ePADD 1st Quarter Update
In January, the ePADD project team began work on the current phase of development to the software, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The focus for this first quarter of the year is on the redevelopment of the ePADD’s attachment review feature. Attachments are a rich source of information in an email collection, providing context to the archive owner’s work, communications, and relationships. The current version of the image attachment viewer utilizes Adobe Flash, a technology that will be deprecated by the end of the year, so redeveloping this feature is critical. We have made significant progress on the new attachment review interface and will announce a beta release in a few weeks.
Like so many others, our project has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person meetings among our geographically distributed team as well as user forums and workshops were intended to be a central part of our grant project. As we realized that travel and large meetings were no longer possible, we knew that we needed to find new ways to accomplish our work and reach our users. We recently hosted our first virtual ePADD Users Forum over Zoom with about twenty attendees and plan to hold more throughout the Summer. Although we missed seeing everyone in person, we still had great discussions and got useful feedback to inform our future work. We also appreciate the potential to include more users who might not be able to travel to attend an in-person forum. I also presented at the annual Coalition for Networked Information meeting which moved to a virtual format this year. A video capture of that presentation is available here.
Looking ahead, we will be releasing a beta version of the new attachment review user interface soon, and would welcome feedback from our user group or anyone who would like to test it out. We will also be publishing functional documentation for ePADD that will describe the software at the system level, the module level, and include technical details.