Today is the last day for the DSpace 1.7.0 Testathon. In the last 2-3 weeks, DSpace developers have been gathering all type of feedback and real tests from the DSpace community for the next major release -Version 1.7. Out of the four new key features, I’m particularly interested in two: Mirage or a clean new theme for XMLUI and Discovery Layer or a faceted browse of site metadata. Read more about it from the DuraSpace Blog.
A quick reading and overview of the new XMLUI theme and the faceted browse option suggests that in the near future DSpacers will have the ability to create more robust and friendly web interfaces. I think that having the ability to create customized web sites is a much needed work for many DSpace users -especially for those projects dealing with more than just text-based collections. In our case, this will mean at least image and video collections. One thing that I’m not sure about is whether the new XMLUI theme will allow a single collection use more than one theme. Sometimes it’s just handy to have the option to create a custom theme for Collection A, but at the same time, to create another custom theme for Collection A and B. I guess one way to find out more about the new version is to actually install it, and for that, we’ll just need to check the download site.
And speaking of DSpace themes and web customization, today I’ve confirmed my participation to help/lead/conduct a workshop with OhioLINK members in January. Topics will probably include: installing/configuring new themes, hiding/tweaking div elements, embedding external files, copying/creating XSLT templates, creating external browse features, etc. I think this will be basically a summary of the work we’ve done here at Miami in customizing the Scholarly Commons site and in migrating a couple of image collections into DSpace.
…anyway, more to come soon!