Penn State and Internet2 Announce Release of Academic File-sharing Open
AUSTIN, TX - September 28, 2004 - Plans for secure, high-powered,
peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology for academia has come one
big step closer to fruition when today Penn State and Internet2(R)
announced the release of open source code for their collaborative
software project, LionShare.
Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, LionShare
merges electronic file-exchange capabilities with information gathering
tools into one dynamic application.
Gary Augustson, Penn State's vice provost for information technology
said, “This is a technology that promises to significantly improve the
way institutions collaborate and support each other's academic
endeavors, while simultaneously ensuring a secure authenticated
computing environment for researchers who use its file-sharing
This week's LionShare source code release will provide all interested
programmers and developers with the opportunity to contribute valuable
feedback and suggestions. At the same time, Lionshare partners
including: Internet2, Simon Fraser University of Canada; and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology will continue to fine-tune the
project software which is slated for official beta release for
universities and institutions this upcoming January.
"We knew we had something special here, but there was no way we could
have anticipated the enthusiasm that LionShare has generated,”
commented Michael Halm, the project's lead architect and manager.
"Organizations from around the world have contacted us with questions
about the technology and requests for the open source code release
date, and many groups have expressed interest in collaboration. We're
pleased that the code is now available."
Several educational and research institutions have expressed interest
in Lionshare’s unique capabilities for resource exchange - including
its ability to transfer audio, video, scientific simulations, text,
documents, research papers, Web resources and a variety of other
“LionShare has enormous potential," remarked Loukas Kalisperis,
professor of architecture at Penn State. "With this single application,
collaborating faculty can build digital repositories such as 3-D
architectural image collections, Web-based video archives and art
collections. Faculty will also have a range of tools at their
fingertips for managing and exchanging their own personal collections,
in addition to having access to large-scale data repositories
throughout the United States and Europe."
Kalisperis is among a number of scholars and scientists who have
offered their suggestions to team members as project plans unfolded
this past year. Feedback from faculty at Penn State and other
institutions is enabling developers to enhance the software's features
with cutting-edge security, authentication, and password handling
capabilities - plus a high performance text search engine and a
technology (developed by Simon Fraser) that will make secure,
single-search inquiries of certain worldwide digital repositories
The continual dialogue with developers and potential network users has
significantly furthered the development of the technology.
"With the source code release on September 30, interested programmers
and application developers can now access the code to use and/or modify
for their needs and specifications,” added Halm. “Feedback from
programmers, as well as our peer institutions, will be essential in our
efforts to further the development of the software. These efforts will
culminate in the launch of an academic file-sharing network that
researchers will be able to test and use this January."
To learn more about LionShare and to access the new open source code -
or to join the developers community, go to
The LionShare project, funded by Andrew W. Mellon, is a collaboration
between Penn State and partner organizations including Internet2; Simon
Fraser University of Canada; and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI). The LionShare project
grew out of VIUS (Visual Image User Study), an experimental software
development project designed to assist Penn State University faculty
with digital file management.
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