Welcome to the Summer of Islandora

Today we are officially announcing a summer-long series of specialized Open Meetings we are calling “The Summer of Islandora”. Each month we will be giving our regularly scheduled Open Meetings a theme and bringing together demos & presentations from community members all centered around said theme.

As COVID travel restrictions are still making travel difficult in some areas, and in light of the time of year, we have decided to postpone Islandora Online or IslandoraCon until we are more confident in our ability to host an event at the caliber we as Islandorians have come to expect. The Summer of Islandora will replace these events for this year and we hope that showcasing our progress over the past year will get people excited for our next in-person event!

What to Expect:

Open Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month from 10:00 - 2:00pm Eastern online. The dates for the Summer of Islandora sessions will be:

  • June 29

  • July 27

  • August 31

Registration is not required to attend, we just ask that you email community@islandora.ca for a calendar invite or password for the zoom session as we do not want it publicly available for privacy reasons.

The theme for June will be: Intro to Islandora

Subsequent themes for July and August will follow as we iron out speak we details and agendas, so stay tuned!

As always, there will be time to bring your questions and specific use cases to the Open Meetings. We encourage you to join us for any or all parts of the session as part of what makes our community strong is our willingness to help one another! See you all there.

Upcoming Testing Sprint

We're excited to announce that we've got a testing sprint coming up!  It will run from June 23rd to July 7th.  By setting it up this way we can utilize the regular tech calls to kickoff and wrap up the sprint.

If you're interested in helping out, please consider signing up here! Also, here is the list of test cases we'll be working through, which will be cleaned up this week for accuracy.

This is a pretty easy way to help out and get your hands on Islandora 8 if you haven't tried it already.  Time commitment, as always, is as much or as little as you want.  We're not asking for your entire work week here, just whatever you can give during your usual juggling of work, life, family, etc...

Islandora Open Meeting - May 25, 2021

This month's Open Meeting will be held on May 25, 2021 between 10:00 - 2:00pm Eastern. As always, it is a drop-in style session open to anyone to attend. We will be live to answer questions, give updates on the state of the software and updates from community members. Please join us and bring your questions or just pop in to see what's up! The more the merrier. More details can be found here.

Registration is not required, but if you would like an invite, please email agriffith@islandora.ca.

Documentation Interest Group Upcoming Sprint

The Islandora Documentation Group is holding a writing/editing sprint as part of the next release of Islandora. From May 19 - June 2, 2021 we will work together to review and update the Islandora documentation. If you can help, please sign up and join us for our Kick-Off on May 19th at 2:00pm Eastern during the regularly scheduled DIG meeting, where we will go over the plan and parcel out some of the work. Can't wait to see you there!

Documentation Interest Group Sprint Wrap Up

The Islandora Documentation Interest Group (DIG) held a sprint from April 19-30, 2021 in order to audit the current Islandora documentation in preparation for a second sprint aimed at editing and improving those docs for the upcoming release. After two weeks of work, almost all of the docs have been audited and reviewed, and the DIG has plans for the sections that remain incomplete. 

Big thanks to our team of volunteers, especially the University of Texas at Austin, which was very well represented!

  • Melissa Anez (LYRASIS)

  • Amy Blau (Whitman College)

  • Melanie Cofield (University of Texas Libraries)

  • Katie Coldiron (UT Austin School of Information)

  • Morgan A. Colbert (University of Texas Libraries)

  • Cary Gordon (Cherry Hill Company)

  • Mirko Hanke (University of Texas Libraries)

  • David Kwasny (University of Toronto Scarborough)

  • Mandy Ryan (University of Texas Libraries)

  • Yamil Suarez (Berklee College)


Next up will be a sprint focussed on writing and editing those audited docs, and will run from May 19 - 30, 2021. Please sign up now to join us!

Code Sprint Wrap Up

This past week we had the pleasure of wrapping up a 2-week code sprint where we accomplished a massive list of things and made great headway toward release! I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who took part. Y'all turned on the fire hose for contributions and we made out like bandits. 

Here's a breakdown of everything we received:

And as if that weren't enough amazing contributions, we're still sitting on a pile of more very valuable ones that haven't been merged yet, specifically:

I know we were supposed to freeze the code on Monday, but I'd like to give folks some more time to review and respond to feedback on these outstanding issues. We will revisit at the end of the week to wrap things up. It feels foolish to leave such great contributions on the table when they could be part of the software in the upcoming release.

Regardless, when you step back and take a look at the volume and quality of contributions that we received in such a short time frame, it's pretty staggering. I'd like to give a BIG thanks to everyone involved and their employers who graciously allowed them to work on Islandora while on the clock.

