The e-framework has just opened a wiki, and will happily accommodate Web APIs and mashups. We show how the former works with the submission of an example of the latter.
The e-framework is all about sharing service oriented solutions in a way that can be easily replicated by other people in a similar situation. The situation of the Design for Learning programme is simple, and probably quite familiar: a group of very diverse JISC projects want to be able to share resources between each other, but also with a number of other communities. Some of these communities have pretty sophisticated sharing infrastructures built around institutional, national or even global repositories that do not interoperate with each other out of the box.
There are any number of sophisticated solutions to that issue, several of which are also being documented as an e-framework Service Usage Model (SUM). Sometimes, though, a simple, low-cost solution -preferably one that doesn’t require agreement between all the relevant infrastructures beforehand- is good enough.
Simplicity and low cost are the essence of the Design for Learning sharing SUM. It achieves that by concentrating on a collection of collaboratively authored bookmarks that point to the Design for Learning resources. That way, the collection can happily sit alongside any number of more sophisticated infrastructures that need to store the actual learning resource. It also make the solution flexible, future-proof and applicable to any resource that can be addressed with a URL.
There is, of course, slightly more to it than that, and that’s what the SUM is designed to draw out. The various headings that make up a SUM draw out all the information that’s needed to either find the SUM’s parts (i.e. services), or to replicate, adapt or incorporate the SUM itself.
For example, the Design for Learning SUM shows how to link a bookmark store such as del.icio.us to a community website that can render a newsfeed. That is: it calls for a Syndicate service. This SUM doesn’t say which kind of Syndicate service exactly, but it does show where you have the choice and roughly what the choices are.
By the same token, the SUM can be taken up and tweaked to meet different needs with a minimum of effort. Accommodating different bookmark stores at the same time, for example, is a matter of adding one of several mash-up builders between the Syndicate service providers and the community website. Or you could simply refer to the whole SUM as one part of a much wider and more ambitious resource sharing strategy.
Fortunately, completing a SUM is a bit easier now that there’s a specialised wiki. Bits and bobs can be added gradually and collaboratively until the point that it can be submitted as the official version. Once that’s done, feedback from the wider e-framework community will follow, and the SUM hosted in the e-framework registry. You should be able to see how that works by watching the Design for Learning SUM page in the coming weeks.
The Design for Learning sharing SUM wiki page.
The Design for Learning support pages, which will have an implementation of the sharing SUM soon.
How you can start your own e-framework page is outlined on the wiki itself.