Koha Newsletter: Volume 1/Issue 5: May 2010
Table of Contents
- KohaCon 2010
- News from the Developers
- Koha Libraries
- Koha/Open Source Learning
KohaCon is only 6 months away and we’re still looking for presentation proposals. The official call for proposals for KohaCon10 has been made. If you’re joining us in NZ in October, please think about sharing your Koha knowledge, tips, and ideas with us! Submit as many proposals as you want. The deadline for submitting proposals is the 15th of June.
If you’re planning on joining us in NZ in October make sure you submit your registration soon. The conference is only six months away and time flies when you’re having fun preparing Koha 3.2 for its official release.
News from the Developers
I am pleased to announce release of the second and final alpha of Koha 3.2.0. The package can be retrieved from
Checksums and signatures are also available:
I will be mirroring these on Savannah shortly.
The next two milestones for release are beta and general release. At this point, I am declaring a soft string freeze; template changes other than those to fix typos and structural problems will be deferred to 3.4. Read more…
Debian unstable should now have all Koha dependencies included. All but one of them are in squeeze (the current testing) as well. The one missing from squeeze is libtext-csv-encoded-perl. You can download it manually from a Debian package mirror and install it from the command line. Even that package will hopefully enter squeeze by mid-May.
The American Numismatic Society, a museum and research institute in New York, is pleased to join the ranks of Koha libraries. The new catalog was officially announced (and named) on Monday, April 19, 2010, following a six month migration process. The library staff continues to tweak the interface, and an intensive quality assurance program is underway to bring the database (containing more than 175k records) in line with modern library standards. Please feel free to take a look at the new catalog, accessible at http://donum.numismatics.org/ or the library’s website, accessible at http://www.numismatics.org/Library/Library.
We had a successful open day here in London, UK on 23rd April. Representatives from Camlis and the King’s Fund spoke to a group of 10 librarians who are close to deciding to adopt Koha, or have newly implemented it. We kept it small and without representatives from any support companies so that it would feel informal, and to promote Koha without promoting any particular support option. Those attending got to ask plenty of questions and we also gave some live demonstrations of day-to-day Koha functions. We also showed a sneak preview of a feature-in-progress: to import book orders and marc records direct from our suppliers into the acquisitions module. I think we gave some users more confidence to make the change if they choose to. The open day/morning felt like a good model and a way of introducing potential users to each other, instead of us answering inquiries piecemeal. We hope to repeat the event on a regular basis, so please do register your interest with us if you’d like to attend in the future.
Koha/Open Source Learning
The default password for the kohaadmin user is katikoan. When running Makefile.PL, you will see this prompt:
“Please specify the password of the user that owns the database to be used by Koha [katikoan]”
Rather than hitting the enter key and moving along, take a moment to change this password to something different and something strong. Remember, every person who has ever installed Koha knows the default username and password. Furthermore, according to one researcher, it takes about 58 hours to crack an 8 alphabetic character lower-case password using software and non-dictionary words. (http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles/safetyinnumbers.htm) If you cannot think of a strong, unique password, you can create a few which no one will guess using this site: https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm.
Remember to create your database user with the same username/password combination you selected during the Makefile.PL run. If you need to change the username and/or password at a later time be sure to change it in both koha-conf.xml *and* in the database. For more information on how to change the username/password in MySQL, see any of the INSTALL files that come with the source of Koha. You may also view one here: http://tinyurl.com/INSTALL-debian
Good security is always a wise investment, and implementation of this recommendation will cost you only a few minutes.
The newest version of Zotero has the ability to create and sync with public libraries online. Did you know that there was a Koha group library? To make it easier to access some of these great resources, I have put the Koha bibliography under documentation on the Koha site. In addition to being a member of the Koha library on Zotero, I keep my own bibliographies, a few of which are centered around open source software. Here are some of the titles I’ve found recently about Open Source Software.
Blankenhorn, Dana. “Open source communities must protect their interests.” Blog. Open Source | ZDNet, April 30, 2010. http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=6381.
Gentile, Brian. “The Open Source Renaissance.” opensource.com, March 10, 2010. http://opensource.com/business/10/3/open-source-renaissance.
Haigh, Paul. “Moving forward with Open Source, a school leader’s perspective.” Open Source Schools, April 9, 2010. http://opensourceschools.org.uk/moving-forward-open-source-school-leaders-perspective.html.
Taylor, Mark. “Moving Forward with Open Source, an industry perspective.” Open Source Schools, April 8, 2010. http://opensourceschools.org.uk/moving-forward-open-source-industry-perspective.html.
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