I'm trying to find out if there are – or will be – any Linux distros aimed specifically at the digital library community.
If anyone out there knows anything about this, please post a comment or drop me a line.
It just seems to me that a couple of things are happening that create major problems:
1. so called "best practices" often seem to be born more out of individualistic grant-receiving concerns than they are of truly getting several institutions on-board with effective, affordable, and shared approaches to workflows
2. an industry so concerned with standards and organization seems to have such little concern for organizing a do-able approach to ensure certain standards – and those "best" practices – get met in a relatively easy and affordable way.
So if there isn't already, why isn't there major activity to develop a Linux distro specifically for digital library functions?
If that were the case, couldn't some of these "best" practices actually get built into the very OS people use?
All the scanning, audio-video, metadata, and delivery applications could be integrated within the OS, ensuring compatibility for whatever institutions use it.
Lists of compatible scanners and A/V equipment could get published, ensuring that people will buy equipment that will run on the OS.
Software updates could me made and get implemented in real-time across institutions.
Using all open-source software could standardize technical metadata outputs and save institutions lots of time/money – allowing them to pay for better and more talented employees.
Etc, etc, etc.
You could even call it LibOS* and use an image of Tux making a libary-shushing pose!
Maybe it's time to stop paying lip service to collaboration and really get things moving.
"It's the operating system, Stupid!"
*BTW: MIT appears to have had a late 90's project that used the term LibOS, but it's something totally different.--------------