I’m sure everyone who pays even a small amount of attention to digital libraries has already seen this press release: Fedora Commons and DSpace Foundation Join Together to Create DuraSpace™ Organization
I have to admit that when I first saw this announcement I thought it was a late April Fool’s joke, you know, like those “announcements” that Microsoft and Yahoo are merging and will change their name to Microhoo, or something. I mean, DuraSpace? Doesn’t that sound like a joke?
(On reflection though, DuraSpace is more than a bad portmanteau of DSpace and Fedora; the use of the root “dura” is a nice touch where digital libraries are concerned. Though obviously too subtle for me.)
That said, this is a very interesting development, and one that I plan to follow very closely. I wonder if it’s a statement about the difficulty of sustaining open source projects, even large & well-established ones. I’d love to know what was said in the conversations that led up to this merger.
And here’s where I start to pontificate. While the press release says that “DuraSpace will continue to support its existing software platforms, DSpace and Fedora,” I predict that they will merge the two platforms eventually. I give it 2 years, max.
I’m also looking forward to seeing how the DuraCloud service pans out. As far as I know, Greenstone is the only DL platform for which there is a hosting service available. If DSpace & Fedora were hosted, that could be huge; it would open up digital library development to tons of cultural heritage institutions that can’t afford CONTENTdm and/or don’t have the skillset on staff to install and maintain an open source DL app now.
Wondering if the hosted installations of DSpace from NITLE will continue on, too. Is the hosting from Greenstone the same thing as what NITLE provides?