Thursday, June 1, 2006

What’s next for OPS?

OPS 3.x Logo

Back in January, we released OPS 3.0, with a 3.0.1 update in February. But since then there hasn't been any new release, and we are regularly asked about what's next for OPS. We thought that a little update about our plans would be welcome.

For one thing, tons of bugs have been fixed in the XForms NG engine. The current "unstable" builds are quite an improvement over 3.0.1, and we routinely recommend in ops-users that people use those builds. We have also added much needed and asked for features, ranging from improvements to xforms:submission to XForms 1.1 features to improved XForms controls, including an autocomplete field and an HTML support in textarea.

To complete this picture, we have improved caching in the XForms engine, with promises for enhanced performance, and we are working on support for the Liferay portal (with the fixes we are implementing for Liferay likely to work wity other JSR-168 portals as well). Finally, we have updated some key external components such as Saxon and eXist.

We claim we like the "release early, release often" philosophy, so what are we waiting for before we release 3.1? Here are a few of the tasks we have in the pipeline:

  • Fix a couple more high-priority bugs and performance issues.

  • Greatly improve the performance and architecture of the examples portal. The examples portal has been unnecessarily slow for a very long time, and we want to fix that.

  • A few baby steps towards making it easier for developers to get started with OPS, including providing a basic, clean WAR file with just the necessary resources to get started with XForms and a nice README file. It is likely that the full-fledged tutorial will have to wait a little bit more though.

  • Some clean-up of the OPS distribution and examples.

  • And of course, make sure all the new features are documented.

We have been busy lately and there is no guarantee that all this will make it into 3.1, but that's the current plan for the next few weeks. When that's done, we can start working on the great plans we have for OPS post 3.1! Be sure that XForms and lower barrier to entry for developers will be important parts of those plans.

Finally, we are of course always open to the great feedback we receive from the user community, so please let us know how we can make OPS even better in the future.

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