Kohacon day 1 – Choir and History Presentation

The next session started with a fantastic choir, which I think was quite mean, because Paul and I had to follow that with our presentation on the History

2014-10-06 10.59.13Because I was presenting, Katrin blogged the History presentation, her notes are below


Paul and Chris gave their presentation on the history of Koha, starting
with their usual stunt - introducing themselves in French and Maori, 
confusing the audience and earning lots of laughter.

I will try to give a short summary on the slides:
- Koha was started in 1999-09, Chris worked at Katipo at the time
- The first version didn't have serials and acqusitions, but went 
live on time for the library to avoid the Y2K problem
- Katipo was a web developing company and not a software vendor, so
they didn't want to sell software, but made it free software so everyone
could use and improve it
- In 2000 there was a website, you could download Koha and also the first
contribution was made from outside Katipo
- In 2001 the first non-English developer contributed to Koha and then
Paul arrived soon after
- 2002 was the second major release and wiki and bugzilla were set up.
- There were a lot of problems with translations, like a lot of hardcoded
English in the code.
- The same year the work on adding MARC support to Koha was started for
a library in the US.
- Nearly 20 developers, libraries using it - time to think some about
a structure for the project. Some roles were introduced that still exist
as of today - Release Manager, Maintainer, QA manager (for a short time),
documentation manager
- 2003-2005 - multi-MARC support was introduced, UNIMARC and MARC21 at the same
- Version 2 also included a serials module, statistics, an improved OPAC and
tools to import data into Koha (bulkmarcimport)
- 2006-2007 had the first KohaCon in Marseille, France and it was decided to move to 
Zebra to speed up the until then MYSQL-based search
- More mailing lists were introduced and the French website for Koha came to life
- 2009-2009 - Koha faced some trouble...
- 2010 - back to hacking. The community moves from koha.org to koha-community.org
proves that open source is stronger than closed source.
- Koha conferences turn into an annual event - starting with Plano, Texas in 2010,
followed by Wellington (NZ), Thane (India), Edinburgh (UK) and ... Córdoba (Argentina).
- Some more positive changes came outof the discussion and move, improving workflows
and communication.
- 2011 - 3.4 is the first time based release.
- Same year Koha switches to a better Templating system and item data are removed
from the MARC record resulting in speed gains.
- 2012 - offline circulation as a Firefox plugin, hourly loans, new design for the staff
interface (3.8)
- Remember: you don't have to upgrade to every release, you can upgrade anytime from
any version to another in one go.
- 3.12 and 3.14 were releases in 2013, changes included the introduction of a new Bootstrap
based responsively designed OPAC, course reserves module, patron self registration and
and HTML5 based offline circulation.
- Chris was forced to spend a lot of time with lawyers, as Liblime tried to register the
trademark Koha in NZ - but the trademark application was rejected and costs were awarded
to The Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT) and Catalyst IT. The trademark is now owned by HLT.
... running outof batter...
- 2014, 3.16. and 3.18 - we are good on features, time to speed things up a bit.
- 2015 - Koha's internals and plumbing needs to be modernized, as new technologies have
become available since Koha was started. 

One question from the audience: What can be done to improve koha-community.org's ranking
in Google? Help by publishing something about Koha and linking back!

Kohacon14 – Day 1 – Keynote and Opening


Tomas welcomed the delegates to the conference, first in Spanish and then in English.


Tomas Cohen Arazi did the keynote this really tested my Spanish, but I caught bits, especially when he translated Māori to spanish. I think he  covered some of Pauls talk, but that is perfect because Paul will be talking in English, so between the 2 of them, the community structure will be well explained. I’m pretty sure the talk also covered a brief bit of the history of Koha. But the main gist seemed to be introducing Koha to people. He covered how releases are made and when they are made.

He also talked about the upcoming 3.18 release for which he is the release manager, so far 200 bugs/enhancements have been dealt with and more than 700 patches integrated. The main highlights are a refactorisation of our UTF8 handling, to be much more robust and consistent. As well as some new features and many fixes of course. He listed some bugs, but my Spanish is nowhere near good enough to catch them all, I will try to get a list from his slides later.