In a little less than 2 weeks Jim, Martha, and I will be heading down to Atlanta to join a wonderful group of folks for a regional incubator being hosted by Emory University. This builds on the early discussions that Jim and I had with them a year ago as they've now begun to experiment in full-force as part of a pilot using domains in the curriculum and other schools are taking notice. Not only that but our program has changed a bit in the past year and I'm excited to talk about not only the new developments with Domain of One's Own but also the more recent work Jim and I have done with Reclaim Hosting and how that can help inform projects in that region.
Given much of the discussion is going to center around how other schools and programs can model the success of Domain of One's Own, I've been spending some time recently working on our documentation and thinking critically about how we can better share the recipes that make up the project as a model for others to build on. Last year around this time I wrote a series a posts titled Building a Domain of One's Own which is a good look into where we were at the time. This time around I'm writing up most of the details of our current system directly in our Documentation wiki at http://docs.umwdomains.com/meta/. I'll be adding anything there I can think of that better helps folks get a good idea of what Domain of One's Own is built on, both from the software and the hardware side of things.
In addition to making this documentation available, we're also syncing the documentation to a GitHub repository. We use Dokuwiki for our documentation and one of the biggest benefits is that it uses static text files for the various pages, which made syncing all documentation an easy process and also makes it easy for another institution to grab all of our documentation as a starting point for their own.
I've also begun adding other elements of our project to GitHub like the customization code used in Installatron that allows us to add plugins and themes to Wordpress installs automatically, set default registration permissions for Mediawiki to prevent spam, write install information to a separate community Wordpress install, and more. We've been extremely pleased with the extensibility of Installatron and what it has afforded us towards understanding how people are using the project.
Speaking of that community hub, I plan to write much more about that very soon. It's a piece of the puzzle that Martha and I are actively developing right now to solve the issue of wanting to expose the work across all spaces on the server and build a community by feeding in everything to a central space. We've got a ton of ideas and the exciting part is that we know most of them are not only possible but some are actually already at work. More on that soon.
If you're a school that's had an eye on Domain of One's Own it's never been easier to do this. People and politics aside, the nuts and bolts are here for you to use, and if you're a faculty member that can't get the buy-in to do a larger project you're more than welcome to use Reclaim Hosting in your course to the same effect. It feels like in the past 2 years we jumped warp speed from dreaming about the possibilities of empowering students with their own spaces on the web to making it happen on a larger scale. I'm excited to see DTLT leading that charge and simultaneously openly sharing the work we do every step of the way.