2011 Preconference Proposals

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Proposals for 2011 Code4LibCon Preconferences

Proposals will close Friday November 19 so we can finalize the list and add them to registration!

We'll have space for up to 3 full-day pre-conferences and 3-6 half-day pre-conferences.

Please include a "Contact/Responsible Individual" name and email address so we know who is willing to put on the proposed precon.

Full Day

CURATEcamp Hackfest

  • Description: Want to hack/design/plan/document on a team of people who enjoy learning by creating? Interested in digital curation? Well, this hackfest is for you. Not familiar with the concept of a hackfest? See Roy Tennant's "Where Librarians Go To Hack" and the page for the Access 2010 Hackfest. I propose a full-day hackfest with a focus on the domains of digital curation, preservation, and repositories -- think stuff like CDL's microservices, Hydra, Fedora, etc. Here's how it works, roughly: we assemble in the morning and do some whiteboarding, mostly to gauge folks' interests and jot down project ideas; then we separate into teams and hack on stuff for the rest of the day and present our progress at the end. Not a code hacker? No worries; all skill sets and backgrounds are valuable! (Participants may begin kicking around 2011 CURATEcamp Hackfest Ideas.)
  • Duration: full-day
  • Speaker Bio: Facilitators of the CURATEcamp Hackfest will be:
    • Shaun Ellis - Digital Library Collections Interface Developer, Princeton University Library
    • Jason Fowler - Programmer Analyst, UBC Library Systems
  • Contact: Mike Giarlo (michael at psu.edu)
  • Videos

Half Day Morning

What's New In Solr

  • Description: The library world is fired up about Solr. Practically every next-gen catalog is using it (via Blacklight, VuFind, or other technologies). Solr has continued improving in some dramatic ways, including geospatial support, field collapsing/grouping, extended dismax query parsing, pivot/grid/matrix/tree faceting, autosuggest, and more. This session will cover all of these new features, showcasing live examples of them all, including anything new that is implemented prior to the conference.
  • Duration: half-day
  • Speaker Bio: Erik has spoken at several code4lib conferences (Keynoted Athens '07 along with the infamous pioneering Solr preconference, presented at Providence '09, and pre-conferenced Asheville '10). Erik co-authored "Lucene in Action", and he's a Lucene and Solr committer. His library world claims to fame are founding and naming Blacklight, original developer on Collex and the Rossetti Archive search.
  • Contact: Erik Hatcher (erik.hatcher at lucidimagination.com)

Intro to Functional Programming with JavaScript (and a little Haskell)

  • Description: Functional programming is a topic that is becoming increasingly important for programmers to be aware of. Unfortunately it also has the reputation of being an area of programming that is particularly difficult and academic. Languages like Haskell, while being very powerful, certainly live up to this reputation. However many of the essential features of functional programming can be explored through a language as simple and commonplace as JavaScript.
This preconference talk will cover what makes a language ‘functional’ and the usage and implementation of essential features of functional programming: first-class functions, lambda functions, higher order functions, closures, and function currying. It will show how many of the powerful abstractions in a language like Haskell can also be implemented in a language like JavaScript, this will include a discussion of the trade offs between purity and performance.
The aim of this talk is to prepare participants to both implement functional techniques in everyday programming, as well as start exploring the topic more academically. Even if you never plan on coding in a purely functional style this workshop will give you an understanding of topics that should improve your programming in other languages with functional features such as Ruby, Python, and C#. At the very least after this workshop you can go to the bar and throw around words like “lambda function”, “closure” and “currying” with confidence!
  • Duration: half-day
  • Speaker Bio: Will Kurt is the Applications Development Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also working on a master’s in Computer Science. He has spoken at several library conferences including Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian on topics including the Microsoft Surface and Visualizing Information.
  • Contact: Will Kurt (wkurt at unr.edu)

