A Successful Failure: Introduction

I loathe institutional repository software. All of it, without exception. (That it helped destroy my library career doesn’t improve my opinion of it any.) As I write this in February 2015, I have seen nothing to shake my belief that it’s all terrible pointless dancing bearware with all the usability and fitness-for-purpose of the teapot commonly seen on the cover of Donald Norman books.

Because I spent my repository-management career in DSpace shops, DSpace developers caught most of my withering opinions on the subject, though Islandora has gotten an earful once or twice as well. Whether because I am a woman, because I’m obnoxious, because I am a hacky amateur coder/sysadmin at best, or because of standard open-source inattention to user needs, my specific critiques never made much headway.

I did, however, help nudge DSpace into incorporating more repository-manager feedback into its development-prioritization processes. This talk, and the effort underlying it, was how that happened. It was given at a DSpace User Group meeting on November 19, 2008.