As is always the case this was the best Kohacon yet. Dublin is a fantastic city and the hospitality of Interleaf, PTFS Europe and the Dublin Business School is second to none.
The conference was held at the Dublin Business School, who are big champions of open source and open access. The school uses Koha, Moodle, Shibboleth, eprints (and I think others I have forgotten). It was spread over 5 days, 2 of presentations, 2 of workshops, and one day of cultural activities.
The talks were uniformly excellent, covering a wide range of topics, from Business analysis to migration stories. One of my favourites was Marcel giving the best non technical talk about containers (docker mainly) I’ve ever seen.
The workshops were also well received, with my favourite being the one on plugins.
But the best part was again the people. Kohacon are about kanohi ki te kanohi, about restrengthening bonds and creating new ones. It’s vitally important that online communities make the most of any in person time they can.
And because it’s me I’m going to finish with food photos.
David Nind is one of a kind. Neither he nor the organisation he works for use Koha, but he has been active in the community for many many years. He helps with maintaining the wiki, running the twitter account, answering many many emails on the mailing list, attending user groups and so much more. The work he does has been incredibly valuable and is a major part of the success of Koha.
So thank you very much David
Not only does Joy describe Bibframe by using the ontology of Tutu, but she probably currently knows the most about data migrations to Koha. This would be neat in itself, but she never hesitates to share this knowledge by answering questions on the mailing lists, attending and speaking at Kohacons, and participating on IRC.
Joy is a person of great integrity and she brings that to her work on Koha. The community and the project are lucky to have her.
I have never met Josef, but according to git it has been 685 days since his first patch was accepted into the Koha code base. He now has 42 patches with a total of nearly 3000 lines changed, which in itself is a great achievement. But even more importantly, Josef is a committed tester. He is currently leading the number of sign offs for April, and is second only to Marc Véron (unsung hero number 31) in terms of sign offs for 2017.
Jo Ransom met Josef in the Czech Republic while on her Koha world tour and speaks highly of him. If I have this correctly he works for a University that has been using Koha for quite a few years now. It is so great to see users becoming contributors also.
I did a little infographic showing a brief summary of 2016 for the Koha project, hope it is useful/fun for someone.
As most of you will know I have been working on Koha since 1999. Most of you will also know that without others at the beginning like Rachel, Simon, Olwen, Rosalie and Jo Koha would simply not exist. What people people might not be aware of though is that the one person who has been with me throughout the whole 18 years, that Koha has been worked on, is my wife Laurel.
She wasn’t my wife when I started in fact we had only recently met. But the stories of my Koha journey are intertwined with my relationship with Laurel. Without her constant support I would have given up a long time ago. A few years ago I wrote an unsung heroes of Koha post about Laurel.
Without her support I would never have been to travel the places I have, do the work on Koha I do in the weekends and evenings and so much more.
All of this is a long lead in to say that now Laurel needs your help (only if you are in a position where you can of course). Laurel is an art educator and an artist. Neither of which, unless you are incredibly fortunate, are careers that provide much in the way of financial rewards.
Laurel has battled a lot of health problems throughout her life and her art is one way she deals with it. She is currently working on 2 shows to exhibit
And is currently fundraising to cover a small part of the costs. We’d love to be able to cover the costs ourselves but unfortunately we can’t. So if you want to help Laurel out (and be part of making some fantastic art) which indirectly helps me out, which indirectly helps Koha out, please do. And if you don’t we’re still friends 🙂
Boosted fundraising site
Somehow (most likely due to my inability to say no) I ended up attending 3 conferences (and speaking at 2 of them) in 3 weeks. Two of them in Australia and the third in India. Apart from being really really tiring they were all great.
First up was Linux Conference Australia, held in Geelong (an hour out of Melbourne). It was a full week conference, with the first 2 days being miniconfs then the next three conference proper. I attended Open Source and Bioinformatics, and the Community Leadership Summit X at LA miniconfs. They were both excellent, Bioinformatics was something I knew nothing about beforehand so I learned a lot. The Community Leadership summit was really good, due mostly to the attendees. The programme was great as it always is. I spoke on Thursday, I think it went ok, there was a good write up at LWN. The social track was a highlight (drinks in a brewery are always fun) as well and I met and talked to a lot of lovely people.
Next up, I caught the train to Melbourne, and enjoyed some of the lunar new year festivities over the weekend.
On Monday, we gave an Intro to Koha talk in Melbourne, which was really well attended.
Followed by a bunch of meetings then a Koha user group meetup and dinner after. The Koha user group meets in the Melbourne Athenaeum, a fantastic place.
The next three days were the VALA conference, a definite change of pace to LCA, but interesting nonetheless. I didn’t get any photos during the conference, but of course I got some photos of some of the fantastic food on offer in Southbank.
On Friday Kris and I visited the National gallery, which had a great exhibition of Warhol and Ai Weiwei, then flew back to NZ. I had the weekend with my family, and on Monday morning flew out to India to the National Koha Conclave.