Lodel is getting an upgrade!

Lodel, a free digital publishing program used to publish content on OpenEdition Journals, OpenEdition Books, and Calenda, is getting an upgrade. Plans to migrate from Lodel 1.0 to Lodel 2.0 began two months ago. The major, multi-phase project was initiated by OpenEdition for the benefit of publishers and the academic community. OpenEdition has asked SensioLabs to assist its technical teams in the overhaul, which will help improve maintenance and create new features.

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Lodel was first developed in 2001 by Ghislain Picard, who wrote most of initial code, and by Marin Dacos. A number of contributors later helped refine various versions of the software along the way, until version 1.0 was released in 2011. Now, Lodel’s architecture and code are being modernized.

Currently, there is an open-source version of Lodel’s code that third parties can use in their own infrastructure. Lodel 2.0 will also be open source and will be usable outside of OpenEdition.

The Lodel upgrade consists of migrating its code to the Symfony framework to create a permanent, stable architecture that should work with future updates.

Symfony is an open-source PHP framework for the development of web applications. Originally designed by web agency SensioLabs to build client websites, Symfony was released in 2005 under an MIT open-source license and is now a leading framework in the PHP world.

Project Phases

The migration from Lodel 1.0 to Lodel 2.0 consists of replacing the current aging program with a newer, more modern one. The first major step is to rewrite the code; the interface redesign will come later. There are several phases to the upgrade, which will be completed in 2022.

Phase 1: Rewriting the code

This phase was planned out using Scrum methodology and has a defined timeframe. It consists of rewriting and improving the current code while retaining the same principles: distinguishing between content and form, maintaining features specific to scientific publications, and minimizing dependency between features to facilitate maintenance and updates. Phase 1 began two months ago and should be completed this fall.

Phase 2: Preparing for the switchover

In this phase, we will prepare all the technical details needed to run the new program. We will stabilize the application, migrate data flows (ensuring that outgoing flows to other applications continue to work with the new version of Lodel), migrate journal and publisher websites whose code is not yet standardized (loading journal and publisher websites into Symfony will encourage the use of shared code that is same across all websites), and automate the switchover (using a switchover script that executes multiple tasks quickly and seamlessly).

Phase 2 also involves writing user documentation and updating Lodel tutorials.

During this phase, both versions of the software, old and new, will exist simultaneously. One will be live (i.e., users can enter and edit content), and the other will operate in a pre-production environment (available in read-only mode and for testing purposes).

Phase 3: Switching over

This is the shortest phase of the project, consisting of giving the command to switch from the current version of Lodel to the new one. The switchover will not take place before the second quarter of 2022. Users will not be able to write to Lodel for a time that will be determined in the coming months. However, users will still be able to read content on OpenEdition platforms.

Phase 4: Developing new features

Once the migration to Symfony is complete, new features will be developed as part of the EquipEx+ COMMONS project. Symfony will be able to connect to other free software components used by our communities. The upgrade will also facilitate efforts to modernize interfaces and mock-ups, some of which are already in the works.


The OpenEdition team will keep its partners and communities informed of the upgrade’s progress and its impact on their work. We are also happy to discuss and share any information on the Lodel upgrade.

If you have questions:

  • For journals: revues[at]openedition.org
  • For publishers: books-support[at]openedition.org
  • For Calenda users: calenda[at]openedition.org
  • For business incubators using Lodel: contact your representative or email assistance[at]openedition.org
  • If you have installed Lodel: lodel-users[at]groupes.renater.fr (once you have joined the listserv)
  • Other: contact[at]openedition.org

Cite this blog post
OpenEdition team (2021, June 17). Lodel is getting an upgrade! Open Electronic Publishing. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/siad

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