OCKHAM in Corvallis, OR

This is brief travel log documenting an OCKHAM meeting on Corvallis, OR, August 26 - 28, 2004.

Thursday, August 26

Jeremy Frumkin of Oregon State University (OSU), hosted an OCKHAM meeting from August 26 - 28 on Corvallis OR. Thursday was pretty layed back since we were spending time getting there. Jeremy pick up Ed Summers and me at the airport. We (obviously) went to Powells Bookstore and returned to the airport to get Will Young . In the evening we all had dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Friday, August 27

By this time Martin Halbert had arrived, and Team OCKHAM gave a presentation to a number of the faculty and staff of the OSU library. Jeremy described the work done to date including the purpose of OCKHAM, the participants in the project, and the services we are implementing.

I described the Alerting service as a system that:

  1. harvests data
  2. indexes it
  3. facilitates an SRU interface to it

Significant work has been done developing this service, thanks to the work of Ed Summers. The beginnings of the Alerting service can be viewed at: http://dewey.library.nd.edu/morgan/ockham-alert/ .

Ockham Alert
Ockham Alert

Peter Krenesky described how the registry would work. If I understand things correctly, a metadata scheme will first be selected and used to describe digital library services. WSDL and EBXML were suggested. Second, an object oriented interface to a relational database would be implemented in order to store these metadata records. Third, the database will be maintained in two ways: 1) a "peer manager" will enable people to edit records, and 2) an OAI client will harvest metadata records from other peers.

The whole idea is to store descriptions of digital library collections locally while regularly updating the store through the peer-to-peer network.

As soon as the metadata scheme is selected more work can be done in this area. Ironically, folks at the University of Manchester have been working on a very similar project. See: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue40/hill/.

Ockham registry
Ockham registry

Stanislav Trubin described a harvest-search service. Its functionality is very similar to the Alerting service. It will:

Trubin has been able to write a simple CGI script in PHP allowing somebody to harvest and create indexes, but nothing is really ready for wide-spread demonstration.

Ockham harvest and search
Ockham harvest and search

Will Young described the possibilities of a conversion service -- a service to convert metadata from one from into another. After a bit of discussion, the idea of converting all metadata from one scheme into a base scheme (such as MARCXML) might be the best way to go. Young also elaborated on a cataloging service -- a service for retrieving, adding, and changing sets of MARC records and then reusing them for some purpose.

In the afternoon we visited the special collections department where they were very proud of their Linux Pauling collection ( http://osulibrary.orst.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/ ). We also toured the Open Source Lab ( http://osuosl.org/ ) with the help of Jason McKerr . The Lab a very impressive facility serving terabytes of open source software on a regular basis. The Open Source Lab is increasingly becoming instrumental in Project Ockham.

Saturday, August 28

Saturday morning we spent the vast majority of our time working on the Reference Model. Work done to date can be read, in a very sketchy form, on the wiki ( http://wiki.osuosl.org/display/OCKPub/ORM0.1 ).

In the afternoon we discussed OCKHAM governance issues and the future of OCKHAM. Questions were raised but not necessarily answered on how to create a sustainable governance of OCKHAM. The only consensus was that OCKHAM is young and such things will grow with time.

One of the most enlightening aspects of the discussion was (and seems to continue to be) the role of the registry in the network. Ideas were bantered about on how the registry could (should) grow into more than a simple directory, but rather, a tool to facilitate federated digital library services. For example, an institution might use a Web interface from Notre Dame's website to select repositories to be included in OSU implementation of an alerting service.

In the late afternoon the meeting was over. Martin and I went to Mary's Peak for the view. Everybody had pizza and beer in the evening, and we all return home on Sunday. Water and links to photos are here: http://infomotions.com/water/?cmd=getwater&id=68 .

Creator: Eric Lease Morgan <eric_morgan@infomotions.com>
Source: This text was never published.
Date created: 2004-09-02
Date updated: 2004-12-02
Subject(s): OCKHAM (Open Community Knowledge Hypermedia Administration and Metadata); travel log;
URL: http://infomotions.com/musings/ockham-corvallis/