It’s soon time to launch beta. It will go live next Tuesday. It’s a milestone, but as we do near continuous integration and can publish minor version multiple times a week it is not that drastic change. The difference from previous alpha is huge, though. The beta is most likely going to evolve a lot during its first weeks. I will write more about the launch next week. At that time, we will also start planning first pilot cases and begin implementing them as soon as possible.
There has been a major milestone even before the beta launch. We got our local DAITSS installation working. DAITSS is our choice for the dark archive, developed by Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA). Finding the best components and compatible software for DAITSS was quite a tricky task but the system should be very stable once installed. We will next ingest data into it and try it in action. If all goes well, we can mirror and distribute the system to keep the data even more safe.
The latest developments include unit testing and improving the access rights system and the user interface. It has been really time consuming to build a solid interface even with the feedback from our test users. Lots of assumptions made by developers are not quite there. Fine tuning each detail takes time. The key is to identify and model the use cases and processes well. Luckily, there were some great thesis works about designing the user experience for digital archives made last year and one completing this spring. If I could change one thing, I would start the interface design even earlier.
I will keep this posting short. More time for beta development, less time to write about it.