Monthly Archives: January 2011

Life used to be so simple / unconfigurable

I had a spare hour this afternoon, so I thought I’d take a quick look at how dspace.cfg has changed over time. Anyone who has had the pleasure of looking after a DSpace server will know about dspace.cfg. It is the main configuration file for DSpace where many of the configurable options reside. These vary from core settings such as the name of your database server or mail server, to minor tweaks that make differences to your repository that nobody would ever notice!

DSpace 1.7 has just been released, and as it stands, dspace.cfg is a whopping 2268 lines long, containing over 200 required or preset configuration options, and a further 250+ optional parameters.  That’s quite a configuration file!

(It’s not so bad though – to get a new system up and running requires less than 5 settings to be edited to match your local environment.  The rest are there for a rainy day.)

But… how has it grown over time?

  • Version 1.0: 31 required / preset, 2 optional
  • Version 1.1: 30 required / preset, 5 optional (-1, +3)
  • Version 1.2: 34 required / preset, 9 optional (+4, +4)
  • Version 1.3: 55 required / preset, 32 optional (+21, +23)
  • Version 1.4: 101 required / preset, 58 optional (+46, +26)
  • Version 1.5 : 157 required / preset, 104 optional (+56, +46)
  • Version 1.6: 195 required / preset, 227 optional (+38, +123)
  • Version 1.7: 215 required / preset, 257 optional (+20, +30)

Or if you want to see it as a chart:

(N.B.: The gaps in between each release do not always reflect the amount of time or code changes in that version, but as a subversion repository as a whole.  The darker area are the number of required / preset configuration options, and the lighter shaded area the optional settings.  The number of optional settings is a rough calculation, looking in the configuration file for any line that starts with a ‘#’ (a comment) and contains and equals sign.)

That’s obviously quite a change – from humble beginnings.  I think everyone agrees that something needs to be done to help the system administrator / repository manager navigate and understand the plethora of configuration options.  However there are many different options / preferences / views about how this is best tackled: multiple configuration files, configuration stored in the database, configuration managed via spring services, DSpace installers, etc. One will have to win…сайт

Recent writing

This blog has been pretty quiet over the past few months.  There are a few reasons for that!

First, I’ve been working in my spare time as the Community Manager for the new JISC-funded ‘SWORD v2‘ project.  The role is partially project-manager (in terms of paperwork, project plans, etc), but mostly community management (managing email lists, creating a panel of experts, maintaining a web site, writing blog posts, creating a wikipedia entry, sending twitter updates etc).

In addition, I was commissioned to write a couple of pieces for IBM’s ‘DeveloperWorks’ web site:

  • Technical standards in education, Part 3: Open repositories for scholarly communication
    Enhancing access to research: Universities and research institutions use open repositories to enhance how they manage the outputs of their research activities, and make that research available to a worldwide audience. This article outlines the history and challenges of scholarly communication in today’s open environment. It describes some of the different standards and technical challenges relating to collecting, storing, preserving, transferring, and providing access to research using open repositories.
  • Technical standards in education, Part 4: Interoperable resource deposit using SWORD
    Using the SWORD protocol to deposit content into heterogeneous repositories: Open repositories are becoming a key component of the scholarly communication landscape as they allow cutting edge research to reach wider audiences. For open repositories to work effectively, they must make use of common standards to interoperate. A repository ingests new content, either through its own user interface or through a web service. The Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) protocol is the standard by which most open repositories allow remote deposit. This article describes the SWORD protocol, why it was developed, possible use cases, and an overview of how it works.

These two articles are part of a series ‘Technical standards in education‘.аутсорсинг интернет магазина