SPN Wide Initiatives
Learn about current SPN-wide efforts – activities that crosscut working groups and affiliated projects.
Two-Year Seed Funded Launch
An Update from SPN’s Community Coordinator
Time flies when you’re having fun, and somehow we’ve already completed the first phase of the 2019-2020 seed-funded period! We hit our targets with flying colors, and our administrative foundation is well-laid.
Since you last heard from me, our ambitious working groups have completed significant steps toward their current project goals. Our hardworking and disciplined Steering Committee has revised and strengthened SPN’s strategic goals to set us up for efficiently measuring our own success in the next 18 months, and will be voting on our first official SPN-wide policy in the coming days. Our Policies & Procedures committee has worked quickly and efficiently to follow an aggressive 1-policy-per-month timeline. Each new policy and strategic decision takes us a step closer to being a fully sustainable organization!
With our foundational work plans and goals in place, over the next few months our Steering Committee will look to the future. SPN is an exciting and unique hybrid space where we are building a sustainable path forward in an untraditional way: by putting the lightest, not the most perfect or fully ideal, structure in place that will allow us to reach the ambitious goals outlined in our Prospectus. This is the big and exciting challenge for all of us ahead: to strategically identify and prioritize the activities that are most likely to get us there, and to be ruthlessly creative about how to achieve them. This community coordinator couldn’t be more excited to embark on phase two of this sure-to-be-successful journey with the amazing community that is the Software Preservation Network!
Yours, in software preservation,
Quarterly Community Forum
You’re invited to the upcoming Software Preservation Community Forum! Each quarter, we invite our colleagues across professional and disciplinary communities to participate in an hour-long discussion on topics related to software curation, preservation, and reuse.
This quarter’s Forum will take place on Tuesday, June 11 2019 at 8amPT-10amCT-11amET-3pmUTC and will feature:
Progress Reports from Parallel Efforts, including:
Reports from Affiliated Project Teams and Cohorts, including:
FCoP (CalPoly University): Guggenheim Museum, University of Illinois, Living Computers: Museum + Labs, Georgia Tech, University of Virginia, University of Arizona
Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Software Preservation (Association of Research Libraries): Association of Research Libraries, American University, University of Virginia
As a subscriber to the Software Preservation Network listserv, you will receive a calendar invite with call-in information for the Quarterly Community Forum. Keep an eye on your email for further details!
With SPN’s organizational goals in place, our members have turned their attention to mapping out the scope, goals, and activities for each of our five Working Groups. They have set their sights on some impressive initiatives (see below for a few examples) and we look forward to sharing more of their inspiring work as it unfolds.
As ever, if you are interested in joining or supporting us in this work, we will continue to accept new members and sponsors throughout our two-year seed funded period. You can learn more about membership and sponsorship opportunities in the SPN Prospectus.
Law & Policy
Coordinator: Paula Jabloner (Computer History Museum)
Members: Yuanxiao Xu (University of Michigan), Brandon Butler (SPN Law & Policy Advisor, University of Virginia)
Charge: The Law & Policy Working Group investigates emerging needs, examines legal issues and challenges, gathers relevant information, and provides information and guidance related to the lawful preservation, sharing, and reuse of software in cultural heritage and research contexts.
Upcoming Initiatives: Law & Policy is currently working on a Law & Policy Agenda. Since SPN seeks to join and shape policy discussions that affect its members and their communities, this document will lay out a broad vision for the most effective use of SPN’s resources toward this end. It will be a members-only briefing document that presents a frank discussion of strategic considerations. A separate, much shorter public facing statement of SPN’s law and policy goals will eventually be made available online.
Training & Education
Coordinator: Devon Olson (University of North Dakota)
Members: Katherine Boss (New York University), Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute), Sherry Lake (University of Virginia), Michael Olson (Stanford University), Elizabeth Parke (University of Toronto)
Charge: The Training & Education Committee develops resources and hosts outreach activities that raise awareness and broaden participation in software preservation.
