seconds per slide) were great fun as well as being informative with speakers working really well with the format and refusing to be flustered despite the odd technical glitch.

Overall this was a useful and informal conference and our thanks go out to the organisers.

Image credit: National Library of Scotland

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About Rob Ingram
Rob Ingram is the Technical Officer for the Repositories Support Project offering technical advice and support to UK repository networks.

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