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What’s Happening…

September 11th, 2007 · 4 Comments · ICA-AtoM, Meetings & Presentations, News

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front for the past month but that’s because there’s lots going on lately and its been tough to find a couple of hours to write a post. I’ll just break the blogging silence then with a quick update post about what’s been going on:

  1. I reproduced. My wife Amanda and I had our second son, Tobiah, born August 12. Big brother Mattheus is already 3 years old and started his second ‘semester’ of preschool this morning.
  2. I proposed. An Association of Canadian Archivists 2008 conference session on ‘Open Source Software for Archives’. Hopefully the program committee will be interested. Even more exciting though, is a proposal that I submitted to organize an ‘ArchivesGeekFest’ immediately before the ACA 2008 conference. This will be an event in the tradition of the Barcamp unconferences and the Access Library Technology Conference Hackfest. The idea has received lots of good feedback so far, so hopefully this will fly. It should be lots of fun.
  3. I expanded. Yes, my waistline grew but so did the ICA-AtoM project team. I’ve hired two additional staff to assist with documentation, testing, coding and upgrading our development infrastructure.
  4. I collaborated. One of the more important developments for the ICA-AtoM project this summer is a collaboration with a related open-source project that has a similar vision and functional requirements. We began with some informal discussions and comparing notes. We are now moving to a stage where we are going to co-develop some of our underlying code in order to leverage our respective knowledge and skills. This will save time and money as well expand the implementation base and support community for each project when we are ready to put our applications into live production. This is all still in its early stages but I will be able to reveal more as this collaboration matures over the coming months.
  5. I modeled. Not fashion but data, which is fashionable if you are a geek. I have upgraded the ICA-AtoM data model to take it one step closer to my ideal information model which I posted about last year. I used the ideas and principles from that investigation to arrive at the data object model that is now implemented at the core of the ICA-AtoM application. I will elaborate in detail on this model in future posts but here is a sneak peak at the data model diagram.
  6. I coded. The data model is a significant refactor. This is like lifting up your house and pouring a new foundation. I’m making sure now that all the walls, pipes and vents line up properly before putting the house back down. By the end of this month I hope to have completed this intensive but rewarding exercise. Then its on to adding internationalization, XML import/export, spicing up the interface with AJAX controls and getting some test sites running so that others can finally kick the tires on the application.
  7. I didn’t do any research. My PhD research topic is more relevant than ever and I know exactly what I need to do and write. If I could only get about six months free from all other commitments I could have 90% of it done but I know that is a fantasy. I am going to have to try to set aside a month in early 2008 to at least get the second chapter done (analyzing archival description or ‘representation’ and its role in archives access systems).
  8. I didn’t blog. Didn’t have the time. I feel slightly guilty about this, especially when other bloggers out there like Jeanne at SpellboundBlog or Jill at Digitization101 are consistently posting thought-provoking, meaty articles. From what I’ve read, they’re busy people too but they still find the time to post great articles about digital trends and events in the information science world. I remember reading an article about ‘blog guilt’ which is anxiety about not posting regularly. I read about it in a traditional print newspaper so it must be a legitimate disorder. I think I have that.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Linda // Sep 12, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Congratulations on the neweset family member Peter! I hope the ACA program committee accepts your proposal. Very exciting.

  • 2 Amsmams // Sep 20, 2007 at 4:09 am

    I like the way you introduice your blog, i found similarities with me : whant to blog but don’t have time. but i’ll do it sooner…


  • 3 J // Sep 20, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Congrats to you and your family!

  • 4 David Mattison // Oct 6, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Family first, Peter, family first. Congratulations to you and yours on your second child. Maybe one of them will finish your PhD work if you never do. ;-0 The busiest and most creative people always have unfinished projects. Take me, for example. I could go on and on about that subject, but I won’t. BTW, you’re getting a plug in my article for Searcher magazine on Freebase! Assuming the editor buys it, it should appear early next year. My PKP conference article will be in the January 02008 article of Searcher.