Last week, I had the pleasure for partaking in two quite different but interestingly related activities. At the beginning of the week, I took a short vacation at a beautiful inn at a former arts and crafts community in East Aurora, New York. What a pleasure to be surrounded by such simple beauty and the connections of art to nature.
I moved on at the end of the week to a working meeting with my colleagues in the OAI-based ResourceSync initiative. (Many thanks to NISO and the Sloan Foundation for making this possible). First, getting together with my long-term OAI colleagues – Herbert Van de Sompel, Simeon Warner, and Michael Nelson is always an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating experience. Other people who joined the meeting, such as my postdoc Bernhard Haslhofer, really made fantastic contributions.
We in OAI have a strong history of success and a great foundation for coming out of this effort with a practical and open standard for mirroring web resources amongst distributed repositories. This kind of work is really fun. The challenge between balancing simplicity and functionality is ever present and the infection of scope creep always lurks. I think we did a great job keeping this under control and our wealth of experience really paid off.
In the end, simplicity, functionality, and beauty are as important in technical protocols as they are furniture and art.