It was recently announced that Alfresco 5.0.d has been released. There is lots of great stuff in this release for the Alfresco Community to enjoy - but the thing that I'm most excited about is that 5.0.d has a dependency on artefacts created from the independent Aikau GitHub project. This is a significant change because, for the first time, it is going to allow Community users to have access to the latest UI updates and fixes, rather than needing to wait until the next Community release.
The Benefits of an Independent Aikau
Before I explain how unbelievably easy it is to upgrade the version of Aikau that is used in 5.0.d, let's cover some of the reasons why you should be excited about this change if you customize or make enhancements to Alfresco Share.
First and foremost, you can get an updated version of Aikau every week - this means you get access to the latest widgets, improvements and bug fixes almost as soon as they are implemented. Those enhancements can even come directly from the Alfresco Community as we're very happy to merge your pull requests into Aikau, if they meet our documented acceptance criteria.
This means that you don't have to passively wait anywhere between 6 months and a year for a new release that may or may not contain a fix that you might be hoping for. Now you have the opportunity to raise bugs (and optionally provide the fixes for them) as well as raising feature requests for inclusion in future development sprints. This gives the Alfresco Community unprecedented influence on updates to the UI code.
The Aikau project backlog is public so you can see what we're going to be working on in the near future, and can give us an indication of what you'd like to see implemented, by raising new issues or voting on specific issues.
How to update Aikau in 5.0.d
The best part is that you won't even need to re-build anything in order to get updated versions of Aikau... you just need to follow these 3 simple steps:
- Download the JAR for the version you want from the Alfresco Maven repository
- Drop it into the 'share/WEB-INF/lib' directory
- Restart your server.
No really, that's it... Surf supports multiple versions of Aikau and will always use the latest version available (although you can still manually configure the version used with the Module Deployment page if you want to).
The Aikau project even provides a Grunt task called 'clientPatch' for patching Aikau clients, if you've cloned the GitHub repository and want to verify your own changes before submitting a pull request. You can even configure a list of different clients and then pick which one you want to update.
With the release of 5.0.d you can now take advantage of the latest updates to Aikau as they happen. Your installation of Alfresco Community can keep up with UI related bug fixes and your customizations can leverage all the new features and widgets that get released every week.
Alfresco Community 5.0.d is a great release and is going to revolutionize Share UI development.