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VuFind® for Project Managers

It took my technical folks just a few hours to successfully install VuFind®. Now what should you, the project manager, do? This page is designed to help project managers form their initial “to-do” roadmap/list. Some project managers will have more tech. background, some less. I'm going for a middle-of-the-pack approach, but please feel free to edit / add your items!

Install patches

  • If the VuFind® release you installed has been around for a while, it is possible that there are known issues with it. Take a look at the JIRA issue manager and GitHub pull requests to get a feel for known issues and current work in progress. Perhaps your development team can fix some problems and contribute code back to the community.

Establish tracking practices for you and/or your team

  • Keep track of your changes. This will become very important if you have to upgrade to a new version of VuFind® in the future. If you are making a small number of changes, you could do something as simple as creating a Google Doc Spreadsheet to track directory, filename, date, changes made to file on that date, and a change reason. If you plan on making many complex changes, you should probably invest some time in learning about a change management package like Git. Also be sure to review the best practices on the Customizing VuFind® page.
  • Keep local documentation – for example, a wiki is a good way to list steps like import procedures for your institution.
  • Make sure everyone knows what tools to use.

Getting to know VuFind®

  • Set up your e-mail client to filter the VuFind-General and VuFind-Tech lists into a folder. There is an online search available of archives, and regular Google searching often turns up useful threads, but I found having local copies to be convenient and faster.
  • Join the community's Slack instance for real-time communication (see the support page).
  • Attend a Community Call to meet the team and get a sense of how development is handled.
  • Watch some Tutorial Videos.
  • Get to know Solr, which contains the data for your VuFind® installation. I liked the Solr wiki: http://wiki.apache.org/solr/FAQ
  • Edit a few view templates to get the hang of how they work. See the user interface customization page for more details. Adding a new field to search results by following the Displaying a Custom Field page might be a useful exercise.

Customizing for your library

  • Decide what order you want your facets to appear in and how you want them labelled, and edit the facets.ini file as described on the customizing facets page.
  • Decide whether you need to customize record display. If so, you may want to build a custom record driver or modify the templates of an existing one.
  • Decide if you want to tweak the relevance ranking. See the search customization page for details on how to do this. If you like how another library's setup is working, just email them – most VuFind® users are willing to share their settings.
  • Clean up any functions you aren't going to use right away, for example, “text this”, by turning them off in config.ini or removing them from the appropriate template. It's often better to eliminate a feature completely than to offer a feature that doesn't work the way you want or expect it to. Also, be sure to customize the default footer, as this contains some dummy links that don't actually go anywhere.
  • See the Production Checklist for some additional details you should be sure to attend to prior to going live.

FAQs for Project Managers

Q. Where can I see what's going on with Solr/Jetty/PHP? 
A. You can see what searches are being sent to Solr in several ways:

- Look in solr/vufind/logs or solr/logs (depending on your VuFind® version) and you should see a file for each day there have been searches, filled with the queries as-sent. - in config.ini, turn debug=true near the top. Now the queries will appear in your web browser as you search VuFind®.

Q. How do I change XXXX about VuFind®? 
A. Here are the functions, directories and files you'll probably work with the most:

Changing the web displays (i.e. HTML)

See the User Interface Customization page.

Changing the relevance ranking

See the notes on weighting on the Search Customization page for details.

You may also want to change solr/biblio/conf/schema.xml, which controls how your data is processed at index time. For example, to turn off “stemming,” you would remove a filter from this schema.xml file. You might find this page helpful in understanding the processing involved.

administration/vufind_for_project_managers.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/13 14:25 by demiankatz