On Fri, Jun 01, 2001 at 10:41:04AM -0400, Paolo Mangiafico wrote:
> Hi Joss and OSS4LIBers. I work in an archival institution and fully
> agree that OSS is as promising for the archival community as it is for
> other fields (but perhaps I'm a little biased - I've been using Linux as
> my desktop OS since 1994).
> However, I agree with the sentiments that Miguel Dias posted earlier,
> that the interests of people who might subscribe to an OSS4ARCH list are
> sufficiently similar to those who subscribe to OSS4LIB that it makes
> sense to broaden the scope of OSS4LIB and keep both discussions in one
> place rather than forking them.
> One of the difficulties of getting an OSS project off the ground and
> maintaining it over time is that often the community that supports it is
> not big enough or does not have enough resources to keep the project
> alive and thriving. I think we would be better served by trying to build
> a common understanding and common systems that (where possible and
> appropriate) take into consideration and support the needs of a variety
> of constituencies, and that can therefore rely on wider use and broader
> support to keep them going. I think that if we're having discussions
> about our differing needs and desires in one place we'll discover that
> these needs may not be so different after all, even though we may call
> them by different names or come at them from different directions.
> The discussions on this list in the past few weeks have been exciting,
> and I think now is the time to try to concentrate the energies of people
> who are eager to see things happen in this field, and not begin to split
> off into smaller communities until and unless the traffic on OSS4LIB
> becomes overwhelwing and there is a clear need for more focussed side
> -- Paolo
Thank you, Paulo and Miguel for your thoughts. I agree that OSS4LIB
serves both librarians and archivists well and certainly has the
potential to be even more useful to archivists than it is now.
However, having just joined the list, I am not about to start suggesting
changes to OSS4LIB though :-) From Dan's response to my initial
email to him, it is clear that he fully supports (with the resources
of this site and listserve) any efforts to promote OSS in the archiving community.
What I hoped to get across in my initial email to this list was that
I would really like persuasive, practical arguments that can be
presented to archivists, so that we can begin to turn a few heads
and discuss the potential of OSS in all aspects of archiving.
It is my guess that, as you say, librarians and archivists share sufficiently
similar concerns, that this list and an evolving OSS4LIB.ORG could potentially serve us all well.
The use of the OSS4ARCH domain name is not of concern to me now and
is something that could be discussed among us all further down the
road. I bought it with the idea of handing it's use over to a
community of people should there be sufficient interest in it and is
not something I have any personal aspirations for beyond the
consensus of other archivists.
Over the next week, I hope to draft up an informative notice to archivists on the
potential of OSS in the archiving community. I have a few ideas but
not having actually worked in an archive, I feel uncomfortable
presenting my ideas alone. My ideas are more general concerns that
are readily apparent to anyone who has an interest in both archiving
and open source and the legal, ethical and social implications of licences like the GPL.
When you say the interests of librarians and archivists are similar, can you
give me real-life examples I can follow up on? How could OSS
benefit the interests of archivists such as storage, security,
access, preservation? (I realise librarians share these interests
too). Where do you think the needs of librarians and archivists differ?
How would this affect their respective uses of OSS?
Again, ANY thoughts, notes, pointers and suggestions you have would be really gratefully received.