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.


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.