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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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A Services Framework for Sharing and Using Tools and Digital resources


The development of a framework to expose, use, and combine "services" for the support of digital humanities and other scholarship.  See the Bamboo Planning Proposal, pages 14-17, for a high-level overview of "services", "services oriented architecture", and a "services framework", and the value of such an approach to cyberinfrastructure in the arts and humanities (and cyberinfrastructure overall).




Proposed/originated by:

David A. Greenbaum

UC Berkeley

Current facilitator(s)



Back to main Mapping Future Directions page... 

Why might this direction be appropriate for Project Bamboo?



Bamboo should enable scholars to compose tools and resources that apply to their specific interests

Scholarly processes often (if not always) involve a need for multiple digital tools.  In the simplest case, a word processor and a tool for organizing bibliographical entries are necessary to most any publishing endeavor. Some excerpts from the "Summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities," UVA, 2005, Final Report are of interest in this context:

  • "[...] tools for interpretation should ultimately allow a user to perform actions in any of the phases in arbitrary order, and on or off the Web. Though actually publishing annotations/interpretations/commentary is probably out of scope for a tool for interpretation, narrowly defined, we agreed that there's no question that one would want to disseminate interpretation at some point in the process, and that those annotations should ideally be connected to networked resources and to other interpretations." (Interpretation, p. 8)
  • "[...] In the end, we decided that the best compromise was a single-user tool designed with an awareness of a collaborative architecture (and we hoped to get some more information about what such an architecture might look like, from the collaboration group)." (Interpretation, p. 8)
    [contributed by Steve Masover]

A number of table groups in the "Future Directions" exercise pointed directly and indirectly to the need for a services framework.

Partial List from Bamboo Workshop 1, Exercise 7 data (workshop number and working group noted at the end of each bullet; e.g., "1b-C" = Chicago workshop, group C):

  •  "An infrastructure both technical and social to underpin/facilitate research in the humanities" 9See the diagram at to get a richer sense of this component and its interconnection with others0 Chicago, 1b-C
  • "Lowest level of standards that still enables: 1) Intension with creativity; 2) Interoperability persistence/presentation sharing" (See the somewhat cryptic, interesting diagram ) 1b-D
  • "Interoperability tools & data sets: Consortial decisions on what standards to adopt" 1c-A
  • "Not reinvent the wheel - European or U.S." 1c-C
  • "Provide interoperability "standards" or best practices and provide incentive to use them" 1d-E
  • "Framework for services to live" 1d-E
  • "Assistance with converting existing tools/resources -> modular structures to enable re-use/mashups" 1d-G

Why might this direction be inappropriate for Project Bamboo?





What tools, standards, organizations, or efforts exist in this area?

Note:  This list does not need to duplicate listings on related-theme page(s) linked above. 


Description - what is it?

URL or other reference

Systems Interoperability

The Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.) defines open service interface definitions (OSIDs) for common services such as authentication, authorization and the management of repositories. The OSIDs define important components of a service oriented architecture (SOA) as they provide general software contracts between service consumers and service providers. This enables applications to be constructed independently of any particular service environment, and eases integration.  (Alex Chapin)

Application Frameworks >

Harmoni is a service-oriented application framework that includes implementations of most of the O.K.I. OSIDs.  Harmoni can be used as a enterprise service bus to provide standards-based authentication, authorization, repository services to any number of networked applications.  (Alex Chapin - disclosure: I support the development of Harmoni)

Systems Interoperability >
Segue | Concerto

Segue is a content and widget management system that uses Harmoni for services such as authentication, authorization, repository, hierarchy, ID and agent/group management.  Concerto is a digital asset management system that, like Segue, also uses Harmoni services.  Since these two applications draw on the same services they can be both independent and interoperable.  (Alex Chapin - disclosure: I am one of the designer/developers of Segue and Concerto)

Segue | Concerto 

Systems Interoperability >
Sakai | Moodle

The CAMPUS project is an initiative at the Open University of Catalonia to create a service oriented architecture (SOA) that will allow for the creation of applications that will work in a multiple independent networked systems.  Initial implementations will allow for the creation of modules that can run in either Sakai or Moodle via O.K.I. service bus and gateway.  (Alex Chapin)

The CAMPUS Project

Applications Interoperability > Widgets Standards

Netvibes, a "personal widget aggregator" (similar to iGoogle and PageFlakes), is developing a "universal" widget API that will allow developers to create widgets that will run on any of the major "widget platforms" ...

W3C is working on a widget 1.0 specification...
(Alex Chapin)

Netvibes Developers
W3C Widgets 1.0: Requirements

What tools, standards, organizations, or efforts are missing from this area?

Note:  This list does not need to duplicate listings on related-theme page(s) linked above.


Description - what is it?

URL or other reference

Cross Language Interoperability

Most of the work done with the O.K.I. open service interface definitions has been done in Java and PHP.  MIT, Middlebury College and the Open University of Catalonia are collaborating to develop an XML-RPC bridge between OSID v3 Repository implementations written in both PHP and Java. (Alex Chapin)

OSID Bridging

Applications Interoperability > Widgets & Web Services

Tools developed with Javascript/AJAX such as widgets should be able to use common web services protocols such as REST, SOAP and XML-RPC to access data and functionality from independent systems and applications (Alex Chapin - disclaimer: need help evaluating efforts in this area... )


Related Theme(s) of Scholarly Practice


Related theme(s) of Scholarly Practice (links)

Alex Chapin


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