From Tim Donohue, DSpace Tech Lead
As we are now into February, some of you may be wondering: "What happened to the DSpace 6 release? Shouldn't it be out by now?" So, I thought I'd pass along some updates of where we stand with DSpace 6, and why it isn't ready for production (quite yet).
First, it's worth mentioning we have some very exciting features coming for DSpace 6. Some are a bit more relevant in the larger picture of our RoadMap , while others are immediately gratifying.
Here's a taste of what's to come in DSpace 6:
- A major refactor of our underlying Java API (supporting UUIDs and Hibernate) which will help ease ongoing maintenance efforts and better support future roadmap goals. See https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/DSpace+Service+based+api
- Enhanced configuration system, supporting auto-reloadable configurations and easier management of local settings (via a local.cfg file). See https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/Enhanced+Configuration+Scheme
- Note however that not all configurations will be reloadable in DSpace 6. But, we hope that will change in DSpace 7.
- Enhanced file (bitstream) storage plugins, including support for Amazon S3 file storage. Seehttps://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSDOC6x/Storage+Layer#StorageLayer-ConfiguringtheBitstreamStore
- Configurable site healthcheck (i.e. repository status) reports via email. See https://jira.duraspace.org/browse/DS-2659
- REST API enhancements, including:
- Robust quality control reports for collection managers built on the REST API. See https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSDOC6x/REST+Based+Quality+Control+Reports
- Support for all authentication methods via REST (e.g. Shibboleth, LDAP, etc)
- XMLUI enhancements, including:
- New framework for metadata import from external sources (including out-of-the-box plugins supporting PubMed and ScienceDirect). This concept was previously only supported in JSPUI.
- Extensible administrative control panel
- Export of XMLUI search results to CSV (for bulk metadata editing). This feature was previously only supported in JSPUI.
I hope you'll agree, there's some exciting features for both repository managers and repository developers/sysadmins coming in DSpace 6.
But, what may not be obvious is the amount of infrastructural/code changes which took place in those first few bullet points. The major refactor of our Java API involved changing 1,440 of our Java files (refactoring them into a much more extensible, flexible Java API). The Enhanced Configuration System touched fewer files (324), but replaced/refactored/removed about 6,000 lines of code in order to build a much more flexible configuration system for DSpace. These statistics aren't meant to downplay the significance of any of those other major features (as all are quite significant in terms of code contributions), but just show the significance of the architectural/backend changes coming in DSpace 6.
Simply put, DSpace 6 is where we are starting to build the *next* DSpace. It is where we've begun to modernize our platform to allow us to continue to provide a high-end, out-of-the-box, repository solution for many years to come.
However, as you may have guessed, the significance of these code changes has delayed DSpace 6 more than we would have liked. I feel confident that DSpace 6 will be out soon, but the timeline is looking more like March or April. Obviously, we want to ensure that DSpace 6 is production ready (in terms of stability and performance) before we release anything (even a "release candidate"). Nonetheless, keep an eye out for an announcement of 6.0 Testathon dates, as I'm hoping we'll be ready to finalize them in the coming weeks.
If you want more information on DSpace 6 in general, please visit our DSpace 6 Status page: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/DSpace+Release+6.0+Status
If there are any questions about DSpace 6, let us know on the lists, and we'll do our best to answer them in a timely manner.
 DSpace RoadMap: https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/RoadMap