Brad McLean, DSpace Foundaton?s Technology Director
What is your background and expertise?
?I am a longtime open source contributor, starting with Linux 1.x kernel drivers. Most recently, I was the Chief Systems Architect for Constant Contact, Inc. At Constant Contact I oversaw an open source platform migration and created a shared based scaling architecture for Constant Contact?s growing ASP model marketing service. Prior to Constant Contact, I served as CTO of StudentUniverse.com, where I built the team, air search engine, and high volume website. In past digital information related work, I was a major contributor to both the KnowledgeCite and WebSPIRS products of SilverPlatter Information Inc (now Ovid Technologies), and was an active participant in the development of Z39.50-1992 and 1995, including the implementations for SilverPlatter and Gaylord Information Systems (now Polaris Library Systems).?
What is your new role with DSpace Foundation?
?My role is to foster and facilitate collaboration among the many institutions developing and using DSpace. While the role is sure to evolve over time, initially it will involve negotiating release schedules and technology roadmaps, and filling in the inevitable gaps that develop in a project with decentralized management. An example of a gap would be facilitating resolutions to items "waiting patiently" in the patch queue.?
What do you think the biggest challenges will be in your new role?
?Figuring out what functionality goes where and when. The "where" can be in the DSpace code base, in private extensions or additions, in shared extensions, or in third party collaboration projects. A related challenge is keeping all of those models as simple and easy to
use as possible.?
What do you think the greatest need is for the DSpace platform and what are
your initial priorities?
?I've heard lots of needs mentioned, but I haven't yet developed my own sense of the greatest need. However, initial priorities include facilitating a 1.5.1 release, kicking off the 2.0 data model work, finding a way to resolve those patch queue entries, and establishing a healthy dialogue with third party projects that operate in the same space.?
Where do you think a technical director can add the most value to the DSpace community?
?Besides the areas mentioned above, I think the greatest value of a technical director will emerge as continuity; DSpace has never lacked for talented contributors or committed organizations, however it can be difficult for those organizations to commit resources in perpetuity. Providing continuity and filling gaps is a luxury of a foundation based position, and I expect to demonstrate the value such a position creates.?
What do you need from the DSpace community (developers and repository
?More of the same. This is a healthy community generating features, model improvements, debating needs, and producing great releases. I need all of those behaviors to continue, and my challenge is to keep making that easier to do. We are evaluating a variety of tools to streamline input from the entire community.?
?With the help of DSpace community developers, DSpace was recently integrated with the Sun StorageTek 5800 system , creating a robust open storage solution that further simplifies archival storage and helps reduce operational costs for managing active digital archives. The integration of the StorageTek 5800 system takes advantage of simple, lightweight storage API that will become part of the standard release after DSpace version 1.5. The API enables seamless integration between DSpace and Sun StorageTek 5800 system. Any user or application that utilizes DSpace software can now easily access the Sun StorageTek 5800 system through DSpace.? (from ?Scalable Open Storage for Active Digital Archives: Sun StorageTek 5800 System with DSpace,? page 2).
Cory Snavely, Manager of Library IT Core Services at University of Michigan says ?the Sun StorageTek 5800 system is compatible with our mission for Deep Blue [the institutional repository at the University of Michigan]. Because the system was designed specifically for active archival applications, it fits well with the technical architecture of DSpace and we believe it will greatly simplify the task of managing data in the Deep Blue archive. As a result, we expect to spend less time and effort managing storage without compromising reliability or performance,? says. Deep Bue is based on the DSpace platform and University of Michigan have been working with Sun Microsystems to augment their DSpace implementation by deploying the Sun StorageTek 5800 system as the storage module within Deep Blue.?
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