Hi Koha Users,
I am a US librarian considering Koha. A friend of mine sent me the
following email when I shared this and I wanted to check with other
libraries to see if this is how everyone handles developments. Are you
working on your own or with a support company? Are all new develpments you
pay for making it into the public Koha?
Thank you for info
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vicki Teal Lovely
Date: Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 9:43 AM
Subject: [LibLime-Users] LibLime Users Meeting at ALA
To: liblime-users-cunTk1MwBs/BZqS9I1Uk3wC/[email protected]
Good Morning Everyone,
By now you have probably read the announcement that there was a user
group meeting at ALA. Debra Denault took notes at this meeting and you
will see them below. I was present at this meeting and this is an
accurate transcription of the discussion that occurred there. Please
keep in mind that no decisions were made at this meeting--it was only
the beginning of some discussions that LibLime customers need to have.
The email list was created as a forum for us to discuss topics such as
these (among other things), so let's start discussing. Joshua Ferraro
has suggested that we may want have a meeting to discuss these topics in
person--perhaps in a virtual forum.
Vicki Teal Lovely
LibLime Users Group Meeting, ALA, July 13
Attendees: LibLime (Josh, Debra, Maria)
WALDO (Rob, John, Becky)
Walden University - Michele
INCOLSA - Becki Whitaker
Highland Park - Jane Stanley
SCLS - Vicky Teal Lovely
Masscat - Nora Blake
St. John's University - Charles ?
Why are we here?
Challenges we face
*Jane Stanley said that she would be amenable to extra maintenance to
support the gap between cost and expense of development
LibLime user group proposal
air dirty laundry
expand development exchange
get to know other LibLime customers
improve communication of software releases
improve communication of new and info to LibLime customers
LibLime committed to launch a listserv next month
4. 2010 users group conference
John Stromquist - always find emergence of user's group when there is
a strategic relationship between customer and vendor. Evaluate vendors
performance, encourage them etc which shouldn't interfere with a
broader community group. More difficult challenge of funding of future
development. Exercise option by searching for solutions to the funding
problems for development. Get a funding stream for development through
membership dues etc.
Jane - Hard for a small library that can only contribute a small
amount to get anything done. Perception is that LL is too committed to
these large projects to let the small guys have a say.
Josh - have membership fee x% of contract value to go towards user
group as well as development decisions
Vicky - she would hate to see a small library with a small amount of
money who has committed money to large pool and not get what they want
done ... would prefer to see a) people need to see what dev projects
are out there but who is going to keep it up - maybe a user group
responsibility b) wishlist - we want this done can we cosponsor. Do
not want to be locked into a voting situation. Kudos want to do it on
larger scale but no where near being able to do it.
John S - lots of ways we can approach this - some money toward larger
scale but understand there are small development needs that could
exist in parallel. Do a credit against funding toward positive
suggestions and central fund could match it.
Vicky - can't see their libraries putting there money somewhere where
they do not have control over it . Nora concurs from Masscat
John S - libraries want to see service out of where their money is
going. WALDO sees the benefits of it.
Josh - 15% wouldn't necessarily be pooled but can be. But libraries
could band with others to do projects separatey. Needs to be a metric
by which to measure how participation is going.
John S - libraries need to know it's an equitable process
Vicky - To Josh - is getting this money what LL needs to make it more
stable. Help out others that may not be able to afford something
specifically. Get folks together and do it.
Josh - How can we make this work?
Jane - Can we get a quote for LL and post to the listserv if others
would want to share.
Vicky - Thinks that would be better than pooling it together.
Jane - It's the large consortia versus the little guys and they would
have the budget to do things on their own and the small guys need the
Josh - but WALDO could help in in any situation
Becki - value of a group like this would be the method to share what
we are doing and important step to be able to share our developments.
Vicky - very first step - who's doing what. But we want to work with our
Rob - now that we are all shareholders in this and in LibLime there is
a risk in sharing the development and that the investment is safe
(i.e. from other vendors in the space) Need to maintain a level of
discretion in involvement of other groups.
Josh - if user group would like to take over and run the development
exchange that would relieve our staff. Specification process is a line
item. Is there a committment when a request is made for a sponsored
project to be done?
Vicky - Maybe two lists - one for committed project and one for good
ideas and have projects move along a spectrum.
Josh - LL is working on a new LibLime website that will have a login
for customers to log in access
Vicky - Koha bugzilla db - use that for enhancements - ??? how much do
LL customers want to share with outside world what will be done.
Jane - was told can't pay for bugfixes -
Josh - need to figure out membership dues - just do freeform - need to
figure out how it all works - can reevaluate this yearly.
