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VuFind Developers Call Minutes: November 10, 2015

Attending: Guenter Hipler, Demian Katz, Claas Kazzer, André Lahmann, Jochen Lienhard, Ere Maijala, Brad Patton


1. Development Updates

JIRA Tickets

  • VUFIND-1131 - This ticket suggests a UI improvement for renewals.
  • VUFIND-1133 - This ticket relates to the fact that auto-focus of search boxes is not currently working due to a bug in the Bootstrap autocomplete library.
  • VUFIND-1134 - This ticket requests a Libraryh3lp chat plugin; Demian has implemented one.

Several spam tickets have been deleted.

Pull Requests

  • #496 - merged - improved configuration reading for combined search.
  • #497 - in progress - work on relators for the “improved author indexing” PR.
  • #498 - merged - bug fix for retrieving multiple records by ID while sharding.
  • #499 - merged - made the “similar” recommendation module backend-agnostic (was previously hard-coded to “Solr”).
  • #500 - in progress - work on adding shard configuration to combined search columns.
  • #501 - in progress - work on removing bundled dependencies from VuFind.
  • #502, #503 - merged - small fixes/improvements to AJAX tab loading.
  • #504 - merged - Translation fix.
  • #505 - merged - Template typo fix.
  • #506 - merged - Adds comment to httpd-vufind.conf regarding configuration of Shibboleth with Apache 2.4 (previous comment was 2.2-specific).

2. Development Planning

Improved Author Indexing

André and Demian have been working on getting the indexing and display of author relators right; a solution has nearly been reached. Some progress has also been made on indexing corporate authors separately from non-corporate authors to reduce the amount of MARC-specific logic coded into VuFind's PHP.

Solr Upgrade

Demian has been doing some research into docValues. See comments on VUFIND-1100 for more details. He will continue experimenting in the near future.

Ere mentioned that National Library of Finland is using docvalues on dynamic fields currently without obvious performance problems. However, they are experiencing some problems on their development instance which they hope will be resolved by the release of Solr 5.4. Demian suggested that it may be wise to wait on merging Solr 5 to master until 5.4 is released so that we can confirm that it helps with performance.

Javascript Reorganization

More tests have been written, and the test suite has been adjusted to allow both Selenium and Zombie.js drivers to be used (for either convenient headless testing, or for the ability to watch the tests executing in a real browser). Unfortunately, there are still some challenges getting the tests to pass consistently – nothing wrong with VuFind itself but rather with the inherent challenges of web testing. Chris and Demian continue to work on this.

3. VuFind 3 Roadmapping

Two main topics from Guenter:

1.) Refactor application to be more component-based.

2.) Try to build API for some functionality.

These goals should be approached incrementally. First step: spend two or three months gathering information, getting an idea of what might be possible.

One example: factoring out covers to a separate module. (Challenge: refactoring while still potentially allowing hooks to other VuFind components like the theme system for retrieving images or the search system for retrieving image-specific metadata).

Another possibility: creating a stand-alone ILS driver module (potentially with its own DAIA/PAIA API).

For next year, Markus (Guenter's colleague) will be making steps in the direction of an API.

Guenter has built a search API prototype using APIgility. Ere is also working on an API prototype (see here – but note that this is in early stages; handle with care).

Demian favored initially searching for “low hanging fruit” to factor out in simple ways (just reusable code, not ZF2 modules). This should make the core smaller make the more complex problems easier to analyze.

André pointed out that components may help spread out maintenance responsibility for the project (i.e. different people could focus on maintaining different components).

We also briefly discussed the other items from the VuFind Summit roadmapping session.

Demian will try to find time to move forward on the permissions discussed in an email earlier in the year.

We still need volunteers to work on some of the language file improvements.

Demian has made progress on de-bundling the vendor directory (see PR #501). This can probably be merged soon; Guenter will review.

Ere is working on asynchronous loading of the holding tab.

New Solr spelling options are on André's to-do list (and he will communicate with the swissbib team about their work in similar directions).

Demian will investigate Solr date range fields.

André mentioned that his discussions with Oliver about overcoming limitations of displaying ILS data in VuFind may help inspire improvements to the currently limited and possibly overcomplicated interface for dealing with availability status.

Demian will investigate the cover generator feature requests discussed at the Summit.

Demian will work on documenting command line tools.

4. Next Call Date/Platform

There has been some renewed discussion about the call platform; there may be a need to find a more Linux-friendly call mechanism without the 10-person limitation of Google Hangouts. We attempted a demo of Jitsi but were not successful; at this point, it seems like WebEx will continue to work as our primary call mechanism, since all participants were able to call in successfully. However, Jitsi is worth watching as a potential open source alternative, and we may have better results if we can set up a private instance rather than attempting to use the public demo.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, November 24 is not going to be a good date for a call. Instead, we will wait for December 8.

5. Other Topics?

None this time.

Next Call

The next call will be Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 9am Eastern Standard Time (14:00 GMT).

developers_call/minutes20151110.txt · Last modified: 2015/12/21 17:18 by demiankatz