Already a couple of weeks ago we had a hackathon in Cologne. Hospitality and location of the University of Cologne contributed a lot to the success of this event. Thanks to Manfred Thaller and Lisa Rau everything was perfectly organized. Thanks a lot Manfred and Lisa!
With the experience of previous hack-events (the first OPF hackathon and the AQUA events), OPF hackathons are shaping themselves according to what OPF is all about.
-Digital preservation practice requires an open community that actively shares best practice and is able to apply group learning.
-Making tools available under an open source licence where and when possible will stimulate the adoption of the digital preservation practice
Where many hackathons tend to become developer and technology centric, OPF strongly supports the idea of having a blend of problem owners (often practitioners and their digital collections) and techies (developers and system engineers). Digital Preservation Practitoners bringing in practical problems with their collections and expose these problems to a technical community, allowing them to discuss and hack based on real life use cases.
The Cologne event again proofed that this blend of practitoners and techies can really produce results based on shared understanding of actual problems.
Several demo’s where done to share what the community is working on. The Danish National Archives (Tommy Balle and Jun Yoneyama showed their approach to Database Archiving, the University of Freiburg (Isgander Valizada and Dirk von Suchodoletz) demonstrated their emulation solution and OPF (Dave Tarrant) demonstrated a first prototype of REF (Results Evaluation Framework). All demo’s where followed by lively discussions. After the demo’s we ran seperate hack and requirement sessions. During the hacking developers and engineers exchanged their ideas and code, while practitioners focussed on requirements and use cases.
Next week during at the York Hackathon we expect to continue to work on both technical tools/solutions as well as more detailed requirements and use cases for digital preservation and long term access.
OPF plan is to have a quarterly hackathon on several locations in Europe. Our preliminary plan for 2012, is to have more hackathons in UK and on the continent in January, April and June 2012