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CERN-Solid 20200207-20220501

by Maria Dimou (CERN)


MERIT Objectives for Maria Dimou and achieved results specific to the CERN-Solid collaboration during 2 years:
20200207: First brainstorming
20220501: Discontinuation

Full activity index: 

Given 2020 - Evaluated 2021

Expected Results:
Manage the CERN-Solid collaboration, in particular kickstart it by organising a meeting between the Solid developers and
the concerned CERN service managers in Q1.
Obtained Results:
Done. A lot of progress was achieved in understanding the Solid status and influencing the Solid processes. Maria:
1. Created, attended, documented, presented at 10 CERN-Solid events in 2020, including the Solid World Webinar,
attended by 120+ people from all over the world and the Open Search SYMposium, held in October 2020.
All material is available from index
2. Motivated student Jan Schill to work on his MSc thesis on a Solid Proof of Concept for Indico extensions. Project
presented to the Solid monthly webinar here
The student works free-of-charge. Maria invests a lot of enthusiasm in this project.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Solid project founder sent the following evaluation, pasted here, with Sir Tim's agreement, also attached to this MERIT form:
"Thank you Maria for your invaluable support through varying levels of energy from your colleges at CERN!! You have
kept the solid Cern project going and on track and who knows it maybe that the NextCloud connection will be the way
large numbers of people get on board Solid".

Given 2021 - Evaluated 2022

Expected Results:
Provided pending questions (especially concerning the sustainability of pod data access for applications) are solved,
ensure the progress of the CERN-Solid project, by continuing contacts with Inrupt and the Solid community and
- The development by Jan Schill of a proof-of-concept Solid pod usage by an Indico feature (H1)
- Assess with the various stakeholders (Indico, CERNbox, management), the opportunity of hosting a Solid server at
CERN, and determine the most appropriate hosting unit.
Obtained Results: 
Link [1] shows the index of 2021 activities. Maria organised, took notes, established contacts, coordinated development,
reported and publicly presented in 21 CERN-Solid-project-related events. In more detail:
The Proof-of-Concept (PoC) was a success, thanks to the skillful volunteer student Jan Schill (zero cost to CERN) and
also thanks to Maria's continuous support with checkpoint meetings, coordination with other experts, bridging with
relevant communities, doing testing and proof-reading of the thesis and collaborating with the university supervisor.
Presentations on the thesis were given at the CERN White Areas, the HEPiX conference and the Solid World
international webinar. Maria was instrumental in proposing the talks, writing Abstracts, reviewing the papers, rehearsing
the presentations. She also presented these activities herself to the "Women of Solid" event, Solid World and other fora.
On the CERN-Solid follow-up and CERN-hosted Solid server, Maria wrote a Policy Document and 2 student proposals,
for which she seeks funds via the CERN Fellowship programme and/or european funding.
Another volunteer student started working on his MSc thesis on an open source Solid server evaluation, a work that
Maria follows-up with detailed guidelines for the student [2]. He is unable to work at the moment, maybe the challenging
times we live in the covid era...
This is a huge energy investment and expenditure for Maria and shows the limits of lobbying for free-of-charge labor.
As far as the hosting unit at CERN, Maria emphasises the need of improving the technical aspects of the Solid servers
and the UI (items on which Maria actively works in gitter [3] and discusses with Solid initiator Sir Tim Berners-Lee).
Nevertheless, to raise awareness, Maria proposed a session on "Storage and the Decentralised Web" at the next Cloud
Storage conference at CERN, that was warmly accepted by the organising committee, which includes Indico and
CERNBox experts:
>Your proposal has received a warm welcome and I would like to thank you for your initiative on behalf of the entire CS3
This proposal is now included in the CS3 programme [4].
Overall, Maria is by now an authority in the Solid ecosystem. Page [5] indexes a number of notes and presentations that
she gave to global Solid events. The Swiss Citizen Science Director, the Swedish public employment service and other
developers or managers from government agencies, academia and european public interest groups contact her to
discuss the technology status and use cases.
Maria also proposed mini-project [6] for the August 2021 Webfest.



Given 2022 - Objective on Solid before the May 1st reorganisation.

Expected Results:

- continue to defend CERN requirements for production quality Solid applications (especially the Solid Server) and to play a key role across various Solid related technical groups
- find resources in the framework of a new wider project preferably with outside external partners towards the adoption of Solid at CERN,
- defend it to the new IT dep project office and/or EU project office once the new IT operational model is adopted.


The project was discontinued by IT management decision when the IT reorganisation was announced.

Done until May 1st:

- Maria wrote a TECH student request rejected by the IT management.
- Documented output of the work by zero-cost-to-CERN MSc student T.Meyer of IT University of Copenhagen in His thesis, on which Maria invested great supervision effort is
- Found external collaborations with Universities of Copenhagen, Gent and Graz, willing to continue the Solid service deployment at CERN, with their own funds.
- Maria held 13 events between January and April 2022, including a Terra Incognita presentation, a Women of Solid presentation  and a "Solid specifications vs implementations" consolidation, attended all developers and by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. 
All these events can be found in

Please contact Maria Dimou for further information on the CERN-Solid collaboration.