Friday, June 9, 2017

Moving more of Canadiana's software projects to GitHub

As some of the links in recent articles suggest, we have started moving more of our software from an internal source control and issue tracker towards public GitHub projects.  While this has value as additional transparency to our membership, I also hope it will enable better collaboration with members, researchers, and others who have an interest in Canadiana's work.

For the longest time the Archive::BagIt perl module was the only GitHub project associated with Canadiana.  Robert Schmidt became the primary maintainer of this module when he was still at Canadiana, and this module is still critical to our infrastructure.


Added to the two IIIF related Docker images that I'll discuss more later are two PERL modules:

  • CIHM::METS::App is a tool to convert metadata from a variety of formats (CSV, DB/Text, MARC) to the 3 XML formats we use as descriptive metadata within our METS records (MARCXML, Dublin Core, Issueinfo).  This is used in the production process we use to generate or update AIPs within our TDR.
  • CIHM::METS::parse is the library used to read the METS records within the AIPs in the TDR and present normalized data to other parts of our access platform.  For more technical people this provides an example of how to read our METS records, as well as documenting exactly which fields we use within our access platform (for search and presentation).

My hope is that by the end of the summer all the software we use for a TDR Repository node will have moved to GitHub.  This provides additional transparency to the partner institutions who are hosting repository servers, clarifying exactly what software is running on that hardware.

We are a small team (currently 3 people) working within a Canadian charity, and would be very interested in having more collaborations.  We know we can't do all of this alone, which is a big part of why we are joining others in the GLAM community with IIIF. Even for the parts which are not IIIF, collaboration will be possible.

If you work at or attend one of our member institutions, or otherwise want to know more about what our technical team is doing, consider going to our GitHub organization page and clicking watch for sub-projects that interest you. Feel free to submit issue requests whether it be noticing a bug, suggesting a new feature (maybe someone with funding will agree and launch a collaboration), suggesting we take a closer look at some existing technology, or just asking questions (of the technical team -- we have other people who answer questions for subscribers/etc).

If not on GitHub, please feel free to open a conversation in the comments section of this blog.

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