- Starting in 2015, a DSpace 2015-18 Strategic Plan was created/adopted, along with a Technical RoadMap. For more details see: 2015 Strategic Planning Activities and the OR2015 presentation "DSpace Technology Roadmap"
- The #1 priority on that RoadMap was to adopt a new, single User Interface (to replace the aging JSPUI and XMLUI).
- In late 2015, a DSpace UI Prototype Working Group was established to develop/create a DSpace UI Prototype Challenge. The goal of this challenge was to hold a "friendly competition" to prototype several different technologies for a new, single User Interface. The Prototype Challenge ended in Dec 2015.
- In early 2016, the DSpace UI Prototype Working Group began analyzing the 9 submitted UI Prototypes, and put out several calls for feedback from the broad community. See also 2016 Strategic Planning Activities.
- During this activity/analysis, we discovered that the Angular 2 platform had been released (in beta) in Dec 2015. While one Prototype featured Angular v1, we had several concerns (namely Search Engine Optimization and accessibility) with Angular 1. The Angular 2 release promised to support both SEO and accessibility
- Steering and Leadership saw great promise in a Client Side UI built on Angular 2. But, no one was comfortable with finalizing that decision without a proof of concept.
- Immediately after the Summit, four institutions (DuraSpace, Atmire, Texas A&M and Cineca) decided to collaboratively build a rapid proof of concept / prototype UI on Angular 2.
- From March to June, the four institutions publicly collaborated to build a basic, proof-of-concept Angular 2 UI against the DSpace 5 REST API
- During this prototyping, it was discovered that our REST API was lacking in features, and was not currently capable of supporting a full-fledged client side UI.
- By late May / early June, the group presented findings on Angular 2 to the DSpace Steering/Leadership Groups. Both groups approved of the direction.
- In June, at OR2016, the proof-of-concept Angular UI was presented/demoed. See the OR2016 presentation "Introducing the New DSpace User Interface"
- (From June until November 2016, developer concentration moved over to getting DSpace 6.0 released. DSpace 6 is the final release to include the JSPUI and XMLUI.)
- In late 2016 / early 2017, a DSpace 7 UI Working Group was established to formalize the process of building a new Angular2 UI and enhanced REST API for the DSpace 7.0 release.
- Early in 2017, this UI Working Group has concentrated on planning out the architecture (especially for the enhanced REST API) and building the "framework" for the Angular UI.
- In parallel, a DSpace 7 UI Outreach Marketing Working Group was established to help with outreach, and update/capture use cases needed to be met by the new UI. See: Use Cases
- The REST API codebase is in the main codebase at: https://github.com/DSpace/DSpace/tree/rest7
- Updates / ongoing discussions occur on Slack (#rest-api channel) and weekly meetings. See notes at DSpace 7 UI Working Group
During early 2017, much of the Angular UI work revolved around building out the groundwork (in Angular) to support the new REST API, and beginning to create interactions with a "mock" (i.e. faked) REST API. As the new REST API is still in very active development, the Angular team has had to develop against faked versions (until the real one is far enough along to interact with). This work is progressing in the following areas:
- The Angular UI codebase is at https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/
- Updates / ongoing discussions occur on Slack (#angular-ui channel) and weekly meetings. See notes at DSpace 7 UI Working Group
– what improvements will I see as an admin? Will my end users see from these changes?