The 2011 for J!Research

I had not still get used either to the idea of the ended holidays or that I have to write 2011 instead of 2010 in dates when Joomla! 1.6 Stable release finished to wake me up from the holidays lassitude. First of all, congratulations to the Joomla! community for this important milestone, result of a tremendous devotion and hard team-work. Now, direct to the point, it is time to turn J!Research developers' effort into 2.0's direction.

This blog entry was originally planned for some days before New Year, but now I have more motivations to write. J!Research 1.2.x is our current version and will be the last major release for Joomla! 1.5 though it will be maintained as long as Joomla! 1.5 support is available. Small enhancements as well as bug fixes will be periodically added to the codebase, but most of my energies and attention will be for 2.0. My proposed roadmap for 2.0 consists of an alpha by the end of March which will include fully implemented publications, staff and research areas sections (plus access control functionalities) and a second alpha with support for projects and theses hopefully delivered by May. Then we will start our debugging phase towards 2.0 beta and stable.

If you are a J!Research user or are somehow involved with our project, you will notice I am omitting some features: teams, facilities, cooperations and financiers. This has two intentions. The first one is to push the developers team towards a basic (but functional) and stable release for Joomla! 1.6 as soon as possible. The second is to encourage the user's community to sponsor the missing functionalities. I have special interest in teams. So far J!Research supports nested teams in a very basic way, but my aim is to provide a robust hierarchical structure with high level teams focused in one or more research areas. Nested subteams can specialize in any subset of their parent's research areas. Additionally, publications, projects, theses and facilities will be explicitly linked to teams. We will create a higher structural entity named "Institute" aimed to provide universities a unified repository to organise all the institutes or groups existing under its sponsorship. It is vital to mention that most of these features are already supported in 2.0 database design but the will be implemented incrementally depending on community's responsiveness.

Thanks to this new major Joomla! release, we have the outstanding opportunity to correct our design flaws and provide a more robust and polished product based on a new and more flexible platform. If you are interested in making J!Research better, consider becoming a sponsor of any of our proposed features, otherwise you can always contribute with testing time, bug reports or fixes, language packages and extensions. You know where to find us ;-)