I'm away from the Digital Scholarship Unit this week in semi-sunny London, as an instructor for Islandora Camp UK. Here are some of my notes:
Note: Fresh and Maybe Flawed.
The second day of Islandora Camp has ended, and I’ve had far less time to take notes. This is because we split into our separate sessions (administrators and developers) and Donald Moses and I were instructing in earnest. Though we missed our developer friends, we pushed on into a deep-dive of the Islandora administrative interface.
Typically, the administrative track starts off with an overview of basic site-building and user management functions in Drupal (a hurdle for some Islandora administrators) before moving to a review of Islandora permissions (and an overview of FedoraCommons) before ending in with Solr. This day-long session was designed by Melissa Anez, the Islandora Foundation Project & Community manager. Donald Moses and I both admire the graceful approach Melissa has taken in designing hands-on sessions that ease people into the sometimes daunting world of Drupal, FedoraCommons, and Solr and how these applications meet in the Islandora ecosystem.
That said, this admiration didn’t stop us from getting diverted (sorry Melissa!) into discussions of media management, the philosophy behind Islandora’s extension of pre-existing Drupal modules, the art of authoring namespace prefixes, and desirable server setups (to vagrant or not to vagrant?).
Because we could not get enough of being smooshed together in small underground spaces, camp finished off with a lovely dinner at the bottom of Covent Garden. The dev and admin tracks were reunited with much comparison of personal histories and accents, and plans for Islandora. It sounds like the Dev track also went well. I came back to the hotel with my family (one year olds don't really like talking about Islandora), but most of camp is still out there in the city, painting the town Islandora-t-shirt red.
I forgot how much I get out of these camps, and how great it is (after 4 years of Islandora) to see new faces interspersed with established Islandorians. What a lovely bunch of people!
If this sounds interesting, come to Islandora Camp GTA!