Upcoming PKP Software Development Plans
With the launch of OMP 1.2 (April 2016) and OJS 3.0 (August 2016) behind us, we are making plans for future releases, and the associated functionality that will be included with each new one. You can see a detailed list of releases and issues on our github milestones page.
We are also planning to continue with our successful usability testing program (with the amazing help of Sonya Betz from the University of Alberta Libraries — a PKP development partner) during this development period, and will no doubt uncover additional areas of improvement or required functionality not currently listed.
For an overview of what to expect over the next few months, here are some of the upcoming highlights:
OJS 2.4.9 – To be determined
For those of you planning to stick with the 2.x line of OJS for a little longer, we don’t anticipate a point release for the foreseeable future. So far, the 2.4.8-1 has been performing very well, with no major changes required. We do not plan to add any new functionality to the 2.x line, with all efforts now focused on 3.x. A future OJS 2.x release, such as OJS 2.4.9, will probably be dictated by security (such as a newly discovered attack vector) or platform requirements (such as a new, incompatible release of PHP).
OJS 3.0.1 – November 25, 2016
This minor release will include:
- A new QuickSubmit plugin
- A new Piwik plugin
- Improved display of HTML articles
- Numerous bug fixes, tweaks and locale updates
OJS 3.0.2 – February 2017
This minor release will include some items that were deferred from 3.0.1, such as:
- Support for the PKP LOCKSS PLN
- Submission queue sizing and sorting
- A new custom locale plugin
More items will likely be added here as we discover new issues or defer some items currently scheduled for 3.0.1.
OJS 3.1 – May 2017
This will be the first major release since the 3.0 launch and will add some of the functionality that didn’t make the initial transition from the 2.x line as well as some new features we have been working on. These will include:
- Support for subscriptions, payments and delayed open access.
- Enhancing internal statistics and reporting, such as # of days in review, # of accepted submissions, etc.
- An option for a continuous publishing model for those journals wanting to move away from the traditional volume/issue structure.
At this point, we’d like to invite your feedback on what you think would be important features to add to this release. We won’t be able to add all of them, but will use your suggestions (and the number of requests received for each) to help us set some priorities.
OMP 3.1 – June 2017
You’ll notice that we are planning to skip the OMP 2.x line completely, and bring OMP and OJS into sync on the 3.x framework. This will mark a beginning of simultaneous releases of OMP and OJS. It will not represent as major a rewrite as you might expect based on the jump in version numbers, but it will contain numerous new features that were not available previously in OMP.
This release will include:
- An HTML book viewer
- Better organizing of chapters on the book-level page
- Porting of OJS bootstrap themes
- Numerous UI/UX improvements
OCS 3.0 – To be determined
We are still discussing the future for OCS. We are currently gathering feedback from the community, and are learning that OCS continues to be important for many of you, despite our inattention for the past few years. Options for the future include:
- Ceasing all future work on OCS by PKP. The existing code would continue to be open source and freely available, but we would no longer provide updates or support.
- Maintaining OCS 2.x as is, with little development apart from security updates as needed (this is where we have been at for the past few years). This isn’t a long-term solution and would likely just delay option 1 above.
- Upgrade to an OCS 3 version, using the framework now underlying OJS and OMP. This would likely involve simplifying OCS somewhat, moving away from the intricate scheduling tool for example, as well as the multiple layers currently part of the system (i.e., site, conferences, events). We did this with the move from OJS 2 to 3 with the masthead tool, which replaced a complex editorial team creation function with a simple text box.
- Enhance OCS to a more fully-featured conference system using the 3.x framework. This would involve improving the existing functionality in OCS 2.x but also building in new, advanced features, such as more robust scheduling, participant interactions, etc. This would require significant outside funding, in the form of a grant or crowdfunding.
If you have any questions or comments about these development plans, please feel free to post a comment here, or a message to our online community forum. We look forward to hearing from you.