Fedora User’s Conference 2006
I hate it when this happens…I just wrote a fairly lengthy post on this morning's introductory session for the Fedora User's Conference at UVa and when I hit save, the text went away. I'm going to try to recreate my thoughts again and keep saving. So, if something looks incomplete, it probably is 😉
This morning's keynote speaker was Thorny Staples who, almost in passing, hit on something I thought was quite exciting. They are in the test phase of using Fedora to maintain their repository of student newspapers. Knowing some of the complexities of serials cataloging (or at least hearing Mack and Julie complain about it), I thought their approach made more sense than anything else I've heard.
Essentially student papers are two things, text and images. What they're doing is taking images of the newspapers and creating Fedora objects along with TEI markup of the newspaper (as seperate, yet related objects). These objects are part of an aggregated object (a paper), which is part of another aggregated object (a volumn), which is part of another aggregated object (a serial). Because objects can be aware of other objects, the metadata in the TEI header associates images and text to serials (and everything else that's related).
There was also some discussion on the boundaries of what data Fedora is indended to deal with, and where other technologies need to pick up. Thorny used the example of a satellite scanning the earch and as it's doing so, dumping this informatin into a Fedora repository. Disseminators would then allow users to view this data as it's being processed. After some additional back and forth, the conclusion was make that actual transactional data is not really the domain of Fedora, but the resulting information from that transactional data is. This is a subtle distinction, but an important one to make.