August 2020 Status Update
There are so many amazing new features and improvements ready or nearly ready to be released! We had been stacking up for the H5P Conference 2020 which had to be postponed, and now our cupboards are overloaded with surprises that are yet to be revealed, and probably will be at a virtual release party.
Interactive Book is not a surprise, as it was first introduced at the previous H5P Conference and it is high time this fundamental new content type becomes available for the H5P community. I hope it will be well received and we’re working on the next version already. The upcoming version will allow users to build responsive layouts with multiple columns on wider screens and fewer columns on more narrow screens.
It has been some time since the last significant release and some self-hosters haven’t heard from us in a while. Some have even started to get worried.
As you’ll see over the next few months when we start to release all the goodies we’ve been stacking up there is no reason to worry; development is going faster than ever and the H5P Core Team is larger and better funded through H5P.com. We’re still not able to keep up with the growth of the H5P Community in terms of handling every request that is coming in to the H5P Core Team from the open source community, but we are catching up and we’re continuously hiring more staff.
The lack of bigger releases for the open source version of H5P is not the only reason some self-hosters have been worried. It is easy to see that the H5P Supporter Network has not been a success. Luckily, income from H5P.com has been able to compensate for this, and we’re now considering merging the Supporter Network with H5P.com. A merge between H5P.com and the Supporter Network will mean that current H5P.com customers get more benefits(votes and recognition) and self-hosters may sign up for a better Supporter Network that also includes premium H5P features rewarding them for supporting H5P. The premium features will also make the formalities easier as joining the Supporter Network in the future can be done as a normal software purchase. There are open source users out there eager to support H5P financially, but finding it hard to subscribe to the current Supporter Network. The premium features that are coming are amazing and will also help convince the “money people” within the organization to support H5P. We are focusing on making premium features that either only improves the authoring experience or require special server side technologies that we couldn't have included in the PHP frameworks we support anyway. We will stay true to our vision and make sure as much of the content as possible remains portable between all the H5P enabled sites.
We did one major announcement earlier this year, the H5P OER Hub. It has taken more time than expected, and now gets extra delayed because of the holiday season in Norway, but I’m hopeful it will be fully ready soon. It is the heart of our vision and we’re committed to finishing and releasing it as fast as we can. The Hub will make it super easy to share OER content, templates, show-cases and examples allowing other community members to find both inspiration and ready made content they may customize and use. I very much look forward to releasing it! We’ll be sharing marketing videos with the beta tester group soon to get feedback.
As soon as the H5P OER Hub is done we’ll also start planning a virtual version of the postponed H5P Conference. We’ll probably encourage those who were to present in-person to share the content of their presentations as H5P resources (Interactive Videos, Course Presentations, Interactive Books etc.) that we make available to the world and in addition we’ll try to find the best possible way to do Q&A both synchronously and asynchronously. We will also try to find ways to replace some of the social aspects and conduct the releases virtually in an exciting way. Please share any ideas below on what has been working and not been working for you if and when hosting or participating in virtual conferences.