  • Eli Zoller (Arizona State University)
  • Willow Gillingham (Arizona State University)
  • Seth Shaw (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
  • Alan Stanley
  • Don Richards (Born Digital)
  • Mark Jordan (Simon Fraser University)
  • Alexander O'Neill (University of Prince Edward Island)
  • Nigel Banks (Lyrasis)
  • Kristina Spurgin (Lyrasis) and the Metadata Interest Group, whose recommendations are being implemented

Thanks a million!

Islandora Open Meeting: April 27, 2021

We are happy to announce the date of our next Open Meeting! Join us on April 27, 2021 any time between 10:00-2:00pm EDT. The Open Meetings are drop-in style sessions where users of all levels and abilities gather to ask questions, share use cases and get updates on Islandora. There will be experienced Islandora 8 users on hand to answer questions or give demos. We would love for your to join us any time during the 4-hour window, so feel free to pop by any time!

More details about the Open Meeting, and the Zoom link to join, are in this Google doc

Registration is not required. If you would like a calendar invite as a reminder, please let us know at community@islandora.ca.

Upcoming DIG Sprint

The Islandora Documentation Interest Group is holding a sprint!

To support the upcoming release of Islandora, the DIG has planned a 2-week documentation, writing-and-updating sprint to occur as part of the release process. To prepare for that effort, we’re going to spend April 19 – 30th on an Auditing Sprint, where volunteers will review existing documentation and complete this spreadsheet, providing a solid overview of the current status of our docs so we know where to best deploy our efforts during the release. This sprint will run alongside the upcoming Pre-Release Code Sprint, so if you’re not up for coding, auditing docs is a great way to contribute during sprint season!

We are looking for volunteers to sign up to take on two sprint roles:

Auditor: Review a page of documentation and fill out a row in the spreadsheet indicating things like the current status (‘Good Enough’ or ‘Needs Work’) , the goal for that particular page (e.g., “Explain how to create an object,” or “Compare Islandora 7 concepts to Islandora 8 concepts”), and the intended audience (Beginners, developers, etc.).

Reviewer: Read through a page that has been audited and indicate if you agree with the auditor’s assessment, add additional notes or suggestions as needed; basically, give a second set of eyes on each page.

 You can sign up for the sprint here, and sign up for individual pages here.


Community Announcement

As you know, the Islandora Foundation has recently updated its governance structure to remain compliant with Canadian non-profit regulations. Islandora Foundation members approved these changes at the Annual General Meeting in early March. A summary of these changes is provided here, as well as our emerging roadmap for moving forward.

A newly formed “Leadership Group”, composed of representatives from our Partner-level member organizations, replaces the pre-existing Board of Directors, and a smaller Board of Directors remains responsible for Islandora’s administrative and fiscal responsibilities. This Leadership Group met for the first time on Friday, March 26th to begin to discuss their goals going forward, and the ways the Leadership Group will interact with the other governance structures of the Islandora community. The Leadership Group immediately affirmed their commitment to transparent communication and collaboration with the vibrant, robust Islandora community and will be creating a Terms of Reference over the next month. The Terms of Reference will be written with agility and transformation in mind, as we work together to secure a strong future for both the community and codebase.

In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions regarding the formation of the Leadership Group, and stay tuned to hear more about the initial goals of this group.

Islandorans Unite! It's Release Time

It's that time again everyone!  Our amazing community contributors have made all sorts of improvements and upgrades to Islandora.  Some have been merged, but some are still hanging out, waiting for the love they need to make it into the code base.  We're calling on you - yes you! - to help us get things merged, tested, documented, and released to the world.

I would like to kick off this release cycle with a sprint to mop up some the amazing improvements that have unmerged pull requests.  Did you know that we have pull requests for an advanced search module and a basic batch ingest form just lounging around?  And that's not all.  There are all kinds of great improvements that just need some time and attention. A little code review and some basic testing by others are all that is needed before we freeze the code and start turning the crank on the release process.

Here's a rough timetable for the release:

  • April 19 - 30th: Code Sprint
  • May 3rd: Code Freeze
  • May 3rd - 14th: Testing, bug fixing, responding to feedback
  • May 17th - 28th: Documentation sprint
  • May 31st - June 18th: More testing, bug fixing, and responding to feedback
  • June 21st - July 2nd: Testing sprint
  • Release!

This is, of course, an optimistic plan.  If major issues are discovered we will take the time to address them which can affect the timeline.  I also plan on liaising with the Documentation Interest Group and folks from the Users' Call / Open Meetings for the documentation and testing sprints, and their availabilities may nudge things a week in either direction.

An open and transparent release process is one of the hallmarks of our amazing community. If you or your organization have any interest in helping out, please feel free to reach out or sign up for any of the upcoming sprints.  There are plenty of opportunities to contribute regardless of your skill set or level of experience with Islandora.  There's something for everyone!

We'll make further announcements for the other sprints, but you can sign up for the code sprint now using our sign up sheet.  Hope to see you there!