Re: Sustaining ePrints

From: Mike Jewell <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 13:13:53 +0000

I think the key part to keeping EPrints going is getting users to
maintain and update the code. EPrints2 is GPL so it's perfectly fine
for people to grab the code, fork off new versions, tweak things, add
things, etc. A good example here is the Linux kernel itself - it's not
the nicest code around, but it's got such a strong developer-base that
it's still going. Alan Cox was asked a similar question ('What if Linus
were hit by a bus?') and he comments that 'people [would] just kind of
take over the work.' (

Admittedly EPrints2 isn't the Linux Kernel (despite appearances ;-) so
it will be harder to get developers on board. As the number of
installations of EPrints2 grows, however, I'd hope that each install is
maintained by a sysadmin or similar techie. I wonder if, once the code
has crystallised, it could be a good idea to try to get some of these
admins together to help maintain areas of the code? EPrints2 is very
modular - you can tweak the database code without going anywhere near
the other modules for example - so it wouldn't be hard to have an 'OAI
development team' or a 'Database backend development team'. Obviously
it's not at the stage where this can be done yet but once EPrints2 is
released I think this could be a Really Good Thing (tm).

The code is getting increasingly coder-friendly (as I've found), and
the comments are rapidly growing in number. Oddly, some people claim
that having to use comments is a sign of bad coding, but I don't
believe them :-). I have the same sort of approach to coding as Chris -
I'd gladly work on EPrints for nothing if I had the time (although I
probably shouldn't be saying that!). At the moment I haven't got that
time (finals getting in the way) but once they're over I'm hoping to
get back to it :-) I'm certain that there are more people like us out
there, and I imagine quite a few of them will be maintaining the
EPrints2 installations!

Mike Jewell <>
Received on Tue Jan 15 2002 - 13:14:36 GMT

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