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

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Bamboo Program Document, version 0.1


This is an outline for a possible 7-10 year vision for the Bamboo Community. The purpose of this document is to provide information to institutions and organizations participating in the Bamboo Planning Process so that they can help determine (1) the long term future of Bamboo and (2) define what activities Bamboo will carry out in its first, 3 year Implementation Phase (from 2010-2012).  This document is designed to solicit community input, and is a draft in progress. It is not yet a commitment to carry out all or any of this work.

Executive Summary

1.  Vision
What are the major opportunities and problems that the Bamboo Community is addressing, and what is the future we wish to create for higher education institutions working together to support teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences.

2.  Scope of Work
How do all of the major elements or the Bamboo Program work together.

Major Activities of Bamboo

3.  Bamboo as a Forum for Sharing Understanding and Opportunities for Digital Research and Teaching Practices in the Arts, Humanities, and Interpretive Social Sciences (Cyberinfrastructure Ring I)

  • 3.1.  Scholarly Network
    The place for people to discover, explore, and connect with other people and groups across the Bamboo community.  The Bamboo Scholarly Network may be implemented through interconnecting existing social networking tools, including the use of plug-ins and/or widgets based on open interface standards that will allow the Scholarly Network to be easily incorporated into existing portals, virtual research environments, or other research workflow systems and tools.
  • 3.2.  Scholarly Narratives
    A growing body of scholars' stories about the use of digital technologies across the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences.  These narratives serve as one critical entry point for learning what can be done and for rapidly sharing updates on work in progress.  This Scholarly Narratives hub will interconnect with digital Recipes, Tools Guide, Educational Materials, and Services Atlas described below.
  • 3.3.  Recipes (Workflows)
    Recipes draw on the Scholarly Narratives to propose general tasks that scholars want to do with information technology. The Scholarly Narratives are the stories scholars told about what they wanted to do with technology in their research and teaching. The Recipes draw on these and describe a generalized way (a workflow) of doing something important to a scholar. These Recipes are put together by the community of scholars who use technology. They are the Bamboo Community's ideas about how to best get real academic tasks done.
  • 3.4.  Tools and Content Guide
    The guide allows one to both publish information about, and to discover, tools and content sources that are of value for research and teaching.  Scholarly Narratives and Recipes will draw from and point to this community annotated list of tools and content resources.  This registry becomes another "view," like that of the Scholarly Network, Narratives, and Recipes, on what is possible and what materials are available to help.
  • 3.5.  Other Educational and Curricular Materials
    A place for the dissemination and discussion of other related educational and curricular materials that can help students, faculty, library and technology professionals, and others to best integrate developing digital content and tools into researching, teaching, and public service.
  • 3.6.  Integrated Community Environment(s)
    The environment where Scholarly Network, Narratives, Recipes, Tools/Content Guide, Educational Materials can be found.  The environment may take two general forms: (1) as a user interface that Bamboo develops and is run for the community and/or (2) by developing each of these elements as information widgets/gadgets that can be incorporated into existing Virtual Research and Collaborative Environments.

4. Bamboo as a Facilitator and Developer of Shared Technology Services (Cyberinfrastructure Ring II)

Note: by "services" in this section we refer to the technical and more narrow definition of a "web service."

