RepoCamp recap

So RepoCamp was a lot of fun. The goal was to discuss repository interoperability–and at the very least repository practitioners got to interoperate, and have a few beers afterwards. Hats off to David Flanders who clearly has got running these events down to a fine art.

I finally got to meet Ben O’Steen after bantering with him on #code4lib and #talis … and also got to chat with Jim Downing (Cambridge Univ) about SWORD stuff, and Stephan Drescher (Los Alamos National Lab) about validating OAI-ORE.

Stephan and I had a varied and wide ranging discussion about the web in general, which was a lot of fun. I really dug his metaphor of the web as an aquatic ecosystem, with interdependent organisms and shared environments. It reminded me a bit of how shocked I was to discover how rich and varied the ecosystem is around a “simple” service like twitter. If I ever return to school it will be to study something along the lines of web science.

It was also interesting to hear that other people saw a parallel between OAI-ORE Resource Maps and BagIt’s fetch.txt. The parallel being that both resource maps and bags are aggregations of web resources. Of course bags can also just be files on disk, it’s when the fetch.txt is present in the bag that the package is made up of web resources. It would be interesting to see what vocabularies are available for expressing fixity information (md5 checksums and the like), and if they could be layered into the resource map atom serialization. Perhaps PREMIS v2.0? It might be fun to code up what a simple OAI-ORE resource map harvester would look like, that checked fixity values — using LC’s existing BagIt parallelretriever.py as a starting point. God I wish I could just hyperlink to that :-(

At any rate, I now need to investigate OAuth because Jim thinks it fits really nicely with AtomPub and SWORD in particular. And if it’s good enough for Google it’s probably worth checking out. Jim also said that there is a possibility that the SWORD 2.0 might take shape as an IETF RFC, which would be good to see.

Thanks to all that made it happen, and for all of you that traveled long distances to join us at the Library of Congress.