Chronicle. Open Source Initiatives

From Steve:
The September 24th issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education is running it’s Information Technology column as a special pull out section focusing on Open Source issues in the university IT enviornment. They include a catalog of 18 open source projects – a list that leaves out some of the most interesting areas of development (e.g. blogging, instant messaging, p2p collaboration, etc).
Course Management
+ moodle : : A software package to help professors build Web sites for their courses. Its developers say Moodle is better suited than other course-management systems to help foster a “social constructionist” style of teaching, which focuses on having students learn actively or teach one another by working in groups. The software’s interface is available in 40 languages.
+ Pachyderm : : A software package designed to help users build flashy online “museum” exhibits or course Web pages. The resulting Web pages can be used within course-management systems like Blackboard or Sakai.
+ Sakai : : A comprehensive software system to help professors build course Web sites. The project is led by four universities: Indiana University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Stanford University. It is supported by a $2.4-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sakai’s leaders have formed a partnership with uPortal, so that programmers for both projects will try to make their software work together seamlessly.
Libraries and Archives
+ DSpace : : Software for setting up digital library collections on the Web. DSpace is used mainly by universities to create “institutional repositories,” where research by an institution’s faculty members is stored and usually available free to others. Library officials hope such repositories will offer an alternative to traditional scholarly publishing in high-priced journals.
+ E-Prints : : Allows users to create their own online archives of data, called “self archives,” to be shared with others.
+ Fedora : : A digital-repository management system developed by Cornell University and the University of Virginia supported by $2.4-million in grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
+ Kepler : : A system designed to help build small archives of academic papers or other documents in a way that is easily searchable by library search engines. Developed by Old Dominion University Digital Library Research Group, with a grant from the National Science Foundation.
+ Digital Document Assembly Kit : no URL yet : A tool to create and view electronic books that include images and other rich media. Being developed at the University of Southern California’s Institute for the Future of the Book, with a $1.4-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Expected in fall 2005.
Web Portals
+ uPortal : : Software that helps colleges set up customized campus portals, which are Web gateways for students and professors. A typical campus portal gives students a one-stop Web page to access information on their courses, transcripts, financial records, campus announcements, notices of events, and links to other campus resources. A nonprofit organization called the Java Architectures Special Interest Group, known as JA-SIG, which promotes the use of the Java programming language in higher education. The software was developed with a $770,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. uPortal’s leaders have formed a partnership with Sakai, and programmers in both projects will try to make their software work together.
+ CampusEAI ‘Portlets’ : : A set of modular software plug-ins for campus portal software, called “portlets,” which add features to existing campus Web services. The abbreviation in the name stands for Enterprise Application Integration.
Student Portfolios
+ Open Source Portfolio Initiative (E-Portfolio) : : The framework for an institution to offer students or others a tool to build personal portfolios of their work on the Web. It is designed as a way for college students to track and showcase their academic and extracurricular work so that prospective employers and graduate schools can review the candidate’s output. Being developed by the University of Minnesota, the University of Delaware, and the R-Smart Group, a Phoenix-based company that offers technical support for users of open-source software.
Productivity Tools
+ Chandler : : A personal-information manager that provides and integrates e-mail browsing, calendar, contact management and task management, notes, and instant messages. Being developed by the Open Source Applications Foundation, a nonprofit group developing open-source software that was begun in 2001. The project has won a $1.5-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and $1.25-million from the 25 colleges and universities that are part of the Common Solutions Group, an informal organization supporting technology in higher education.
+ LionShare : : A peer-to-peer file-sharing network that allows organizing and searching of academic information within groups. From the Pennsylvania State University, with a $1.1-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Administrative Tools
+ Kualu : : A financial-information system for colleges designed to help an institution manage accounting, billing, e-commerce, budgeting, and other campus functions. Expected in 2006.
+ Shibboleth : : Provides “authentication” for Web sites, the mechanism that asks users for an ID and password and allows only authorized users to gain access to the sites.
+ Pubcookie : : Creates a common authentication system for different Web-server platforms. Being developed by the University of Washington, with support from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Wisconsin, as well as an Internet2 grant.
+ Signet : : Works with authentication software to help determine how much information on a Web site each registered user should have access to. From Stanford University and the National Science Foundation’s National Middleware Initiative.
Scientific Computing
+ Globus : : Provides technologies needed to build computational grids that allow software to integrate instruments, displays, and computational and informational resources. Argonne National Laboratory’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division, the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute, the University of Chicago’s Distributed Systems Laboratory, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and the Swedish Center for Parallel Computers.
Section: Information Technology
Volume 51, Issue 5, Page B5 (subscription required)

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