Web Framework 2: Improving the web authoring and development experience
posted by Austin Lord on October 4, 2019
The Web Framework began as a collaboration between IU Communications, UITS, and a committee of individuals from across IU campuses and schools. Earlier this year, several of the teams that contributed to the Framework reorganized under IU Studios, and a team was formalized to support the product and continue making regular updates and bug fixes.
While the Framework Committee still holds regular meetings, and we rely on users to submit bug reports and feature requests, we’ve recognized a need for greater engagement with the IU community that uses the Web Framework, and have constructed a roadmap and product summary that outlines our next steps in product and community development. Several key components are outlined below.
Web Framework 2.0
Based on technical research over the last several months, and feedback from framework users across IU, we see the need for a new version of the Web Framework that better meets author, publisher, and developer needs, and provides simpler methods of making updates and modifications to framework sites.
The need to rethink the Web Framework product coincides with the announcement of Rivet 2, and presents an opportunity to align IU’s websites and apps (which currently use the Web Style Guide and Rivet, respectively), while improving upon the Web Framework product.
In October 2019, we’ll begin developing Web Framework 2.0 to build on what we’ve learned from the Web Framework, and to provide a refined set of tools for creating brand-compliant, accessible websites in IU’s enterprise WCMS. We’re targeting Spring 2020 for a public alpha release, with a comment period to gather feedback from site owners across IU. A full production release will follow later in 2020, dependent on the release of Rivet 2.0.
We’ll provide the tools and support necessary to migrate your sites from the current version of the Web Framework to 2.0, and to help maintain your web properties into the future. In particular, we’re pursuing the development of a tool that automates site updates, such as the Landmarks update released in February 2019, so that these improvements can be made in minutes, rather than hours.
Ongoing support of the Web Framework v1
The Digital Campus Studio will continue to support version 1 of the Web Framework for 18 months after the release of Web Framework 2.0. Upon the release of 2.0, we’ll make an update to the Web Framework v1 to align it visually with Rivet, so that older and newer IU websites appear similar. After the initial alignment update, new features of Web Framework 2.0 will not be backported to version 1 of the Web Framework. We will continue to provide critical bug fixes, especially for accessibility issues, until the end-of-life date 18 months after the release of 2.0.
How to get involved
The Web Framework has always relied on the community of people that use it, provide feedback, and engage in the ongoing process of creating it. Our web tools are living things, and they will be shaped by individuals across IU. We appreciate your engagement, and hope you’ll stay involved as we take this exciting next step into the future.
If you would like to know more about how we’re approaching version 2, take a look at the product roadmap summary, and feel free to share your feedback with the development team using the channels below.
If you’re part of the Web Community of Practice, we’ll share updates in the #framework Slack channel, and at monthly meetings. If you’re part of the MarComm community, we’ll regularly attend MarComm Forums, and share updates in The Skinny. No matter who you are, if you contribute to IU’s web presence, we would love to talk or hear your feedback. Fill out our form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.