Refreshing the EuropeanaTech FLOSS Inventory

Author: Gregory Markus
15 February 2016 Comment

As part of EuropeanaTech, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision has worked extensively to raise the awareness of open source tools that exist for digital cultural heritage and digital humanities developers. The strongest asset available for this work has been the EuropeanaTech FLOSS Inventory, an inventory of Free, Libre, Open Source Software for Digital Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities. It has existed since Europeana v2.0 and at one point grew to over 300 entries.

However, like many large databases, the FLOSS Inventory became cluttered and out-of-date. Filled with broken links, missing information and a lack of structure, the FLOSS Inventory needed an overhaul. To address this, in May 2015 EuropeanaTech opened a call for participants for the FLOSS Task Force.

There were three key goals for the Task Force:

  • Enrichment and improvement
  • Gathering new software and tools
  • Improvement of FLOSS taxonomy

After a long summer working on and improving the Inventory and an autumn spent reporting on the work, we are pleased to present the EuropeanaTech FLOSS Task Force Report.

The refreshed FLOSS Inventory now contains 215 tools that the experts in the Task Force consider relevant and up-to-date. 98 items were removed due to their stagnation on GitHub, lost links, irrelevance to the sector, or poor documentation.

From an organizational standpoint, the FLOSS Inventory has implemented the NeDiMAH Methods Ontology (NeMO) to define tools’ “Activity Type”. Additionally, several metadata fields were removed due to their irrelevance. The work done by the Digital Curation Unit at the Athena Research Centre on this was submitted for the DH2016 Conference. We are happy to announce that the paper was accepted.

With relation to online presentation, a list of recommendations has been established with regards to developing a proper CMS for the FLOSS Inventory. In the meantime, a simple wrapper developed by the R&D department at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision has been implemented. The wrapper is a marked improvement from the spreadsheet. Description and additional information for all tools is now visible without having to scroll left or right. It’s also easier to access on a mobile or tablet.

From a dissemination perspective it was decided that the Who’s Using What Developer Spotlight column would be moved from Europeana Labs to Europeana Pro. We will continue with these interviews while exploring future editorial options. Additionally, we plan to work towards holding workshops at events around the EU. These workshops will focus on how developer departments can work more collaboratively to progress development and avoid duplication of work.