John - would like to propse some kind of statement of intent or
recognition as a open source LL user that there is an obligation to
contribute to ongoing development and money needs to be set aside for
this so system can continue to grow. Not just a free lunch
Vicky - part of their philosophy is we have money for development and
they are contributing and they would hate to force any library to
contribute to development. Doesn't want it to be part of membership
Josh - related to funding we at LL are interested too as we have made
a significant investment in Koha and that has been at the expense of
profit for us and we want to make sure development is working as
sufficiently as possible.
Becky - significant improvement in that a customer can be recognized
for their contribution.
Josh - Any thoughts on a conference?
Rob - could be dependent on going live dates etc.
John - alot of chatter about the community of Koha by developers need
librarian input and we are looking for an organization that talk about
Vicky - too soon to have a conference. Don't think folks could afford
it for such a small group. Do a half day for LL users off KohaCon as
automation libraries cannot go to ALA. Should be off a kudos annual
Jane - how does that contradict our committment to LL.
Josh - part of our goal with LL users group is to build stronger legs
where we can compete with other companies. Not that we are against all
the other competitors - have great relationship with ByWater but there
are some out there acting like sharks putting us in a difficult
Vicky - puts us in a difficult position not to be able to share with
other community to users and the LL pool is too small in her opinion.
Josh - well LL users contributes 97%
Vicky - you will cause a rift in your customer base and there are
enough that want to work with Koha users that it is going to happen.
John - but there doesn't need to be a choice to be made. The kudos
committment is a higher level participation.
Josh - not saying can't go to the kudos or participate in kudos but we
need the LL user's group conference because of other reasons.
Kate - what kind of attendence of LL customers - 60% of customers - 100
Josh - at a LL user group meeting customers can be more open and
honest than if at a shared event.
Charles - i'm a low level player but what he sees is a .com
organization talking to a bunch of .edu organizations with different
philosophies. Where/when does this mean a split in the product.
Josh - 1. that's already happened . Koha by LibLime different already
than what others delivered. 2. getting considerable pressure by
sponsored developments to embargoing the code. 3. LL cannot change the
philosophy to contribute to the community. Need to have a timed
release that gives us a strategic advantage.
Nora - this is very upsetting and disconcerting to us. That's not why
we joined on.
Josh - we would still give you all the community stuff
Becky - but that breaks the value of open source
Rob - the conditions have changed in being able to support the model.
The user community has to answer why are we uncomfortable sharing and
how the community is having adverse effect on why we got together in
the first place.
Vicky - would like to explore more positive ways for getting LL
funding rather than break the community model of Koha.
Josh - not making it not opensource - but we will hold it back.
Nora/Vicky - don't like it - won't fly.
Vicky - Kings County is splitting Evergreen to their own code and
Vicky has been telling everyone how proud we are not in a position of
having to do that.
Jane - if there is another company underbidding are they sustainable
Josh - but this company has deep pockets and can sustain the loss. We
have no capital backing
Rob - learning a lesson from a shark that may not do much damage but
what about the next shark.
John - obligation to his consortia members who have contributed 750K
Vicky - still share with everyone and want what they have. All of
Wisconsin may all become LL customers.
Rob - what we are grasping with is it open or not? It's not that it's
not open but rather when does it become open.
Charles - holding open source back - what period of time do you have in
Josh - not made a concrete decision on this yet. Not intent to talk
about it today but bottom line is the problem is the cost to expense
ratio of development and we cannot subsidize it with other services.
Vicky - how are those decisions to develop those made if didn't have
Becki - if we had known then that 3.2 is not till the fall they would
have bought into it back in the spring. If intent is to have a product
that there are delays in releasing customer needs to know more
Rob - development exchange can address these needs by gathering
funding from smaller sources to be applied to these types of big
Vicky - instead of you saying it's a good project a library will front
it you are suggesting this needs to be done who will front it.
Vicky - if you are asking for the money to get closer it needs to be
Koha related not other 3rd party projects and the software needs to be
brought to a level that other libraries will migrate it to it.
John - it's a timing issue
Vicky - LL needs to offer stable support and need to prove that we can
do it and show evidence it can be done. Do not want to withhold code.
It would be a hard sell for me to go back and have my library agree to
Josh - well of course there is time involved before the customer even
approves code - make it longer term quality assurance testing first
with customer then LL customers then to the community at large. Other
thing that needs to be considered is that LL has been leading the Koha
community but there seems to be an uprising amongst other Koha
developers so we won't be holding those positions of quality assurance
/ release management of Koha and that will mean a detrimental effect
on the quality of the product - trying to address that eventuality.
Jane - do you see LL version diverging from the community
Vicky - isn't there a group of folks
Josh - yes but release manager has final say and if we lose that
capability then what if our customers are not served by the product.
We are not dedicated to the Koha community to a fault. Our customers
come first and need to have stable good code.
It's been a valuable conversation. Need to continue the dialog to address.
Will establish LL mailing list .. appropriate time to have a group meeting.
Meeting adjourned 12:06 p.m.
On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Joshua
Vicki Teal Lovely
Software Applications Supervisor
201 W. Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703
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