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VuFind Developers Call Minutes: June 14, 2011

Attending: Filipe Bento, Lutz Biedinger, Demian Katz, Till Kinstler, Daniel Lovins, Tuan Nguyen, Eoghan Ó Carragáin, Luke O'Sullivan, Sean Purcell, Graham Seaman, Ernie Simuro


1. New/Updated JIRA Tickets

  • VUFIND-274 – Eoghan has shared some BeanShell code to extract full text from URLs found in 856 fields of MARC records.
  • VUFIND-340 – Graham has shared a password security patch that only applies to ILS authentication; this probably won't end up in the trunk because it is a fairly specialized solution, but it may be useful for some people as a workaround until something more universal comes along.
  • VUFIND-412 / VUFIND-413 – some new OAI harvesting features have been requested; these tickets capture the requests. If anyone has time to work on these, please feel free to claim the tickets – Demian may get to them eventually, but they are not currently high priority for him.
  • VUFIND-414 – this ticket points out a limitation of the current bulk export feature: it skips records that don't support the requested export format in their record drivers. We should either add better export support to the base IndexRecord driver or we should add better error handling to at least report how many records were skipped (unfortunately a difficult thing to achieve due to the architecture). Ideally, both efforts should be implemented in parallel.
  • VUFIND-415 – Bug fix for SFX resolver driver courtesy of Graham; Demian will commit soon.
  • VUFIND-416 – Expanded Aleph driver courtesy of Graham; not yet complete, but please take a look and comment if you are interested in Aleph driver development – Demian will commit an updated driver once various parties working on extensions have reconciled their changes.

2. Wiki Upgrade

Demian has upgraded the wiki to a newer version (2009-12-25c); this adds better spam cleanup tools along with functional enhancements like a better edit mode. There are still newer releases available, and upgrading will continue as time allows.

3. Solr 3.1 Update

Still waiting for Bob Haschart to return from vacation and update SolrMarc; hopefully there will be news by the next call.

Apparently the BASE team (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) is already using Solr 3.1 with VuFind.

4. Architecture Improvements

Demian has made some progress on the VuFind 2.0 Proof of Concept. The rudiments of search object and record driver functionality are in place, so the code is now capable of performing a search and rendering a list of results. Many important details are missing (facets, proper YAML configuration parsing, etc.), but the demo is getting closer to becoming functional.

The new architecture is a bit more modular than the old design:

  • Rather than a single search object, there are three classes: Search Options (to load all possible settings from configuration files), Search Parameters (to load preferences from the user) and Search Results (which takes a Search Parameters object and then becomes a representation of the search results).
  • Rather than a single record driver object, there are now two parts: the driver, which handles template selection and other “meta-” concerns, and the model, which contains all of the get methods for individual fields like title, author, etc. This makes the driver code less cluttered and gives us a place to put public data access methods for use in templates specified by the driver.

Overall, the Zend Framework seems to be doing a good job. Some big wins:

  • Good auto-loader support and a cleaner layout for file organization (though we may still need to have some discussions about where certain things belong).
  • Exception-driven error handling (no more repeated checking for PEAR_Error objects – we can be modern and use try..catch everywhere).
  • Lots of built-in support classes that take the place of deprecated PEAR features.

Demian's biggest concern at the moment is that the PHP-only templates have a tendency to become ugly and unreadable to an even greater degree than the old Smarty templates (due largely to greater verbosity – <? and ?> instead of { and }, lots of $this→…, etc.). It may be worth brainstorming/discussing ways of addressing this problem in the future.

5. New Mobile Theme

Tuan is going to look into these problems noticed by Filipe:

  • Filters cannot be removed after using narrow search
  • There is no confirmation message after saving a search (but it does work)

We also discussed these other items:

  • Search history is only available in user area; should it be available elsewhere? Should we rename the link from “History” to “Searches”? Demian will rename to Searches – group agreed this was more clear
  • There is no “back to results” navigation from the record view Tuan will look into
  • No related records are visible on record view Tuan will look into
  • When adding to lists, there is currently no way to create a new list medium priority
  • Existing lists cannot currently be edited low priority

Luke may have time to help with mobile development soon.

More assistance with mobile development would be appreciated – if you are interested, please let us know.

6. Cart Functionality

Luke has shared his patch with several people, and many problems have been fixed – but there are still some issues yet to be resolved. Progress is being made, and Demian plans to do a code review later in the week.

7. VuFind 1.2 Release Date / Key Features

The consensus is that we should get a release as soon as possible. For that reason, we'll hold off on incorporating Solr 3.1 until VuFind 1.3 – VuFind 1.2 will be released on August 1, 2011 and will add (among other things) expanded hold support. Demian will begin rounding up missing translations and working on upgrade scripts as soon as possible.

Once 1.2 is released, we can merge the Solr 3.1 branch into the trunk – this will give us plenty of time to test it before VuFind 1.3 is released.

8. Other Topics?

Servilio was unable to attend this week's call, but he posted some comments about the installation process on the vufind-tech list. Please take a look and respond to his message if you have anything to add.

Tuan asked about updating the trunk Unicorn driver since it is out of date; Demian believes there are licensing restrictions preventing this from happening (hence the separate vufind-unicorn project). Demian will email Andrew and see if he knows anything about the status – we should either get new code into the trunk (if legal) or replace the trunk driver with instructions on how to get current code (if it is still necessary to jump through hoops).

Next Call

The next call will be Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 10am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT - 4:00).

developers_call/minutes20110614.txt · Last modified: 2015/12/09 12:09 by andre_l