Thursday, 25 October 2007

DSpace 1.5 Alpha with experimental binary distribution

The DSpace 1.5 Alpha has now been released and we encourage you to download this exciting new release of DSpace and try it out.

There are big changes in this code base, both in terms of functionality and organisation. First, we are now using Maven to manage our build process, and have carved the application into a set of core modules which can be used to assemble your desired DSpace instance. For example, the JSP UI and the Manakin UI are now available as separate UI modules, and you may build either or both of these. We are taking an important step down the road, here, to allowing for community developments to be more easily created, and also more easily shared. You should be able, with a little tinkering, to provide separate code packages which can be dropped in alongside the dspace core modules, and built along with them. There are many stages to go through before this process is complete or perfect, so we encourage you to try out this new mechanism, and to let us know how you get on, or what changes you would make. Oh, and please do share your modules with the community! Props to Mark Diggory and the MIT guys for this restructuring work.

The second big and most exciting thing is that Manakin is now part of our standard distribution, and we want to see it taking over from the JSP UI over the next few major releases. A big hand for Scott Phillips and the Texas A&M guys for getting this code into the distribution; they have worked really hard.

In addition to this, we have an Event System which should help us start to decouple tightly integrated parts of the repository, from Richard Rodgers and the guys at MIT. Browsing is now done with a heavily configurable system written initially by myself, but with significant assistance from Graham Triggs at BioMed Central. Tim Donohue's much desired Configurable Submission system is now integrated with both JSP and Manakin interfaces and is part of the release too.

Further to this we have a bunch of other functionality including: IP Authentication, better metadata and schema registry import, move items from one collection to another, metadata export, configurable multilingualism support, Google and html sitemap generator, Community and Sub-Communities as OAI Sets, and Item metadata in XHTML head <meta> elements.

All in all, a good looking release. There will be a testathon organised shortly which will be announced on the mailing lists, so that we can run this up to beta and then into final release as soon as possible. There's lots to test, so please lend a hand.

We are also experimenting with a binary release, which can be downloaded from the same page as the source release. We are interested in how people get on with this, so let us know on the mailing lists.

Come and get it:

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