Computing & Information Services

Murdock Open Source Initiative
Progress Report - June 2009 

Re-implementation of existing software –– We have continued to upgrade software using our new open source development framework, Ruby-on-Rails. Reed's primary portal system has been rewritten and will be deployed this summer.  The portal will allow new and old software modules to coexist peacefully.  The Reed Storiesapplication, which enables alumni and others to contribute oral histories to our centennial celebration, has been converted to Rails and integrated with our single sign-on system.

Deployment of new software –– An electronic thesis project was launched to enable students to submit electronic copies of their senior theses to theLibrary's digital collection.  Migration to a new campus-wide file storage system was completed and, as a result of the significantly increased storage capacity, we are also implementing a new disk-to-disk backup system.  A pilot project is now underway to explore the use of an open source telephone system to provide unified voice and electronic communications.

Integration of internal, commercial, and open source software –– We have launched an evaluation of integrated calendar and email systems, focusing on Zimbra, a commercial system and Google Apps for Education, a "cloud" service.  As part of the evaluation we implemented Shibboleth, an open source identity management system that enables Reed users to login to services at other colleges and universities with their Reed credentials.

Staffing –– In March 2009 we filled the systems programmer position that was vacated in November. Our new systems programmer is actively engaged in programming projects for our Moodle courseware toolkit and identity management infrastructure.

Training and Professional Development –– We have continued our participation in the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP), a group of 20 peer colleges working on the development and use of Moodle. Members of Reed's technical staff attended various conferences and training events such as the annual Rails Conf, the Apple World Wide Developers Conference, and a Google Developer's meeting. In May, Reed hosted a symposium on the use of digital materials in the liberal arts attended by approximately 70 faculty and staff from colleges and universities in the Northwest and other regions.