The news that the community repository software, Kete has a new release with a bunch of new features is a welcome one. Congratulations to all involved.
Tell me a story
As is explained in the detail below, Kete gives communities a tool to tell their own stories whether as a family, hapu, or community. As part of the new features you can also give it an in-line Creative Commons tag, restrict your content to family, or local group, and have a confidence that the privacy level around how your information is uploaded and stored is much stricter. Finally the code base is now OAI compliant making content in the various Kete available for harvest into other repositories of practice, including long term digital preservation projects.
Community Parnership Fund
The original Kete project and the subsequent modifications have all benefited from an ecology of project practice which emerged out of the Community Partnership Fund, or CPF. Delivered out of the NZ Digital Strategy, the CPF has now completed two funding rounds and $17.4 million has contributed to over 100 community ICT initiatives. As part of the revised Digital Strategy, there is to be a third round of $6million.
This 2008/2009 funding round of the Community Partnership Fund will open 6 October 2008. Expression of Interest forms and applications will be available on that date. Details, here
Aotearoa Peoples Network, APN
The Aotearoa Peoples Network contributes to the Kete story in three ways. First, the APN also got its original funding layer from the Community Partnership Fund. They were then given additional funding as part of an increase in base line funding to the NZ National Library at the last budget.
Part of that funding was invested in offering the Kete software to individual APN libraries. This gave the local communities the ability to start recording and making their own community memory. To achieve this a local sandpit was developed and a common hosting environment commissioned by the APN technical team.
Second , the APN commissioned the development of two new features which helped give the now open source Kete project more flexibility
Creative Commons Licence
The Kete tool was modified to give people the ability to give their stories or contributions a Creative Commons license from inside the Kete tool.
The Kete tool was adapted to make it OAI compliant. This makes each Kete visible to other community repositories, thus allowing the community of users the tool to offer their content into bigger archives for long term preservation.
In New Zealand terms this also means that if people give their permission their content can be harvested into the likes of the Digital New Zealand project, or in the longer term, become part of the preservation memory being build and sustained by the National Digital Heritage Archive.
APN extra funding
The third aspect comes from the announcement that Digital Strategy 2.0 refresh is to give a welcome $2 million addition to the core funding for the APN. This will accelerate the national roll out of the APN to public libraries and marae which provides free access to broadband internet services, a range of web-based tools and services and training. See press release.
However, this new funding also has a specific component to extend the use of the Kete software to set up digital repositories for community user-generated content for each participating community.
The targets are by 2009, up to 30 open-source community Kete repositories will be established, and by 2010, the network will be rolled out to 130 libraries and 10 marae.
Other projects in the ecology
The NZ Chinese Association in Auckland, in partnership with Auckland Public Libraries are also building a community story telling project in Kete.
Over in the West coast of the North Island, Te Reo o Taranaki recently went on line. In the 1980s Te Reo o Taranaki was established to focus on revitalising the mita of Taranaki reo within their communities. More than 20 years on, their emphasis is on inter-generational language transmission within the home, whānau and community.
The Kete ecology of support
In short a bunch of different strands are coming together each of which illustrate the development of the ongoing Kete story in particular, and the wider ecology of community practice it both contributes to, and benefits from. And so to the detail.
Kete 1.1 is now available with new features and improvements. This is also the first release where you can get Kete from the code repository's new home at Github.com , or browse the code online
Features and Benefits
Kete is open source software that enables communities, whether the community is a town or a company, to collaboratively build their own digital libraries, archives and repositories. Kete combines features from Knowledge and Content Management Systems as well as collaboration tools such as wikis, blogs, tags, and online forums to make it easy to add and relate content on a Kete site.
An in-depth list of features and issues resolved can be found, here, but the new highlights are:
• Privacy Control - ability to designate any item version within a basket as only viewable to its members
• Content Licensing - Creative Commons licenses are available to be loaded as license options with one command on the server.
• OAI-PMH Repository - an Kete instance can optionally answer OAI-PMH harvester requests for its content.
• Force use of SSL Encryption on Private Items and User Account Information (optional) - Kete now can be configured to use HTTPS for all sensitive areas (login, registration, private items, certain administrator functionality).
Kete 1.1's major work was funded by Te Reo o Taranaki, Aotearoa Peoples Network , the New Zealand Mental Health Commission, Katipo, and HLT. It was done by Walter McGinnis, Steven Upritchard, and new Kete team members at Katipo, James Stradling and Kieran Pilkington. Patches were contributed by Joe Atzberger and Mason James for Liblime as well as Sam Villain for Catalyst IT, Ltd.
Ruby on Rails
Kete is a Ruby on Rails application, so huge thanks go to those that have worked on Ruby and Ruby on Rails for providing a great foundation to build an application on top of. Thanks also go to the team at IndexData for their work on Zebra which Kete uses as the basis for its search and browsing functionality.