Q2 Roadmap Preview

We’re drawing near the end of Q1 at Pressbooks! And we’ve crossed off a lot of the items on our 2018 Roadmap:

  • ✔ Ensure support for H5P interactive elements with graceful fallbacks across all formats
  • ✔ Ensure support for video and audio with graceful fallbacks across all formats
  • ✔ Add support for multiple contributors (authors, editors, translators, etc.)
  • ✔ Add custom metadata support to the Pressbooks REST API and clone tool
  • ✔ Finish our new landing page theme
  • ✔ Finish our new webbook theme
  • ✔ Improve section heading outputs in EPUB and PDF
  • ✔ Develop two new themes oriented towards textbook and OER use cases
  • ✔ Add support for chapter-level cloning
  • ✔ Overhaul the Organize page, prioritizing accessibility, fully responsive design, and inline and batch editing support of front matter/chapter/back matter properties

Now’s the time for us to share some of our plans for Q2. We’ve drawn from our overall roadmap for this year and we’ll be trying to address many of the top priorities and feature requests we’ve been hearing about from our clients and Open Source users.

Editing and Content

  • We’ll be working to test and fully support the WP QuickLaTeX plugin, which will improve the quality of LaTeX formulas in PDF exports.
  • We’ll be engaging in research and development with an eye on further mathematics support improvements across all formats.
  • We’ll be working to test and fully support the TablePress plugin, which will allow more advanced table display.
  • We’ll be engaging in research and development with the goal of improving to media management and image uploading, including user-facing guidance to ensure high-quality image output across all formats.
  • We’ll be refining our approach for supporting the forthcoming WordPress Gutenberg editor.

Core Technology

  • We’ll be engaging in research and development on various popular enterprise integrations for Pressbooks, including LTI and various single sign-on (SSO) methods, with the goal of ensuring that Pressbooks better supports these integrations.

Themes and Theme Design

  • Based on user feedback, we’ll continue to refine the McLuhan (webbook) and Aldine (landing page) themes that we released at the end of February.
  • We’ll continue to refine Buckram, our book theme component library, and we’ll continue to convert legacy themes to use Buckram and fully support the theme options that are currently available in Clarke, Jacobs, and McLuhan. This work will include updates to the open source Austen and Donham themes.
  • We’ll be continuing research and development towards implementing new markup for books, based on HTMLBook.

Import, Export, and Cloning

  • We’ll be testing and adding the BCcampus OpenStax Importer for Pressbooks to our recommended plugins list.
  • We’ll be reviewing various implementations of Common Cartridge import and export to ensure first-class support for this format.
  • We’ll be exploring ways of tracking the adoption of Open Textbooks.

User Interface

  • We’ll be engaging in research and development on methods of configuring default theme options and other settings for books at the network level.
  • We’ll be engaging in research and development on methods for providing book-level analytics on networks where books are in subdirectories as opposed to subdomains, and exploring other types of book- and network-level analytics.

Accessibility & Inclusivity

If you’re planning on working on any of these items or would like to collaborate, please let us know in the forums or tweet @pressbooksdev!

Sprint Preview: March 5-16

Our sprint running March 5-16 will focus on:

    • Bug fixes for Pressbooks 5.0, Aldine 1.0 & McLuhan 2.0 (formerly known as Book 2.0)
      We are pleased and relieved to have completed our big releases in the previous sprint, and are now planning to spend some time following up on bug reports and polishing a few edges. We will be releasing patches for Pressbooks, Aldine and McLuhan early in the sprint.
    • Buckram Additions
      We will also be continuing our theme development work, implementing several improvements to Buckram that we have identified in-house.
    • Interactive Content
      We expect to release the work we have been doing on interactive content in the second week of the sprint, with updates to Pressbooks and McLuhan which will enable this feature for all themes. This feature offers support for video, audio, whitelisted iFrame and H5P content (if the plugin is installed) across all formats, with fallbacks in place where interactive content is not supported.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

Introducing pressbooks/ideas 💡

I’m always looking for better ways to keep track of feature suggestions from members of the Pressbooks Open Source community, which within our small and very active team can often get lost in the shuffle. Messages in Slack can fly by before we make note of them, and often threads in the forum include a number of ideas which should be evaluated as standalone feature suggestions but get lost in a broader discussion.

