Who drives the bus?

In late April I attended a symposium on supporting cultural heritage with open source software. It was a great symposium, with lots of very interesting discussion. One thing was brought to my attention though, that I wanted to write about here, is that there was a perception that the development of features in Koha is driven by the developers. I’m not sure how this was arrived at but it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact of the many thousand features in Koha, less than 50 (and 50 is probably too high) have come from anything other than directly from a library’s desire.
Developers may drive things like the switch to Template::Toolkit, or adding DBIX::Class, but almost every end user feature has come as a result of a library asking for it. There are no focus groups, no marketing departments deciding what features to add based on what they think people will buy. Features are added to meet the needs of users, when/if those needs are articulated.

I’ll finish with this quote from irc

oh except that time .. when katipo decided to write an ils just for fun, then forced HLT to use it