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JISC-REPOSITORIES  March 2009

JISC-REPOSITORIES March 2009

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Subject:

Re: Repositories vs Source code repositories

From:

Paul Walk <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Paul Walk <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 21:11:33 +0000

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Les has drawn the distinction between the essentially 'live' nature of  
content in source-code repositories and the generally rather static  
aspect of content in our average IR. Of course there are plenty of  
examples of source-code repositories which are no longer being used to  
support 'live' code (swathes of sourceforge.net resemble a graveyard  
of abandoned software projects), but this distinction is nonetheless  
true and important.

I would like to point up another distinction: the source code  
repository is, pretty much by definition, designed to support a *team*  
(or at least a pair) working on the same project. Version control is  
fundamental, but equally important are a set of tools and practices  
supported by the repository to aid collaborative development. A  
typical interaction with the average IR is, I venture, a more solitary  
affair.

Having said this, it has occurred to me that there may well be an  
overlap, in terms of architecture at least, between LOCKKS and a  
relatively new source-code version control system called 'Git'.

Paul



On 12 Mar 2009, at 18:50, Peter Burnhill wrote:

> Without wanting to disappear up an ontology of ....
>
> On 12 Mar 2009, at 16:43, Leslie Carr wrote:
>
>> On 12 Mar 2009, at 16:36, Peter Burnhill wrote:
>>
>>> I think repositories are a place to store things.
>> Store? Get? Keep? They're all services :-)
>
> well, they are verbs/actions, and as noted below, I am wary of using  
> repository as a word for every set of managed data - as a variant of  
> database, say.
>
> I need a bit of assistance to separate Store & Keep, but would  
> expect that Put (deposit/ingest) & Get have to be among the minimum  
> set of verbs.  In a source repository, which has that set, there is  
> greater need to attend to amend/edit and provenance/trail than is  
> usual among the repositories of objects usually included in  
> discussion.  Being a 'data person', I am aware of some of the  
> natural history of data generation (manufacture/collection) and the  
> management of databases and datasets but not yet convinced that  
> there is as much carry-over as supposed.
>
>>
>>> I've never signed up to the idea that they are a set of services,  
>>> except that a repository might be thought to be capable of  
>>> supporting three essential services: ingest (deposit), keep-safe  
>>> and access (use).  Of course, for a digital/network repository  
>>> each of those may have multiple interpretation: typically m2m as  
>>> well as hci for the ingest and access, say. At least that is how  
>>> we conceived the minimally sufficient functionality for Jorum.   
>>> Keep-safe also needs some interpretation.
>>
>> Perhaps the key part of a source repository is that it is made to  
>> look after (store, get, keep) a large number of highly  
>> synchronised, formally interpretable modules. The services (oops)  
>> that it offers are related to the business of using (and reusing)  
>> software code. Of course, code is manufactured and used by users,  
>> so the whole social network thingy might look very familiar.
>>
>> As for code preservation (language migration, version retrofitting  
>> etc) well, that is an issue, but no-one is suggesting that a  
>> specialised group of librarians will do it instead of the code  
>> producers themselves.
>
> data librarians and data curators do deploy information management  
> skills, rather than leave it to the data producers  
> (nstrumentalists?) or even the researchers, but I digress
>
> Peter
>
>
>
>
>> --
>> Les
>
>
> -- 
> The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
> Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

--------------------------------------------
Paul Walk
Technical Manager
UKOLN (University of Bath)
http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
[log in to unmask]
+44(0)1225383933
--------------------------------------------

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