Running cloud Servers

  • Desription: In this pre-conference we will work with the Amazon EC2, S3, and EBS platforms to launch, configure and deploy cloud-based servers. The workshop will include a series of short hands-on tutorials designed to take you from complete novice to semi-skilled cloud server administrator. the tutorials include: 1)short overview of Amazon cloud services and how they are used 2)Amazon registration, 3)Launching, configuring and securing your first instance, 4)Installing a service (Vufind) and 5)Backing up in the cloud - Backup routines and server images.
  • Duration: half-day
  • Speaker Bio: Erik Mitchell is the Assistant Director for Technology Services at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. Over the past year he and his team have focused on using cloud-based services to serve the IT needs of the ZSR library. More information about the work done on this project can be found at [1], [2]
  • Contact: mitcheet at wfu dot edu

Creating a new JHOVE2 Format Module

Description: JHOVE2 is a Java framework and application for format-aware characterization of files, byte streams within files, and file containers or other file aggregations. JHOVE2 examines a digital source unit and extracts feature information about that source unit for purposes of classification, analysis, and use.

JHOVE2 is a significant re-engineering of its JHOVE (http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/) predecessor, with a highly modular structure, intended to facilitate the rapid creation of new characterization modules for many formats that can easily be plugged into the JHOVE2 framework. The initial JHOVE2 distribution includes modules for UTF-8, SGML, Shapefile, TIFF, WAV, XML, and ICC color profiles, with ZIP, PDF and JPEG-2000 modules expected to be deployed in the next few months. Developers at the Wegener Institute (http://www.awi-potsdam.de ) have already created new modules for netCDF and GRIB. Developers at the French National Library (La Bibliothèque nationale de France http://www.bnf.fr/fr/acc/x.accueil.html) are currently working on GZIP and ARC modules.

This session will provide an overview of the JHOVE2 processing module and plug-in architecture, and will walk through the steps of creating a new format module.

For more information, visit http://jhove2.org.

Duration: half-day

Speaker Bio: Sheila Morrissey is a member of the JHOVE2 development team and is Senior Research Developer at Portico (http://www.portico.org/digital-preservation/)

Contact: Sheila Morrissey <sheila dot morrissey at ithaka dot org>

Half Day Afternoon

Using JHOVE2 for Policy Assessment of Files

Description: JHOVE2 is a Java framework and application for format-aware characterization of files, bytestreams within files, and file containers or other file aggregatations. JHOVE2 examine a digital source unit and extracts feature information about that source unit for purposes of classification, analysis, and use.

In addition to detailed output of the features of a format instance, JHOVE2 can provide summary determination of the validity of an item (its conformance to the normative syntactic and semantic requirements defined by an authoritative specification) and can be used for assessing the level of acceptability of a digital object for a specific purpose on the basis of locally-defined policy rules. The latter is one of the significant enhancements of JHOVE2 over its predecessor.

This session will provide some examples of the structure of JHOVE2 format modules, the outputs produced by those modules, and the configuration of the JHOVE2 assessment module so that it can be used to perform rule-based analysis of the reportable properties previously generated during characterization of a source unit.

For more information, visit http://jhove2.org.

Duration: half-day

Speaker Bio: Richard Anderson is a member of the JHOVE2 develpment team and a Software Engineer with the Digital Library Systems and Services unit of Stanford University

Contact: Richard Anderson <rnanders at stanford dot edu>

Publishing Historic Newspapers with NDNP tools

  • An in-depth session on publishing and working with historic newspaper content made available through the US National Digital Newspaper Program. The software behind the LC-hosted site at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov (python/django/mysql/solr) is available under a free/libre/open source license at sourceforge. This session will include an introduction to the program and working with the software; discussion of adding features such as linking between ChromAm at LC and other institutions publishing the same newspaper content; creating structure and submission for user edited OCR corrections; and article level viewing. This event is open to everyone - non-NDNP participants are invited to join us and learn how to work with this content and help consider how to improve the software. The schedule will include ample time for technical discussion and hacking on the software itself.
  • Duration: half-day
  • Contact: Karen Estlund, University of Oregon Libraries; Dan Chudnov, Library of Congress

VIVO Boot Camp

Description: VIVO is an open source semantic web application originally developed and implemented at Cornell University. When installed and populated with researcher interests, activities, and accomplishments, it enables the discovery of research and scholarship across disciplines at that institution. VIVO supports browsing and a search function which returns faceted results for rapid retrieval of desired information and includes options for RDF linked data distribution.