Upcoming Initiatives: Training & Education are hard at work on a software preservation landscape analysis. This document will describe and contextualize, within a snapshot in time, projects within the field of software preservation. Training & Education members are still deciding how best to share their findings – stay tuned for more updates!
Coordinator: Eric Kaltman (Carnegie Mellon University)
Members: Ashley Blewer (Artefactual Systems), Vicky Steeves (New York University), Nick Krabbenhoeft (New York Public Library), Andrew Berger (Computer History Museum)
Charge: The Technical Infrastructure Group is responsible for understanding, comparing and articulating the infrastructural implications of different software preservation and access approaches.
Upcoming Initiatives: The Technological Infrastructure Working Group has spent the last several months conducting a series of interviews with information professionals regarding their software preservation infrastructure. The team is currently in the midst of analyzing the interview data to extract common themes, identify shared terminology, and pull quantitative data into a structured dataset. In the next few months, the Working Group will turn their attention to developing an outline of common approaches and a set of draft guidelines for software preservation workflows.
Reading & Writing
A roundup of some of our favorite articles from the software preservation community and beyond.
New SPN Blog Series: I am Not Your (Software) Lawyer
Brandon Butler, SPN’s Law & Policy Advisor is, in fact, a lawyer, just not yours. And since he is not your lawyer, but he is our Policy Advisor, we are particularly delighted to announce that Brandon has agreed to contribute regular-ish posts to a new series on the SPN blog titled, aptly, I Am Not Your (Software) Lawyer. The series will explore the intersections between law, policy, and software, focusing primarily on hot topics and current events.
In the first post, “Is Old Licensed Software Legal Kryptonite? Lessons from the Adobe Letter”, Brandon breaks down what the Adobe letter means, what it doesn’t mean, and why the digital preservation community doesn’t have to worry.
Learn about SPN affiliated project activities and milestones. SPN affiliated projects focus on specific aspects of software preservation/curation that support the strategic goals of SPN.
Scaling Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure
Timeline: January 2018 – June 2020
Funder(s): Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Awardee: Yale University
The EaaSI program of work is progressing steadily towards a production release later this year, which will include a new UI design, improved security and user management, search and discovery features, and expanded network functionality. With the beta release and initial testing complete, the project team pivoted towards planning and implementation of this next phase, focusing on new updates to system software, configuration and documentation of computing environments, improving metadata quality, kicking off our work on the UX/UI update, and more!
Fostering Communities of Practice in Libraries, Archives, and Museums
From license key authentication to teaching the history of computing, and from vintage game archives to software preservation workshops, the FCoP cohort is moving full steam ahead!
More on what they’ve been up to, including field reports and upcoming opportunities to engage (both in-person and virtual), in the full FCoP update on the SPN blog!
Learn about changes and improvements to functional aspects of the Network including updates on governance, funding, engagement strategies and other activities that comprise backbone support for working groups, committees, affiliated projects, and strategic partnerships
WEBSITE UPDATE: Thanks to constructive feedback from our members and the wider software preservation community, we have identified a set of changes that need to be made to SPN website in order to improve its usability and accessibility. SPN staff will be implementing these changes in June 2019 with a new-and-improved website launch planned for July.
JOIN SPN: Do you appreciate the work that SPN has been doing over the last several years to broaden participation and ensure lawful preservation, sharing, and resource of software? Would you like to SPN to continue its work of coordination, research, advocacy, and capacity building? Do you have ideas or a vision for the future of software preservation that you would like to see realized through the SPN community?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then consider supporting our work through membership or sponsorship. Download, complete and submit your SPN Participation Agreement to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Find Out More
The Software Preservation Network (SPN) facilitates and supports software preservation efforts. SPN preserves software through community engagement, infrastructure support and knowledge generation in five core activity areas including Law & Policy Advocacy, Metadata & Standards Development, Training & Education, Research-in-Practice and Technological Infrastructure.