So, borrowing from the WP-CLI project where I first saw this implemented, I’ve created a GitHub repo for ideas from Pressbooks users. If you have an idea for Pressbooks that you’d like to suggest to our team, you can open an issue. We will evaluate your ideas on a regular basis for inclusion in our sprints and longer-term roadmap. You can check on the status of your idea by visiting the idea board.

I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges! As always we welcome feedback and discussion in the forum.

Sprint Preview: Feb 19 – Mar 2

This year will be a busy one for the Pressbooks team, so we’ve decided to share publicly what we’re working towards in our two-week sprints. We hope this will give you a better sense of what’s going behind the scenes, and help you plan your own development schedule!

Our sprint running February 19 – March 2 will focus on:

    • Interactive content styling
      We have completed our first pass implementation of interactive content support, and will be finalizing the styling of the messages injected in place of unsupported content in exports. This work is slated for release in 5.1 and is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Plugin Compatibility Checker
      This feature will identify plugins that are (in)compatible with available updates based on their plugin headers. A warning will inform Pressbooks administrators about extensions that haven’t been updated for compatibility with new releases.
    • Theme Development
      We will also be continuing our theme development work, using the theme conversion process to identify improvements and potential new SCSS components in Buckram.
    • Pressbooks 5, Aldine 1.0 & Book 2.0 (including McLuhan) release
      We plan to release the above early in the second week of this sprint, and to deploy to our hosted networks soon after.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

Sprint Preview: Feb 5–16

This year will be a busy one for the Pressbooks team, so we’ve decided to share publicly what we’re working towards in our two-week sprints. We hope this will give you a better sense of what’s going behind the scenes, and help you plan your own development schedule!

Our sprint running February 5 – 16 will focus on:

    • Release testing of Pressbooks 5, Aldine 1.0 & Book 2.0 (including McLuhan)
      Our team will be working through the final testing before release, slated for Feb 14th (pending anything unexpected).
    • First pass implementation of interactive content support
      Building off a product specification finalized in the previous sprint, we’ll be working on the first iteration of interactive content support across all formats. This development is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Jacobs 1.0
      We’ll be letting our new team member Daniel loose on finalizing Jacobs, one of two new Open Source themes ideal for Open Textbook creation (supported by eCampus Ontario). Daniel has joined the Pressbooks team for three months to help us transition our themes to the new structure.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!

Sprint Preview: Jan 22–Feb 2

This year will be a busy one for the Pressbooks team, so we’ve decided to share publicly what we’re working towards in our two-week sprints. We hope this will give you a better sense of what’s going behind the scenes, and help you plan your own development schedule!

Our sprint running January 22 – February 2 will focus on:

    • Preparations for Pressbooks 5
      Our team will be thoroughly testing Pressbooks 5 to ensure its readiness for release.
    • First cut of chapter import using the Pressbooks REST API
      We’ll be developing a feature that allows the import of individual chapters directly from a Pressbooks book. This development is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Product specification process for interactive content support
      The demand for interactive content, such as H5P, PHET simulations, iFrames, etc. has been steadily increasing, especially in the OER community. Our product team will be working on a product specification to best handle interactive content (audio and video) across all formats. This development is supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • New Open Textbook themes
      We’ll be testing and finalizing Jacobs and McLuhan, two new Open Source themes ideal for Open Textbook creation, in preparation for their upcoming release. The development of these themes has been supported by eCampus Ontario.
    • Book 2.0 (contains McLuhan) and Aldine 1.0
      Continued testing and review of the new webbook (Book 2.0, which contains McLuhan) and new network homepage and catalog (Aldine 1.0) themes in preparation for release. The development of these themes has been supported by Ryerson University.

Are you working on related goals? Let us know in the Pressbooks Forum!