  • 4.1.  Services Atlas
    The Services Atlas presents community input (Scholarly Narratives, Recipes, Activities, Tool examples, Content/Resource examples, Service Families, Service Candidates, Service Contracts, and extant Services) in easily updated, hyperlinked, annotatable forms that may be mixed, matched, categorized, and re-categorized in order to render the community's understanding of scholarly practice accessible from the multiple perspectives of diverse stakeholders native to Bamboo. Dynamic ability to incorporate and view evolving input and analysis, and quickly and clearly draw connections to broader context, will benefit faculty, librarians, funders, institutional leaders, technical architects, and service developers. These varied views of a changing landscape will enable informed governance by key stakeholders in arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences scholarship.  Included in the Atlas is core "service registry" functionality.
  • 4.2.  Marketplace of Services
    The Bamboo Marketplace of Services will serve as a focal point for information about services, including but not limited to services incorporated in the Service Atlas; and as a venue for exchange between marketplace participants. Incentives to participate in this marketplace will include channels of communication to and feedback from the community of institutions and disciplines participating in Bamboo, as well as an avenue for access to Bamboo's experimental "incubator" service-deployment platform (cf. Local and Incubator Services, below).
  • 4.3.  Local and Incubator Services
    Working services that are not yet refined and offered as "common" may be provided from local or regional deployments by Bamboo institutions, and listed with appropriate descriptors of service quality (SLA, Service Level Agreement) in the Bamboo Marketplace. A deploying institution or group of institutions would be wholly responsible for availability and maintenance of such services; Bamboo as a consortium would make no guarantee regarding these limited or experimental deployments. Services deployed in Local and Incubator Deployment contexts are considered to be potential candidates for refinement, standardization, and adoption as "Common Services."  Services deployed in these contexts may originate in the work of Bamboo member-institutions, or in the broader universe of service builders; it is the latter case that comprises Bamboo Incubator Service deployments, which will generally be segregated into a separate and parallel deployment context from services that originate in the development efforts of Bamboo members.
  • 4.4.  Common Services
    Services of foundational or broad utility may become candidates for refinement into "Common Services."  Service interfaces that have been refined through a process of architectural modeling, design, alignment to applicable standards, and coordination to maximize interoperability, then developed as reference implementations, will be considered "Common Services." As such, they can and will be deployed for use by the global community of scholars by Bamboo member institutions in a redundant, distributed network of Bamboo Appliances that comprise a Bamboo Cloud. These services will include those that enable core digital infrastructure of the Bamboo Community (the Services Atlas and its component entities; and the Bamboo Marketplace, including its elements). Additional services will deliver direct support to scholarship by automating workflows (recipes) that add value to the arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences. Some classes of service will provide resources delivered directly from servers operated by Bamboo member institutions; while others will wrap (call) or refer to compute, storage, and/or service-delivery resources operated by others. Service Level Agreements for services offered from the Bamboo Cloud, as well as those for underlying services hosted elsewhere, will be clearly articulated to service consumers.
  • 4.5.  Architectural Alignment Partnerships
    Bamboo will partner with interested tool and application projects and developers to wrap and/or deliver functionality (automation capabilities) as services that can be deployed alongside, and interoperate with, Bamboo Common Services. By exposing capabilities from other projects and providers as Bamboo-affiliated services, broader and more diverse uptake of those capabilities is more likely; such exposure will also enrich the pool of service candidates being considered for refinement into Bamboo Common Services. These partnerships will deepen and broaden the Bamboo ecosystem with expertise and experience rooted in domain- and function-centric communities.
  • 4.6.  Content-Services for Interoperability
    Bamboo will partner with interested content (digital resource) providers to enable Bamboo Common Services to discover, search, and appropriately operate on their diverse and distributed holdings. Similarly, partnerships with interested repository platform providers will enable Bamboo Common Services to discover, search, and appropriately operate on resources hosted on platforms of strategic value to communities of arts, humanities, and qualitative social science scholarship. These efforts will likely take the form of modeling, implementing, and deploying service interfaces to expose strategically identified content stores and platforms. Bamboo-facilitated exposure of content via service interfaces will broaden uptake and trans-disciplinary opportunities for scholarship, as well as suggest additional candidates for refinement into Bamboo Common Services.

5. Bamboo as an Organization

  • 5.1. An Ecosystem of Projects and Initiatives
  • 5.2. Structure - Explore, Plan, Build
  • 5.3. Liaisons
  • 5.4. Governance

6. Appendices

  • 6.1. Scholarly Practices
  • 6.2. Services Roadmap/Atlas
  • 6.3. Planning Project Participants
  • 6.4. Planning Project Demonstrators

7. Glossary