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Open Repositories 2008 in Southampton

Enjoyed the last couple of days at OR08 in Southampton, catching up with the OR crowd and developments, as well as presenting on our work with Eprints for Linnean Online and SNEEP.

The conference was organised with gusto by Les Carr and the Southampton team, who kept things moving at a rapid pace, seemingly unphased by any of the inevitable challenges of staging an event like this for over 300 people. Encouragingly, as well as the usual crowd from western Europe and anglophone countries, other countries represented this time included Serbia, Ukraine and Sri Lanka.

One interesting innovation was using Crowdvine to create an online community of delgates, which proved very simple and effective. And of course there’s an Eprints repository of all the conference papers and proceedings.

Richard at OR08. Photo: R. Akerman.

My own presentation came in a plenary session on Tuesday morning which was a bit like a rerun of our Web 2.0 Pow-Wow in December. Ian Mulvany was there to talk about Connotea’s latest ideas (David Kane from Waterford Institute of Technology was on the bill too, but was unable to come); Daniel Alexander Smith effused about Rich Tags. In a few spare minutes at the end, Patrick McSweeney, one of Les’s 3rd year undergraduates, impressed everyone hugely with a spontaneous demonstration of a Flash-based Cover Flow visualiser he is developing for Eprints.

Sandwiched between Ian and Daniel, I shared my thirty-minute thoughts on the history of annotations, from Linnaeus and Carlyle, to Flickr and SNEEP. If you’d been there you would probably have seen something like this, and your notes might look a bit like this (unless you preferred to Twitter like this).

From the encouraging feedback I got afterwards, it looks like quite a few Eprints repositories, running or planned, will be interested in one or more of our SNEEP plugins – including our bonus “Easter Egg” Notes (private comments) feature, which Rory has already been working on, since it so inevitably falls out of developing the main Comments plugin. Hope also that Rory and I can touch base soon with Tim and Sebastien at Soton, and get their feedback on the Comments alpha.

There are too many other things I could report (all the usual themes, such as sustainability and interoperability, are well covered in the programme) but I’ll limit myself to some random things that caught my eye:

OR09 will be in Atlanta.

One thought on “Open Repositories 2008 in Southampton”

  1. In case anyone doubted the age of YouTube is truly upon us, check out the OR08 Podcast from Southampton ECS. Nicely done, actually: Les, Chris, Jessie and Dave come over really well.

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