[Gmod-tripal-devel] Tripal v3.0-beta1 released!

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[Gmod-tripal-devel] Tripal v3.0-beta1 released!

Stephen Ficklin-2

Dear Tripal Community,

We are happy to announce the release of Tripal v3.0-beta1!  Here are some quick links:

Tripal v3.x User's Guide: http://tripal.info/tutorials/v3.x
Tripal v3.x Download Page at Drupal.org: https://www.drupal.org/project/tripal/releases/7.x-3.0-beta1
The Tripal Issue Queue: https://www.drupal.org/project/issues/tripal

This release represents a major improvement over the 7.x-3.0-alpha1 release. This represents a stable design for Tripal v3, although perhaps a still buggy implementation. We expect future v3 beta releases to be primarily bug fixes and addition of some outstanding features that need completion.

Remember, this is a beta release version! We expect you will find bugs. We recommend testing Tripal v3.0-beta1 on a development server. Future updates to the beta version will provide Drupal based updates. These will ensure that periodic updates can easily transition your Tripal v3.0-beta site to a full stable Tripal v3.0 site once the stable version is finally released (expected in May 2017). Please help us speed our stable release by reporting any bugs you may find with instructions for how to reproduce them to our issue Queue above or ask questions on our mailing lists.

This release provides the following:

  1. All Tripal content types are now implemented using Entities rather than Nodes.
  2. Tripal content types no longer follow the Chado schema structure. Content types are now more intuitive and based on controlled vocabulary terms. For example, previously feature pages would provide content for genes, SNPs, mRNA, genetic markers, etc. Now each of those types can be their own Tripal Content Typel
  3. Site admins can create as many content types as they have data in their site. There is no limit to the type and number of content types.
  4. A new Storage API layer has been added to separate Tripal from Chado. Chado still serves as the primary storage location for data, but the new layer will allow for integration of data from other data sources. This beta version does not yet support any other data storage other than Chado. The full stable v3.0 release will.
  5. Ancillary data about Tripal Content Types are now "attached" as fields to Entities. This allows the site admin to full customize the layout of the site without writing PHP templates. Templates can still be used if desired, but now it's possible to create a much more custom layout than previously.
  6. This version now provides the first introduction of RESTful web services to Tripal. Remote programmers can now access data from a Tripal site using any scripting language they desire to retrieve data formatted in JSON-LD using the W3C Hydra vocabulary. Web services still require implementation of access controls, and a much richer querying structure. The full stable v3.0 release will have a mature RESTFul web services.
  7. To assist with layout of new content types with lots of attached fields a new tripal_ds module is provided that automatically creates new layouts for each content type using Display Suites. The layout is designed to resemble the Tripal v2 template based layout for consistency. But site admins are free to change these layouts using the Tripal Content Type graphical interface.
  8. Tripal v3 provides a migration tool to help ease the burden of converting your Tripal v2 nodes over to Tripal v3. It especially allows for use of your custom Tripal v2 templates even with Tripal v3 Entities. This will allow for faster upgrade to v3 while still affording a gradual transition from v2 templates to v3 layouts.

Some current limitations:

  1. The User's Guide is still not complete, although it will walk you through installation and setup of a very simple example genomics website.
  2. The Developer's Handbook and API documentation are not yet available. 
  3. The RESTful web services currently lack access controls and a more complicated query interface is needed.  These updates will be made in a later beta release and the stable version.
  4. Integration of non Chado data stores is not yet ready.  This should be ready in a future beta release and in the final stable version.
  5. Bugs!  Please let us know what you find.

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