This boot camp will be run by members of the NIH/NCRR funded VIVO network and will focus on four components including, an overview of what VIVO is and how it can help researchers, an installation walk-through, how VIVO works (its ontology, visualization functionality, and user interface), and future directions for the project (e.g. profile data re-use in CMSs such as Drupal and Joomla!, federated search, etc.).

For more information, visit http://vivoweb.org.

Duration: half-day


  • Paul Albert, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Nick Cappadona, Cornell University
  • Ying Ding, Indiana University
  • Bryan Keese, Indiana University
  • Micah Linnemeier, Indiana University
  • Ryan Cobine, Indiana University

Contact: Ryan Cobine <rcobine AT indiana DOT edu>

Islandora Repository System

Description: The Islandora project (islandora.ca) is growing, with new functionality provided by Solr integration and funding to support the growth of this OS project beyond our library borders. Islandora provides integration between Fedora and Drupal, with custom solution packs to address the needs of multiple data types. This session will review the project's development and current features, as well as providing guidance for basic installation and configuration.

Duration: half-day

Speaker Bio: Mark Leggott is the founder of the Islandora project. As the UL for the University of Prince Edward Island, and the projects major architect. He has spoken at a number of conferences, and is the founder of a new SaSS company providing services around Islandora software.

Update 1/12: Paul Pound will co-lead; Kirsta Stapelfeldt will not attend.

Contact: Kirsta Stapelfeldt (kstapelfeldt AT upei.ca)

Code4Lib Preconference Unconference

  • Description: The "Wikipedia entry for unconference" will give you a good idea what to expect. An "unconference" is "a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose." These unconferences came up from the hacker world (see "BarCamp") as a way to avoid high conference fees and sponsored presentations. Unconferences are not spectactor events, nor are they places to "be seen." Participants are involved from the schedule creation to the wrap-up session, and actively present, discuss, and collaborate with fellow participants. In recent years, "THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp)" has become a popular incarnation of the *camp gathering. In general, check your papers at the door, and just be ready to talk about the work you’re doing, the work you want to do, how you might collaborate with others. Think of it like a conference entirely made up of breakout sessions, but with some unifying theme. Or not. It depends on you.

    Now, how will we run an unconference in three hours and in one room? Carefully. I propose a rough schedule of 30 minutes for discussion-of-topics, then three 45-minute bursts of discussions, followed by 15 minutes of wrap-up. As this is all user-generated, it's all up for change in that first 30 minutes. We can have as many concurrent bursts-of-discussion as will fit in the one room, and that would also allow greater flexibility for wandering between groups.

    This is actually a compressed micro preconference unconference, that should--if all goes according to plan--produce a really fun, interesting, collaborative time, as well as a model that could be taken back to our own workplaces. Please contact the organizer with questions as well as any ideas for conversations you might want to have; will update this entry accordingly.
  • Duration: half-day
  • Organizer / Contact: Julie Meloni (jcmeloni AT gmail dot com)
    Admin/Schedule setting from 1:30-2:00
    Session 1 (210-250pm) A: Web Services & Libraries (Google Doc), B: UI/UX Test & Development
    Session 2 (2:50-3:30) A: Linked Data/Non-MARC Metadata, B: How Do We Work (Well) Google Doc
    Session 3 (3:30-4:10) A: Search (Lots of Things), B: Mobile Web/Location-Based
    Wrap-Up/Sharing (until 4:30).