Unsung heroes of Koha part 5

Pascale Nalon

Paul talked about Pascale and Ecole des Mines in our History of Koha presentation at Kohacon. But I think it is important to recognise the role Pascale has played in spreading the adoption of Koha, particularly in France. As Paul talked about during the presentation Ecole des Mines is a very prestigious institution and by them adopting Koha it gained a lot of notice.

Ecole des Mines and Pascale hosted the first Kohacon in 2006 in Paris, Pascale also came to the developers week in Marseille offering lots of useful suggestions and advice.

Since then Pascale has been very influential in setting up Kohala (the french Koha users group, which as of writing this is blacked out in protest of the 3 strikes law trying to be passed in France) and translating documentation into French.

I may be butchering the French language, but I’m going to try anyway. Pascale, Merci mille fois

Unsung Koha heroes – Part 4

Ambrose Li

Following on from Pawel and Benedyky, Ambrose took over maintaining and extending the translation scripts and helping out with localisaiton and internationalisation issues. But wait, there’s more. Ambrose has 453 commits to his name with a total of 8131 lines changed. That’s huge for a person who has never been employed by any of the Koha support companies, and as far as I know, has never been paid for any of his Koha work.

His first commit was back in January of 2003, and I’m 99% sure I saw him pop into the Koha meeting on irc yesterday.

Ambrose if you are ever in New Zealand, I owe you a beer (or beverage of your choice)

Unsung Koha heroes – Part 3

Benedykt P. Barszcz and Pawel Skuza – Polish Pioneers

As the current translation manager, I have to give a shout out to these two. In 2001 they started the translation ball rolling, first translating Koha into Polish, then writing a script to help automate translations. This script has been almost totally rewritten (a lot of the changes by someone I will cover in another post) but the basic idea remains.

Benedykt was one of the main drivers behind localisation and internationalisation with many emails to the mailing lists on the subjects.  In the typical Free Software fashion though, they didn’t just talk but actually proved it could be done, by doing it.

So to Pawel and Benedykt, and all the people who came after that worked on localisation and translations,  Dziekuje.

Unsung Koha Heroes Part 2

The Directors of Athens County Public Libraries

Most people that are familiar with the history of the Koha ILS will have heard of Stephen Hedges, but less will be aware how influential he was in the success of Koha in the North American library space. Without his leadership and willingness to be the groundbreaker as the first Public library to go with Koha in US who knows where we would be. Of course he had people in the library recommending and supporting that decision but ultimately the buck stopped with him.

Carrying on that tradition is the current director Lauren Miller who, by allowing the marvellous Owen Leonard time and resources to work on Koha, is continuing Athens County’s mutually beneficial relationship with Koha.

Out of Athens County Public Library grew Liblime and (please liblimers correct me if I’m wrong) they were Liblime’s first client.

So much respect to Stephen Hedges, Lauren Miller … and all the other librarians and staff of Athens County Public Libraries

Do believe the hype

Unsung Koha Heroes – Part one : Olwen Williams

When I was working on the Koha history doc leading up to the presentation at Kohacon I noticed that there were some contributions that I would like to make special mention of. This of course is not to try and rank anyones contribution over anyone else’s or to detract from the already well recognised contributors. But there are some people who made significant contributions to Koha and I would like to recognise that.

Olwen Williams is a huge reason why Koha exists, without her and her knowledge of pick based systems we might still be struggling to get the data out of the old library system 🙂 She enabled Horowhenua Library Trust to feel confident, by getting the data out of their old system and getting it into the new relational database. Not content to stop there, she also wrote a significant amount of the code that was to become Koha 1.0.  She was the second person ever to commit code to Koha and occasionally still answers a question on the mailing list.

Olwen if you read this, hats off to you and thank you very much for all the hard work you put in.