Category Archives: Koha

That’s not what they asked.

If someone is excited about doing something, and is asking if anyone would like to help. And if your response is to lecture them on what they should be doing instead, then maybe just keep quiet.

They didn’t ask if you wanted to critique them, just if you wanted to collaborate.

But what do I know, let’s just bikeshed it to death.

Koha dropping security support

The Koha developers and users have decided that security and privacy of libraries and their users data is no longer a concern. When asked about this decision, Chris Cormack, one of the original Koha developers said: “Naw, it’s not really an issue anymore”. When pressed about the decision to store users passwords in plain text after 15 years of encryption/hashing, he said “Hey, if no one else is going to bother safeguarding the data, why should we ?”


Summary of the Catalyst Academy Koha group – 2014

This year we had 8 students working on the Koha project as part of the Catalyst Open Source Academy. They all were very productive as the statistics below show.

The number of patches pushed  (and the percentage of the ones pushed that week)

Francesca Moore 2 1.4%
Roman Amor 2 1.4%
alex_h 2 1.4%
daniel 1 0.7%
Aleisha Amohia 1 0.7%
Emma Heath 1 0.7%
Tom Houlker 1 0.7%
merllissia 1 0.7%


Developers with the most changed lines
Tom Houlker 245 4.2%
 Roman Amor 36 0.6%
Aleisha Amohia 23 0.4%
Francesca Moore 10 0.2%
alex_h 6 0.1%
merllissia 3 0.1%
Emma Heath 3 0.1%
daniel 2 0.0%

 Patches contributed

Catalyst Open Source Academy : 11 (7.9%)

Lines changed

Catalyst Open Source Academy : 328 (5.7%)


Catalyst Open Source Academy   11 (3.4%)

2013 – WTF Happened?

With still 9 days to go I’ve decided to do a bit of a wrap up for the year.

It was a pretty massive year in a lot of ways starting with


  • This year we had the highest number of commits ever, as of today 2619 commits
  • 82 different people had code committed into Koha
  • 32 were new developers
  • At least (probably about 4 times this many really) 167 libraries liberated themselves by moving to Koha
  • 3.12 and 3.14 were released on time and with no major issues
  • Kohacon in Reno was a great time.
  • The NZ trademark issue was finally settled with the Community winning it’s challenge to Liblime/PTFS’s application.
  • I wrote 50 patches, signed off 182 patches, did QA on 72 and when doing release maintenance pushed 248.

Personal Stuff

  • Maui came to the 4th birthday party of Te Po Atarau.
  • Kahurangi turned 7 and had a space party.
  • I turned 40
  • Laurel had ankle reconstruction surgery, that resulted in a bunch of complications that meant I did the school run for most of the year.
  • I gave 11 presentations. (It would have been 12 but I bailed on one)
  • I survived 3 Whisky O’Clocks
  • I travelled 36,577 km

Finally that’s over – PTFS/Liblime Trademark on Koha not registered

As most of you are aware on Wednesday we found out that the Trademark application had been rejected. Which is a massive relief for all involved in the Koha project. To quote myself:


“While it hasn’t slowed down the progress of Koha, it has been a dark shadow hanging over us for nearly four years,” he said.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in helping us, the many people who donated money, Buddle Findlay for representing the trust, my employer Catalyst, and AJ Pietras and Co who provided legal support, as well as the many thousands of people who sent well-wishes.”

Here is a list of the publicity around this decision.

Please let me know if you spot any more

My Kohacon13 writeup

Most people have already beaten me to this, but I want to do a write up from my perspective anyway. So in a continuing trend, this Kohacon was the best ever, as was the one before it, and the one before that…

What made it so?


2013-10-23 12.40.002013-10-19 07.26.16Reno is about 1,300m above sea level, which is a hell of a lot higher than the 80 or so metres above sea level that I live at, and believe me for the first few days I really felt that. If you add to that the humidity levels, which were as low as 4% some days. (I don’t think I saw a single cloud in 13 days) and you would think I would have hated it. But you would be wrong, it is really really really pretty, and the people (at least the ones I met) are really friendly. Heck, cars stopped (on 4 lane roads) to let us cross, in NZ they’d speed up.

Atlantis Hotel & Casino:

2013-10-23 11.12.462013-10-13 18.26.59

2013-10-13 18.26.46 Ok I admit by the end of it, I was sick of the lights, smokey atmosphere and noise on the casino floor. But the rooms were a lovely retreat away from that organised chaos. The bed was fantastic, the room was super clean and the internet worked well. I couldn’t have been happier with my room.

The conference venue was also top class, things went as smoothly as any conference I’ve been in and the layout of the room, with dual screens was great.

Washoe County Library System:

2013-10-21 13.53.44

I want to extend huge thanks to Nancy and her team, who organised and managed a conference that ran without any major glitches.  But not only did they play a huge part in making Kohacon a success, but they also shared with those of us who stayed for the hackfest their self made self-check machines. The code of which is all open source of course, so you can do the same.

The Presenters:

2013-10-16 09.15.33

2013-10-17 16.30.12As usual we had a great crop of speakers this year. There was only one that was a little bit vendorish, but the rest were great. Some of my highlights were the presentation about Koha use at Redeemers University in Nigeria. Their use of Koha helped them improve their ranking. Amber Hunt & Elliot Anders from Marlboro College talked about their use of CUFTS & GODOT, a way to free yourself from proprietary ERMS and Link resolver chains. Fred King who talked about using Koha as a citation manager. As well as pretty much everyone else except that Chris Cormack guy.

The Attendees


We had a wide range of attendees, librarians from all types of libraries, and developers from all over the world. People from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, France, Italy, UK, Nigeria, Barbados, Argentina, Germany and the other countries I am bound to have missed.

Lake Tahoe (and surrounds)

I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.