CRIG: Change Repositories Immediatley or Goodbye
Andy Powell and Paul Walk have issued a warning for repositories: “Wouldn’t it be great if…repositories were just wrong?” Are they right, should all the Capital Funding be given back to the Gov’t: “my most sincere apologies but the 80million you have just spent on repositories was a waste of time”. Well it wouldn’t be the first time… no one say eUniversity.
I think all of us in the repository world must ask if the death toll has not already rung? We must not let ourselves think that repositories are actually a success! I really believe that repositories must change (or to give Paul’s quote a movie trailer appeal): “Repositories must evolve or die”. I’m putting this forward as a war-cry for CRIG. It should be said that if repositories are not participating with one another programmatically within the web at large (as well with one another -and not just between the DEF Holy Trinity) by the end of the CRIG project then let me be the first to say I will be buying a home server from Microsoft (or rather an Amazon S3 instance) and helping all I know to set up their own personal repository (woops too late)!
But it is not all doom and gloom, there is hope.
How do we progress? What I think: First, we must adopt the method of critquing (Andy does this brilliantly): that is to say, it is essential that we identify both the good and bad in our progress (“paradoxically, the best way for a group to be smart is for each person in it to think and act as independently as possible.”), but after you’ve had a good chin-wag then turn around and make a suggestion for how we can go forward. Second, admit mistakes. We’ve all made them and our repository architectures are not perfect. They need to be torn down partially and rebuilt so they can progress. Watch this space, the unconference has just begun.