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Bath, UK
Head of Product Research, Eduserv
Recent Activity
UK readers will know that elections for police and crime commissioners (PCCs) took place earlier this week, the first time we have had such elections in England and Wales. They will also know that some combination of lack of knowledge,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2012 at eFoundations
Image least, that's what they tell me! Here's my brief take on this year's Eduserv Symposium, Big Data, big deal?, which took place in London last Thursday and which was, by all the accounts I've seen and heard, a pretty... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2012 at eFoundations
Some of you may have noticed that Eduserv's annual symposium is happening on May 10. Once again, we're at the Royal College of Physicians in London and this year we are looking at big data, appropriate really... since 2012 has... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2012 at eFoundations
I've been taking part in a MOOC, or Massively Open Online Course, over the last 4 weeks or so. The course in question is called Software Engineering for SaaS and is being offered by the University of California, Berkeley under... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2012 at eFoundations
As a quick update on where we are with work on the UMF Cloud Pilot, our emerging cloud offer for UK HE, here are the slides that I spoke to at the All Hands Meeting (AHM 2011) in York last... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at eFoundations
I'm spending an increasing amount of my time thinking about/talking about/in meetings about "the cloud" - well, specifically the HE Cloud Pilot that we are now putting in place as part of the JISC UMF Shared Services and the Cloud... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2011 at eFoundations
"I know what you're thinking... but don't worry, this is a talk on cloud computing and being lost is normal". So started the Eduserv Symposium 2011 two weeks ago, with an opening keynote by Simon Wardley (Leading Edge Forum) that... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2011 at eFoundations
We're in the final stages of preparing for our 2011 symposium, Virtualisation and the Cloud: Realising the benefits of shared infrastructure, which takes place in London tomorrow so things are a bit hectic as you might expect. If you are... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2011 at eFoundations
I attended part of UKSG earlier this week, listening to three great presentations in the New approaches to research session on Monday afternoon (by Philip Bourne, Cameron Neylon and Bill Russell) and presenting first thing Tuesday morning in the Rethinking... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2011 at eFoundations
A couple of thoughts... both related to the diagram above. Firstly, we talk about 'collections of descriptions' but we don't really talk much about 'collection descriptions', which in the past have been used in those cases where it was too costly (or there was some other impediment) to creating a collection of item-level descriptions. I don't know what to make of this... just noting it. Secondly, in discussion about the diagram yesterday at the RDTF Management Board meeting, Owen Stevens noted that there is a third dimension of "closedness vs openness" running across the two current axes. So, for example, he noted that many aggregation activities currently (The Archives Hub and COPAC for example) use the same technology as might be used in the 'bulk download' quadrant but do so in a closed way (at least as far as making the records available from the provider is concerned). He wondered what impact transitioning such closed models to an open model might have... and further what impact moving to the 'page per thing' quadrant might have. Both interesting questions I think. Our original draft, implicitly suggested an across-and-up movement thru the quadrants, from 'bulk transfer' to 'Linked Data'. Looking at it now, my guess is that an up-and-across movement is a more likely path of adoption, quite possibly stopping after the up bit! :-) Anyway, listening to the discussion yesterday, I'm happy that the quadrants offer a useful way of framing discussion in this area. If nothing else about the RDTF metadata guidelines work that we've done, this much at least seems potentially helpful.
Old joke... A snail goes into a pub and says to the barman, "I've just been mugged by two tortoises". The barman looks a bit shocked and says, "Oh no, that's terrible. What happened?". The snail responds, "I dunno, it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at eFoundations
A few weeks ago I blogged about the work that Pete and I have been doing on metadata guidelines as part of the JISC/RLUK Resource Discovery Task Force, RDTF metadata guidelines - Limp Data or Linked Data?. In discussion with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at eFoundations
In my last post I mentioned that there was a 'Cloud solutions: risk or reward?' session at the recent JISC Conference in Liverpool. You can watch the three presentations that were made as part of that session by visiting the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at eFoundations
It's been a while since the HEFCE announcement about UMF and there was quite a bit of discussion about UMF, virtualisation and the cloud at the recent JISC conference in Liverpool (at least from what I could see on the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at eFoundations
Having just finished reading thru the 196 comments we received on the draft metadata guidelines for the UK RDTF I'm now in the process of wondering where we go next. We (Pete and I) have relatively little effort to take... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2011 at eFoundations
I attended UCISA's Cloud Computing Seminar last week, a pretty good event overall though, like many 'cloud' events, there was quite a mix of IaaS (e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS)) and SaaS (e.g. Google Apps) presentations so it sometimes felt... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at eFoundations
As promised last week, our draft metadata guidelines for the UK Resource Discovery Taskforce are now available for comment in JISCPress. The guidelines are intended to apply to UK libraries, museums and archives in the context of the JISC and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2011 at eFoundations
We (Pete and I) have been asked by the JISC and RLUK to develop some metadata guidelines for use by the UK Resource Discovery Taskforce as it rolls out its vision [PDF]. This turns out to be a non-trivial task.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2011 at eFoundations
One of the things we did with our last tranche of Eduserv Foundation project funding (a couple of years ago now) was to fund Harry Halpin of Edinburgh University to work on what became the W3C Social Web Incubator Group.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2010 at eFoundations
I've been doing some cloud-related (cloudy?) thinking as part of my work on the FleSSR project over the last couple of days, ultimately with the aim of delivering a piece on business models for cloud services (one of the project... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2010 at eFoundations
This week saw publication of Martha Lane Fox's report, and the associated government response, about the future of the UK government's web presence, Directgov 2010 and beyond: Revolution not evolution: The report, and the Government’s initial response, argues for a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2010 at eFoundations
There is latent value to others in what we are reading. I say latent because, often, knowledge about what we are reading is either not shared at all or is shared in ways that don't necessarily have much obvious impact.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2010 at eFoundations
On that last point, it is interesting (to me) to note the comments made by Tim BL recently.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2010 on A few brief thoughts on iTunesU at eFoundations
At the tail end of last week Ian Davis of Talis wrote a blog post entitled, Is 303 Really Necessary?, which gave various reasons why the widely adopted (within the Linked Data community) 303-redirect pattern for moving from the URI... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2010 at eFoundations
Lawrie Phipps of the JISC has written a nice response to the recommendations of the report to HEFCE by the NUS (the UK National Union of Students), Student perspectives on technology – demand, perceptions and training needs [PDF], which makes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2010 at eFoundations