Opencast 2.2: Release Notes

Making good things better

By addressing more than 200 issues, this release focused on further improving the quality of Opencast.

Despite Opencast 2.2 being mainly a bugfix release, it also introduces some interesting features and improvements that leverage the value provided to users.

New Features and Improvements

  • Support for Job Weights - A major shortcoming of the job processing machinery of Opencast was that all jobs were treated equally by the job dispatcher. That made it hard to impossible to configure Opencast in a way to take full advantage of available processing resources. By the introduction of job weights, the job dispatcher can now more effectively dispatch jobs taking into account the load they will cause (job weight) so that a lot of light-weighted jobs may be dispatched without overloading your servers with heavy-weighted jobs
  • Stream Security - So far, the distribution artefacts themselves (“files on your servers”) were not protected. Malicious users could compile and publish lists of URLs that would allow anybody to directly download the distribution artefacts from your servers. Stream Security now provides additional security by protecting the actual distribution artefacts themselves using URL signing. This ensures that knowing the URLs of distribution artefacts won’t be not enough to download them from your servers. Besides, Opencast being capable of creating and verifying signed URLs, stream security plugins for both Apache and Wowza are available.
  • Zoom for Video Player - The player now supports zooming. This feature is particularly useful when having high resolution videos of blackboard presentations as students may now choose the regions of interest to them and focus on them.
  • Side-by-side Previews for the Video Editor - While still using a single-stream video player in the video editor, Opencast 2.2 now produces side-by-side previews for dual-stream videos so that users can finally see both streams in the Video Editor again
  • Improved Search Capabilities - Search now supports wildcards and logical operations which enable power users to take advantage of the powerful search capabilities of Opencast
  • Improved Systems Tables - The Systems tables have been vastly improved by means of fixing sorting, pagination, searching and filtering for all those tables. Additionally, the performance of these tables and the accompanying back-end mechanisms have been improved
  • Ingest of Partial Tracks - The ingest service has been extended to support partial tracks which allow capture agents to ingest tracks as sets of logically related files and let the Opencast backend post-process them into fully-fledged tracks. This relieves implementers of capture agent software from needing capture agent side processing capabilities in case of incomplete tracks
  • Published Column - The new column Published has been added to the events table providing a better overview of the publication status of events and a shortcut to publication channel URLs
  • Retractions Enforced - Deletion of events is now enforcing the retraction of published events to ensure that you do not end up with orphaned distribution artefacts
  • Additional ACL Actions - In additional to the built-in ACL actions read and write, administrators can now configure additional ACL actions that allow Opencast to provide third-party specific authorization information to third-party applications
  • Standard Metadata Configuration - While Opencast 2.0 has introduced support for extended metadata that allow adopters to map almost any metadata to Opencast, the standard metadata have not been configurable so far. With Opencast 2.2, the standard metadata can be configured. For example, it is now just a matter of configuration to make fields mandatory
  • New Workflow Operation Handlers - Several new workflow operation handlers have been added:
    • WOH partial-import is a powerful post-processing workflow operation for ingested partial tracks
    • WOH publish-configure replaces publish-internal
    • WOH retract-configure can retract publications of publish-configure (video editor previews can now be retracted)
    • WOH analyze-tracks sets workflow variables based on media package tracks that allow better dynamic control of workflow operation execution
  • Improved Workflow Operation Handlers - Some existing workflow operation handlers have been improved resulting in more flexible and powerful processing capabilities
    • WOH image can now extract multiple images at multiple positions in a single pass as well as encode to multiple output formats. Both absolute and relative times are supported.
    • WOH prepare-av can be configured more flexible considering its audio-muxing facilities
    • WOH publish-engage and WOH publish-configure can now retract existing publications to avoid multiple publication elements in publication channels
    • WOH composite can now be used with single tracks recordings
  • New Languages Supported - Support for six new languages has been added: Chinese Simplified, Dutch, Galician, Greek, Polish, Swedish
  • New Distributions - A combined admin-worker distribution has been added to make it possible to have a two-server installation as documented in our old docs.

Additional Notes About 2.2.1

Opencast 2.2.1 is a bug fix release that fixes some minor issues of Opencast 2.2.0. For more details, please have a look at the changelog.

Additional Notes About 2.2.2

Opencast 2.2.2 is a bug fix release that fixes some minor issues of Opencast 2.2.1. For more details, please have a look at the changelog.

Additional Notes About 2.2.3

Opencast 2.2.3 is a bug fix release that fixes some minor issues of Opencast 2.2.2. For more details, please have a look at the changelog.

Additional Notes About 2.2.4

Opencast 2.2.4 is a security bug fix release that fixes some issues of Opencast 2.2.x. For more details, please have a look at the changelog. Note that an update is recommended. For details, have a look at the upgrade guide.

Additional Notes About 2.2.5

Opencast 2.2.5 is a security bug fix release that fixes some issues of Opencast 2.2.x. It ports some import fixes from the 2.3.x branch. For more details, please have a look at the changelog. This will be the last 2.2.x release.

Release Process

Opencast 2.2 Release Managers

  • Lars Kiesow (Elan e.V.)
  • Sven Stauber (SWITCH)

Opencast 2.2 Release Schedule

Date Phase
April 4th 6th Feature Freeze (Cutting of release branch)
April 4th 6th - 24th Internal QA and bug fixing phase
  April 11th - 17th Review Test Cases (Dedicated team)
  April 18th - 24th Documentation Review
April 25th - May 15th Public QA phase
May 15th - June 1st Additional bug fixing phase
  May 25th - June 1st Translation week
June 2nd - June 12th Final QA phase (Check release readiness)
June 15th Release of Opencast 2.2