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Q4 2017 EQUELLA Open Source Support Briefing

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The quarterly EQUELLA Open Source Support (OSS) Briefing is an opportunity to share the contributions performed on behalf of the OSS program, highlight Unicon's perspective on contributions, and share happenings in the community along with opportunities to engage further with Unicon. 

Discussions for the 2017 Q4 EQUELLA OSS Briefing focused on OSS Goals, Community News, Community Spotlight, Sustaining Engineering, and a discussion around events/community engagement.

On Thursday, January 25, 2017, the Unicon OSS team held the EQUELLA OSS Briefing summarizing OSS activities for Q4 of 2017.

OSS Goals

We kicked off the briefing by reviewing the goals of Unicon’s Open Source Support (OSS) program. OSS subscribers enable Unicon to be an active member in the EQUELLA community.  Through OSS, EQUELLA adopters choose a level of support, which can include Consulting Assistance hours. Each subscriber increases Unicon’s ‘Sustaining Engineering’ ability to contribute back to EQUELLA, guided by the priorities of Unicon’s subscriber base.  

Community News

We then covered an exciting development in the community: the release of 6.5-Stable! 6.5-Stable was the first open source release of EQUELLA and was released in December 2017. The source code, documentation, and supporting tools can be found on https://github.com/equella . Under the EQUELLA / ‘releases’ tab, you’ll notice a 6.5-Stable release. This release is a demo version. It does not contain optional functionality of Oracle DB drivers or Kaltura integration, and the Java Applets and Web Start jars are signed with a self-signed Java certificate. While appropriate for evaluation purposes, it’s recommended that adopters build 6.5 themselves to include optional functionality (if desired), and sign the Java Applets and Web Start jars with a signing certificate keyed for that adopter.

We went over how to build 6.5. An adopter only needs GIT, SBT, and Java. The adopter chooses the certificate and optional components, and then can easily produce a 6.5 installer or upgrade package.  

In other news, we reviewed EQUELLA’s progress in Apereo’s incubation process. The initial incubation call for Apereo EQUELLA was January 11. On that call, the exit criteria was discussed. Unicon expects a speedy resolution for EQUELLA incubation since the exit criteria was anticipated last year when Unicon led the effort, along with Edalex Solutions, to open source the application. The general Apereo exit criteria can be found here: https://www.apereo.org/content/apereo-incubation-process.

Community Spotlight

For the Community Spotlight, we were joined by Jon Fackrell, a Web Services Librarian for an EQUELLA adopter, BYU - Idaho. Jon gave an excellent presentation on a tool they developed called EQUELLA Sync. EQUELLA Sync is similar to Box or Dropbox in that it monitors a folder on a user’s local computer and syncs the content to EQUELLA Items. EQUELLA Sync enhances the EQUELLA experience by wrapping descriptive metadata around the content, enabling future searching, while providing the user a less disruptive experience, all backed by EQUELLA.

Sustaining Engineering

After the spotlight, we reviewed what Sustaining Engineering (SE) is at Unicon, and why it’s important to subscribers and adopters of EQUELLA. Since the 2017 Q3 briefing, Unicon SE completed 2 issues, and is in progress on a third:  

  • #229 - Force a reindex when Resource Metadata ACLs are changed in a collection definition (merged)
  • #407 - More detailed Report and Index logging (merged)
  • #377 - More Efficient Item Save (in progress)

Through the voices of Unicon’s OSS EQUELLA subscribers, Unicon’s SE efforts will continue to drive meaningful, timely contributions to the EQUELLA platform. If you have an idea for how to enhance EQUELLA, please open a S5 Zendesk ticket to make your voice be heard!

Events

The major event covered on the briefing was Open Apereo 2018. With the advent of EQUELLA being open sourced via Apereo, the application is included in this yearly gathering of open source educational advocates and enthusiasts to share ideas, and inspire folks to enhance their digital learning experiences. This year, Open Apereo will be hosted at the Delta Marriott Hotel in Montreal, Quebec from June 3- 7. Unicon will be there to discuss EQUELLA and other open source applications, and we hope to see you there as well!

Conclusion

The briefing was well attended, and we appreciate folks taking time out of their schedules to join us. EQUELLA will only be as strong as its supporting community, so we encourage you to reach out to the community, get excited about EQUELLA, ask questions, and help shape the future of this open source digital respository.

Click here for the video recording.

Click here for the briefing slides.

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equella
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