My Koha 3 Repo at Github

Hey All,

I’ve decided to avoid the messy business of setting up my own Koha git repository ( at least for now ). Instead, I’ve set up a Github account here.  I’ve configured github to update my twitter account ( kylemhall ) each time I make a push, so if you want to track my changes you can watch that. I may even set up automatic posting to this blog. I will be continuously rebasing from git.koha.org and pushing those updates so it will be up to date with the latest changes from the official git repository.

Kyle

Know your sources…

Here’s a interesting article comparing and contasting the Koha, Evergree and Rome ILS systems. I stumbled upon it because it happens to link to my Koha VMWare Appliance page. Linky.

Koha 3 Development Updates

It’s been awhile since I posted last so I thought I’d let everyone know what I’m doing development-wise involving Koha 3

We are about 5 weeks out from the point where we have to be ready to switch over from using the dev_week development version of Koha to 3 which is based on dev_week, but with many differences. To get ready, I’ve had to port a number of features from dev_week to Koha 3. These include:

  • Porting my Reserves System updates from dev_week to Koha 3
  • Porting my Rotating Collections system from dev_week to Koha 3
  • Adding the ability to pay fines by an amount paid, rather than paying individual fines one at a time.
  • Porting my ‘Fines On Return’ system where actual fines are not generated until an item is checked in. I think it’s a great system and our librarians definitely prefer it to Koha’s standard fines system.
  • Porting my Clubs & Services feature from dev_week to Koha 3. This is the largest and complex addition to Koha I have made, and I’m done with the basic feature, but I haven’t sent a patch yet because I’d like to add some more bells & whisles to it first.

Hopefully I’ll have a public Git repository up soon so anyone can pull these updates from me instead of waiting for them to make it into Koha 3 proper.

In addition, I’ve set up a new website for KUDOS, the US based Koha Users & Developers Group. It’s located at kudos.koha.org.

Kyle

More LibKi Updates!

I just completed the work necessary to run the LibKi client on Windows! The instructions are here. We are already running the LibKi kiosk software on about 10 Ubuntu thin clients, with around 50 to 75 unique user’s logging in each day.

The system has worked very well, the few issues we have are connected to the fact that I have customized our particular LibKi installation to integrate with the Koha ILS. By doing this, we are able to have a single username and password for each patron, for both Koha and LibKi. Those issues have been resolved, and we have not had any problems since.

Reserves System Update

Here’s a screen shot of the new reserves system I’ve been working on.

New Reserves System

As you can see, the pulldown where a librarian used to choose a reserve’s priority is gone. Instead priorities are altered with the arrows on the left-hand side.

The ‘lock’ icon on the right hand side allows one to ‘lock’ the priority of the reserve. If the reserve at priority 3 is locked, then the next person in line checks out the reserved book, the person at priority 4 will become priority 2 and priority 3 will remain the same. In this way reserves ‘flow’ around locked priorities. This features was requested by our librarians so that someone with a reserve can go on a long vacation without losing their place in line, and without holding up other people who could have read and returned the reserved item in the meantime.

The down arrow to the right of the lock is the ‘lowest priority’ switch. When enabled, this switched keeps the reserve at the bottom of the list. If a new reserve is added, that reserve will get a higher priority then the ‘lowest priority’ reserves. This feature was added because our library loans books to people in group homes. These people get to keep books for periods of months. Because of this, they only get reserved books if no one else has said item on reserve.

The ‘X’ icons to the right of this ‘lowest priority’ icons are ‘cancel reserve’ buttons. This replaces the ‘del’ option that was in the priority number pulldown menu.

Another new feature is the ‘not needed by’ date. If a date is put in here, and the reserve is not fulfilled by the given date, the reserve is automatically canceled. This is useful for students who are doing research for a paper, and don’t need a reserve if they have not received the item by the time the paper must be turned in, and other situations of the like.

Today is Koha Day!

Hello All,

The Meadville Public Library has finally switched over to Koha! For those who don’t know, I work for the Crawford County Federated Library System as an IT Technician. My primary job for the past year and a half has been to work on the Open Source ILS Koha so that it would meet our needs as a replacement ILS. I created a new Librarian Interface, add a Clubs and Services module, added a Rotating Collections module, and submitted many bug fixes and small features. I also created a side-project called Koha-Tools that houses many useful additions that didn’t belong as part of Koha itself, such as a replacement fines generator, a set of fancy reports, a Firefox extension, and many other things.

The CCFLS also paid the company Liblime to ingrate the Zebra indexing engine into Koha, thus speeding it up well over one-hundred fold. Liblime and the rest of the Koha team gave us tons of help getting up and running. I have to admit that when I first looked at the source code for Koha, I was intimidated, but now I know the system inside and out.

I’ve never seen a more shining example of Open Source Software at work. We give, and others benefit. Others give and we benefit. It’s a great system.

Kyle