Koha Newsletter: Volume 1/Issue 8: August 2010

Official Koha Newsletter (ISSN 2153-8328)
Volume 1, Issue 8: August 2010

Table of Contents


Tips & Tricks

Patron Card Creator Tips
by Chris Nighswonger

When uploading images for use with patron cards (including patron images) be sure to provide images at 300ppi (dpi) resolution. These images will be scaled on-the-fly to 72ppi for on-screen display and may look somewhat pixelated there. However, the pdf standard provides for both a “display quality” image and a “print quality” image. When the cards are printed, the “print quality” image (300ppi) will be used and the images will look the same as those uploaded. The short of this is: Don’t use the on-screen images as a judge of the print quality of the image.

When preparing images for use with Koha, you should always begin with a picture of at least 300ppi and dimensions equal to or greater than the finished dimensions you desire. The aspect ratio (width:height) should also remain consistent after editing. If you have an image over 300ppi, scale the ppi first. Then scale the dimensions so that either width or height is the desired finished dimension. You can then crop the other dimension to finish.

Reporting & Patching Koha Bugs
by Nicole C. Engard

Reporting and patching Koha bugs can be a simple process if you follow the many tutorials on the wiki and mailing lists. For those who are all ready to start patching, here are the steps you want to follow:

  1. Report a bug (or enhancement)
  2. Make yourself the assignee for that bug and change the Status to ‘Assigned’ so that others know you’re working on the bug
  3. Write your patch and send it to the patches list
  4. Change the bug Importance to ‘PATCH-Sent’ and attach your patch to the bug

Following these simple steps will keep everyone in the loop as you work on and fix bugs/features in Koha.

Learn Koha through Videos
by Nicole C. Engard

Many libraries have been creating videos to help train their staff on Koha. I personally have started a series (that I hope to release once a week) of tutorial videos on Koha 3.2. For more videos check out the Koha channel on YouTube (and feel free to add your videos to the channel if they’re not already there.


Koha in Libraries

British Library of Development Studies Implementing Koha
by Andrew Buxton

The British Library of Development Studies at Brighton, UK is implementing Koha on Debian Linux primarily to run its Z39.50 service. Records will be copied across regularly from Ibex, the library system developed in-house. About one third of the records are for journal articles. Ibex does not use a MARC format so a conversion routine has been developed to produce a text file which is then processed using MarcEdit.

Further information from Andrew Buxton, a.buxton@ids.ac.uk

Combining open source forces: Koha search block in Moodle
by Jonathan Harker

On Saturday 24 July, Wellington Summer of Tech held its 2010 Hackfest – a day of intense coding, soft-drinks and hourly prizes, as a warm up for its Summer of Tech student internship programme at the end of the year, the New Zealand summer.

Brendan Vercoelen from Victoria University worked with Jonathan Harker from Catalyst IT on a Koha search block for the learning management system Moodle, as a first attempt to get these two open source projects to work more closely together. The Koha search block, part of the existing Moodle external search block, allows students and teachers to search by keywords, sends the request to Koha over SRU (Search / Retrieval via URL) and parses and displays the MARCXML results.

The result can be seen in http://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/4830516298/

This block represents a great kick-off – in the future, we’d like to see a Koha record available as a Moodle resource type, so that (for example) a Moodle course can include a suggested reading list, where the item is fetched from the learning institution’s Koha library system, including its lending status. Previous work by Piers Harding (also at Catalyst) has enabled Moodle and Koha to share single sign-on using SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language).

The Hackfest allowed students to work closely with a mentor on a pre-defined project and gave them the opportunity to learn from experienced programmers. After 5 hours of programming, the students presented their results to the other participants of the Hackfest and invited guests.



Koha Events

Levin Mayoral Reception and Marae Visit
by Kristina Hoeppner

Koha celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. As you know, we will hold this year’s KohaCon in Wellington from 25-27 October 2010, followed by a Hackfest. You still have time to register.

As you will be in the country of the birth of Koha, why not pay a visit to Koha’s proper birthplace? We have planned an exciting trip to Levin, just north of Wellington, where everything started, for 28 October 2010. This excursion does not only give you the opportunity to visit Levin, it’s library, and meet the mayor, but also participate in a powhiri, a traditional Maori welcome ceremony. The Kawiu is a contemporary Marae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marae) and you will be eating in the usual dining room alongside locals. That will give you a real-life experience. You can find the trip details at http://www.kohacon10.org.nz/2010/program/levintrip.html and will have to register by 10 October 2010 for organizational reasons.

Koha packaging talk at Debconf
by Lars Wirzenius

Lars Wirzenius discussed lessons learned from making Debian packages for Koha in a talk at Debconf10. Koha was used as an example of an upstream project to bring up challenges they face when trying to Debian packages made, and things they may improve upon to make their software easier to package. The talk and slides are at http://liw.fi/swimming-upstream/, with videos to become available later.



Newsletter edited by Nicole C. Engard, Koha Documentation Manager.

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