Announcing DSpace 3.0 and Changes to DSpace Release Numbering

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Announcing DSpace 3.0 and Changes to DSpace Release Numbering

Tim Donohue

On behalf of the DSpace Committers, I'd like to formally announce a change to the DSpace Release Numbering Scheme, as well as the upcoming 3.0 release.
(This announcement is also available online at:

In the past, we have had a "three-tiered" numbering scheme ([major].[minor].[subminor]), e.g. 1.8.0, 1.8.1, 1.8.2. However, over the years, we've heard feedback that this numbering scheme could be confusing, as it was unclear which releases contained brand new features and which releases only contained bug fixes.

Therefore, we've decided to simplify our release numbering scheme to just two numbers.

== New DSpace Release Numbering Scheme ==

'[major].[minor]' (e.g. 3.0, 3.1, 3.2)

This new numbering scheme will be used as follows:

* Major Releases: incrementing the first number ('major') will represent a new MAJOR release of DSpace.  A major release may include any or all of the following: new features, system improvements, architectural changes, bug fixes. All major releases end in ".0", so "3.0", "4.0", and "5.0" would all represent major releases.

* Minor Releases: incrementing the second number ('minor') will represent a new MINOR release of DSpace. A minor release will *only include* bug fixes to an existing major release. For example, "3.1" and "3.2" would represent two minor releases which only include bug fixes to the "3.0" major release.

== DSpace 3.0 : Fall 2012 ==

As a related announcement, the DSpace Committers would like to announce that in Fall 2012 we will be releasing DSpace 3.0. This release is tentatively scheduled for October or November of this year.

DSpace 3.0 will be the next major release of the platform. It will immediately follow the 1.8.x releases, providing new features/improvements/fixes to the existing DSpace platform. We are in the early planning process for 3.0 features, but you can follow along on the 3.0 Release Notes page:

The DSpace Committers will continue to strive to release one major version of DSpace each year, followed by any necessary minor releases (to fix any bugs that may be found). Per our new Release Numbering Scheme, after 3.0 is released in late 2012, we plan to release 4.0 in late 2013, 5.0 in late 2014, etc.

== What happened to DSpace 2.0? ==

Some may be wondering what has happened to the often talked about "DSpace 2.0"? After much discussion, the Committers along with members of the DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT) have decided to forgo releasing a "DSpace 2.0".

The reasons for this decision were numerous and include:
* The vision of DSpace 2.0 has gone through many different lists of proposed features over the past 8 years:
   - Discussion of 2.0 first began in 2004, with Robert Tansley's original proposal for a 2.0 release
   - A reworking of the 2.0 concept happened in 2006, during a DSpace Architectural Review
   - A further reworking of the 2.0 concept occurred in 2008-2009 when a prototype version of DSpace 2.0 was built and demoed at Open Repositories 2009 (
* As detailed above, much of the planning around a 2.0 is now many years old. Although great ideas/concepts have come out of that work, much of it does need to be reanalyzed for the modern repository environment.
* "2.0" has always been talked about as a "revolutionary" change to the DSpace software platform.  In reality, we've found that many of these platform improvements have been incremental in nature and have been included over many releases (for example, nearly every major release in recent years has included some code/concepts from the 2009 DSpace 2.0 Prototype).
* Because the 2.0 release has a perception of being "revolutionary" in nature, it would be difficult to ever fully meet the expectations/assumptions that have built up around this release over time.
* We all feel that the DSpace Community's immediate needs are better met by incremental changes (over several releases) than by revolutionary changes (over a single release). We feel that incremental changes provide an easier upgrade path between current and future releases of DSpace.

Therefore, many of the ideas/concepts of "DSpace 2.0" may still be coming to the modern DSpace platform. But, they will continue to be added incrementally over several releases. The ideas behind "2.0" still live on, even while the DSpace release numbering has changed.

For more information about 3.0 or the decisions around forgoing a 2.0 release, see:

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