The Internet Archive has recently launched a beta version of The Open Library. A demo can be found here and the Open Library book can be read here. It is inspired by the idea of a “library that makes all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world”. Initially it will consist of a collaboratively built catalogue with some collections of open books (scans of public domain content and works made available under open Creative Commons licenses). The project is being produced under the aegis of Brewster Kahle’s Open Content Alliance and the code part is being developed by Aaron Swartz.
What’s interesting is that, like the OKF, they want to be able to version data in a ‘wiki’ like manner (they also want all their data to be open). To this end, it appears they have been modding Swartz’s infogami wiki software to support structured data. We’ve been interested in the Collaborative Development of Data for a while, and have been working on a python ‘versioned domain model’ (vdm) package
to allow ‘versioning’ of domain objects (and domain models) in a way similar to the way subversion allows versioning of filestytem trees. The package README includes links to demo code snippets:
The ‘vdm’ package was used in developing the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network and does full revisioning of all data attributes and references:
Having had a look at the overview of the OL system it looks like it
is doing something similar. It’d be fantastic to join efforts and share ideas about this!
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.
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