Friday, February 20, 2009

good week for open source releases

The Indiana University Library has released open source software to create a digital music library system.

Indiana University today announces the release of open source software to create a digital music library system. The software, called Variations, provides online access to streaming audio and scanned score images in support of teaching, learning, and research.

Variations enables institutions such as college and university libraries and music schools to digitize audio and score materials from their own collections, provide those materials to their students and faculty in an interactive online environment, and respect intellectual property rights.

A key feature of the system for faculty and students is the ability to create bookmarks and playlists for use in studying or in preparing classroom presentations, allowing easy access later on to specific audio time points or segments. A key feature for libraries is a flexible access control and authentication system, which allows libraries to set up access rules based on their own local institutional policies.

This software is the culmination of nearly fifteen years of development and use of digital music library systems at Indiana University. Creation of the current Variations software platform was originally funded by the National Science Foundation. In 2005, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Indiana University a National Leadership Grant to extend this highly successful system to the nationwide library community. Beyond IU, the software is currently being used at the Ohio State University, University of Maryland, New England Conservatory of Music, and the Philadelphia area Tri-College Consortium (Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr).

This open source release of Variations complements IU’s earlier release of the open source Variations Audio Timeliner, which lets users identify relationships in passages of music, annotate their findings, and play back the results with simple point-and-click navigation. This tool is also included as a feature of the complete Variations system.

Indiana University plans to offer a free one-hour Variations webinar at 4:00 PM EST on March 4, 2009 for institutions and individuals interested in learning more about the system. To register, e-mail

The Indiana University Digital Library Program created Variations in collaboration with faculty and students in IU’s Jacobs School of Music. The IU Digital Library Program is a collaborative effort of the Indiana University Libraries and the Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.

For more information on the Variations open source release, see:

The Washington Times released some Django open source tools (has a newspaper even released open source software before?):

The Washington Times has always focused on content. After careful review, we determined that the best way to have the top tools to produce and publish that content is to release the source code of our in-house tools and encourage collaboration.

The source code is released under the permissive Apache License, version 2.0. The initial tools released are:

  • django-projectmgr, a source code repository manager and issue tracking application. It allows threaded discussion of bugs and features, separation of bugs, features and tasks and easy creation of source code repositories for either public or private consumption.

  • django-supertagging, an interface to the Open Calais service for semantic markup.

  • django-massmedia, a multi-media management application. It can create galleries with multiple media types within, allows mass uploads with an archive file, and has a plugin for fckeditor for embedding the objects from a rich text editor.

  • django-clickpass, an interface to the OpenID service that allows users to create an account with a Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Hotmail or AIM account.

The web site will be hosting the code and issue tracking software, using django-projectmgr.


mjgiarlo said...

has a newspaper even released open source software before?

Yup, NYT's open group has:


Thanks for the updates!

Dan Chudnov said...

Django itself was developed at and released by the Lawrence Journal-World in 2006, I think.