News in Brief – Primo; January 2020
The IGeLU Primo Working Group enters the new year fully staffed. After an election in NERS last autumn, three new members joined the group: Paul Harding (University of York), Gaith Bader (University of Sydney), and Noémie Ammann (ETH Zürich). Paul and Gaith will be helping with the imminent product enhancement process, while Noémie is our liaison to the Content Working Group. We are very happy that we’ve been able to re-establish this role, as the upcoming transition to CDI will have a major impact on the Primo experience. To see the whole Primo WG crew, please visit https://igelu.org/products/primo
The extra hands are most welcome for editing and preparing enhancement requests for the 2020 Primo NERS ballot. The deadline for new submissions has just passed, and now begins the process of clarifying and deduping requests. Again this year, Bettina Kaldenberg (University of Mannheim) will lead the team of WG members in this effort, along with colleagues from our ELUNA sister group. If you have submitted one of the 122 requests, you can expect that one from the team may contact you for further information if needed. The voting itself is scheduled for the first three weeks of March.
A continued focus for the WG these years is the future for the product as it is developed in two “flavours”: Primo and Primo VE. Amin Hussain (University of Manchester) is co-chairing one of the task forces that came out of the 2018 Primo VE summit report, to improve OTB MARC21 normalisation rules. The WG takes effort to scrutinize the realisation of the projected alignment of the two Primo flavours. Similarly, we keep a close eye on the extent to which new developments are aimed primarily or exclusively at Primo VE. We discuss these matters on a regular basis with ExLibris Primo Management. Another topic for these calls is the QA of new releases, as the WG is increasingly concerned about the many errors that have been introduced in the product updates lately.
Accessibility and workflow testing are two other important initiatives, both spearheaded by Lee Houghton (University of Nottingham). ExLibris continue to include accessibility fixes in their Primo releases, and recently Lee has been working with Mark Weiler (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) to figure out a way for Primo customers to co-ordinate accessibility testing and reporting of problems via Salesforce. Mark has already established a network of contacts in his region who email each other with details of accessibility problems that they have encountered. If one institution detects a problem and shares details of it, others in the network repeat the tests and raise a case if they can replicate the problem. Lee has joined this informal network. With greater collaboration, the hope is that weight of numbers will push accessibility issues further up the Ex Libris queue for fixing.
The Primo workflow testing task force was created in June 2019 with a mix of volunteers from a technical and non-technical background. The aim of the group is to document workflows carried out on the Primo UI (such as placing a reservation) and use a piece of software called Cypress https://www.cypress.io/ to create automated tests that can be shared with the community and run by any library on their own version of Primo, using their own local parameters (such as view code). The idea is to create a repository of unit tests that can be chained together to automatically replicate many different user actions in Primo. The repository (hosted in GitHub) is taking shape and a Cypress test for signing in to Primo with Shibboleth is due soon.