A Glimpse into Progress: Atmire's DSpace 7 Advancements

November 30, 2023
Open RepositoryDSpace ExpressCustom DSpace
The Atmire team has been hard at work, addressing existing bugs and enhancing the performance of DSpace 7 with the latest release of DSpace 7.6.1. Our commitment to providing institutions with a seamless experience has led to significant improvements that cater to the diverse needs of our users.Here's a quick rundown of our most noteworthy achievements from the past two months:

Performance improvements

Enhanced Workflow Tasks Page:

Users facing performance issues on the Workflow Tasks Page due to extensive group memberships can now rejoice. The Atmire team resolved this concern, making the page significantly more responsive and practical.

DSpace version 7.6.1 incorporates the fix, ensuring a smoother experience for users with numerous group associations. The update optimizes the efficiency and speed of DSpace, especially when handling intricate workflow tasks.

See ‘Workflow Tasks page loads more quickly for a logged-in EPerson who is a member of many groups’: https://github.com/DSpace/DSpace/issues/9053

Streamlined API Requests:

A glitch causing repeated requests to the server during page loading has been fixed, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient system. Users will now experience a faster browsing experience with reduced unnecessary server requests, contributing to improved overall efficiency.

See ’User interface no longer repeatedly requests the "/api" endpoint of the backend’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2482

Item view fixes

Handle redirects

Handles were not redirecting correctly when the front end was set up on a custom path. The recent update ensures seamless redirects, even with custom UI.nameSpace configurations, providing users with a more intuitive and hassle-free navigation experience. For example, the default path might be something like demo.dspace.com, but a user might have configured it to be accessed at http://demo.dspace.com/repository. In this case, "custom path" would refer to the "/custom link" part of the URL

See ‘Handle redirects now work properly when "ui.nameSpace" config (on frontend) is customized’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/25...

Bitstream URLs

Related to the previous error. DSpace wasn’t handling this setup correctly, causing the URL to become invalid. This has been addressed providing users with more flexibility in how they structure their DSpace URLs.

See ‘Bitstream URLs now work properly if "ui.nameSpace" config (on frontend) is customized’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/24...

MathJax duplication

The issue of duplicating MathJax code in abstracts on DSpace's public UI has been successfully addressed. Previously, when creating MathJax code within abstracts, the formula was displayed twice. The recent fix ensures that this duplication no longer occurs, resolving the problem in the system.

See ‘MathJax code is no longer displayed twice’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2170

Submission/Workflow form fixes


Previously, a bug prevented users from entering free text in controlled vocabulary fields marked as closed=false. Now, with the issue resolved, users have the flexibility to either select values from the controlled vocabulary or input free text, enhancing the user experience.

See ‘Freetext is now supported in controlled vocabulary fields where "closed=false"’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2435 (with support from the International Livestock Research Institute)

Add More

In the submission forms, there was a button [+Add More] in the top right corner, causing confusion because it showed up even when it wasn't needed. We've addressed this issue, ensuring that the button now only displays in submission forms with disabled steps.

See ‘Removed "Add More" button when additional sections not available’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2535

Authentication fixes

Incorrect credentials during Authentication

Entering incorrect credentials resulted in a blank screen, causing confusion. Now, the login process has been refined, and users will now encounter clear error messages instead of a blank screen, facilitating a smoother and more straightforward login experience.

See ‘Entering an incorrect password no longer results in a blank login menu in Firefox’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2515

Order of Login methods

The login methods were a bit jumbled up, with the password login always taking the lead, even if you preferred something else. We fixed that! Now, the login methods show up in the order you've enabled them, making it more personalized for you. Plus, we've tidied up related links and info, keeping everything neat and easy to find. No more digging around for 'New User' or 'Reset Password' options—they're right where you'd expect them.

See: ‘Login popup now lists login methods in order of configuration’ https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/2365

Admin tools fixes

Improved policy inheritance for collection transfers

We've resolved an issue with policy enforcement during item transfers between collections. Before, when items were moved, the policies in that new collection weren't consistently inherited. With the fix, policies are now accurately inherited during such transfers.

