PKP Sprint

March 28th, 2014 by  | 1 Comment

We recently held our first (but certainly not our last) in-person sprint development session, on March 9-10, 2014, bringing PKP’s developers and outside contributors together to build shared experience working intensively on a limited agenda. The sprint was a lightweight unconference-style event, with a focus on outcomes that could be achieved within the limits of the two-day event. Volunteers lead subgroups on specific subjects, the subgroups had time to work on deliverables, and opportunities to communicate with the larger group.

This was a very successful event, and it was a particular pleasure to work with all the participants in person as we don’t often get that opportunity. Aside from the PKP team, the following people participated:

  • Nina Belojevic from the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL)
  • Bozana Bokan from the Freie Universität Berlin
  • Marc Bria from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Adam Doan from the University of Guelph (OCUL)
  • Ling He from York University (OCUL)
  • Karl Ward from CrossRef
  • Jen Whitney from Carleton University (OCUL)
  • Sean Zhao from the University of Toronto (OCUL)

Sprint topics and results

The subgroups worked on a variety of topics; some of which are ongoing projects and require more follow up and development. However, many of the results will be integrated in OJS 2.4.4, while others will appear in 2.4.5 and OJS 3.0.

Automated testing. This was a long-standing item on our wish list and was not yet properly resolved despite some good partial steps. Automatic unit testing has now been successfully incorporated into the source code repository, and major steps towards automatic integration testing will soon be completed. This work will drastically improve quality control for future releases. The PKP testing wiki documentation has also been improved.

CrossRef Metadata Deposits. A group of participants worked on a variety of issues related to CrossRef Metadata deposits, such as collecting funder information and ORCIDs on manuscript submission; depositing funder information, ORCIDs, license links, ‘free-to-read’ flags, full text links and abstracts with CrossRef; Verifying that the current deposit plugin follows best-practices; and auto-generating DOIs.

LOCKSS-O-Matic / PKP Private LOCKSS Network plugin. LOCKSS-O-Matic is a web-based front end to Private LOCKSS Networks. It will play a central role in the forthcoming PKP/OJS Private LOCKSS Network. The development roadmap is available at

Accessibility review. Recent legislation in Ontario (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) mandates WCAG 2.0 compliance for websites created or substantially revised after Jan. 1, 2014. The focus of the act is customer service, so the group focussed on reviewing publicly-accessible areas of OJS 2.4.x for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. Several improvements were made.

OJS 3.0a User Interface Review. Participants with a range of experience using OJS worked together to gain familiarity with OJS 3.0, as an initial step before involving a broader set of users. This was a two-way process; asking for input on a variety of matters and making some small changes on the spot.

OJS 2.4.x quick-improvements. We tackled some things in OJS 2.4.x that have been difficult for users, or that remained not very intuitive. We identified some of these “pain points” and then fixed as many as possible in an afternoon.

Image courtesy of Jason Nugent

Sprint work in progress
Image courtesy of Jason Nugent

One Comment on "PKP Sprint"

  1. Brian Gregg says:

    Excellent work all, I only wish I could have attended!

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