SFC Digital Repositories Seminar

A few weeks ago Lorna and I went to a Scottish Funding Council meeting organized to discuss the experiences of those SFC funded eLearning transformation projects that had used repositories. Lorna’s account of the meeting is on her blog. Now the SFC have published their own record of the meeting (it’s about half way down the page, under “Digital Repositories”).

Congratulations to the CeLLS project for negotiating the IPR issues in such a way is allowing them to make nearly all their material available through the Jorum. It’s a shame the other projects couldn’t manage this.

Progress with OAI-ORE?

There seems to be some progress towards an implementable draft spec for OAI-ORE. Perhaps the best available description of what the ORE (Object Reuse and Exchange) spec is trying achieve is an article published by Herbert Van de Sompel and Carl Lagoze, which comes with a screencastdemonstration of a prototype system. It will be interesting when the full details of ORE are available to compare it to the IMS Content Packaging approach to reuse and exchange. ORE seems to benefit from being thoroughly in tune with and building on the web architecture. Is there anything important that IMS CP supports that ORE doesn’t? For example, is it possible in ORE to define how the contents are to be organized or structured? It’s not really possible to say much more without actually seeing a draft of the actual spec, and those are being kept secret. It seems that details will not be available until an open meeting on March 3rd to launch the first beta release [update: I was mistaken, the alpha spec was released in December, see Pete's comment below]. Earlier versions of the spec exist, but are not available to anyone outside the ORE team, a situation I find curious and frustrating.