When a user moves an item with inherited policies into another collection where the anonymous group didn't have default read permissions on bitstreams, these PDFs were still readable because this policy was not carried over. This has now been corrected, so in that specific use case, the PDFs are not downloadable by the anonymous group.

See ‘Moving items between collections now inherits policies correctly’: https://github.com/DSpace/DSpace/issues/8987

Statistics fixes

Inflated GA statistics

We've successfully tackled a significant issue with GA4 download statistics, specifically related to "item" events. Previously, there was a substantial overestimation due to non-original bundle bitstream downloads, such as thumbnails, being incorrectly registered as "item" events with the action "download" and category "bitstream" in Google Analytics. We've fixed this, ensuring that only bitstream downloads from the Original bundle are now accurately recorded as download events in GA4. Your download statistics are now more precise and reflective of actual user interactions.

See: ‘Google Analytics bitstream statistics are now limited to the "ORIGINAL" bundle’ https://github.com/DSpace/DSpace/issues/8938

Theming fixes

Reliable Theme Extension Rendering

The problem with theming was that individual components couldn't be properly removed after being created. This caused a glitch where, every time you switched pages, the front end kept adding new components without getting rid of the old ones, making the user interface look awkward. With the latest update, we've fixed this issue, making the process smooth and improving the overall visual appeal of the interface.

See: ‘Extending a theme no longer causes it to potentially render multiple times’ https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/23...

Resolving the correct theme when using handle based URLs

The recent fix addresses issues for repositories that use different UI themes and handle.net urls. For DSpace repositories utilizing a custom canonical prefix, such as the commonly used https://hdl.handle.net/, there were problems locating the correct theme, resulting in the loading of the wrong theme. This update ensures that the correct theme is now accurately identified and loaded for repositories with custom canonical prefixes, improving the overall theme customization experience.

See: ‘Configuring themes using "handle" now works properly’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/23...

Accessibility fixes

Added skip to main content button

In the latest enhancement to DSpace 7, we've introduced a valuable accessibility feature—a "Skip to Main Content" button. This button facilitates seamless navigation for users with screen readers by automatically bypassing elements such as the header, navigation, user setting buttons, and logo. This improvement ensures a more inclusive and user-friendly experience, particularly for those relying on screen readers to access and interact with DSpace 7.

See ‘Added an invisible "Skip to main content" button on all pages’: https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/25...

Translation bug fixes

Language Translation Enhancements:

In a nutshell: we've revamped how the repository manages language translations (i18n) for a more organized and efficient approach. Some highlights:

  • Created a function to calculate unique codes (hashes) for language files, ensuring precision.
  • Implemented hash tags in language file names during production mode for improved organization.
  • Tweaked tools to seamlessly retrieve language files based on unique codes, minimizing mix-ups.
  • Resolved a mode identification issue, ensuring smooth operation during testing or live deployment.

Enjoy faster, organized, and error-free language experiences, making the repository even more user-friendly.

See ‘Translation files (i18n files) are now hashed, so they are no longer reloaded unless they change’ https://github.com/DSpace/dspace-angular/issues/24...

Acknowledging individual Atmire contributors and DSpace community members

We would like to acknowledge our individual Atmire contributors for their substantial contributions to the improvements and fixes in this release, especially as many of them commit also part of their free time to DSpace. We recognize the efforts of Alexandre Vryghem (alexandrevryghem), Art Lowel (artlowel), Kristof De Langhe (Atmire-Kristof), Lotte Hofstede (LotteHofstede), Yury Bondarenko (ybnd), Nona Luypaert (nona-luypaert), Yana De Pauw (YanaDePauw), and Marie Verdonck (MarieVerdonck).

To extend we’d like to outline our sincere appreciation to the vibrant community of DSpace users who actively highlighted and reported existing issues and bugs. The invaluable contributions have been instrumental in shaping these improvements. We appreciate your collaboration, feedback, and ongoing support, and we look forward to continuing this journey of enhancement together. Cheers to a stronger and more efficient DSpace experience for all!

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