Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MDID Project Update

This update was originally sent to the MDID users mailing list on Nov. 24, 2008.

We want to provide an update on the MDID project and give some details on our short-term plans.

MDID 2 development started in 2001 and was based on core design decisions that were relevant at the time but no longer support current needs. In addition, the user interface is falling behind expectations and does not support concepts such as bookmarking or simple access to open content.

Therefore we have decided to redesign MDID based on new requirements such as multimedia support, flexible metadata structures and access rights, customizable page layouts and designs, a full API, and more. We have chosen a new development platform that is completely Open Source, is supported on most operating systems, and provides us with significantly shorter development times. Overall it will be easier and faster to redesign MDID from the ground up than to add significant new features to the current version.

Our vision for this new version, MDID 3, is as follows:
  • Allow students and faculty to manage, discover, and aggregate digital media for intuitive, flexible delivery and presentation;
  • affirm our commitment to support the use of digital media in the JMU curriculum through ongoing MDID development; and
  • continue to promote adoption of MDID beyond JMU.

These principles will guide us as we redesign MDID:
  • Build MDID 3 using Open Source software;
  • share MDID 3 through an Open Source license;
  • embrace Web 2.0 and open access;
  • encourage content sharing between individuals, institutions and the public;
  • leverage collective intelligence through comments, ratings and tagging; and
  • engage students by allowing them to add, create, share and manage content.

Immediate goals for the project include an easy migration path from MDID 2; full compatibility with MDID 2 remote collections and the existing MDID 2 feature set; and implementation of the most commonly requested new features such as multimedia support, a new media viewer, simpler access controls, more powerful content discovery, more flexible cataloging, slideshow export to PowerPoint, and more.

Development on MDID 3 has already started. We have set ourselves an aggressive time line. We plan to release a working beta version of MDID 3, which we will showcase at the MDID Users Special Interest Group session during the VRA conference in Toronto in March 2009.

Shortly, we intend to set up an MDID development blog, which will provide regular updates and solicit feedback and contributions from the MDID user community.

Thank you,

The James Madison University MDID project team:

Andreas Knab, Lead Software Developer, Center for Instructional Technology
Kevin Hegg, Assistant Director of Systems and R&D, Center for
Instructional Technology
Tina Updike, Visual Resources Specialist, School of Art and Art History
Grover Saunders, Web Media Developer, Center for Instructional Technology
Mary Ann Chappell, Educational Technologies Librarian
Sarah Cheverton, Director, Center for Instructional Technology
Sandy Maxfield, Associate Dean, Libraries and Educational Technologies

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